Other/Mixed Standards

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Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

Standard are also something quite moving as time goes by. They also change in function of the strength coach. .

Below is what D. John mentioned

However, in a recent podcast (I think the last one), he mentioned that he changed his mind a little, in favour of something more well rounded. Indeed, he noticed that nowadays, plenty of people are able to bench his "old" standard. Nonetheless, pull ups are now underated. He noted that it almost becomes uncommon to see someone able to do 15 strict pull ups.

As a precision, he mentioned that this is especially true in the US. Indeed, it seems that US folks are good in bench press, and "not that good" in pull ups. This is the reverse in Europe.

On the other hand, you can also consider strength like Mike Dolce, who mainly work in the MMA / fight scene. For him, it is almost useless to tackle bench press or weighted squat unless you are already able to do 100 of each one with good form in a row. I guess the "reference" is something to take into consideration.

The same goes for Zach Even-Esh, which is now a good proponent of lighter work (using mostly bells / db / bdw), even if he still lift heavy here and there.

So, some job also have very specific standard. The French FireFighter of Paris for instance: They have a daily standard to meet: they have to be able to get over a floor, in full gear, every morning. This is not "complete" (no leg test, no real precise indicators such as the good ones mentioned by @Bro Mo ) but it still exists

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Coyotl

Level 6 Valued Member
I don't think I'm mischaracterizing at all.

Dan's a strength and conditioning coach, and a very smart one.

He talks about strength as a vessel upon which you build other qualities.

Even though, as a weightlifter, I'm a strength athlete, I don't score at competition by having 15 rep bodyweight back squat. I do well by having a good clean and jerk, which are qualities built on top of having a good squat.



Right

If doing 15 reps of BW bench presses made you a better offensive lineman, that's cool, you built other qualities on top of it.

If you have the ability to do 15 reps of BW bench presses but didn't build any other qualities with that.....well, why did you bother?

And if you're not going to build any other quality on top of your strength, is it a good use of your time?



My recurring disappointment with the S&C in popular culture (nothing to do with Dan) is the willingness of people to quickly snap to lists of strength feats to accomplish....Do 100 Burpees Per Day....Get to 500 lb Deadlift....without asking:

1. What am I hoping to achieve by doing this?
2. What qualities do I want to build on top of this strength?
3. What other qualities am I going to under-develop in order to build to and accomplish this strength feat?
4. Does hyper-specializing in this attribute detract from my ability to be a good generalist?


Strength standards come from the point of view of strength and conditioning coaches.

If you were to ask Ido Portal or Steven Low what they think are important attributes, you'd get a very different list of standards.
I don't think we really disagree on most of what we're saying. I agree S&C standards thrown out can be very short and pithy without a lot of individualized thought - does taking a 5k runner and getting them to hit some standard in the squat, deadlift, and bench make them a better 5k runner? Maybe it "balances" them but it might also slow them down. Its great if they're healthier and they have no competitive goals, but its like telling a pro football lineman to he needs to lose weight and do lots of cardio to be healthy; it might be true but it might also cost him his job (which, if he's a lineman, probably IS the healthy choice). And goals for "average" people more often or not reflect what the goal-setter likes to do. That's one of the reasons I really like the S&S setup - it builds a little of a lot of different qualities and can be done while also pursuing other things of interest.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I don't know how many levels of different attributes there should be either. I've seen between 3 and 10 for different things. It seems like some things are more appropriate to have less and others to have more. For strength, it seems like there are more and for health there seems to be fewer. I don't know if it's better to use one event with different levels or different achievements per attribute. I see the utility both ways.

For myself, I would think something along the lines of the table would be a decent place to start. I would want to achieve everything at one level before I pursued the things at the higher levels if I was concerned with everything. Otherwise, simply choosing the specific items that matter to the individual and then only using that subset to do the same thing. So instead of using nine markers, only using the top three that were applicable to me.

Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5
Relative StrengthPull-UpBW Front SquatPistol Squat2.5x BW DeadliftBeast Tamer
Absolute StrengthSimple>Class IV USPF TotalSinister>Class II USPF Total>Master USPF Total
Speed (40yd)<0::06<0::05.5<0::05.25<0::05<0::04.75
Power>1000W Airdyne>1250W Airdyne>1500W Airdyne>1750W Airdyne>2000W Airdyne
Power Endurance<3::30 800m Run<4::00 1k SkiErg<6::00 mile Run<7::00 2000m Row<2::00 800m
Endurance (10k Run)<80min<70min<60min<50min<40min
Body Fat %<30%<25%<20%<15%<10%
Resting Heart Rate<80<70<60<50<40
Blood Pressure<150/110<140/100<130/90<120/80<110/70

Interesting idea. Couple of thoughts:

Endurance means different things to endurance athletes and everyone else. To endurance athletes, a 10k run is short, so those standards wouldn't mean much. To excel at endurance, much longer training and targets are required, and beyond the cardiorespiratory adaptations, it's fairly specific to the activity. A good cyclist may be a terrible runner, for example. (Ask me how I know this...)

The other thought is that health measures I would tend to put as "good; don't worry about optimizing" or "not good, make it a priority to fix." For example, blood pressure. If you're below 120/80, you're good. No need to worry about it any more, or optimize it any better. If you're above 120/80, or especially the others you have at level 3, 2, and 1, it really needs to be a priority to fix. This is a big risk factor for cardiopulmonary disease. Here is a great Barbell Medicine podcast about prioritizing health.
 

Starlord

Level 5 Valued Member
Interesting idea. Couple of thoughts:

Endurance means different things to endurance athletes and everyone else. To endurance athletes, a 10k run is short, so those standards wouldn't mean much. To excel at endurance, much longer training and targets are required, and beyond the cardiorespiratory adaptations, it's fairly specific to the activity. A good cyclist may be a terrible runner, for example. (Ask me how I know this...)

The other thought is that health measures I would tend to put as "good; don't worry about optimizing" or "not good, make it a priority to fix." For example, blood pressure. If you're below 120/80, you're good. No need to worry about it any more, or optimize it any better. If you're above 120/80, or especially the others you have at level 3, 2, and 1, it really needs to be a priority to fix. This is a big risk factor for cardiopulmonary disease. Here is a great Barbell Medicine podcast about prioritizing health.

I am assuming with regards to the runners vs cycles portion of your post it is a reference to cycling producing a higher amount of acid build up in the quads (especially when not being clipped in) as opposed to runner which uses more muscles to assist with the movement. In addition to the difference in movement patterns as well.

Would I be correct? They are some of the things I noticed when I first started cycling and doing tris.
 

godjira1

Level 5 Valued Member
I don't know how many levels of different attributes there should be either. I've seen between 3 and 10 for different things. It seems like some things are more appropriate to have less and others to have more. For strength, it seems like there are more and for health there seems to be fewer. I don't know if it's better to use one event with different levels or different achievements per attribute. I see the utility both ways.

For myself, I would think something along the lines of the table would be a decent place to start. I would want to achieve everything at one level before I pursued the things at the higher levels if I was concerned with everything. Otherwise, simply choosing the specific items that matter to the individual and then only using that subset to do the same thing. So instead of using nine markers, only using the top three that were applicable to me.

Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5
Relative StrengthPull-UpBW Front SquatPistol Squat2.5x BW DeadliftBeast Tamer
Absolute StrengthSimple>Class IV USPF TotalSinister>Class II USPF Total>Master USPF Total
Speed (40yd)<0::06<0::05.5<0::05.25<0::05<0::04.75
Power>1000W Airdyne>1250W Airdyne>1500W Airdyne>1750W Airdyne>2000W Airdyne
Power Endurance<3::30 800m Run<4::00 1k SkiErg<6::00 mile Run<7::00 2000m Row<2::00 800m
Endurance (10k Run)<80min<70min<60min<50min<40min
Body Fat %<30%<25%<20%<15%<10%
Resting Heart Rate<80<70<60<50<40
Blood Pressure<150/110<140/100<130/90<120/80<110/70
I really like this one. No test can cover everything but this is a good blend.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I am assuming with regards to the runners vs cycles portion of your post it is a reference to cycling producing a higher amount of acid build up in the quads (especially when not being clipped in) as opposed to runner which uses more muscles to assist with the movement. In addition to the difference in movement patterns as well.

Would I be correct? They are some of the things I noticed when I first started cycling and doing tris.

Yes, different muscles. One adapts to what one does, right? With endurance it's even more so, because we're talking about thousands of repetitive movements, not just 3x5-10 as with strength. My road bike ride yesterday was 2 hrs 40 min riding time at average cadence 90 rpm... that's 14,400 pedal strokes.

I always clip in on the road bike so it does tend to use most of the leg muscles. Acid build up is only dependent on intensity and duration, and of course affected greatly by one's adaptations to producing and using lactate and buffering by-products. It can be done with running, too.

For me, my lack of running endurance has to do with poor running efficiency (springiness of tendons, etc.), and lack of load-bearing endurance (not strength) in the ankles and hips (absent on the bike). I just have to do more of it to get adapted to that activity again.
 

Deleted member 5559

Guest
Endurance means different things to endurance athletes and everyone else. To endurance athletes, a 10k run is short, so those standards wouldn't mean much.
I think this would lead me to consider different events at different levels of achievement being better markers of all the attributes. Something more like:
Endurance<30min 5k<1hr 10k<1.5hr Sprint Triathlon<4hr Marathon<12hr Ironman

For general health I think it would also help for those binary options like blood pressure if that measure were treated more like a milestone rather than a scale.
Health<30 BMI<60 RHR<120/80 Blood Pressure<15% BF<40 RHR

Other than strongman, most strength sports are relative strength based so I don't know if it even makes much sense to segregate absolute and relative strength much either.
StrengthSimple>Class IV USPFSinisterBeast Tamer>Class II USPF

I think each category is probably better represented by unique events at different levels. Different athletes are more bias to higher levels in certain attributes. Perhaps, rather than try to move everything up, it would make more sense to have some attributes to attempt increasing and some attributes to have a minimum floor level. That floor level may prevent the increase in other levels but would not be as limiting as trying to reach the next level either.
 

Coyotl

Level 6 Valued Member
I think this would lead me to consider different events at different levels of achievement being better markers of all the attributes. Something more like:
Endurance<30min 5k<1hr 10k<1.5hr Sprint Triathlon<4hr Marathon<12hr Ironman

For general health I think it would also help for those binary options like blood pressure if that measure were treated more like a milestone rather than a scale.
Health<30 BMI<60 RHR<120/80 Blood Pressure<15% BF<40 RHR

Other than strongman, most strength sports are relative strength based so I don't know if it even makes much sense to segregate absolute and relative strength much either.
StrengthSimple>Class IV USPFSinisterBeast Tamer>Class II USPF

I think each category is probably better represented by unique events at different levels. Different athletes are more bias to higher levels in certain attributes. Perhaps, rather than try to move everything up, it would make more sense to have some attributes to attempt increasing and some attributes to have a minimum floor level. That floor level may prevent the increase in other levels but would not be as limiting as trying to reach the next level either.
I think things like this are very individualized, and they'll scale based on where you are in your journey and how old you are. For instance, <15% BF is a relatively unhealthy marker for women. Being under 20% is great for men, under 15% even better, but under 10% you start seeing a cost. So for men, you could say that your "base" is 10-20% BF, with the goal being 10-15%. For women that will need to change, and I would also think that may change as you get older.

Same with RHR - mine "naturally" is lower than my wife's, but historically she is a MUCH better runner than I have ever been. So for me, I know that "detrained" is ~60s, "unhealthy" is 70s, "normal" is 50s, and "best I've ever been" is high 40s. Part of my training reflects trying to lower RHR, but part of your RHR is genetic and lowering your RHR isn't necessarily "good" below a certain level. Evaluating RHR and MHR really shows this. If you take two athletes with RHR/MHR of 45/180 and 60/195, both have the same "heart rate reserve" so who is "fitter"? Probably neither, based on that measure alone.

I think its a good conversation though. Standards should again reflect your goals. If your goals are "health" markers (BMI, %BF, RHR, BP, etc.) then setting a standard to improve or maintain especially as you age is a good way to determine if you're on the right track or if you've veered off, and most of them are rather easy to track.

For endurance specifically I think you need to be race-specific. A 30 min 5k isn't Level 1 compared to a 4hr marathon being Level 4 (if I'm reading what you did right). I think it would be better to do something like
Level 1: 60 min 5kLevel 2: 45 min 5kLevel 3: 30 min 5kLevel 4: 28 min 5kLevel 5: 25 min 5k
... although even that the upper levels are biased towards the younger and more male the individual, and yet it also doesn't take into account that a 25 min 5k is pretty substandard for 5k competitors (I used to run an 18 min 5k and was too slow to even think about racing competitively ... oh to be 20 again and preinjury!).

These standards would change dramatically if I was working with, say, a 60 year old. The standards would most likely be less competitive - e.g. walk a pain free 5k, do a naked get up on both sides shoe-on-fist. And it would change if the individual was an 18 y/o who wanted to wrestle, do BJJ, MMA, or join a service branch.

In the former the standards should be to improve quality of life; in the latter, the standards are to improve performance. In both cases they would start with an assessment (you are here), and a goal (you want be here).

Anyways.... Thanks for humoring me. I was feeling talkative. All that could've been summed up in a two sentences:

Standards need to be based off of the individual and their goals. Standards should be progressive (you are at A, now get to B).
 

Starlord

Level 5 Valued Member
Yes, different muscles. One adapts to what one does, right? With endurance it's even more so, because we're talking about thousands of repetitive movements, not just 3x5-10 as with strength. My road bike ride yesterday was 2 hrs 40 min riding time at average cadence 90 rpm... that's 14,400 pedal strokes.

I always clip in on the road bike so it does tend to use most of the leg muscles. Acid build up is only dependent on intensity and duration, and of course affected greatly by one's adaptations to producing and using lactate and buffering by-products. It can be done with running, too.

For me, my lack of running endurance has to do with poor running efficiency (springiness of tendons, etc.), and lack of load-bearing endurance (not strength) in the ankles and hips (absent on the bike). I just have to do more of it to get adapted to that activity again.

Definitely noticed the acid buildup in my quads when I first started cycling. Definitely had a good carryover when doing threshold work for runs (before I adopted the 80/20 method) as it would be my quads that I would feel acid building up and no other muscles.

Clip one definitely changed the necessary technique and led to greater hamstring engagement relative to regular pedals.

I've always been much better at running due to being in the military since 06. However after being suffering twin stress fractures and a bilateral knee injury from excessive mileage with a heel strike I decided to diversify my conditioning methods.

Wish I knew then, what I know now.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I have to say that, for me, the only things that makes me feel better are deadlifting and walking. Those two things alone don't/won't keep me in shape to run the local 5k, or climb Kilimanjaro, or ride a bike up L'Alp D'Huez, or swim a mile, or any number of other things, but they do make my daily life just plain better: back doesn't hurt, plenty of carryover to things like getting the lid off a jar, carrying the 50 lb bags of pellets for our water softener, moving a heavy piece of furniture, and the like.

As to standards, walking doesn't really have one, and I like Pavel's idea that a 2x bodyweight deadlift isn't strong but may rightly be called "not weak." I think "not weak" actually be a fine standard for most people and purposes in a lot of things.

I've only done a little of Q&D type of training, and I have felt like a million dollars when I did, so that's something I'm planning to do more of, but again, there really isn't a standard for that. But if it's a choice of devoting my training time to Q&D or deadlifting, I choose deadlifting.

JMO, YMMV.

-S-
 

KimoSabe

Level 6 Valued Member
I have to say that, for me, the only things that makes me feel better are deadlifting and walking. Those two things alone don't/won't keep me in shape to run the local 5k, or climb Kilimanjaro, or ride a bike up L'Alp D'Huez, or swim a mile, or any number of other things, but they do make my daily life just plain better: back doesn't hurt, plenty of carryover to things like getting the lid off a jar, carrying the 50 lb bags of pellets for our water softener, moving a heavy piece of furniture, and the like.

As to standards, walking doesn't really have one, and I like Pavel's idea that a 2x bodyweight deadlift isn't strong but may rightly be called "not weak." I think "not weak" actually be a fine standard for most people and purposes in a lot of things.

I've only done a little of Q&D type of training, and I have felt like a million dollars when I did, so that's something I'm planning to do more of, but again, there really isn't a standard for that. But if it's a choice of devoting my training time to Q&D or deadlifting, I choose deadlifting.

JMO, YMMV.

-S-

As a standard for walking, I like Andrew Read's from 8-7-4-3-2: daily walks of 30-60 minutes.
 
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