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Running and the Weight Man

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I always ran as part of my training regimen for powerlifting and general fitness during my competitive years. I never felt comfortable jogging. Contradiction? Not really. Jogging over long distances resulted in back and knee discomfort. In contrast, 3/4-speed sprints had no ill effect at all and enhanced my lifting ability.

I'm sure heavy squatting and deadlifting on a regular basis gave me a built-in fatigue factor when I jogged. I found that eight 100-yard 3/4-sprints, walking the corners between each sprint, improved my aerobic capacity. This routine also shaped up my quads nicely, too. When I needed a change, I would run and gun with a basketball for 15 to 20 minutes, taking long shots and chasing rebounds.

Drawing of a running muscle man
Incorporating a little running into your workouts may increase your aerobic capacity, stamina, energy, and general health. Drawing by and courtesy of Chris ‘Sticks’ Bostick.

The quick runs have some historical significance in powerlifting. The great Marv Phillips began his squat routine with several 220-yard runs in a tunnel adjacent to his college weight room. Phillips was a world record holder in the squat. He managed an 810-pound single with no assistant gear other than a belt.

So, done right, a little running can help the weight man. Give it a shot; Spring is here.

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