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Thread: Room for sprinting if squatting heavy 3x/week? page

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    atmetal's Avatar
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    Room for sprinting if squatting heavy 3x/week?

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    I started the StrongLifts routine about a month ago, starting with 50% of my 5RM instead of the empty bar. Adding the 5lbs per workout has increased my squat 5x5 weight to a high enough level that I'm beginning to feel sore the following day and even during the next workout. I've always wanted to add sprinting, ideally on one of my two consecutive rest days (the weekend) but I'm afraid that this might interfere with the leg recovery.

    Just wondered what other people have to say about this. I doubt it matters, but my last 5x5 for squats was Nov. 16 with a weight of 185lbs. Still not challenging yet, but its effects are showing through on rest days.

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    Not sure what Medhi says about sprinting, but if you were doing a 3x5 starting strength program I know Rippetoe would be against sprinting. He is found of saying "Follow the damn program" and sprinting isn't part of the program. Your legs need the rest days if you are squatting heavy 3 times a week. Sprinting on rest days will make recovery tough. I'd focus on the program for now if I were you. There will be plenty of time for sprinting in 6 months or so when you stop getting gains and have to go to a different program. If you absolutely insist on sprinting now, do it right after a workout when you have at least 2 days after to recover...like if you workout on M-W-F, do the sprinting immediately after lifting on Friday.

    Edit: Also, if you are adding in sprints, do it very slowly. Like start with 5 100 yard sprints on friday after your workout, then slowly add 1 extra sprint each week. And if you are too beat from your workout, listen to your body and skip the sprinting. It's easy to pull a hamstring sprinting, and its hard to squat 3 times a week with a pulled hammy.
    Last edited by Bunk; 11-17-2012 at 11:28 AM.

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    bunk nailed it pretty well. i'll add that if you are going to do sprints while lifting heavy, do hill sprints. they're hard as hell, but easier on the body.
    also, you can do a sprint workout without running. when i did stronglifts, i did 10x10 burpees post workout, or would get in some bike sprints on off days. you get similar results metabolically without causing extra stress to your legs.

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    Ditto's all around. If you have to, sprint after your squat workout, also make sure you get sleep and rest, + amino
    Acids to aid recovery, also what are you trying to do? Squat big or up your conditioning
    With sprints? Sprint once a week on the 3rd squat session.

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    atmetal's Avatar
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    I was considering adding sprints only because of all the benefits I've heard here on MDA. I'm really interested in accelerated fat loss, but currently recomping, I'm losing weight anyway, its just going really slow. I'm mostly interested in the improvement in my run times. I'm in the military and where I am, we are exempt from mandatory PT if we maintain a high enough score. I've already met that standard, but there's certainly room for improvement. I wouldn't otherwise care about my run time since I hate running. I see a good running ability dependent on two factors: muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance. The lifting is probably more than enough for the muscle side, but my cardiovascular side has always been my limiter when running. I don't have a lot of time to fit in the 2nd Primal Blueprint Law (I do my best) and I doubt that the lifting is having a cardio effect. So all that's left is the efficient sprinting.

    All that said, if my rest days are not ideal for sprinting and I should do it after one of my lifting sessions, I'm probably going to have to just forget about sprinting for now. As I said, 185lbs and below hasn't yet proven to be challenging, but it will eventually get there.

    StrongLifts has one move to a 3x5, then to 1x5 in cases when the weight becomes too heavy. Would the increased load mean there would be no difference or can I expect the lower volume to help make room for sprints on the rest days?
    Last edited by atmetal; 11-17-2012 at 05:59 PM.

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    Try to find a prowler to push on Fridays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atmetal View Post
    StrongLifts has one move to a 3x5, then to 1x5 in cases when the weight becomes too heavy. Would the increased load mean there would be no difference or can I expect the lower volume to help make room for sprints on the rest days?
    once you switch to a 3x5 (usually once you are squatting 1.5xbodyweight), it's still going to stress your body as much as a 5x5. you'll be doing less total reps, but the weight will be heavier. you'll need just as much recovery time. in fact, i found i progressed better by dropping to only two sessions a week.

    if you're looking at increasing your running speeds, sprints will help a little bit, but it's not your best option. sprints will make you faster running sprints. if you want to run 2 miles faster, you're going to want to add some distance, run on hills, and throw in some speed bursts...those usually aren't done all on the same run. speed bursts are probably the best for increasing your pace: run at your regular pace, but go much faster every other stretch between telephone poles (or some other equally measurable distance).

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    Stronglifts is about progression on poundage so I would say just eat clean and walk a mile 4 times a week in the mornings for some light conditioning... anything more than that, especially hill sprints if you have never done them before... will take some getting used to and you will see your numbers drop at first before they get back to where they where... if its condusive to your goals then sprint but I would just walk in the mornings and finish stronglifts... after that switch to like 5/3/1 and add some sled stuff and sprints to help cut the fat while you are slowly gaining strength as 5/3/1 lends itself to conditioning as you are squatting once per week and deadlifting once per week

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    i'll add that if you are going to do sprints while lifting heavy

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    I guess its about what your goals are, train for them whether its being strong, or a combo of both. There will be tradeoff's in each respective area for over specializing.

    I used to Crossfit alot (not anymore) and switched to Wendler 5/3/1 program a tad over a year ago.

    I'm stronger than I ever was in Crossfit, my conditioning is just as on point, possibly better, and alot stonger. I can usually do just as good on Crossfit based workouts at random as I was doing when I trained primarily in the Crossfit method when I feel like mixing it up.

    I have never met a more humbling training tool than a heavy prowler push, or prowler sprint workout. You get what they call the "Prowler Flu"

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