12/18/12 - Trying to Jog to Results?

If you haven’t come across it yet by now, my other company, ORIGINAL Nutritionals, which is home for clean athletes around the world, has a performance blog that has tons of relevant information from specific athletic training protocols to general observations of high performance individuals. The ORIGINAL Performance blog (TheCleanAthlete.com) recently featured an article I wrote on a topic that is quite relevant to what we do at FFOTB, so I thought I’d share.

Embo soaks in Women's Only Class.

Embo soaks in Women’s Only Class.

Given that we choose to train in a very intentional way at FFOTB, we also tend to stand out a bit on the bluff. Countless runners jog by and wonder why in the world you’re putting that barbell over your head. Well, regardless whether you’re with us for purely aesthetic reasons, performance reasons, or both, we’ve got a rebuttal for you. Read on..

IS LSD FOR AESTHETICS A LOSE/ LOSE? 

Call vanity what you wish, but no one is going to convince the meat of the bell curve in our population to exercise for some other reason than what they see in the mirror, at least not any time soon. So, here I go swallowing my intrinsic holier-than-thou attitude to talk about training for aesthetics. This entire message puts performance second and aesthetic results first with regards to training.

(Secretly, I’m going to support the performance crowd and the aesthetic-minded population won’t even know what hit them – Shh!)

My intention here is to look at a generalization (my prejudice view) that a large majority of aesthetic minded folks utilize long slow distance (LSD) efforts to accomplish their goals. This strategy almost always piggy backs on the broken, mind-numbing model of calories-in versus calories-out. Putting the iPod on and running to be more skinny is often the result. But, that’s a topic for an entire blog itself.

I’d like to use images as the best descriptor of my point. Check out the contrasting images below. The first is of some men’s 800m Olympic runners. Though 800m is considered “middle distance,” the image will suffice in contrast to the men’s Olympic marathoners below them.

 Men runners 

From an aesthetic standpoint, we can gather quite quickly that those pictured above are, in general, bearers of more muscle mass and definition than the runners below. Keep in mind the world record 800m effort is one minute and forty seconds, while the world record marathon is two hours and three minutes.

Let’s take a moment to examine a similar comparison with women athletes. The women below illustrate the aesthetic difference between a 100m athlete and a 20k athlete.

walkers vs sprinter women 

Carmelita Jeter of the United States (above) ran to a silver medal in a blazing 10.78 seconds moments before this photo was taken. Conversely, the top times in the 20k Walk below are around one hour and twenty-five minutes.

What may be more critical than the time domain of the competition of these respective athletes is the nature of their training. One could argue that the more lengthy time domain athletes (below) utilize a mix of training methods to prepare for their respective sports, but that the shorter time domain athletes (above) don’t utilize long slow distance in their training at all. 

The glaring disparity I see in practice, however, is that folks are often making an effort to look like those in the top photos while their training reflects more accurately that of the athletes in the bottom photos. If performance isn’t your motivation for training, maybe these aesthetic examples may influence you to reexamine your plan of attack.

Not only does long slow distance (LSD) training seem to pigeon hole an athlete’s output to long, slow performances, they seem to do a poorer job at building bodies in ways that users quite often seek. Maybe aesthetic training and high intensity interval training can be the same thing. What do you think?

Logan Gelbrich

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Tuesday’s Workout:

EMOM 14
Even: 8 Sumo Deadlift (185/135)
Odd: 8 Parallette Depth Pushups

21-15-9
Med Ball Cleans
Burpees