23 April 2011

Run and You'll Only Die Tired, The Science

At this point, I think, the "evidence" behind the supposition that humans are naturally predisposed to long distance running has been thoroughly debunked.  From an anthropological standpoint it's nonsense, and from a training standpoint it's even moreso- running long distances is fucking ridiculous.
(if you missed the previous installments of this series, they're here, here, here, and here)

Low-intensity/high volume training raises cortisol levels, reduces testosterone and GH levels, causes harmful oxidation, and can disrupt immune system function and cause whole body inflammation, which is an anathema to any hard-training motherfucker who's ever considered moving into a cave to revel in their hatred of the human race and lift insane amounts of weights while wearing a fur loincloth and banging a similarly-clad cave girl.  ( Daly et al, De Vany 100, Faigan 267)  If that's not your cup of tea, running might be, as is hemp clothing, "Kumbaya", and any food product composed of soy.  Given, however, that low intensity exercise like jogging is our hormonal Anti-Christ, it makes sense that we do what we're really suited to- alternately walking and sprinting. (De Vany 98)
On second thought, there's no reason a cave girl should be clothed at all.

Happily for me, the most metabolically efficient, and natural way to go about running is also about the only way you'll see me run.  My personal preference is to go to a track (for ease of timing) and sprint the fuck out of the straightaways, and then walk or do what people in the Army call the "Airbone shuffle", which is essentially simply looking like you're jogging while moving at the pace of a crippled snail.  A mile to a mile and a half of that and I'm cashed, but it was interesting, increase my VO2 max far faster than steady state running would have.  Additionally, studies have shown that sprint trained athletes maintain a GH level 10 times that of baseline for an hour following their workout, which confers far greater anabolism and protein synthesis than endurance athletes are able to achieve.(Di Pasquale 29)
Sprinter Dwain Chambers seems to have gotten a hell of a lot of anabolism out of his sprinting workouts.

Though my favorite may not be yours, the message remains the same- interval training is eminently superior to steady-state cardio, and there are plenty of studies to prove it.  On top of the studies, there's anecdotal evidence- Randy Couture, for instance, long considered the best conditioned athlete in mixed martial arts, doesn't even mention steady state cardio in his training book, Xtreme Training.  Instead, he recommends damn near every kind of training but typical endurance fare like jogging.  Similarly, and thoroughly surprisingly, Triathlete Magazine's Essential Week By Week Training Guide spends more time detailing and promoting interval training than they do steady-state work, which appeared to be included just so triathletes would know how much it fucking sucks before race day.
In the aforementioned training guide, Triathlete's workouts rely tremendously heavily on intervals, which they classify into four categories:
  • speed- very short, high intensity workouts to increase speed
  • lactate- longer, medium intensity workouts designed to increase aerobic capacity
  • threshold- longest interval sessions with much lower intensity "sprints" designed to increase overall mental and physical endurance
  • power- generally very similar to speed workouts, but with added resistance (either changing the gear on the bike or increasing elevation to build strength
Intervals, Triathlete maintains, are necessary to increase max speed, efficiency, and athletes' ability to recover.  Without them, they maintain, you're fucked.  That falls right in line with every bit of evidence I can find on the subject, as a study have shown that the Tabata method increased aerobic capacity 4% and anaerobic capacity nearly 20% more than the steady-state cardio training group over 6 weeks. (Tabata)  For those of you who've been living under a rock, the Tabata method involves doing virtually anything for 20 seconds of balls-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest 8 times in a row.  I've done these with overhead presses and front squats, and they're fucking brutal.  The rest periods on Tabatas are shorter than the typical interval workout (which has a rest period roughly equal to the sprint portion), which makes them far more brutal... which makes them far more efficacious.
Sprinting does a body good.

If you're interested in interval training, I suggest you read up on it, as it comes in about as many disparate permutations as porn does, and ranges in usefulness in much the same way.  I personally love the aforementioned sprint-the-straightaway-walk-the-curves training, in addition to Tabatas and Fartleks (which is simply light jogging over varied distances interspersed with random bouts of sprinting.   A reader who trains people for PT tests in the military has a vastly different take, however.  He combines running with some type of contrast, threshold runs, and a weekly two mile run (and the sick motherfuckers who liked to participate in 5k runs would replace their 2 mile run with a 5k).  The running workouts usually followed  a max effort workout, so that all runs were completed while fatigued.  The running workouts themselves started with a 1 mile run with different movements during the run...high knee, heel to ass, etc, to work on mobility. After one week of that, he had them run with contrast, so trainees would wear a weighted vest of 25-70 pounds and run a half mile as quickly as possible. Then rest and repeat, totaling 3 half miles. This apparently sucked shit, but was key to improving their 1.5 mile times.  He combined this with days of long sprints and optional distance runs to get pretty impressive time improvements in his trainees.  His weekly workouts consisted of:

Benching- 3x9
Bench-like movement- sets of 2-6 totaling 30-50 reps
Body weight upper body movement done for what we call ASAP- usually 60 reps DIPS ASAP. so 60x1, 30x2, 15x4, and so on...
Back work

ME movement where they would do doubles and eventually just work up to heavy doubles...more of  DE day ending with heavy lifts. 
Heavy barbell hamstring movement- sets of 2-6 until 30-60 total reps is met. usually we used dimmel dls, rdl, clean pull with shrug, anything like that with a bar. 
another hamstring movement for reps- ghr, band legs curls, reverse hypers
"Fatigued run" 2-4 half miles. 

Tues-Run Workout
Half mile with 40 pound vest for men, 25 for women

ME bench movement-
Barbell movement 2-6 reps
Heavy body weight movement- dips, pushups, hand stand push up...trainees must add resistance and perform 2-6 reps until reaching 30-50 reps

Thurs- Squats and Running-
20, 15, 10 in the back squat and run 400s in between 

Box squat- doubles, light
Repeat of Monday
no running.

Saturday morning- optional 5k
Although he failed to mention them, I think it's safe to say there were likely handstands and dozens of cameras involved in each workout.

He's gotten tremendous results out of this Crossfit-esque combination of 5/3/1 and running, though I would not recommend it for the average strength trainer, due to the fact that "same day training impedes development more than concurrent day training of strength and endurance."(Zatsiorsky 166)  This is due to the fact that the conflicting demands placed on your musculature during a combined endurance and strength training session impede the body's ability to adapt.  This, in turn, may lead to a decrease in muscle fiber size, which is a big bag of bullshit.  (Ibid)  Obviously, for the military types listed above, improving their musculature was not priority number one- endurance was.  

Frankly, I could give a fuck about endurance training, as I move quickly through my workouts and detest running.  Should you find it absolutely necessary to do some endurance training, make that training intervals, as they kick the fuck out of traditional, steady state cardio... no matter what a pack of filthy, scrawny Indians might have to say otherwise.
... and if you're planning on doing endurance training so you can outrun shit, you might as well make yourself strong enough to beat it with your fists and feet.  Bears can outrun you, and can outclimb you as well.  As such, spend your time lifting weights and fuck all that running nonsense.

And for those of you who were bitching, fear not.  There shall be no more cardio posts.  The next two will be a continuation of the Find A Way Forward and one on Captain Kirk.

Couture, Randy.  Xtreme Training.  2010.
Daly W, Seegers, Rubin DA, Dobridge JD, Hackney AC.  Relationship between stress hormones and testosterone with prolonged endurance exercise.  EUR J APP PHYS.  2005 Jan 93(4):375-380.
De Vany, Athur.  The New Evolution Diet.  2010.
Di Pasquale, Mauro.  Amino Acids and Proteins for the Athlete:  The Anabolic Edge.  2nd Ed.  Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2008.
Faigan, Rob.  Natural Hormonal Enhancement.  2000.
Fitzgerald, Matt.  Triathlete Magazine's Essential Week By Week Training Guide.  New York: Warner Books, 2006.
Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, Hirai Y, Ogita F, Miyachi M, Yamamoto K. Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996 Oct;28(10):1327-30.
Zatsiorsky, Vladimir.  Science and Practice of Strength Training.  2006.


  1. But you personally wont do sprinting??

    Benny Magnusson and Andy Bolton integrate acceleration work and sprinting into their training.

  2. Fuck it! I knew you'd put out a new post just after i write something insulting. Ah well, here it is again....

    'Super' Dray said..

    "this guy's giving me shit about lifting at a bodyweight of 130-140."
    "Hahahaha, life is fucking grand."

    The annoying fucker's finding a lot to laugh about lately. I think it's about time Dray provided some photographic or video evidence of his obvious awsomeness. Or maybe he's really just some nine stone weakling schoolboy twat who likes to dream a lot...

  3. Also, in answer to the photo question at the start of the article, "Which body is best for health and performance".....well...obviously the white dude, due to him being white. And no disrespect, but you picked a black guy with one fucking leg. Is it a hopping race?

  4. Who was complaining about running posts? They were excellent; insightful, organized and yet kept with the C&P aesthetic.

  5. For you guys that want to lift heavy shit and still keep your conditioning at a respectable level, check CrossFit Football.

    I know CrossFit is laughed about on here a lot, but the CrossFit Football program fucking rocks and is definitely a far cry from CrossFit. There is a Strength portion to every day, and the workouts don't consist of 5000 burpee cartwheels intermixed with 800m repeats. You'll never run further than 100yds, and it's all sprints.

    I followed it exactly for around 5 months and had a blast. If I didn't like programming my own shit so much I would have kept following it.

    I own a CrossFit affiliate, and I know that CrossFit gets knocked a lot because a lot of the dudes that follow it really are weak as shit. But there are good affiliates out there that do have solid programming.

    I base my programming for my clients as follows:

    Dynamic effort upper body
    some assistance work
    A workout of the day

    Max effort lower body
    (depending on lift and what WOD is possibly accessory work)
    A Workout of the Day

    REST (Optional) or WOD

    Max Effort Upper body
    Some accessory work
    A workout of the day

    Dymamic effort lower body
    accessory work

    Optional or WOD


    A lot of times I put the accessory work in the WODs.

    For instance, today for max effort lower we are doing 3RM Good Morning.

    Then the WOD is tabata power cleans at 185, rest a few mins, then a 1000m row for time.

    If you keep your conditioning WODs under 15 minutes you really aren't going to take a shit on your physique or strength numbers as much.

    It's hard though because we do cater to a lot of military and runners. So our WODs on Wednesday and Saturday's I try to make the focus Cardio respiratory. Then I push for the people who follow the strength program to either take the day off. But if they want to up their endurance then hit either a WED or SAT each week.

    It's cool you did this series on running. I have an experienced marathon runner who started with me sometime between late Nov and January. By experienced I mean she's completed over 30 marathon or ultra marathons.

    She has a bodyweight of 115 at a height of about 5'2". Her 5RM deadlift was I shit you not 85lbs when she started. She just pulled 185lbs for 5 in late March.

    That's pretty damn awesome, but what's even better is that she did a 7 miler last year, and just repeated it a few weeks ago and cut 7 min 30 sec off her time. That's over a mother fucking minute a mile off her time. The ONLY difference she had in her training is heavy squats deadlifts and WODs that are anaerobic as fuck.

    I wish more runners would realize the benefits of strength training with heavy doses of interval and anaerobic work.

    If any of you guys ever want any help with mixing some effective conditioning workouts in with your strength training, feel free to shoot me an email at kane@crossfitfairbanks.com

    Jamie-- I love your blog man. I have been following it for 6-7 months. I implement some of your ideas into my programming. Keep the shit coming man.

  6. I don't do sprints because they're not terribly convenient to fit into my workouts, rather than because I think they're ineffective.

    As for the Crossfit thing- I've got nothing against Crossfit- my problem is with Crossfitters, haha. Actually, if I had a spare couple of grand to blow on hollering at chicks and lifting per year, I'd join a Crossfit gym. Alas, however, I do not.

  7. "Alas, however, I do not."

    You probably just lost half the readership too, hahaha.

    @Awkward typing, contrived fake-Rant: you can look in the archives a bit for the pic of me holding a rock, and if it would really make you hard I can probably get a shot of a 705 hand and thigh lift, as I was going to do rack pulls and hand and thigh lifts today and intended to get a shot of those anyways. I'm about 200 pounds right now, which is a ways off from 9 stone.

  8. Jamie. I started westside after a 6 month stint in super heavy volume chaos and pain.

    Westside is slick! The dynamic effort is great! i followed dynamic effort with what was supposed to be 90% max but instead i worked up to 4 plates with the green bands...so 220 kg at the top. It came up very fast although was very heavy on the way down.

    The dynamic effort therefore is clearly helping my explosiveness out of the hole.

    10 x 2 @ 55% for squat/ deadlift

    8 x 3 55% for bench.

  9. "and if it would really make you hard I can probably get a shot of a" etc, etc, blah, blah. Dray, shouldn't there have been a full stop after the word 'hard'? Otherwise, what the fuck are you on about?! As to look up a picture of you holding a rock - why? Are you a fucking garden ornament? And that 705 hand and thigh lift - I do hope you're talking warm up weight here!! I've a 17 year old nephew who does 50lb more than that, and he weighs about 60lb less than you, chubby!!!

  10. I've been lifting in a gym (as opposed to bodyweight, bricks and stones) for 4 months, Rant. I feel pretty good about my progress on every lift.

    Mocking someone over lifting a stone is flat-on-its-face stupid.

    As for your nephew, I hope he overcomes his disability (anorexia).

    You seem to really want to troll me here. It's too bad I don't care about the opinion of pussies who beg for proof while hiding behind someone's screenname with none of their own. As for your statements on my grammar, I can only say that in my last English exam I scored in the 99th percentile.

  11. So (according to you) you're super strong, muscular, and an English wizard. Yet still a cunt.

  12. Dray had an epic meltdown just there. Its pretty funny how retarded people come across on the internet. No way could he be such a cunt in real life.

  13. I never made those first two suppositions. You assumed that on your own, because you're retarded.

  14. @uncle:

    Funny that I'm being attacked randomly throughout posts by an idiot hiding behind Rant's screenname, and I'm the cunt.

    Headed off to the gym to actually lift rather than sling backhanded insults at people I've never met like every 12 year old on the internet. My would-be training partner is skipping out on it today, so we'll supposedly be heading out tomorrow morning, in which case I'll have done those hand and thigh lifts then. His camera phone, so you'll have to wait.

  15. Awesome series. Is there any way to get all the parts in one link to send to people?

  16. Yeah, fuckface, collect the URLs and send them in one message. Do you guys think for yourselves at all?

  17. Glad to see that the comments are getting back to normal.


    (And the links are all in this article.)

  19. Dray, if you're only going to do that piss poor 705lb hand and thigh lift, don't bother filming it. Unless it's one legged like that black dude in the picture at the top, then i'll be impressed.

  20. Just been reading Christines blog, you know, the 'Munchies, Muscles and Mischief' one. She sounds really down right now, not sure why. If you're reading this Christine, I hope you're feeling better soon. Everyone has their ups and downs, it'll soon pass, don't worry. I'll tell you something though - that girl's DEFINITELY worth a fuck. Maybe that's what she needs. I'm up for it Christine, and i'm good. Just drop me a line, i'll travel. Damn i'd LOVE to eat her pussy out. I'd do it with a finger up her ass, and i'd have to film it. I'd then fuck her with her feet held up by her ears, then pull out and jizz straight over her glasses. I'm going back over to her site for a wank.

  21. Rant, go make your own blog, pronto!
    You're hilarious!

  22. 725

    And the 705 right before it

    I also made a 455 rack pull from knee height, with my full deadlift being a hitched 405.

    I never made my lifting out to be anything special.

  23. In black denim no less!

  24. Hahaha, I lift in street clothes only. Given that I owned a lot of previously-oversized jeans, I look like an asshole roughly 40% of the time. I'm fine with that.

  25. Dray, ignoring everything i've said about you before, and having studied your latest pictures -give yourself more credit.
    "I look like an asshole roughly 40% of the time."
    That's just dumb talk. Try more like 100%

  26. Glen, your choice in music makes you appear very old (i googled "Slayer" and "buttfucker" and got your blog). Slayer?! I mean, come on!! Who else do you like? Emerson, Lake and Palmer? Phill Collins? Bon Fucking Jovi? I'll help educate you here with some proper hardcore metal. In fact THE BEST hardcore metal band:


    and this:


    Whatever you say, I know you'll download (get a young person to download)those two tracks. Fucking Slayer, WTF!!!

  27. Hatebreed?
    Come on now.
    They have their place in hardcore and all, but how much more run of the mill can you get with that choice?
    Attacking Slayer and countering with the most generic tough guy hardcore band out there is pretty cock-gobblingly tight pantsy.

    This line...I LOLLED:
    "i googled "Slayer" and "buttfucker" and got your blog"

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Zzz... I got horribly bored with metal as of late. Refreshed my mp3 with a 25 part audiobook series on Economic Policies and Global History.

    "The Great Leap Forward" is an economic maelstrom filled with human entropy. What white trash dude with a grade 3 education can come close to matching the emotions derived from the devastation of historical economic collapses.

    Always gets me psyched before a lift.

  30. You got attention deficit disorder or something Rant?

  31. Off-topic, but does anyone here know the difference between jam and jelly?


    Well, I can't jelly my dick up your ass.

  32. That might be the best joke ever told.

  33. Wow Dray, you lift 725lbs over a 1" ROM and look like you don't even work out. The guys at the darkroom must be really impressed.

  34. http://www.globaltv.com/video/full+episodes/premiere/video.html?v=1901072336&#wipeout/video/full+episodes

  35. Hahahaha, fucking awesome Glen.

  36. @goermann-hering: Go try to troll someone who gives a shit.

  37. More video footage of Glen:


  38. A South Park reference? That's the best you can do?

  39. @dray
    I'm not trolling anyone. I just like to tell retards that they are retards. And someone who posts pics of his toothpick arms and legs to show his "achievments" to people who don't really give a fuck is nothing but retarded.

  40. Apparently you're illiterate.

    "I never made my lifting out to be anything special."

    You even managed to miss the point, which wasn't to "show off" as, you can see, I reminded everyone above that I never made my lifting out to be anything special; it was to illustrate that I am more than 9 stone.

    That, and your imagination in naming accounts is limited, to say the least. If you want to call me retarded, you might want to take a look at the extra chromosome in the mirror first.

  41. "Hello interwebz, look at my pictures of nothing special. I post them here because on Facebook even Tom refuses to befriend me."

  42. Tom is on Myspace.

  43. Ironically, the links are from Facebook.

  44. I just re-read, "The Way to Live" by Hack and found something interesting...

    Hack felt that running was best used as an aid to deep breathing exercise. Then again, what he spoke of was more along the lines of sprints or walking.

  45. He was a big fan of walking long distances, as I recall.

    Adebis- Clubber Lang will be the background music in upcoming vids. Incidentally, I just discovered that they reformed last year, which is fucking awesome.

  46. Man, HAHAHAHA!!!!
    I still talk to those guys regularly.

  47. http://www.myspace.com/clubberlanggang

    You should get them into the same room as these guys.

  48. And Dray, you should get into a room with THESE guys:


  49. There are a whole host of things that are disturbing about that photo.

  50. What is it with you trolls and posting gay porn?

  51. http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/223475_205496162823881_1A

    Noah Jeffries' 1400 lb quarter deadlift. The bar, anyways.

    Thought someone might be interested by the fact.

  52. I'm the dude that was requesting aka bitching for the cardio post in the footwear post. Just wanted to thank you for the work. Your conclusion ended up being pretty much the same as mine, but I respect a lot of the research you do, you sometimes catch some of the smaller things that can make a big difference. Thanks again.

    But one question, which is which in this sentence, because I think you wanted to put aerobic and anaerobic: "That falls right in line with every bit of evidence I can find on the subject, as a study have shown that the Tabata method increased anaerobic capacity 4% and anaerobic capacity nearly 20% more than the steady-state cardio training group over 6 weeks." Aerobic capacity 4%?

    (I have no fucking clue why my name says About. It's Javier.)

  53. Yeah, good catch. You're dead on with that.

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