English: Strength & Conditioning Suite

English: Strength & Conditioning Suite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mark Ripptoe brings up some very intriguing points on conditioning work and its place on the workout hierarchy. What is more important, Strength or Conditioning?

I would vote for Strength as it is a long-term acquired skill and makes everything else easier. When you increase your strength, especially in major exercises and movements such as squatting, pressing, and deadlifting you will improve other fitness qualities as well.

Speed, and power will both significantly improve and conditioning work will seem relatively easier because less muscle activation is required to do the same work if you can squat 300 lbs rather than 95 lbs.

Strength is vital to development of fitness, but is conditioning a sham?
I disagree with Ripptoe on this front because many individuals are not willing, and some not able to perform some basic compound lifts to a degree to gain a high level of strength. In this case strength can still be coached and acquired using other means, but conditioning work is important to improve most biomarkers of health as well as improving overall quality of life.

For example, those looking to optimize body composition benefit greatly from high intensity work such as intervals and sprints because of EPOC and growth hormone release.

I agree that strength is the most important skill to develop in MOST cases, but conditioning is not a sham and should be a part of MOST individuals exercise routine, even if it is just 2 sprinting sessions per week (or other high intensity activity).

Read the article here—> http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/conditioning_is_a_sham 

And Share your thoughts!

About Eric Bach Performance

Eric Bach is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Precision Nutrition Level 1 (PN1) with a degree in Kinesiology Concentrated in Human Performance and Emphasizing Sports Performance from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. A former collegiate Strength Coach Eric now resides in Denver, Colorado. Eric coaches clients at Forza Fitness and Performance Center and trains everyone from weekend warriors and post rehabilitation patients to professional athletes. Eric developed his passion for fitness through a competitive sports career which included competitive Olympic lifting, Football, Track and Field, and Powerlifting. Eric is a self proclaimed fitness nerd who enjoys reading, eating, deadlifting, and living a healthy and fullfilling life while helping others dominant their lives in and out of the gym. Eric can be contacted at ericbachperformance.com for all consultations and questions

2 responses »

  1. TAKU says:

    I agree with you 100% 1. Strength is the most important quality to strive to improve. 2. Conditioning work is not a sham. Great comments

    Liam “TAKU” Bauer
    C.C.S. C.P.T. C.S.N.

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