T Nation

Does Running with Weight Build Strength?


#1

Has anyone experimented with cardio such as running while carrying a significant amount of weight. For example, my friend and I have been doing runs carrying 100-lbs, which translated to roughly 40% of my bodyweight and I think about 60% of his.


#2

Scientifically, I don’t know (and don’t really care lol), but I’ve been doing weighted vest walks for a little over two months now and I totally feel like I’ve built strength and muscular endurance. I’m currently using 50 pounds for a 2 mile walk right now.

When I was a young whipper snapper, we did runs in the Marines with a ruck on, which weighed 40 pound plus a load out and rifle-- so about 50-60 pounds. At the fire department rookie school we would have to jog with turnout gear and SCBA on (not as much weight, but easily 20-30 pounds.) Both, even at the time felt as good conditioning methods to train your body to work with the equipment and added weight on your body.

The weighted vest walking has been a great addition to my training, my traps get worked hard, I can totally feel my whole body supporting and moving the extra weight with every step-- plus, it just makes cardio/conditioning seem more hardcore when you have an added load involved. :slight_smile: I’ll throw on the vest, turn on an interesting podcast or something and go for a nice paced walk.

Running wise, I think it would kill my feet and knees from the pounding now, but for someone who is comfortable with it-- I think running with weight is definitely a great way to build strength.


#3

I’ve tried walking up and down stairs with a weighted vest on. It definitely hits your conditioning hard and I found it hit my calves pretty well too. I’m not convinced on the benefits to strength though.


#4

Ive never used a vest, but I would imagine it would be very convenient for running. As far as I know I haven’t seen vests that are particularly heavy. Im interested in the merits of running with significant fractions of your body weight.

My legs and glutes burned quite a bit doing a 100 yard dash with 100lbs, I am about 260 right now. I figure when one runs, for a brief moment they are exerting quite a bit of force from their legs. I would be interested in learning what the force curves are as a function of time and how they change with added body weight.


#5

Maybe I should say “cardio for strength” eg, cardio that can be used that minimizes strength losses.


#6

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Ive never used a vest, but I would imagine it would be very convenient for running. As far as I know I haven’t seen vests that are particularly heavy. Im interested in the merits of running with significant fractions of your body weight.

My legs and glutes burned quite a bit doing a 100 yard dash with 100lbs, I am about 260 right now. I figure when one runs, for a brief moment they are exerting quite a bit of force from their legs. I would be interested in learning what the force curves are as a function of time and how they change with added body weight. [/quote]
My hunch is that, when sprinting, you are already exerting maximal force by definition. By adding weight, all you’re doing is exerting the same force, but slower.


#7

If it sucks while you’re doing it, it’s probably making you stronger.


#8

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Ive never used a vest, but I would imagine it would be very convenient for running. As far as I know I haven’t seen vests that are particularly heavy. Im interested in the merits of running with significant fractions of your body weight.

My legs and glutes burned quite a bit doing a 100 yard dash with 100lbs, I am about 260 right now. I figure when one runs, for a brief moment they are exerting quite a bit of force from their legs. I would be interested in learning what the force curves are as a function of time and how they change with added body weight. [/quote]
My hunch is that, when sprinting, you are already exerting maximal force by definition. By adding weight, all you’re doing is exerting the same force, but slower.[/quote]

That same philosophy though, be used when say comparing a push-up to a bench press. The limiting factor is available resistance, and at a certain point the increasingly difficult task of getting .1 seconds faster at a distance may not produce better results (in terms of force production) as running at the same “speed” at a heavier weight.


#9

Rucking and similar types of exercise are fine, but I hesitate to advise someone to go do it off on their own because they will often overdo it and cause joint issues.


#10

Ask Franco Columbo.

You will get stronger, but you increase the chance of hurting yourself exponentially.

XVest, start light.

How much? Depends on where you are now.


#11

My friend and I are only doing 100 yard sprints, so I don’t think injury is a big deal compared to running a mile or several miles. This is more for fun because I hate cardio in general and this makes it way more interesting. Plus we run on turf or grass so the impract isn’t bad.


#12

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
If it sucks while you’re doing it, it’s probably making you stronger.[/quote]

That’s what I told her but I’m still weak.


#13

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
My friend and I are only doing 100 yard sprints, so I don’t think injury is a big deal compared to running a mile or several miles. This is more for fun because I hate cardio in general and this makes it way more interesting. Plus we run on turf or grass so the impract isn’t bad. [/quote]

I think turning an ankle is just as likely over 100m as over 1000m.


#14

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
My friend and I are only doing 100 yard sprints, so I don’t think injury is a big deal compared to running a mile or several miles. This is more for fun because I hate cardio in general and this makes it way more interesting. Plus we run on turf or grass so the impract isn’t bad. [/quote]

I think turning an ankle is just as likely over 100m as over 1000m.[/quote]

For what it is worth that isn’t true. If you have a fixed probability of turning an ankle for every step then you have to take into account the number of steps taken. The probability would be distributed binomially as a first approximation:

But we know that if you turn and ankle once then you are probably done for the day, so you would only need to calculate 1 case. It is also obvious that the likelihood of turning an ankle increases with fatigue, but that isn’t so easy to quantify.


#15

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
My friend and I are only doing 100 yard sprints, so I don’t think injury is a big deal compared to running a mile or several miles. This is more for fun because I hate cardio in general and this makes it way more interesting. Plus we run on turf or grass so the impract isn’t bad. [/quote]

You never had anything fall on you at any speed, have you!!!

Do what you like, for fun and fitness, but you have been warned. And you didn’t look up Franco’s accident, did you!


#16

I knew what you were talking about before hand. Franco was competing in the first strongman competition carrying a refrigerator and shattered one of his leg bones. The refrigerator was probably a few hundred pounds and on his back, where as we are carrying them side by side with a light weight. I cant see this being less safe than jump squats, which I think are probably one of the most stupid exercises you can do in the gym.


#17

[quote]Aero51 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
My friend and I are only doing 100 yard sprints, so I don’t think injury is a big deal compared to running a mile or several miles. This is more for fun because I hate cardio in general and this makes it way more interesting. Plus we run on turf or grass so the impract isn’t bad. [/quote]

I think turning an ankle is just as likely over 100m as over 1000m.[/quote]

For what it is worth that isn’t true. If you have a fixed probability of turning an ankle for every step then you have to take into account the number of steps taken. The probability would be distributed binomially as a first approximation:

But we know that if you turn and ankle once then you are probably done for the day, so you would only need to calculate 1 case. It is also obvious that the likelihood of turning an ankle increases with fatigue, but that isn’t so easy to quantify. [/quote]

I would say the risk of turning an ankle increases exponentially when you’re carrying 100lbs of “whatever” and trying to sprint.


#18

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
My friend and I are only doing 100 yard sprints, so I don’t think injury is a big deal compared to running a mile or several miles. This is more for fun because I hate cardio in general and this makes it way more interesting. Plus we run on turf or grass so the impract isn’t bad. [/quote]

I think turning an ankle is just as likely over 100m as over 1000m.[/quote]

For what it is worth that isn’t true. If you have a fixed probability of turning an ankle for every step then you have to take into account the number of steps taken. The probability would be distributed binomially as a first approximation:

But we know that if you turn and ankle once then you are probably done for the day, so you would only need to calculate 1 case. It is also obvious that the likelihood of turning an ankle increases with fatigue, but that isn’t so easy to quantify. [/quote]

I would say the risk of turning an ankle increases exponentially when you’re carrying 100lbs of “whatever” and trying to sprint.[/quote]

The only time I turned an ankle was when I was carrying laundry down the stairs…


#19

The odds are you are at a significantly greater risk driving to your location than you are performing any manner of exercise there.

On that topic, are there stadium steps where you guys are running these bags? Another great drill is to carry the bag up and down the steps.


#20

There are some yes, they are nice concrete stairs too so there isn’t as much of a worry about slipping and falling.