Increasing capilary density


Green Belt
Apr 21, 2004
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I have heard that increasing your capilary density from performing mild endurance work can decrease your recovery time from intensive activities.

Needless to say i want to try this out, because at the moment i'm only performing intensive work and it can take 2 to 3 days to repair from each session. so my question is how should i apply this.

obviously i don't want to do it at the same time i do intense work, so that leaves later that day or alternating days and quite possibly in a progressive scale based on current capilary desity. For example right now i may only be able to perform the alternating days, but later down the road i may be able to do both in one day due to the increase in caplilary density.

also, is there any other benifits you can see that would come from increased capilary density?

my first thught would be better overall performance because it would be exactly like widening the intake and exhaust valves on a cylender.

I'm not saying i'm guna complety train only endurance, but i think it's possible that a balance may be more efficaint then striktly high intensity.

Well increasing your endurance goes in hand with many things, such as an increase in stroke volume, atriovenous O2 difference, VO2max, blood volume, and as you mentioned already capilary density (muscle vascularity).

I'm sure all of these benefits from endurance training would increase your recovery time between workouts. If you ask me, I definately agree that a bit of endurance training can be beneficial to any strength athlete.
wow i must have been tired last night. i forgot to put the N in every "density"
I don't think it would help much. This is all opinion though, I"d wait for an answer from jarv though.

There are two factors, 1) How much effort will it take to increase capillary density and 2) How much will capillary density help. After you have those answers, then you can see if its worth it.

In regards to the first one, I belive your body will adapt to use the current amount of capillaries with less of a stimulus before having more created. Your body has one main thouroughfare capillary and then many others branching off. When you are not working out the smaller ones close off because you don't need that much blood there, and when you workout they open up. So, to increase actual capillary density I would assume you have to work out a lot more than you want to, and the time spent doing that will take away from strength training. Also, you can't just increase the amount and then not do endurance again because if you don't keep up the endurance training your body will just get rid of the extra capillaries.

With regards to the second part, I don't know how much help you will get from it. During rest (that evening and the next few days) those capillaries will be closed and therefore won't help at all, and resting in between sets they might help a bit, but realize you are mostly using anaerobic work, so the recovery would be minimal. I could be wrong but I don't think powerlifters do any "edurance" work per se, they just sled drag and sometimes move quickly thorugh their workouts. Nobody runs.

I would say it isn't worth it and doing some active reovery would be 100% better. Do some pushups, maybe some squats. Drag a sled, have some sex, just shadow box for 5 mins to get the blood moving. I think you would benifit more from those activities.
thats basicaly what i'm doing

today i di 2 set of 100 squats, 30 pushups, and 50 situps. just enough to get a good burn but not to failure.
dude this is a big 'no shit.' do high intensity work, do low intensity work. you will benefit from doing both rather than just one
cockysprinter said:
dude this is a big 'no shit.' do high intensity work, do low intensity work. you will benefit from doing both rather than just one

It depends on his goals. For a fighter, yes, I agree to do both. A pure endurance athlete will not benefit from doing much strength, as a pure power athlete does not benefit from doing much endurance. Dabbling in the opposite type of training will only take away from training and recovery of what you are doing. Those Kenyan marathon runners never squat heavy and Louie Simmons never runs marathons.

Granted, this is for very seroius athletes. Most people would benefit from both as they are not pushing themselves to the maximum and have room to excel in both. Very serious athletes will sacrifice gains in their sport/event for the gains they make in doing other things.
Louie doesn't run marathons but he gets his lifters doing lots of lots of high intensity endurance work training through specific GPP workouts. If his lifters weren't increasing their work capacity (another term for endurance) then they wouldn't be getting stronger on a consistent basis. Sled dragging is still a form of endurance work. It's not a pure strength feat.