Adjust Bench Volume?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Ianblastermaste, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Ianblastermaste

    Ianblastermaste White Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IN
    In an effort to gain strength for the track season(and because I like to lift heavy weight) I've decided to go back on a beginner program instead training inconsistently. However, of the lifting we do for track(distance events- 1600-3200m) we do circuits of amraps and core exercises. We lift about twice a week, one day being a circuit and the other we do high volume benching(4x15), and my question is should I lower my bench volume of my program to account for this? I'm thinking of doing another 5x5 program until the season starts up, but I'm open to other suggestions keeping distance running in mind. All responses are appreciated!
     
  2. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Messages:
    9,068
    Likes Received:
    242
    Location:
    Somewhere else
    While I don't know all the details of the program you've been given, and how it's supposed to fit in with the track work, it sounds like it might be a bit rubbish. To be generous, it's possible that it could be the beginning of some linear periodization program, and that it'd have you eventually doing some heavier weights - at least, I don't know that's not the case from your post.

    In the case of distance running, strength work is a chance to work on qualities that aren't sufficiently developed by the sport itself, but are still beneficial. In which case it makes sense that you'd want to do some heavier work, along with some volume work (although sets of 15 seems excessive for bench - the volume work would be for lower body or postural muscles). You'd also want to emphasize ROMs not used in distance running (which is a lot of ROMs), postural muscles, and some unilateral work.

    You also have to consider priorities. Is the priority to do strength work that will make you a better distance runner, or to do strength work because you want to be stronger? Because it's not entirely the same thing.
     
  3. Ianblastermaste

    Ianblastermaste White Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IN
    I've questioned the legitimacy of my coach's programming, but that's another issue and I won't speak of that much because I can't control what my coach does. However, I think that the dogma in the running community of lifting making you too big and that you should train lighter for more reps affects most views of strength training. To answer your question, lifting to be better at distance running is ideal.
     
  4. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Messages:
    9,068
    Likes Received:
    242
    Location:
    Somewhere else
    Having spent some time around distance runners, I'll agree that most of them have some misinformed notions around strength training. Which is quite unfortunate, for multiple reasons. But I wouldn't suggest you do anything to create conflict with your coach.


    Anyway, if I were to brainstorm a general two day split for a distance runner, it might be something like this:

    Day 1
    Squat 5/3/1 with BBB or JM
    Bench 5/3/1 or JM
    - DB rows 5x6-10
    - Face-pulls 5x10-20
    - Ab exercise of your choice (ab wheel, hanging leg raises, planks, side planks, paloff press), alternate sets with: Single leg glute bridge or single leg back extension, 5 sets

    Day 2
    Deadlift 5/3/1 or JM
    Press 5/3/1 or JM
    - Inverted rows OR pull-ups, 5 sets
    - Walking lunges, 5 sets
    - Ab exercise of your choice, alternate sets with GHR, reverse hyper, back extension, Band GMs, etc, 5 sets

    A larger number of sets, with relatively short rests (30s - 1 minute) for the assistance work, to build muscular endurance. If you have access to a weight sled or prowler, you could use that for some of the assistance work - it'd allow you to accumulate some good volume and build some endurance and overall conditioning while being easy to recover from.

    If you notice a major difference between the left and right sides during any of the unilateral work, you want to adjust the program to address that more aggressively, as it could negatively impact running economy.

    5/3/1 refers to the 5/3/1 program as describe in the FAQ. BBB means "big but boring" where you do 50% x 5 x 10 after the top set as assistance work. JM refers to Juggernaut method, which should also be described in the FAQ (IIRC). Both programs work well to supplement other athletic training. Juggernaut method does take more time, both per session, and to run the entire program.
     
  5. Ianblastermaste

    Ianblastermaste White Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IN
    Thanks a ton Tosa! What is the rep range and the percentage like for the assistance you mentioned(ab work, bridge, pull-up, walking lunge, GHR etc.)?
     
  6. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Messages:
    9,068
    Likes Received:
    242
    Location:
    Somewhere else
    Generally, 8-15. It's a fairly broad range, and feel free to work outside on occasion - if you can't work in that range yet - say you can't do that many pull-ups or GHRs for sets across, don't worry, just have it be something to work towards. No percentages, just start with weights that are only moderately challenging, and progressively add reps. Then add weight and reduce the reps.

    Certain movements are hard to load - Eg. hanging leg raises or single leg glute bridges, so eventually you're left just pushing the reps. You can keep these exercises if you like them and find them beneficial, or eventually swap them for something more challenging.

    There's more specific protocols for assistance, with specific progressions, but if the above works, then there's no need for something more complex.
     
  7. Ianblastermaste

    Ianblastermaste White Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IN
    Thanks a ton Tosa, I'll be starting ASAP! Really excited to be on another program!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.