T Nation

Gaining Weight Needed to Develop Endurance?


#1

Happy New Year everyone!

I have a question pertaining to the nutritional requirements of endurance training. I am aware that when training for strength and/or muscular hypertrophy you need create enough of a calorie surplus in orde to otpimally gain a significant amount muscle mass and/or strength overtime.

I totally get that with regard to muscular hypertrophy, a calorie surplus is needed to create extra stored energy in you for building muscle. However, I didnt realize until recently that a calorie surplus is also required to continue make significant gains in strength after 6- 8 weeks weight training even if you have been and are still lifting heavy weights with low reps.

Some strength training experts say that you need to gain weight in order have an ample amount of stored carbs and fat to optimally recover your muscles for maximal performance on the following workout session. If this is true, then if one trained primarily for endurance, whether it specifically be muscular endurance, aerobic endurance, or anaerobic endurance, then wouldn't that person need to have a calorie surplus or gain weight to optimally recover their muscles for maximal performance on the following workout session?


#2

I think it really does depend on the specific type of endurance you are going for. For instance, as a climber, I train for longer route endurance, and I do much better at a lighter bodyweight. I would say the same for when I have done a fair amount of trail running. Yet, if I am going for strength endurance such as the 225 lb bench press for reps, I do better at a heavier weight.


#3

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:
I think it really does depend on the specific type of endurance you are going for. For instance, as a climber, I train for longer route endurance, and I do much better at a lighter bodyweight. I would say the same for when I have done a fair amount of trail running. Yet, if I am going for strength endurance such as the 225 lb bench press for reps, I do better at a heavier weight. [/quote]

Agreed. “Endurance” is vague enough to be meaningless. Marathoners and Olympic rowers are both “endurance” athletes. Their body weight requirements are somewhat different.


#4

So, then why are the bodyweight requirements for optimal muscle recovery different for mid to long distance runners, Olympic rowers, marathoners different than those of a power/strength athlete?


#5

[quote]Bull_Scientist wrote:
So, then why are the bodyweight requirements for optimal muscle recovery different for mid to long distance runners, Olympic rowers, marathoners different than those of a power/strength athlete?[/quote]
What type of endurance are you trying to achieve?


#6

[quote]Bull_Scientist wrote:
So, then why are the bodyweight requirements for optimal muscle recovery different for mid to long distance runners, Olympic rowers, marathoners different than those of a power/strength athlete?[/quote]

I don’t know about optimal muscle recovery, but how far you need to carry your motor (i.e. muscle mass) and the manner in which you need to carry it will determine your ideal competing weight. Pretty simple really.

A climber who needs to drag his motor up 3000 vertical feet on El Cap in a 4-6 hour speed ascent or a runner looking to run a sub 27 minute 10k will want to stay lighter (about 140#) than a rower who needs to propel a boat 2k in 6 minutes or so (215-230#).

A power lifter who needs to step onto a platform and move a barbell or a linebacker who needs to go all out for a few seconds from whistle to whistle benefit from being heavier still.

I would say the simplest solution would be to look at the body weight per inch of height for top performers in whatever sport you’re into and try to get into that neighbourhood, to the extent your body type allows.


#7

[quote]batman730 wrote:
I don’t know about optimal muscle recovery, but how far you need to carry your motor (i.e. muscle mass) and the manner in which you need to carry it will determine your ideal competing weight. Pretty simple really.
[/quote]

This. More muscle gets you stronger, which is good if the event does not last too long; muscle also weighs a lot, so the longer the stress lasts and the more it involves supporting your bodyweight, the more it becomes a burden.

See, there’s a reason top competitors in certain sports have very different body types. You cannot be great at everything; you can be good at some things and ok at other things, but no one will ever deadlift 700 while outconditioning a lightweight boxer.

What you need to understand (and apparently still haven’t) is that you need to pick your battles and stick to them. You want a bigger squat and bench? Gain weight. You want a faster 5-mile? Train for it but don’t expect your squat and/or weight to go up. And please, please learn what common sense is; it would help you answer many of your questions yourself.


#8

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:
I don’t know about optimal muscle recovery, but how far you need to carry your motor (i.e. muscle mass) and the manner in which you need to carry it will determine your ideal competing weight. Pretty simple really.
[/quote]

This. More muscle gets you stronger, which is good if the event does not last too long; muscle also weighs a lot, so the longer the stress lasts and the more it involves supporting your bodyweight, the more it becomes a burden.

See, there’s a reason top competitors in certain sports have very different body types. You cannot be great at everything; you can be good at some things and ok at other things, but no one will ever deadlift 700 while outconditioning a lightweight boxer.

What you need to understand (and apparently still haven’t) is that you need to pick your battles and stick to them. You want a bigger squat and bench? Gain weight. You want a faster 5-mile? Train for it but don’t expect your squat and/or weight to go up. And please, please learn what common sense is; it would help you answer many of your questions yourself.
[/quote]

I get why the top competitors in certain sports have very different body types. So, when weightlifting and experts say that gaining weight facilitates recovery for maximal strength gains, are they saying that all the ample calories do is provide energy to build muscle mass to promote further strength gains? Is that it?


#9

[quote]Bull_Scientist wrote:

I get why the top competitors in certain sports have very different body types. So, when weightlifting and experts say that gaining weight facilitates recovery for maximal strength gains, are they saying that all the ample calories do is provide energy to build muscle mass to promote further strength gains? Is that it?[/quote]
Exactly!


#10

[quote]Bull_Scientist wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:
I don’t know about optimal muscle recovery, but how far you need to carry your motor (i.e. muscle mass) and the manner in which you need to carry it will determine your ideal competing weight. Pretty simple really.
[/quote]

This. More muscle gets you stronger, which is good if the event does not last too long; muscle also weighs a lot, so the longer the stress lasts and the more it involves supporting your bodyweight, the more it becomes a burden.

See, there’s a reason top competitors in certain sports have very different body types. You cannot be great at everything; you can be good at some things and ok at other things, but no one will ever deadlift 700 while outconditioning a lightweight boxer.

What you need to understand (and apparently still haven’t) is that you need to pick your battles and stick to them. You want a bigger squat and bench? Gain weight. You want a faster 5-mile? Train for it but don’t expect your squat and/or weight to go up. And please, please learn what common sense is; it would help you answer many of your questions yourself.
[/quote]

I get why the top competitors in certain sports have very different body types. So, when weightlifting and experts say that gaining weight facilitates recovery for maximal strength gains, are they saying that all the ample calories do is provide energy to build muscle mass to promote further strength gains? Is that it?[/quote]

Are you asking about gaining weight for maximal strength gains or endurance training? You’re not being very clear with your question.

Excess calories provide energy for training (e.g. glycogen and lipids) and raw materials for building new tissue/repairing damage (e.g. amino acids). What else could excess calories possibly do (other than perhaps impact hormone levels)?

I think you are overthinking this.


#11

To summarise: gaining weight is not necessary for endurance - it can even be counterproductive.

Gaining weight is often necessary to gain strength since this can only be done by improving neural drive (which has its limits) or build new contractile tissue. This is why many powerlifters, especially if they don’t worry about the weight class they’re in, eat like horses - gaining weight is the best way to get better at the barbell lifts.