T Nation

Endurance Strength Opinions


What's everyone's take on endurance strength. Here's a question I asked Chad Waterbury yesterday:

"jsbrook wrote:
Chad, I'm interested in your take on endurance strength. Obviously working in high rep ranges (like day 3 of TTT) improves endurance strength. But beyond improving endurance strength for its own sake, do you find/think that better endurance strength indirectly leads to better max strength and hypertrophy? Thanks!

Chad: Hypertrophy - sometimes
Maximal strength - infrequently"

I was a competitive athlete, but I'm not anymore. My focus is on size, max strength and body composition. I expect to play more sports just for fun when I've achieved more size and am less focused on bulking and cutting. But not for the time being. I'm currently leaning out. I'm doing Chad's TTT. I really don't care about endurance strength for it's own sake. Is there a reason I should? So I'm thinking or switching this day to another heavy day. Maybe 6 reps per set. What do you guys think?


Just a few thoughts.

1) High reps are good for restoration both to let you train harder again sooner, and for causing growth.

2) ENDURANCE in general will help you get more out of your workout, but I don't think high reps is the way to go. HIIT will help you pack more hard sets into the same time frame. I really believe that you should either A) train hard for not more than 45 minutes or B) Train your as off for no more than 25 minutes. HIIT will help with this.

3) I think that "strength endurance" is best built with heavy weights for low reps but with short rest periods rather than training for high reps. 10 x 3 at around 75% in 10 minutes being a good example.

When would I use low load "high" reps (around 12-20)?
1) After heavier work on the same muscle group.
2) For a muscle that is relatively undeveloped compared to the rest of your muscles. For example, if you have weak calves, external rotators or forearms.

But at any rate, I think its still better to do say 5 x 10 with short rest than 20-30 reps continuously, even if the 5 x 10 are not challenging.

Finally, Local endurance strength does help more complex endurance activities. High reps for hip flexors and shoulders will transfer to say running a mile if that's your goal, but I still think several heavier sets of 3-5 with 1 minute or less rest periods works better.

And again, I'm just thinking out loud here.


Interesting. I tend to agree with you that what you suggest is better, at least for my current goals. But enhanced cardio in a workout and less recovery between sets doesn't change a heavy loading scheme into endurance strength training. Check out Christian's article.


The article's called Locked and Loaded.


High-rep, endurance-strength training clearly has some benefits. I'm just not sure that I want to devote an entire workout to it. I thik I'll ask Christian for his take. But some very interesting stuff you posted. Thanks.


Which article?

Anyway, the HIIT is for cardio which I feel does help you with all of your workouts.

As for shortened rest periods, I had the most rapid improvement in strength endurance when I did 10 x 3-5 heavy with short rest periods. My reps with less weight to near failure doubled in a short period of time, but it may have been due to the fact that my reflexes were more efficient and I was wasting less energy.

Also, with near maximal weights on big compound exercises, it HAS been shown that you need 2-3 minutes for your nervous system to stabilize, even if your breathinh has stabilized in 60-90 seconds (So I think I'm agreeing with you here) but I think with submaximal weights (less than 80%) or dynamic reps at 50-60%, I think that setting a 1 minute time frame per set presents a unique and valuable stress on the system.

Anyway, if I wanted to say squat 315 x 20 in a couple of weeks, I'd be doing 315 x 10 x 5 with maybe 60 seconds rest (90 seconds set to set).


im not sure what your asking, but if its how to build endurance strength, i strongly suggest the Tabata method, based on your goals.

i believe this method is one of the best ways out there to build muscular endurance, and, since you do not desire to spend an entire workout on high-rep endurance training, consider 4 exercises tabata style to be your cardio/conditioning. its alot better than long distance running/cycling/swimming as long as you pick nice hard exercises. it is also very useful because you can pick whichever exercises you want, and therefore build muscular endurance exactly where you want it.

hope i helped



Thanks. I agree that this is a very good training method.


Thanks. Somthing I will look into. I might not have phrased myself clearly. Basically, I was asking what you guys thought of high-rep work such as the strength-endurance day in TTT and the strength-endurance rep parameters CT discusses in Locked and Loaded. You both seem to be saying, you think that other methods are preferable. I think I agree.