Aerobic?

Harald Motz

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Certified Instructor
What is your opinion on row vs running or rucking for steady cardio? at Tactical Barbell they say that running is the best form of cardio along with rucking, because these are more natural to us than other exercises. This was discussed here at the forum short ago.
Both have pros and cons in relation to each other.
the rower works more muscle mass, they work concentrically almost exclusively, therefore it may be more sustainable and suitable to use it more frequently, than running (for a beginner or heavier human). On weekends I was sometimes 3-5 10k on the rower, with running I could not do that.

At the same hr the rowing PRE is significantly higher than running (IIRC Andrew Read's advice is when applying MAF to reduce 5bpm on the rower, personally I gravitate to go 5-10bpm lower than running). Rowing feels more engaging. Even going at a relatively low hr can get kind of "hard" when you want to pull your maximal power for that hr. Then breathing has to be totally on point accompanied by efficient strokes, this requires focus.

With rowing one surely can build muscle, as far as I know it is the only endurance event with weight classes. @Sean M.

Rowing makes the heart walls thicker and wider also, because racing rowers use high tension and valsalva on the pull to generate tremendous power. Because of the cyclical nature and almost no excentric, blood can move well to and from the heart. Running does that not (valsalva)

Running demands no equipment. Good running technique in my opinion is for most people a much harder skill than a safe indoor rowing technique. Running has excentric loading and impact through gravity this is good because it builds up bone density, cyclists or rowers when not lifting heavy occasionally don't get that. This is bad because it is impact: the devil is in the details of volume, frequency, technique, weight...

With running you run through environment you actually have a kind of an aim in space. With indoor rowing you literally go nowhere.

From a pure heart-muscle-breath working standpoint I would say rowing is in front of running. But with running you can really build some springiness into the legs, and if you will it is more "natural" or call it "functional" or a "reset".
 

Snowman

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Maybe I would do rucking in non-snowy seasons
Start now, while it's nice. When it starts to get cold, get used to the cold. When you can't get used to the cold anymore, throw on a hat, gloves, long sleeve, and pants as needed. When it gets icy, get some of those grippers for your shoes/boots. You might eventually get crowded out and have to move things indoors, but you would be surprised how late into the year you can ruck. You warm up quick, and you can dress for the weather without messing it up. If things get uncomfortable, you get to work on your breathing. As far as I'm concerned, it's a year-round activity. We don't usually get as much ice cover in Montana as you do in Michigan, but last year was exceptionally icy and it still worked out alright.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
Weather should never be an excuse. Have the right kit. Pay attention to how your body is reacting. Ease into extreme cold or heat. I've trained outdoors in -40c to +40c

It's all good...
 

Sean M

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@Gary Music @offwidth How much weight? I have 5-10 pound barbell plates and a 25lb kettlebell. I heard somewhere start with 10% of bodyweight? That would be 20lb for me.

My day to day footwear is leather shoes at work (office), flip flops in summer and slip-on flat bottom shoes in winter. I have “running shoes” for things like mowing the lawn, and work boots/winter boots for snow. I’m inclined to go with my broken-in workbooks for rucking more than anything else. Should I consider something else?
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
@Gary Music @offwidth How much weight? I have 5-10 pound barbell plates and a 25lb kettlebell. I heard somewhere start with 10% of bodyweight? That would be 20lb for me.

My day to day footwear is leather shoes at work (office), flip flops in summer and slip-on flat bottom shoes in winter. I have “running shoes” for things like mowing the lawn, and work boots/winter boots for snow. I’m inclined to go with my broken-in workbooks for rucking more than anything else. Should I consider something else?
Well...
It depends a lot upon your goals as to weight to use. There is certainly nothing wrong with starting conservative and building up to something heavy. I wouldn't start with anything greater than 10%. It will depend a bit on other factors such as terrain, distance, and pace. Lots of variables to play with.

Some people swear by minimalist foot wear. I am not one of them. I always like to think I am training for 'the real thing'. For me that means rucking in sturdy hiking or mountaineering boots.
 

Al Ciampa

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Certified Instructor
I'm a fan of starting especially older ruckers and runners off very slow. Start by working up to your volume with unloaded walking--take the time to perfect your technique and gait. Then add a pack with water, this should add 4-8lbs; then increase in ~5 lb increments at a rate such that you never feel the increase.

Most do not need to ever go to a heavy pack, but testosterone can be an annoying devil on your shoulder.
 

Bro Mo

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Having a good aerobic base is for real.
But MAF aerobic training is the real deal.
I've always operated under the premise that an aerobic base is what enables the volume and recovery to make significant improvements. What's changed for me is what is considered to improve the aerobic base. My historic running pace was way above what it should have been for nearly two decades and only to my demise. Granted, for a lot of it, I didn't really have much of a choice in the matter though.

Bruce Lee quote: "I don't fear the man who has done 10,000 punches...I fear the man who has done 1 punch 10,000 times".
Holy $%^&! I've never heard that quote before but that is phenomenal and a mind grenade for me this morning. Makes me wonder why I'm not doing singles on whatever interval would equate to a set on whatever interval. Thanks for this.
 
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Jim Lauerman

More than 300 posts
I'm a fan of starting especially older ruckers and runners off very slow. Start by working up to your volume with unloaded walking--take the time to perfect your technique and gait. Then add a pack with water, this should add 4-8lbs; then increase in ~5 lb increments at a rate such that you never feel the increase.

Most do not need to ever go to a heavy pack, but testosterone can be an annoying devil on your shoulder.
+1

I started rucking at 68 and was told to start gradually, but that was considered to be 15#. It didn’t go very well. It didn’t take long to start experiencing some deep systemic fatigue and knee pain.

Now I’m just walking, it feels good and I am building my endurance. The ruck will be coming back out this fall.

We geezers have a pretty thin margin for error, but we can progress if we’re carefull.

Same with all other modalities.

Jim
 

Harald Motz

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
I've always operated under the premise that an aerobic base is what enables the volume and recovery to make significant improvements. What's changed for me is what is considered to improve the aerobic base. My historic running pace was way above what it should have been for nearly two decades and only to my demise. Granted, for a lot of it, I didn't really have much of a choice in the matter though.
The first thing is to wanting to know what an "aerobic base" is, and how it can be developed
then there is kind of blind trusting it,
then it is to put this into relaxed practice,
then it is about accumulation over longer periods of time,
then there is feeling and measuring progress of better aerobic functioning, in the endurance event itself and in my case bettering my kettlebell snatching specifically and better body composition, more relative strength, better metabolism, more balanced mood in general…
then you are back were you started as you now know what an aerobic base is theoretically but better practically through good experiences.

Personally I feel more and more, that this "aerobic base work" almost can not be relaxed and easy enough. Constantly "boring" base working is work, but not "hard" work.
 

The Nail

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Constantly "boring" base working is work, but not "hard" work.
The "boring" aspect is the thing that kept me away from this stuff for so long. But after diving into it for this summer, it's what keeps me coming back.

The act of clearing the mind to focus on making each step better than the one before it eats up stress. And if I am paying correct attention to my stride/foot work/posture/etc then it is not boring at all, but quite engaging.
 

krg

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
At the same hr the rowing PRE is significantly higher than running (IIRC Andrew Read's advice is when applying MAF to reduce 5bpm on the rower, personally I gravitate to go 5-10bpm lower than running).
Harald - that's interesting. I have to say this isn't my experience at all.

I find MAF pace rowing easier than MAF pace running and I get less HR drift which I interpret as slower depletion of glycogen stores.

I read Andrew Read's article - I don't understand his argument at all, then in one of the comments he answers he appears to change it so I have taken the view to use MAF as a systemic parameter and not vary it for different exercises.

I certainly don't agree with his view that rowing and cycling would be more similar to each other. Cycling is a much more localised effort (legs) than running (legs, core, bit of arms) and I think even that is more localised than rowing. One of the things I find when rowing is that I can drop my heart rate (temporarily at least) by shifting focus to more leg (higher stroke rate) or more arm / back (lower stroke rate) whilst not dropping pace / 500 m.

Now most of this might be a personal exercise preference - as a 115 kg silver-back, me and running are never going to have a happy ending. But I don't see any good reason to treat the MAF rate differently for running or rowing.

I definitely agree with you on the merits of rowing - at low intensities it gives far more than it takes.
 

krg

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Because of your BW.



More likely due to increased body temp.
Agree with both these points.

I definitely sweat a bit more on the rower as there is no cooling breeze (Concept C2 fans are useless for cooling).

Would you subscribe to the idea of varying MAF rate according to exercise? Or are all these forms of locomotion similar enough to stick with the 180-Age formula?
 
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