Stuff You Should Read: 8/10/09

About the Author: Eric Cressey

A few good reading recommendations for this week…

Sucker Punch: Alwyn Cosgrove – This is a fantastic interview at T-Muscle with one of my best friends and mentors in the industry.  Alwyn calls it like he sees it (which is sadly becoming less and less common in this industry).  He even gives some schmuck named “Cressey” a shout-out in the interview.

The Influence of Strength and Power on Muscular Endurance Test Performance – This recent study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research confirms what we already know – but also gives a quantifiable number for which we can shoot when training for something like the 225 bench test – or even in dealing with endurance athletes.  Here are the sentences I like the most:

“…the current research suggests that the initial goal of a training program to enhance muscular endurance should be to increase maximum strength to a point that the specific load being lifted during repeated actions is less than 40% of the individuals’ 1RM. Subsequent training should then focus on maintaining maximal strength levels and improving local muscular endurance in the specific task.”

So, if your goal is to get better on the 225 bench press test, unless you’ve got a 562.5-pound bench press, it’s still going to help you to train for maximum strength.

And, more significantly to what we see on a daily basis, you need to get fit to run, not run to get fit.  A 200+ pound woman who takes up jogging as her initial form of exercise to lose weight is just asking to get hurt because she is far too weak for the load (at least 800 pounds of ground reactive forces) that is imposed on each leg with each stride.

Someone like this would be better off focusing on programs like Afterburn or Warp Speed Fat Loss – which focus on using resistance training, interval training, and nutritional modifications to get unwanted weight off folks.


It’s impressive how I brought this entire blog post back to Alwyn in a big circle, huh?