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.