Balancing running with workouts effectively

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npeters
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Balancing running with workouts effectively

Post by npeters » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:12 pm

For the 7-8 months I have followed the following basic plan:

Day 1: bench press, seated row w/varied grips, pull-ups, chin-ups, shoulder press, chest fly, reverse fly, triceps extension, curls, dips, shoulder shrugs, front raise, lateral shoulder raise, deadlift, twisting sit-ups, Cycle 30 min OR 4mph walk on treadmill with incline for 30 min.

Almost all of these exercises consist of 2 sets to failure with 8-15 reps

Day 2: Run 3 mi. (average). After run: side-to-side jumps, leg-switching jumps (sort of like a jumping lunge), calf raises, leg press, v-sits

I alternate running/leg workout days with upper body workout days, taking one day off per week


My questions: Would it be more effective to completely cut cycling/walking on non-run days? When I leave these things out my legs are certainly must fresher. Also, would dead-lifts be better moved to post run? I'm trying to create a balanced overall exercise program that balances muscle gain with aerobic fitness/endurance increase while burning maximum calories. In other words, how could I make the above program better with these goals in mind?

In addition, I'm trying to fix are my seemingly permanent winging scapula/ rounded shoulders. I've been following the above routine for over half a year with little improvements in that regard.I must be leaving something out or overworking one group.. Any thoughts?[/b]


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Post by pdellorto » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:21 pm

I'll leave it to KPj to address your winged scapula. He's our local corrective exercise expert.

The first thing that leaps out at me is that you're doing 2 sets of 15 different exercises, many of them variations of each other, for 8-15 reps to failure. You've got bench presses and dips, as well as 2 different flys, overhead pressing, and front raises - those along hit your anterior deltoid over and over again. Pullups and chinups and rows and deadlifts...it's a lot of work.

That's a lot of exercises and a lot of work to failure. It's not necessary and probably not very productive to keep going to failure like that.

Plus you are doing this 3x a week, plus running + abs/calf work 3x a week, 1 rest day.

It seems like it could easily burn you out. You're asking your muscles to work until they can't work anymore over and over, and then "resting" by running, and you even finish the lifting days with cardio. That combination isn't going to give you much time to rest and recover.


You're also trying to gain strength, endurance, etc. while burning calories. That's a have-it-all kind of workout. It's hard to do all of them optimally.

What you might try is backing down the volume, varying up the exercises, and moving to a different rep range not based on failure. You can move your jumping to your regular workout days. I'll give it some more thought and post again tomorrow. But for now...it seems like you're trying for everything, pushing all of your work to failure, and doing so much cardio and so little rest I'm surprised that you can recover.

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Post by hillrunner » Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:49 am

n addition, I'm trying to fix are my seemingly permanent winging scapula/ rounded shoulders. I've been following the above routine for over half a year with little improvements in that regard.
That sounds more like an issue with your natural build or genetics just like high calf muscles or a short set of biceps.

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Re: Balancing running with workouts effectively

Post by KPj » Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:54 am

npeters wrote: In addition, I'm trying to fix are my seemingly permanent winging scapula/ rounded shoulders. I've been following the above routine for over half a year with little improvements in that regard.I must be leaving something out or overworking one group.. Any thoughts?[/b]
I've got a few thoughts :grin:

I'll take your program and run through it,in terms of what helps and what doesn't, to give you an idea of balance,

Things that enforce the winged scapula problem:

bench press
shoulder press
chest fly
dips
shoulder shrugs
front raise
lateral shoulder raise

To a much lesser extent, but still not helping:

twisting sit-ups
curls (if performed using a barbell)
triceps extension

Things that Help:

deadlift
seated row w/varied grips
pull-ups (wide grip pull ups don't count as something that 'helps')
chin-ups

You can see it's pretty much well out of balance. To give a brief explanation, the things that 'don't help' are either 'pushing' exercises or exercises that emphasise the internal rotators, but in most cases, they are both of these. Note that these aren't 'bad' exercises. They just need balanced out with exercises that stress opposing muscles (or movements). For the sake of simplicity, I would pretty much ignore the 'lesser extent' exercises I listed as their influence is minimal. And also be aware that if any pull up variation isn't done with good form, they can pretty much make things worse, too (because you'll use the upper traps too much.

The first thing I advise you to do is start from scratch. I agree with everything Peter said about you're program, and think you should re-think/write it. We would be happy to help with that. The best way to address the winged scalula thing would be to get a good, solid program, then 'decorate' it with things that you obviously need - like lot's and lot's of middle and lower trap work, for starters...

In a nutshell, the reason your shoulder blades wing out is because the middle and lower traps aren't working properly, and a whole bunch of other muscles are working too much - pecs, front delts, (some of) rotator cuff, upper traps. Things you could do with getting rid of straight away are- Shoulder shrugs, chest fly, and front raise. Then you're more in balance already. I would still strongly advise you change program, though.

Also, very important is that you consiously try and correct your posture throughout the day - keep your shoulder blades pinched back and down as much as you can. Try and make it a habbit. You can only do so much with a few hours of gym time, the time outside of the gym counts just as much (In terms of posture, probably counts more).

I'll post links later with one or two exercises you should consider doing straight away. But don't overlook the 'outside of the gym' part.

KPj

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Post by stuward » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:48 am

hillrunner wrote:
n addition, I'm trying to fix are my seemingly permanent winging scapula/ rounded shoulders. I've been following the above routine for over half a year with little improvements in that regard.
That sounds more like an issue with your natural build or genetics just like high calf muscles or a short set of biceps.
That's a misconception. As you can see from Kpj's post there are things you can do about both conditions. Tight internal rotators are common but certainly not natural. Poor posture is also common but shouldn't be considered natural. These conditions can be repaired. It takes patience and appropriate guidance.


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Post by npeters » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:21 am

Thanks for the feedback guys. I knew it was something wrong with my program- I just didn't know what. It does make sense now when you point out how unbalanced my exercises are. What would be the best exercises to ADD in place of the ones you suggest doing away with?

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Post by KPj » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:06 pm

I notice in my last post I left out 'reverse flys'. This is an exercise that helps matters, so keep doing it. What you want is exercises targetting your middle and lower traps.

Face Pulls
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=kexr7CqnVng

This is a great exercise. However, if you struggle to feel or perform the scapulae giong down and back, then do the variation towards the end of the video that makes you shrug back and down, THEN pull. When you're comfortable with that, do the one that mentioned "robertson/hartman", where the hands are held higher. You'll just get more bang for your buck doing that one, however, any variation will do. I recommend doing 3 x 10-15 quality reps. I would also recommend this on seated cable row. That's a great exercise but it's butchered in gyms everywhere. Get your chest up and pull to your stomach, not up towards your chest. Be weary of shoulder shruggin upwards as you do it. If you struggle, then do the same as tghe face pull recommendation - shrug back and down, then pull. Do that a few times then do it 'all in one' movement. You need to 'wake' those middle and lower traps up.

I would like to see you work on a unilateral row variation, like One-arm DB rows. Then you can get a feel for side to side discrepancies.

Also, 'throw in' some 'straight arm lat pull downs' exactly what it sounds like. On the lat pull down machine, with straight arms and chest up / out, grab the bar and 'shrug' your shoulders DOWN. This is a very low impact exercise and can be done between exercises. Again 3 x 12-15 would be recommended

It's kind of hard to think of things to put in your program the way it is just now. Face pulls are a great movment to learn regardless of what you;re doing though, but I would advise you start seek out a different program (with more leg work etc). If you can only lift twice per week, for example, then do 2 full body lifting sessions per week. You just need some structure, then everything will be much clearer.

Here's a nice movement to include in your warm up or just to do everyday. Keep the shoulders down and back throughout the ROM, keep your upper back and butt on the wall, and be weary of excessively arching your back. Keep the hands and arms flat on the wall and come down as far as you can, then go back up, keeping the shoulders down and back even on the way up.
Wall slides (this will likely be very difficult for you, I would advise doing it every day, and be gentle - 12-15 reps, or whatever you can manage)
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=fYNSZz-fP ... annel_page

I would also advise you do some push ups, either as a warm up or as an exercise. Make sure you do the correctly, though.

I know that's a bit 'all over the place' but it's kind of hard to work without a structured program. It should give you stuff to learn and do straight away, though.

Good Luck

KPj

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Post by npeters » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:15 pm

When doing 1 arm DB row, should I row further up closer to my head to help with the scapula condition or the other way around?

Wouldn't push-ups be bad because they are working the front pectorals?

Where could I find a good, solid, well-rounded workout program?

Lastly, I've actually been doing something with dumbells that seems similar to the face-pull. Bending over 90 degrees, I raise arms with weights up to shoulder level, keeping about a 45 degree angle to my head. Like the reverse flies but a more forward angle. Bad idea or keep doing it?

And thanks again for the help.

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Post by KPj » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:37 pm

npeters wrote:When doing 1 arm DB row, should I row further up closer to my head to help with the scapula condition or the other way around?
You should row to your chest/stomach. The top of the DB should be about your lower pecs i.e. your fist should be around lower chest/top of abs. Another way to think about it, is just keep your elbows close to your sides. What you want to watch out for in anyything is your shoulder blades hiking 'upwards' (toward your head), as this would indicate the upper traps taking over the movement. If in doubt, just think, "shoulder blades DOWN and BACK".
npeters wrote: Wouldn't push-ups be bad because they are working the front pectorals?
Good question, but no. Push ups, although they 'appear' to be an upside down bench press, are actually far from it. The shoulder blades can move freely in a push up, which makes a significant difference. When you're in the botom position of the push up, your shoulder blades should be down and back, your chest should be touching, or nearly touching the floor, and your elbows should be 'tucked' instead of flared out to the sides.

Here's a good article that explains a lot of what i'm trying to say
http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... and_shrugs

npeters wrote: Lastly, where could I find a good, solid, well-rounded workout program?

And thanks again for the help.
Well, you have the 'small collection of basic routines' in the stickies at the top of this thread, which includes tried and tested routines and templates. However, if you tell us how often you can lift, and what your goals are, then we can point you in the right direction.

I know you stated your goals before, but you mentioned many different aspects of training. If your looking for 'all round fitness' then that IS a good goal. But if there's anything more specific than that i.e. get big, ripped, get strong, get 'fit' then that would help. Having a read through the stickies will probably provide you with some inspiration though.

KPj

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Post by npeters » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:00 pm

Thanks again- I'll try this stuff out

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:28 pm

It's absolutely worth checking out the beginner's sticky.

I'm not sure really sure what the best routine will be if you are integrating it with running; I am not a runner. I did post a link to a design-your-own-workout writeup, though, and it might be worth checking it for you.

If you are familiar with Crossfit, there is an endurance running-centric version out there here:

http://www.crossfitendurance.com/

Also, Daniel on these boards does adventure racing, and he has just re-designed his workout. He might be able to provide some useful thoughts.

Hope that helps.


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