Squats necessary for military fitness of deads + KBs enough?

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by coolrunnings, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. Chrisdavisjr

    Chrisdavisjr Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    This is perfect! I have a barbell and weights arriving on Friday and was concerned about how to integrate kettlebells and/or conditioning into my barbell (PTTP, specifically) training. I had a quick scan through this thread and there it is: The simple (and sinister?) answer to all my questions.

    Cheers, Steve!
    Steve Freides likes this.
  2. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Strong Member of the Forum

    Fast forward to 50:30 if it doesn't start there.
    North Coast Miller likes this.
  3. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr Strong Member of the Forum

    To go back to the OP, I don’t think the SQ is the issue. I bet that if the study looked DL strength they would get the same result. Both lifts are hard, and good at developing and assessing total body strength. Also, both are lifts often neglected. The study showed that strong people do better. No surprise. Any basic barbell program done consistently for two years should be good.
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  4. Bill Been

    Bill Been Strong Member of the Forum

    The guy on the vid BroMo linked is citing the study by Hickson et al 1980 that established the existence of the “Interference Effect” defined as the phenomenon that simultaneous training of both strength and endurance results in short term gains, then a plateau, then a marked decrease in strength. It is instructive that both qualities increase together for about 7 weeks. This has obvious, and some less obvious implications for training.

    For me, the implications nicely overlay what I believe about the primacy of strength - muscular force production. Strength underpins every other manifestation of physical performance whether it’s balance, agility, stamina, speed, power, even endurance. When you build strength, you’re building every one of Jim Cawley’s excellent list of the 10 components of physical fitness (I would term it “physical capability”), with Endurance likely being the least impacted. Plus, strength training builds new structure. Stronger structure, more capable structure, structure that that is harder to kill. Strength training triggers a hormonal cascade that signals “growth”. Endurance training triggers a completely different - and opposing - set of adaptations, adaptations that are not structural in nature but rather chemical. Enzymes are reordered to better oxidize fat, capillary density is increased in order to better deliver oxygen to tissues, mitochondrial density increases in order to produce more ATP aerobically. The structural changes of strength training - increased muscle mass, increased bone density and strength, increased tendon thickness, density, and strength - are hard-won and take some time to develop. Blessedly, they also take a long time to detrain. The chemical changes of endurance training come on much more quickly - and detrain much more quickly. All of this should explain the Interference Effect. After a few weeks (7 weeks in Hickson) of noob gains in both strength and endurance, the disparate and incompatible nature of the two adaptive responses becomes apparent. “Everything works.....for about 6 weeks”. Anybody heard that one around the StrongFirst campfire. It’s true if you’re trying to simultaneously develop strength and endurance.

    So what do we do about training? What makes sense with all this as a backdrop? As Iron Tamer Dave Whitley said: “Don’t half-a#@ 2 things. Whole-a#@ 1 thing”. My contention is that since strength underpins everything else, builds a more capable human, and takes a long time to develop; and further that since adequate (not elite) levels of endurance can be built relatively quickly; and further that the barbell is the most effective tool for the development of strength - a comprehensive (that means it includes the squats that served so nicely as a proxy in the Canadian research) barbell strength training program should be undertaken first in a focused way that precludes diminished results due to the Interference Effect. After a strength base is built, it can be comfortably maintained or even increased very slowly as you shift focus to the conditioning aspects of the upcoming challenge.
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  5. offwidth

    offwidth Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Could you please put what you mean by adequate (and elite) levels of endurance into context? i.e. What is adequate, what is elite?

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  6. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Couldn't you just do your run in the AM?
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  7. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Strong Member of the Forum

    Every time I've combined both into the same training session, I would see performance improvements for 3-6 weeks depending on the intensity of the program and then would experience a plateau or decline unless I took enough time off to basically decline back to where I would start.

    I did two-a-day training with endurance in the morning and strength in the evening for 3 months. I did not experience a decrease in performance. I did experience what I felt to be a lot of lost time by training twice per day instead of once.

    I've been breaking up the two into different days for the last 6 months and both have kept improving the whole time. It does require more volume on the strength days since they occur less frequently but using ladders @ ~80% depending on rep range allows for a lot of volume without interfering with the recovery before the next day.
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  8. psmith

    psmith Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    I'd be cautious about leaning too heavily on Hickson. Two big caveats about his training protocols:

    Endurance training protocol in Hickson entailed "continuous running as fast as possible" for 30-40 minutes 3x/week, and a lot of us have noticed that the recovery cost of running is a good deal more than linear in speed; running twice as fast takes a lot more than twice as much out of you.

    Strength and endurance sessions were "usually separated by at least two hours", notable in context of more recent results from Robineau (2016) and Sporer and Wagner (2003) suggesting that strength training interferes with endurance training and vice versa much more if both sessions are within a 6-8 hour window than if they're separated by at least 8 hours.

    See full text here: Sci-Hub | Interference of strength development by simultaneously training for strength and endurance | 10.1007/BF00421333

    (In addition, Wilson et al's 2012 meta-analysis suggests that concurrent training is probably just fine if the endurance training is via a low impact-modality like rowing or cycling, though OP needs to care about his running at some point so this isn't entirely relevant to the thread.).

    Also, first post, hi guys.
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  9. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr Strong Member of the Forum

    In my experience, aerobic endurance develops slowly, but tends to stick around, while strength develops and degrades more quickly.

    In my recent experiment in concurrent training, I improved my MAF test and strength by training Easy Strength 4x a week and aerobic sessions 6x per week. Aerobic volume was about 8 hrs per week, towards the lower end of what I would do when preparing for MTB or XTERRA events.

    In any case, here is an interesting article on the subject from Bret Contreras’s site:

    How to Maximize Concurrent Training - Bret Contreras

    My take away is that interference is overstated, and primarily from finite: finite time, and finite adaptive ability.
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  10. Bill Been

    Bill Been Strong Member of the Forum

    The article you cited says that resistance training (RT) nicely supports endurance training (ET), going so far as to say “In fact, RT has been shown in numerous studies to improve endurance performance directly (i.e. time trial) (8, 17), as well as endurance parameters (VO2max and running/cycling economy) (2-11, 17). Furthermore, high-intensity RT (loads >85% 1RM) paired with explosive, high velocity RT has been suggested to be a superior method of RT in recreationally trained, highly trained, and elite endurance athletes (3-6, 8-9, 12, 18).”, which is true but I wouldn’t have said it, because no one believes that strength training helps endurance performance. So I’m glad you decided to buttress my points.

    The article makes clear that the Interference Effect exists, exists for the reasons I stated, and further backs up my description of the characteristics of the competing (RT vs ET) adaptions. Thanks again.

    The problem lies in their work-around. Their solution is to reduce the dosage - intensity, volume, and/or frequency of the RT in order to accommodate the ET, and to call the subsequent compromise “concurrent training”.

    I am not willing to do that for a couple of reasons. First, when I say “strength training”, I’m almost always referring to a Linear Progression that is designed to have only 1 training variable - LOAD. There are no extra recovery recovery assets available to a trainee after the first few weeks of such a program. There’s no telling what other people mean when they refer to “RT”, but it ain’t what I’m talking about. Second, the strength is more important than the endurance, because the strength must first exist before it can endure. Said another way: you must be strong enough to do a task ONCE before you worry about being able to do it many times. A strength-focused approach massively broadens the array of tasks that you can do. Third, as stated in the cited article, strength training is going to improve your endurance markers anyway, so quit worrying about it.
    IonRod likes this.
  11. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @psmith, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

  12. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum Certified Instructor

    @Bill Been, to be clear, do you advise NLP along with no other training? If so, does this change when NLP runs its course? Is it application dependant?
    Oscar likes this.
  13. Snowman

    Snowman Strong Member of the Forum

    100% agreed. Improving tissue quality (and healthy movement patters) is what will help prevent injury and allow someone's body to keep up with their mind during a challenging selection process. Plenty of hopefuls have had been pushed out of training, even though their spirit was willing.

    I do feel the need to point out, however, that this also includes improving the quality of the tissues that support the foot and ankle, and the achilles tendon. In my experience, strength training does a pretty pitiful job at strengthening those structure. They tend to respond best to a high volume of concentric/eccentric cycles. Rucking works pretty well. Running works better.

    As has been pointed out, it would probably be unwise to train strength and running in the same session, but I believe it's been shown pretty clearly that separating your strength and endurance training by an hour or nine will allow both to progress nicely. Especially if one of them is done at an intensity that doesn't draw a lot of recovery resources from the other. In other words, instead of half a$$ both of them, do more of an 80/20 a$$ split. I would agree with @Bill Been that strength should be the focus, so it would be ideal to run in a manner that lets you accumulate a lot of steps without incurring much of a recovery debt.

    I know! What if you combined a basic barbell strength training program with a moderate-to-high volume of really low intensity running! I don't think anyone's suggested that yet, but I'll bet it would do the trick ;)
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  14. Jeff Roark

    Jeff Roark Double-Digit Post Count

    Being a plain old Marine Sgt and sort of simple minded about things, but if I had it all to do over 26 years ago, rucking would have been my main focus in preparation for boot camp and beyond. All the running, lifting, and BW exercises did not prepare me for the stress of heavy long distance rucking. My feet, ankles and lower legs just took a beating that I still deal with until this day. Rucking primary, everything secondary.
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  15. Bill Been

    Bill Been Strong Member of the Forum

    Yes, and yes. To be clear though, I fully understand that there's going to have to be a time of focused conditioning. Others have done a fine job of making suggestions about how that is best done. I think where you and I would likely disagree would be in the time frame that such a focus would require and whether the military ought to be training for health or for performance - and maybe even if those two are actually at odds. You said yourself that a recruit that went in with the level of conditioning your approach would yield for him, would actually detrain during boot camp and further during Airborne, to arrive at Ranger School or the Q course with a reduced level of 'fitness". I fully agree with that assessment. I take from it that he didn't need that much conditioning to meet the demands of his service and that his service will quickly build up (or decrease) the adaptations it requires.

    As to "after the LP", we have a few things going for us that allow us to integrate conditioning with more confidence that it won't interfere with strength development. First, the trainee has gotten much, much better at recovering from physical stress. The LP trains this ability along with the smorgasbord of other adaptations. Second, the trainee actually *requires* increasing stress in order to disrupt homeostasis. Third, in Intermediate programming like Texas Method or H/L/M, we are no longer adding load every session as the trainee's stress tolerance now requires dosing of said stress in a cumulative fashion, meaning multiple sessions to create a new level of strength. These arrange nicely into week-long periods of time thereby freeing-up much more opportunity during the training week for conditioning appropriate to the specific needs of the upcoming challenge. At this point, it would be very easy to lay on some rucking, some HIIT on a rower, AirDyne, or sled, some MAF running, cycling, etc. Note that all conditioning at this point is executed at a much higher level of force production - rowing at 600w instead of 300w. pushing a 200lb sled vs 100, rucking with 50lb in the pack vs..... you get the point.

    And, as a horrible, horrible runner - I agree with you that running is irreplaceable.
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  16. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr Strong Member of the Forum

    From now on this is how will describe my training. Percentage of @$$ split. Nothing else makes more sense.

    This is basically how I train in the off season, but as an endurance nerd, it’s remedial strength work compared to everyone here. Plus, I’m not training for military selection.
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  17. kiwipete

    kiwipete Strong Member of the Forum

    @psmith Great first post! You make some very good points!

    The Hickson scientific study... has so many holes in it, should be used it as a colander...

    Doing 3 x cycles as interval training at ~ Vo2 max and 3 x runs per week as fast as possible for 10 weeks is more than likely result in a premature plateau and overtraining to some degree (which equals retrograde performance). You will be placing a very high burden on the body and its systems to recover over the week, let alone the whole 10 week experiment.

    No world class endurance programme will be arranged like that... and for good reason.

    Don't get me started on their strength training protocol.... All those exercise to increase squat 1RM?????

    I think anyone on the forum could predict the results based upon the intensive training schedule.

    There is obviously no 'sustainability' in that training schedule and therefore no 'sustainable outcomes' in physical performance markers.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  18. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Is there something of a consensus here?
    I'd think with the OP's current stats:
    A respectable barbell program will add 100lbs to all of those numbers without too much difficulty - keeping in mind the specifics of whatever boot camp he's in will morph all his adaptations to whatever end is needed.

    I don't see much sense in getting to a state where you'll be notably detraining yourself after you get there.

    Throw in some rucking on separate days, easy jogging, occasional testing vs the pullup/pushup/situp etc that is a known requisite and you can't be much better prep'd than that.

    Some of the comments relative to the tissue adaption to rucking and running make a lot of sense. I'd want that to feature prominently as it probably takes more time for those to develop than any of the aerobic or strength adaptations.

    I used to run daily and haven't in years, recently ran a 5k spur of the moment - my wind was fine but man my feet were sore.
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  19. psmith

    psmith Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Yeah, this is an interesting topic for me in general. I'll run out of free time for ~zone 1/zone 2 cycling and rowing before I run out of recovery resources, but aches and pains are always the limiting factor for my running volume, even at very easy paces. (Rucking not so much, a little bit but not nearly as bad as running as long as I stay off the pavement and don't try to airborne shuffle or tote excessively heavy loads. Getting stronger helped a lot.). Being 190-200lb probably doesn't help, though I'll drop some weight in order to focus more on running goals.

    I dunno, I don't think there's any one weird trick, unfortunately. The MAF HR stuff probably helps, but who knows?
  20. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum Certified Instructor

    Have you ever truly worked on your running technique?
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