Rippetoe's 'Conditioning is a Sham' Article

[quote]56x11 wrote:
As you discovered first hand, it’s myopic to believe that strength training alone will improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Yes, yes, yes, to all the Rippetoe sycophants: I understand his message that novices should focus on strength and place conditioning work on the back burner.

However, IF your sport or profession of choice requires a high-level of conditioning, I believe a certain amount of conditioning work must be done on a regular basis. The exact ratio of strength to conditioning work will vary with each individual.

The recent article by Rippetoe was amusing, to say the least. One example is the following statement:

“… VO2max, like the standing vertical jump, is one of those physical abilities that doesn’t improve much with training. Go ahead, look it up.”

While it is established that VO2 max does have a finite room for improvement, Rippetoe conveniently forgets to mention that LT, or lactate thresh hold, can be SIGNIFICANTLY improved with proper and consistent training. Improving your LT has tremendous ramifications for martial artists, rugby players, smoke jumpers, swimmers, cyclists, etc.

And how does one improve LT?

You get a gold star if your answer is conditioning work.

Now, I do agree with him in that intense conditioning work WILL hamper one’s progress in strength gains. Something has to give and you simply cannot go all-in with both endeavors and hope to accomplish anything meaningful. You’ll be lucky if you avoid injury.

So, for those whose primary goal is strength gains, do NOT be the myopic dumb fuck who completely stops doing any conditioning work. Simply do less of it at a moderate intensity. There is a thread in this forum where many debated the value of steady-state cardio. Take some time and read it; I think you will find some of the posts informative.

As for the argument that merely practicing one’s chosen sport is sufficient, I disagree. Yes, specificity is important. However, practicing other forms of conditioning work can positively help you against events such as burn out, repetitive stress injury, and so on. And what if your sport involves a hard/brief effort followed by a short rest period, etc? If you subscribe to the belief that steady state cardio is beneficial (which is my stance), how are you ever going to get this type of work in by ONLY practicing your sport?[/quote]

I suppose anyone with a contrarian view is seen by you as “a Rippetoe sycophant”, but I wanted to point something out to you nonetheless. This whole post agrees with Rippetoe… I feel like you’re searching for disagreements that aren’t there. The only takeaway you should have had from that article is “for a weakling noob, focus on building him a base of strength first, then do whatever else it is you need.”

I don’t believe he was trying to argue an opposing view to yours on LT or not to do conditioning if you need it or that anaerobic exercise can magically improve your cardio. For the record I’m pretty sure he’s like in love with the prowler. And the poor old guy tore one or both of his calves doing hill sprints if I remember correctly.

Ripp has detractors that says he says crap just to stir the pot and get attention. This article didn’t help his case. You can’t slam marathon training as have no carry to specific tasks, which is true outside of pure cardio base, and then imply that having a strong OHP makes you any better at specific sport skills and tasks. He started the article saying to have an open mind and then went on with his closed shut. I agree that youths need to focus on strength when they’re starting out but once you’re training for a sport you can’t ignore all the preperation needed for it.

[quote]BCFlynn wrote:
Those who can’t, teach[/quote]
Isn’t teaching a form of doing?

ITT: A person who thinks saying, “[…] get the fuck out of here” is a passive-aggressive statement.

[quote]spk wrote:
OP
personally, i would never take advice from a guys that look like rippetoe. all these smart guys that got all the answers on how to workout, then they look like they never lifted or ran in their life. maybe one day years ago when they were all eating roids for breakfast lunch and dinnner they were average lifters, but to listen to them… not for me…do this, do that, then they look like they couldnt run a 5k, or do 20 pullups…i’ll listen to coachs who practices what they preach…[/quote]
You don’t think Rippetoe practices what he preaches?

[quote]Adversary wrote:

Hey, long-time lurker, just registered so can’t comment on articles yet.

I like the focus on getting stronger over traditional steady-state conditioning, e.g. jogging. But I haven’t found it to work out quite like Rippetoe seems to promise. Like, after a period of heavy lifting with little conditioning, if I go out and do a sport like skiing, basketball, martial arts, I find that I am sucking wind pretty hard.

In terms of my strength levels I am a long way behind many here, so maybe I am just not strong enough. I wonder though if there aren’t some assumptions behind Rippetoe’s thinking that may not apply to the casual lifter/athlete.

Specifically, he seems to assume that in addition to strength training, you are doing a lot of pretty strenuous sports practice, like his athletes are. Maybe a better title would be, “Conditioning is a sham (if you are already practicing your sport 2-3 hours a day).”

So for those who aren’t, what’s the balance between gaining strength and cardiovascular fitness? [/quote]

Well I haven’t yet read through the whole thread yet so this might be repetitive, but I think

  1. He said first off he writes mostly for newbs, and IMO this is–from the first couple paragraphs–an article written for newbs and weak athletes WITHOUT a solid base of strength. Rip would be the first to tell you if you have a solid base of strength, and especially as you get stronger and farther from rookie status, the more divergent strength and conditioning become and the more you need at least some form of conditioning.

  2. And yes, he is partially assuming you are practicing your sport regularly. This same concept works for people who are not athletes and are just starting out with weights, in part, but this article is at least partially geared towards people who are playing sports. I think he makes his point admirably–I don’t know many high school or junior high students that need to run an asinine amount of “gassers” or whatever outside of practice time for more conditioning, but I know a ridiculously large amount of them that need some basic quality strength training that would elevate their game much much more by giving them a basic amount of power.

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:
This may not be in keeping with the tone of this thread so far, but I really appreciated what Mr. Rippetoe said about training in the military.

We absolutely don’t do anything conducive to strength gains, we run way too much, and our ranks are, for the most part, filled with skinny-fat soft-bodies who resemble suckling pigs. [/quote]

Interesting thing here, the Army is a hotbed for EXACTLY the kind of thing Rip was trying to say in the article. I have a lot of close friends who are active and touring, and I have talked with one of them in particular about setting up a program for his soldiers’ PT. He is a pretty levelheaded dude, reads Dan John, and a bunch of other good coaches, and has some pretty decent experience in the weight room himself.

He told me over dinner that the best results he EVER got for his guys in terms of PT test readiness AND real life deployment readiness where when he focused them on lifting rather than running. Basically, he said exactly what Rippetoe is saying only without the lightning rod for criticism that Rippetoe has. Obviously higher-ups will not allow PT to deviate too far from the “standard” stuff, but my buddy uses Dan John style activities that focus on strength, as opposed to running 5 miles with a pack.

He also said exactly what you said here, both talking about the place as a whole and also about his disgust with people in those big “company wide” runs that take place periodically on base.

^ X2

I just find people not really reading and comprehending. Every point mentionned before me has been answered in the articel or the livespill. It’s not about you, so read with an open mind.

.You dont agree? That’s fine. You don’t have to. But argue what is relevant. Figure out who he is aiming the article at, what he is saying to said audience and stop thinking it’s about you. You always know a bad argument when the word “I” or “personal experience” or “those who can’t…”

Sheesh

a 250 pound guy doing 10 reps with 315 isnt much at all. 100’s of older guys doing that at gyms… he was average when he ate all hid roids in his hey day. now that hes older hes doing average lifts… so what. nothing special.

chris. i’m 6’ 150# because i bicycle race… whats that got to do with me saying all guys in the front page photos are huge?? i guess i could gain a ton of weight, but then i wouldnt be as good in cycling and i wouldnt get paid for my high placings in races…

personally, i train specificially for my sport.

he may know a bit about form and some movements, but who cares. hundreds of guys like him around. he has a web page and my buddy asked him some questions and he ALWAYS replied. when he asked him about his all time best lifts, if he did those roid free, he didnt get a reply!!! there you go. those roids could have given him an extra 50-150#'s on his lifts… we dont know, cause he didnt do it the natural way…if he did, i bet he would have replied to my buddy asking him… no respect for a drug user.they preach form, form form, 5/3/1. 5/5/5/5/5/5. but they dont tell you they got the way they did taking roids…

See, when I read this article I thought Rippetoe said don’t do cardio/conditioning too.

Then I reread the article and realized he said that you shouldn’t place an over-emphasis of cardio/conditioning over strength, or that new lifters should absolutely focus on getting their strength up before focusing on conditioning.

Which makes absolute sense. Prior to lifting, I found it difficult to jog anymore than two miles at the 10min/mile pace. My body sucked, and all the running in the world didn’t seem to help.

I then spent four months lifting, went back to jogging after a wrist injury, and was jogging two miles at 10 min/mile pace without breaking a damned sweat after a week and a half. And that was after close to a year of no jogging or any sort of prolonged period of work.

A lot of people either just jog or run a lot and don’t lift. Many also just lift and never jog/run. Rippetoe’s point is that both are bad, but he chose to focus more on the latter than the former in this particular article.

Shouldn’t be too complicated if you actually bothered to read the thing.

a 250 pound guy doing 10 reps with 315 isnt much at all. 100’s of older guys doing that at gyms… he was average when he ate all hid roids in his hey day. now that hes older hes doing average lifts… so what. nothing special.

chris. i’m 6’ 150# because i bicycle race… whats that got to do with me saying all guys in the front page photos are huge?? i guess i could gain a ton of weight, but then i wouldnt be as good in cycling and i wouldnt get paid for my high placings in races…

personally, i train specificially for my sport.

he may know a bit about form and some movements, but who cares. hundreds of guys like him around. he has a web page and my buddy asked him some questions and he ALWAYS replied. when he asked him about his all time best lifts, if he did those roid free, he didnt get a reply!!! there you go. those roids could have given him an extra 50-150#'s on his lifts… we dont know, cause he didnt do it the natural way…if he did, i bet he would have replied to my buddy asking him… no respect for a drug user.they preach form, form form, 5/3/1. 5/5/5/5/5/5. but they dont tell you they got the way they did taking roids…

[quote]spk wrote:
a 250 pound guy doing 10 reps with 315 isnt much at all. 100’s of older guys doing that at gyms… he was average when he ate all hid roids in his hey day. now that hes older hes doing average lifts… so what. nothing special.

chris. i’m 6’ 150# because i bicycle race… whats that got to do with me saying all guys in the front page photos are huge?? i guess i could gain a ton of weight, but then i wouldnt be as good in cycling and i wouldnt get paid for my high placings in races…

personally, i train specificially for my sport.

he may know a bit about form and some movements, but who cares. hundreds of guys like him around. he has a web page and my buddy asked him some questions and he ALWAYS replied. when he asked him about his all time best lifts, if he did those roid free, he didnt get a reply!!! there you go. those roids could have given him an extra 50-150#'s on his lifts… we dont know, cause he didnt do it the natural way…if he did, i bet he would have replied to my buddy asking him… no respect for a drug user.they preach form, form form, 5/3/1. 5/5/5/5/5/5. but they dont tell you they got the way they did taking roids…[/quote]

Get the fuck out of here with this bullshit. You were all fine disagreeing with him. Lord knows most people on here are aware I am not a fan of starting strength, not a fanboy in general.

You were fine until you start whining like a little bitch about “roids” and the idea that in a country where almost 40 fucking % of people are overweight or obese a 50+ year old man doing 10 good legal deep squats with 315 when most people his age are completely incapable of even doing 1 decent squat with their bodyweight on the bar–and are insteead shitting themselves pounds of undigested twinkies and antidepressants and high blood pressure meds and viagra–you feel that this 50+ year old is somehow “average” or “not much at all” and always used “roids” and therefore must have absolutely zero fucking clue about how to train athletes…oh wait–he’s coached literally hundreds of athletes over a period of 30+ years at all levels of different sports. Yes, he must know exactly FUCK ALL about how to train because he got it from TEH ROIDZZZZZEZZ. Based on your “buddy” who “asked him some questions he always answered”. Fuck off. You don’t think maybe your “buddy” stepped over the line of polite enquiry? Oh no, you just want to say ROIDZZZEZZEZEZ!!!11!

You wanna train for cycling, go do it. You want to train to be the best damn cyclist you can be, and you get paid. Do it. More power to you. I’ve given advice to a few cyclists at the collegiate level, it’s different from bodybuilding. It’s great. Fine. But fucking take this whiny-assed “oh god he can’t know anything I know he’s on roids” shit and GTFO.

[quote]magick wrote:
See, when I read this article I thought Rippetoe said don’t do cardio/conditioning too.

Then I reread the article and realized he said that you shouldn’t place an over-emphasis of cardio/conditioning over strength, or that new lifters should absolutely focus on getting their strength up before focusing on conditioning.

Which makes absolute sense. Prior to lifting, I found it difficult to jog anymore than two miles at the 10min/mile pace. My body sucked, and all the running in the world didn’t seem to help.

I then spent four months lifting, went back to jogging after a wrist injury, and was jogging two miles at 10 min/mile pace without breaking a damned sweat after a week and a half. And that was after close to a year of no jogging or any sort of prolonged period of work.

A lot of people either just jog or run a lot and don’t lift. Many also just lift and never jog/run. Rippetoe’s point is that both are bad, but he chose to focus more on the latter than the former in this particular article.

Shouldn’t be too complicated if you actually bothered to read the thing.[/quote]

Thank you very much for having some damned common sense. This is much appreciated. And you’re very accurate!

[quote]spk wrote:
a 250 pound guy doing 10 reps with 315 isnt much at all. 100’s of older guys doing that at gyms… he was average when he ate all hid roids in his hey day. now that hes older hes doing average lifts… so what. nothing special.

chris. i’m 6’ 150# because i bicycle race… whats that got to do with me saying all guys in the front page photos are huge?? i guess i could gain a ton of weight, but then i wouldnt be as good in cycling and i wouldnt get paid for my high placings in races…

personally, i train specificially for my sport.

he may know a bit about form and some movements, but who cares. hundreds of guys like him around. he has a web page and my buddy asked him some questions and he ALWAYS replied. when he asked him about his all time best lifts, if he did those roid free, he didnt get a reply!!! there you go. those roids could have given him an extra 50-150#'s on his lifts… we dont know, cause he didnt do it the natural way…if he did, i bet he would have replied to my buddy asking him… no respect for a drug user.they preach form, form form, 5/3/1. 5/5/5/5/5/5. but they dont tell you they got the way they did taking roids…[/quote]

I don’t even know where to begin to address this. First, what lift are you talking about in your first paragraph? Squat? Bench? Deadlift? It makes a big difference. Are you being serious or mocking Rippetoe?
Also, you said he does “average” lifts now. You call Deadlifts with over 500 lbs in your 50s average?
You say he knows “a bit” about form and some movements? Have you read any of the works he has authored? Next, you pretty much accuse him of using drugs and he does not respond so you jump to the conclusion that he has used drugs??
Your 6 foot and 150 and happy? Fine, but you are on the wrong website.
Okay, I feel better now.

am I late to the e-peen measuring contest?

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:
This may not be in keeping with the tone of this thread so far, but I really appreciated what Mr. Rippetoe said about training in the military.

We absolutely don’t do anything conducive to strength gains, we run way too much, and our ranks are, for the most part, filled with skinny-fat soft-bodies who resemble suckling pigs. [/quote]

In you opinion would army guys be better at their jobs by lifting more and running less?

[quote]krazylarry wrote:

[quote]Ambugaton wrote:
This may not be in keeping with the tone of this thread so far, but I really appreciated what Mr. Rippetoe said about training in the military.

We absolutely don’t do anything conducive to strength gains, we run way too much, and our ranks are, for the most part, filled with skinny-fat soft-bodies who resemble suckling pigs. [/quote]
In you opinion would army guys be better at their jobs by lifting more and running less? [/quote]

I would say yes. Most of the military guys I know wouldn’t perform too well in some heavy labor work. Not to say they don’t get it done, it would just be easier if they had some sort of base of strength. (Not saying everyone is like that though, I know some BIG dudes in the military)

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[quote]pushharder wrote:

[quote]spk wrote:
a 250 pound guy doing 10 reps with 315 isnt much at all. 100’s of older guys doing that at gyms… he was average when he ate all hid roids in his hey day. now that hes older hes doing average lifts… so what. nothing special.

chris. i’m 6’ 150# because i bicycle race… whats that got to do with me saying all guys in the front page photos are huge?? i guess i could gain a ton of weight, but then i wouldnt be as good in cycling and i wouldnt get paid for my high placings in races…

personally, i train specificially for my sport.

he may know a bit about form and some movements, but who cares. hundreds of guys like him around. he has a web page and my buddy asked him some questions and he ALWAYS replied. when he asked him about his all time best lifts, if he did those roid free, he didnt get a reply!!! there you go. those roids could have given him an extra 50-150#'s on his lifts… we dont know, cause he didnt do it the natural way…if he did, i bet he would have replied to my buddy asking him… no respect for a drug user.they preach form, form form, 5/3/1. 5/5/5/5/5/5. but they dont tell you they got the way they did taking roids…[/quote]

Holy cow, what a chump.[/quote]
Push, I assume you are refering to spk, not Rippetoe as to being the chump, are you not? If not, we need to talk.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.