In chapter 5, we dive headfirst into the strength vs cardiovascular training debate. Andy sets the stage by telling the story of Bob Hoffman’s showdown with Dr. Peter Karpovich over this divide in 1940. Following the aftermath, we address our own biases, contextualize the role of adaptation in human performance, and provide some general recommendations.
– Kenny and Andy
Strength vs. Cardio
Andy and Kenny dive into the two, formerly opposing, schools of thought in the fitness world: strength training vs. cardiovascular training. Andy covers the evolution of strength training starting in 1861 with the coining of the “healthlift” or deadlift, as we know it today, and then they both explore the timeline of how scientists, who were pro-cardio, experienced a mindset shift and slowly understood the importance of adopting multiple modalities.
As the conversation progresses, Kenny and Andy dive into some possible theories for training for longevity. They take it a step further, focusing on short-term effects of training, and how to keep a sustainable mindset and approach to programming, even for athletes training at the highest level. Kenny offers a rough outline of what a typical training week should consist of and how various tools can be used outside of the gym, including tree branches and hills in the sun.
“Identify the problem, acknowledge it, and do something about it.” — Dr. Andy Galpin
- Strength training myths — Up until the mid-1900s, it was believed that strength training would shorten your life, damage your joints, damage your heart, and cause a decline in mental function. This all was proven to be the opposite, obviously.
- Live longer — There is not one approach to training for longevity. There are dozens of studies that show that stronger people live longer than weaker ones. There are also dozens of studies showing that the higher your VO2 Max and the lower your resting heart rate, the longer you will live. To live long, you must have some combination of the two.
- Toe the line — Coaches today need to be careful with programming and be willing to be wrong, or question the theories in which they subscribe to. There is so much to lose from having their followers follow another school of thought, or something being disproved, that coaches can push too hard in one direction. Creating overload is easy, it’s knowing when to balance that makes a great coach.
- The pendulum of fitness — How can you challenge your system overtime, sustainably? Fitness needs to be be a swinging pendulum, with endurance days, strength days, play days and skill days.
- An ideal week of training should include three primary components — Lift something heavy one day (strength). Do some running, biking or sled pushes on another (endurance). Get your heart rate up to a max with something like a kettlebell (intervals) on another. Sprints hills are a great exercise to get all three. Most importantly, get outside in the sun and train for at least 60 minutes each week.
“The point of programming is to create positive adaptation without breaking people.” — Kenny Kane
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