Waffenlauf

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The Waffenlauf is a type of Swiss marathon where every current or former soldier can participate. A sort of modern hoplitodromos They are required to carry an army rifle (such as the K31, Stgw 57 and Stgw 90) and their uniform.

Pictured is the all-time champion Albrecht Moser, who won this competition numerous times while carrying his old K31 and his old army uniform.

http://www.okrunngun.com/

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Strength Trumps All Health Markers With No Inflection Point

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Dr. Jonathon Sullivan responding to a query concerning possible negative outcomes from strength training:

Where is your peer-reviewed, properly controlled data to indicate that progressively increasing one’s strength with heavy training causes an inflection point to the negative in either performance or “health” in populations? And what is the consensus of the data as to exactly where this inflection point will occur for any individual or population?

Well, it won’t be found here:

In a study lasting nearly two decades involving 8,762 men aged 20-80 it was found that, “Muscular strength is inversely and independently associated with death from all causes and cancer in men, even after adjusting for cardiorespiratory fitness and other potential confounders… Muscular strength was independently associated with risk of death from all causes and cancer in men. These findings are valid for men of normal weight, those who are overweight, and younger or older men, and are valid even after adjusting for several potential confounders, including cardiorespiratory fitness.”

TL;DR: Increased muscular strength trumped all other indicators of health and was the single best predictor of reduced mortality in a 18.9 year study involving 8,762 test subjects and categorizing them into low, middle, and upper strength groups. The stronger people proved harder to kill and no inflection point was found.

Association between muscular strength and mortality in men: prospective cohort study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2453303/

Associations of Muscle Mass and Strength with All-Cause Mortality among US Older Adults
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28991040

Weightlifting is good for your heart and it doesn’t take much
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181113115430.htm

Research indicates strength training may be more effective for heart health and overall health than cardio, especially for older people.
https://knowridge.com/2018/11/for-older-people-weight-training-is-more-important-than-cardio-exercise/
https://nypost.com/2018/11/19/lifting-weights-is-better-for-your-heart-than-cardio-study/

If we imagine some yet-to-be-found inflection point of negative health from increased strength does exist, the number of humans taking up barbell training that manage to reach that unicorn is too low to consider.

Conditioning: Soccer

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The best prescription for fitness is to follow a strength and conditioning protocol that emphasizes a solid but simple strength base (preferably programmed with primary, compound barbell lifts) combined with appropriate conditioning. “Appropriate conditioning” depends on the task and needs to address those particulars. The problem is people either fail to learn the particulars or just ignore what they find.

Association Football (Soccer) are particularly guilty of this.

http://www.active.com/soccer/articles/how-far-do-you-run-during-a-soccer-game-872900

First, you have to videotape a game with a camera that doesn’t follow the ball. Then play it back while you focus on one player, recording every movement they make while estimating the pace and distance they run. Then rewind and do it all over again for the next player. Labor and time intensive is an understatement for these projects.

The first time-motion study over a full season was done on Everton FC (Liverpool, England) in the mid-1970s and the estimated distance covered was just under 8,800 meters per game.

Movement speeds were walking, jogging, cruising (‘running with manifest purpose and effort’), sprinting, and backing. About 2/3 of the distance was covered at the low intensities of walking and jogging and around 800 meters sprinting in numerous short 10-40 meter bursts. A player was in control of the ball for an average of 200 meters for a whopping total of 90 seconds (that means you spend 88.5 minutes trying to get or keep someone from getting the ball).

Recording every change of speed and direction showed that there was some change in activity every 5-6 seconds. Subsequent work and maturation of the game has pushed this total distance up to around 10,000 meters for a men’s professional European game with the South American game being contested at a little less total running distance.

Midfielders run the most, central strikers and defenders the least. Don’t brag too much about the running volume–10,000 meters (six miles) in 90 minutes is four miles per hour, something a good power walker can do.

The physiological intensity of the game can be estimated one of those heart monitors you see joggers and cyclists wearing. The average heart rate for the full 90 minutes ranges between 150-170 beats per minute with very high values while sprinting and more moderate values when less involved in the game.

One interesting observation that doesn’t take an “A” license to figure out: the most physically intense part of the game is while in control of the ball.

Your pulse rate goes up and lactic acid production (that heavy feeling in your legs you perceive after sprinting) increases. This is a primary reason why coaches sets up lots of small sided games that force players to be ‘on the ball’ far more often than during 11 v 11.

Generally, the women’s game is a little less running and at a slower pace (about 75 percent of the women’s game is at a walk/jog), but when conditions demand it, the women can cover just as much distance as the men.

And, realize that women have a smaller capacity, so when they cover the same distance as men playing the same game on the same field for the same time as men, they are working harder.

Now that we know some details about the game, the focus of training begins to become clearer. The other pieces in the training puzzle are game tactics.

Except, as is commonly the problem, people fail to do something useful with the info. Soccer players continue the same failed path as the military, with an overemphasis on long, slow cardio and little else.

Consider that formal game analysis revealed that midfielders – the players that run the most – manage about six miles in 90 minutes, which is a walking pace. Any modestly-fit person won’t find this a problem. A better emphasis would be to continue practicing skills, scrimmaging with your team while getting generally strong and adding in some intervals either at the end of practice or spaced throughout the week.

More important than this, soccer is statistically among the most dangerous sports based on the number of injuries per hundred participant hours. This makes strength training a needed injury preventative. FIFA released their FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention protocol and had some successful results with it:

http://www.yrsa.ca/pdf/Fifa11/english.pdf

The problem is, the light calisthenics used in this warmup only had a positive effect because soccer players as a population are weak enough for this to provide any benefit. Much as the U.S. Army’s physical therapy-based fitness program in FM 7-22, such “prehab” exercises only help a target population lacking a general but thorough strength base.

Here’s an example of a better approach.


Strength Training Makes You a Better Soccer Player

https://chicagosc.com/strength-training-makes-better-soccer-player/

Soccer is Dangerous

Soccer players are hurt quite often. The injury rate is 62 per 1000 hours. Powerlifting, interestingly, has an injury rate of 0.008 per 1000 hours. Knee injuries are common, especially for women. One review found the rate for female soccer players in college sports to be 0.31 ACL injuries per 1000 athlete exposures. To give you some perspective, the rate of ACL injury for college football players ranges from 0.124 to 0.173 injuries per 1000 athlete exposures. Soccer players are about twice as likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments as football players.

Stronger is Safer

More training of the muscle equals more protection. Think about the structure of the knee. It is a loose, mobile joint protected by ligaments, but also protected by the quadriceps and hamstrings. The quadriceps pulls the tibia by means of the patellar tendon, in which is the kneecap. When the knee is flexed, such as at the bottom of a properly done squat, the patella applies pressure to the joint capsule, acting as a built-in knee wrap. The hamstring muscles pull the tibia to the rear, counteracting the pull of the quadriceps and helping to keep the knee stable. In addition, there is a stretch reflex when a muscle is quickly stretched. The muscle contracts to protect the joint. If I grab your arm and jerk it, you will quickly contract to resist my pull. More muscle, more resistance. Now imagine the situation on the soccer field when you make a quick plant of the foot and turn, or when you collide with another player: there will be very sharp tugs on your leg musculature. Wouldn’t you want to be strong in order to resist damage to your knee?

In fact, studies have shown that greater strength helps prevent injuries. Why don’t they just lift weights? It’s actually rather infuriating to read these journal articles and find that no one recommends a simple strength program. If being stronger keeps you from getting injured, why not just get stronger? We know that Olympic weightlifters, who squat deep every day, have very strong knees, very few knee injuries, and healthier and thicker connective tissue in the joint. Coaches might fear that their athletes will get slower, there might be lack of time to institute a proper strength training routine, or more likely there might be a lack of understanding of the general adaptation syndrome and how to use it to get stronger.

http://www.sportsscience.co/sport/resistance-training-weight-lifting-for-soccer-players/

Sixth World Congress on Science and Football Proceedings: Effects of hypertrophy and a maximal strength training programme on speed, force and power of soccer players. g. BogdANiS, A. PAPASPyRou, A. SougliS, A. TheoS,A. SoTiRoPouloS ANd m. mARidAKi
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284020316_Effects_of_a_Hypertrophy_and_a_maximal_strength_training_programme_on_speed_force_and_power_of_soccer_players

Isokinetic strength of quadriceps-hamstring muscle in soccer players playing in different leagues. Zekiye Nisa Özberk, Özlem Öner-Coskun, Sabire Akın and Feza Korkusuz
http://www.jssm.org/vol11/n3/8/v11n3-8text.php

Conditioning

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Condition
[kuh n-dish-uh n]
noun

  • a particular mode of being of a person or thing; existing state; situation with respect to circumstances
  • a circumstance indispensable to some result; prerequisite; that on which something else is contingent

verb (used with object)

  • to accustom or inure
  • to subject to particular conditions or circumstances

The primary point is preparing for and becoming accustomed to particular conditions or circumstances. That requires defining what your particular conditions or circumstances and realizing that one can’t realistically claim to condition for “everything.”

Note, the definition of conditioning does not include “flail spastically”, “getting smoked”, “thrashing about for as many reps as possible”, “pushing until you puke”, nor any idiot catchphrases from nitwits in campaign hats.

Army Combat Fitness Test commentary

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https://warontherocks.com/2018/10/dumb-and-dumber-the-armys-new-pt-test/

A couple of staff writers from a blog that have never taken the Army Combat Fitness Test saw fit to spew their opinions about it.

A disappointing and ignorant commentary.
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Doctors: Acute and Chronic Conditions

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Dr. Austin Baraki is a medical doctor, strength coach, and competitive powerlifter. Here are his thoughts on dealing with tweaks, pains, strains, and other issues.

[During a routine barbell training session], I had programmed myself to work up to one heavy set of 5 on beltless pause squats. I worked up to 500×5 without any issues, and decent technique (other than too-short pauses).

However, after the set I began to feel significant low back pain, similar to prior “strains” and “tweaks” I’ve experienced. It persisted through the evening, overnight during sleep, and through the next day.

I didn’t panic, agonize over what could have happened, how I could have prevented it, or when I’m ever going to be able to lift again. I knew that sometimes these things just happen, maintained confidence that there wasn’t anything seriously wrong, and knew that it would improve on its own.

The next day, I began warming up for my 1.5” deficit deadlifts normally. I gradually worked up to this PR set of 5 with minimal symptoms during the set and no significant exacerbation afterwards.

Fear and Expectation have HUGE influence on symptoms and outcomes in people experiencing pain. One of the strongest predictors of who will improve the most/fastest are those who have the best expectations… NOT whether it’s your “SI” or “QL”, what type of manual therapy, stretching routine, or even what exercise program you do.

For someone experiencing pain, fear, and negative expectations (like expecting their pain to “flare up” in the gym), working them through a process like this under close guidance and reassurance shows them that they CAN, in fact, move without severe symptom exacerbation. This is known as Expectancy Violation, and is a useful tool in altering expectations and facilitating better outcomes.

Think back on your own experience: what thought processes/patterns do you have that might be influencing your symptoms and outcomes? Try to take control of them!

– Dr. Austin Baraki

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1.5” Deficit Deadlift PR: 560×5 😈 • On Thursday of this week’s training, I had programmed myself to work up to one heavy set of 5 on beltless pause squats (shown in second video). I worked up to 500×5 without any issues, and decent technique (other than too-short pauses). • However, after the set I began to feel significant low back pain, similar to prior “strains” and “tweaks” I’ve experienced. It persisted through the evening, overnight during sleep, and through the next day. • I didn’t panic, agonize over what could have happened, how I could have prevented it, or when I’m ever going to be able to lift again. I knew that sometimes these things just happen, maintained confidence that there wasn’t anything seriously wrong, and knew that it would improve on its own. • Fear and Expectation have HUGE influence on symptoms and outcomes in people experiencing pain. One of the strongest predictors of who will improve the most/fastest are those who have the best expectations … NOT whether it’s your “SI” or “QL”, what type of manual therapy, stretching routine, or even what exercise program you do. • The next day (today), I began warming up for my 1.5” deficit deadlifts normally. I gradually worked up to this PR set of 5 with minimal symptoms during the set and no significant exacerbation afterwards. • For someone experiencing pain, fear, and negative expectations (like expecting their pain to “flare up” in the gym), working them through a process like this under close guidance and reassurance shows them that they CAN, in fact, move without severe symptom exacerbation. This is known as Expectancy Violation, and is a useful tool in altering expectations and facilitating better outcomes. • Think back on your own experience: what thought processes/patterns do you have that might be influencing your symptoms and outcomes? Try to take control of them!

A post shared by Austin Baraki, MD (@austin_barbellmedicine) on

I don’t know if it’s meme-based medicine, a need to always have an answer when a patient asks, or ego that says they MUST know regardless of actual knowledge that causes this.

The medical profession overall is wonderful at dealing with trauma and medication-based solutions, and god-fucking-awful at dealing with chronic conditions – including aging – that aren’t readily routed around with a pill or injection.

There are a phenomenal number of doctors who have little knowledge of either weight training or nutrition and yet authoritatively opine to their patients complete nonsense on both topics rather than using that magical phrase “I don’t know.”

– Steve Klein

Association between muscular strength and mortality in men: prospective cohort study
https://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a439

Army Combat Fitness/Readiness Test complaints

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Here is all you need to understand about the Army’s new ACFT: Motivated and intelligent personnel that know how to train effectively will continue to get very good scores, just as before. Malingerers will complain and do poorly or fail, just as before.

Consider what the test is asking personnel to do. Here are the proposed standards as of July 31 2018: July 2018 proposed standards

The ACFT Field Testing Manual explains the standards.
https://www.military.com/sites/default/files/2018-09/Field%20testing%20manual.pdf

This article demonstrates the events:
https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/10/30/videos-heres-how-complete-new-army-fitness-test.html
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