PDA

View Full Version : 700lbs Squat and 4:15 Mile


futureSOF
04-13-2014, 22:56
http://www.jtsstrength.com/articles/2014/04/12/5-questions-alex-viada/

Found this to be pretty interesting and thought others might.

craigepo
04-14-2014, 10:21
That was a pretty interesting article. Combining this new scientific input with the functional crossfit-type training techniques is really effective.

700 lb squat and a 4:15 mile are impressive numbers, especially for a guy who runs ultras

booker
04-14-2014, 13:26
Someone is going to bitch about the fact that he used an ultra wide sumo stance for that deadlift, but I challenge them to go do 700 lbs at any stance. Pretty impressive, and his website has some interesting articles on it as well.

Leozinho
04-14-2014, 15:39
I don't care how about stance or wraps. To move 700lbs is impressive.

I'm more interested in whether he ran a 4:15 mile. That's the less believable claim, imho. Maybe he did it at a lighter weight than he was at when he squatted 700?

GratefulCitizen
04-14-2014, 18:48
I'm more interested in whether he ran a 4:15 mile. That's the less believable claim, imho. Maybe he did it at a lighter weight than he was at when he squatted 700?

Hard to believe anyone could run a 4:15 mile and be conditioned to run an ultra marathon.
Extreme long distance training makes you slower.

There is the occasional freak who can do both well, but they are usually very light with abnormally long legs.
Such a person would never parallel squat 700lbs.

bassbuckeye
04-14-2014, 19:40
Read some of his articles posted on his site and in one of them he states when he trained for a marathon his 700 lbs dead lift suffered.......pretty sure these numbers if true did not coincide......like what I read though

Leozinho
04-14-2014, 20:16
Not to take away anything from him -- he's clearly beastly strong and has a lot of endurance.

I'm guessing the title is a little misleading at best if the 700lb squat and the 4:15 mile were separated by anything more than a few months, which I suspect they were.

(Which on second thought, probably does take something away from him. Kinda disingenuous, as I said, depending on how far apart the two events were.)

For those interested, Joe Decker is another that's been able to compete in both ultras and powerlifting. Of these two, Decker's the more accomplished ultra endurance athlete but I don't know if he ever got to a 700lb squat. He did get to 400lbs in the bench.

futureSOF
04-14-2014, 21:26
Yeah I highly doubt he schedules powerlifting meets and endurance events two weeks apart. But the fact that he's able to do both at a relatively high level is pretty cool.

Leozinho
04-14-2014, 22:36
Yeah I highly doubt he schedules powerlifting meets and endurance events two weeks apart. But the fact that he's able to do both at a relatively high level is pretty cool.

Well, in this article linked below he mentions tearing a quad at a powerlifting meet three weeks before completing a 50 mile ultra. And his youtube video said he pulled 715lbs just 48 hours after a three hour trail run.

So yeah, he is claiming to be simultaneously extremely strong and still able to go long. No talk off seasons or cycling between endurance and powerlifting sports.

Link is NSFW and possibly NSFLife due to photos-
http://chaosandpain.blogspot.com/2013/06/time-to-stir-that-pot-refutation-of.html

But I'm questioning if the 4:15 mile, if it happened, was years ago when he wasn't nearly as big or as strong? Did he run the 4:15 five years ago at 160lb, and now after five years of being juiced to the gills he's up to 230lb and he puts up the impressive powerlifting numbers?

Never mind his one Ironman finish, I'm more interested in how he was able to run the 4:15 mile rather than do some tris/ultra.

Compared to that mile time, it's relatively easy to slog through an Ironman or an ultra. I've done an Ironman and a 44 mile ultra without training a lot for either. I was slow, mind you, but I finished them. (I also was skinny and not strong at the time, so in no way am I trying to make it sound like it's a big deal.)

However, I could have trained a lifetime and I would still never have reached a 4:15 mile.

BTW, from googling Viada, it looks like one or two folks are disputing his run times. All anyone can find online is a 5k he ran in 26 minutes back in 2007. (One race time predictor, using an extrapolation formula, says that someone that runs a 4:15 mile should run a 5k in 14:08. So somewhere along the way he got a lot faster, it would seem).

Having said all that, I'll admit that it's very cool to be that strong and finish an Ironman and some ultras. Good to know that cardio doesn't have to kill strength.

booker
04-15-2014, 13:58
Running a mile vs a 5K are two very different things. One could argue that given the large endurance base (which he continually hammers on in his articles and videos) would provide a good foundation for a mile "sprint" of the sub-5 minute nature. I recall reading years ago about one of the body builders at the time that outsprinted one of the Olympic sprinters at I believe was an 800m distance (the distance is a hazy recollection). Theoretically, depending upon his fast and slow twitch ratio, he could achieve both, but I too would like to see the proof. Not to take anything away from him, because I would put good money on no other endurance runner having those kind of numbers, regardless of the amount of time between the one rep max and the ultra race.

GratefulCitizen
04-15-2014, 22:41
Well, in this article linked below he mentions tearing a quad at a powerlifting meet three weeks before completing a 50 mile ultra. And his youtube video said he pulled 715lbs just 48 hours after a three hour trail run.

So yeah, he is claiming to be simultaneously extremely strong and still able to go long. No talk off seasons or cycling between endurance and powerlifting sports.

Link is NSFW and possibly NSFLife due to photos-
http://chaosandpain.blogspot.com/2013/06/time-to-stir-that-pot-refutation-of.html

But I'm questioning if the 4:15 mile, if it happened, was years ago when he wasn't nearly as big or as strong? Did he run the 4:15 five years ago at 160lb, and now after five years of being juiced to the gills he's up to 230lb and he puts up the impressive powerlifting numbers?

Never mind his one Ironman finish, I'm more interested in how he was able to run the 4:15 mile rather than do some tris/ultra.

Compared to that mile time, it's relatively easy to slog through an Ironman or an ultra. I've done an Ironman and a 44 mile ultra without training a lot for either. I was slow, mind you, but I finished them. (I also was skinny and not strong at the time, so in no way am I trying to make it sound like it's a big deal.)

However, I could have trained a lifetime and I would still never have reached a 4:15 mile.

BTW, from googling Viada, it looks like one or two folks are disputing his run times. All anyone can find online is a 5k he ran in 26 minutes back in 2007. (One race time predictor, using an extrapolation formula, says that someone that runs a 4:15 mile should run a 5k in 14:08. So somewhere along the way he got a lot faster, it would seem).

Having said all that, I'll admit that it's very cool to be that strong and finish an Ironman and some ultras. Good to know that cardio doesn't have to kill strength.

26 minute 5k?

I could run a 22:15 5k, completely untrained, at altitude, when I was 10 years old.
Never broke 4:15 in the mile at any weight, age, or condition.

My dad has been racing competitively for more than a half century and coached for more than a quarter century.
Ran the numbers by him and asked his opinion.

His assessment on the mile time: complete BS.

There has never been (in modern times) a man that big who could run a mile that fast.
A 4:15 mile would put you on a Div I NCAA track team where the 1600 meter guys typically weigh 125-145 lbs.

My dad ran a 4:17 mile at high altitude in college (equivalent to about ~4:05-4:10 at low altitude).
Compared to his competitors, he was an absolute giant at 162 lbs (6'4").

I ran a 4:37 mile (high altitude, tactical race) at age 18 and 155 lbs (6'2") on 8 weeks training.
A decade later, at 195lbs, getting under a 6 minute minute mile was trivial, but getting under a 5 minute mile at that weight would've been difficult with any amount of training.

A 4:15 mile? Never.
Never mind trying to keep up other training simultaneously.

Had a high-pull power clean (minimal drop) of 260lbs then, not sure what it converts to for dead lift.
There's no way someone could keep up the muscle mass necessary for those lifting numbers and run that fast.

The only way someone can run that fast at a heavier weight (over 170 lbs) would be if they were very tall/long legs (maybe Bill Russell, with specialized training).
Long legs would make those squat numbers beyond impossible.


A pretty accurate correlation between mile times and 5000m times:

For 5k to mile:
-Divide 5k time (in seconds)/3.1 for mile splits.
-Multiply mile splits x .93 to allow for shorter race.

Reverse process for mile to 5k.

A 4:15 miler should have a 5k time of about 14:10.
26 minutes? Not even close.

Throwing the BS flag on the mile time.

GratefulCitizen
04-22-2014, 09:07
On average, what is the maximum distance one can run without seriously affecting their ability to develop a decent amount of strength? Ten miles?

Endurance training in and of itself doesn't affect strength much.
It affects speed.

There is an explosive/speed element to some strength movements.
Endurance training can take take away a little due to this.

Finite training time and recuperative abilities will be more of a limiting factor when it comes to the strength/endurance balance.

craigepo
04-22-2014, 10:02
On average, what is the maximum distance one can run without seriously affecting their ability to develop a decent amount of strength? Ten miles?

You probably need to define "strength" with this question. Strength as in the ability to lay on a bench and lift a heavy bar one time, versus strength as in being able to climb a rope or carry shingles up a ladder.

A buddy of mine does the Scottish strongman competitions. He is about 300 lbs. I'm not sure what he can bench or squat, and I doubt he knows, as he seldom if ever works out in a gym. But that guy can do some ridiculously heavy stuff. Carrying full kegs (a rather handy ability to have), throwing 50 lb. bags with a pitchfork, throwing timbers, moving atlas stones, etc. A good friend to have around when there is heavy work to do.

booker
04-22-2014, 12:44
On average, what is the maximum distance one can run without seriously affecting their ability to develop a decent amount of strength? Ten miles?

That is completely training dependent. Gym Jones has trained some endurance folks (ultra runners, etc) that have ridiculous strength numbers. As stated above, it has more to do with recovery, etc. than a cut and dry number.

GratefulCitizen
04-22-2014, 13:19
What about in terms of muscle mass? For example, would it be possible for say a marathoner to have a form of muscled physique, or do they have to be very lanky thin?

A heavily muscled person can do plenty of endurance activities well.
They will actually have more absolute endurance than they will with less muscle mass.

Racing against a clock (at a distance where endurance matters) is a function of relative endurance, not absolute endurance.
Thinner people do it better because they are doing less work (carrying less weight), not because they have more endurance.

The limiting factor in an aerobic activity is how much oxygen you can process (heart and lungs).
The exact same person at a heavier weight has to process more oxygen to maintain the same speed they would at a lower weight.

In my father's experience, the correlation between his weight and running times (for longer distances) was almost 1 to 1.
His peers experienced similar correlations.

Brush Okie
04-22-2014, 14:57
2

Throwing the BS flag on the mile time.

I am throwing the BS flag on the whole claim.

GratefulCitizen
04-22-2014, 15:35
I see; I was curious because it seems all distance runners are built like pencils.

Light weight and long legs also increase training capacity.
For most people, the limiting factor in distance running training is wear and tear on joints and tendons.

Lower body weight means lower stresses and allows more training.
Longer legs decrease joint angles and reduce vertical oscillation (for the same stride length) which decreases stresses and allows more training.

Pencils can train longer without breaking.

GratefulCitizen
04-22-2014, 17:23
I suppose a combination of the two. Like say bench press one's weight about ten reps and 1.5x one's weight a few reps, barbell squat 1.5x to 2x one's weight, deadlift 2x one's weight, do 20 pullups, but then also have a high level of endurance. Being able to do Scottish strongman-style things, climb ropes, etc...also can be included.

The bench/squat/deadlift numbers you listed aren't too difficult to reach, nor is it difficult to keep decent endurance fitness at those strength levels.
The main mistake people make is overtraining.

Make progress, don't be obsessed with fast progress.
Injuries never sped up anyone's progress.

Also, you want to be very careful with heavy squats if you're in your late 20s/early 30s.
You can do a lot of damage to your lower back and not know it until your 40s.

Train strength first, worry about endurance after most of your strength goals are obtained.
It's much easier to do it in this order rather than endurance first or simultaneously.

Some of the strongman stuff is a matter of skill/technique.
Picking up and carrying full kegs (beer, not water or sand) is surprisingly easy once you learn the technique.


Funny story regarding keg-lifting:

Was picking up a 6-pack of beer for my wife last July.
The lady ahead of me in line had bought a keg (half barrel), and the clerk asked if I would help him get it into her truck.

He brought out a keg cart, but testosterone poisoning got the best of me so I waived him off a said I'd take care of it.
Still pretty easy to do (hadn't done it in more than a decade), but all sorts of joints popped when I hoisted it onto my shoulder.

Carried it outside to the lady's truck...which had a camper shell.
It was locked and she couldn't find her keys.

After a while, the keg started to feel very heavy.
Got worried that I wouldn't be able to safely lower it to the ground if she couldn't find her keys.

She finally found them and I put the keg on the tailgate.
Won't be attempting more stupidity like that anytime soon.
:D

GratefulCitizen
04-22-2014, 18:19
Thank you for the information. When you say about the heavy squats, do you mean heavy period or just heavy with regards to one's current bodyweight and strength level? I have maintained my calisthenics fitness, but need to improve my strength. Right now I am 5'10 1/2 and 144 lbs, so pretty light and thin. I can manage about six barbell squats with about 120 - 130 lbs of weight at the moment, would this be heavy for me? Or do you mean if I start getting up to doing like 300 lb squats, be very careful? I had to stop the squats for awhile as I got a sore lower back from them, so I need to improve the strength there first.


If eccentric lifting (lowering) is involved, the lower back muscles need at least 4 days recovery.
If they're the weak link, you need more rest days between workouts.

Focus on proper form (if necessary, use only the bar).
Once you have the form down, if you can't do the weight for 5 reps parallel (with proper form), it's too heavy.

Proper form can be challenging to learn.
It usually takes a couple years before the motion becomes natural.

Make use of "compensatory acceleration".
Fred Hatfield has written good stuff about this.


How can heavy squats damage the lower back in a way where you won't know about it until your forties?


Everybody's back degrades.
The gifts of youth (rapid healing) hide the extra damage done from heavy squats.

If you're not a competitive powerlifter, it isn't worth it.

GratefulCitizen
04-22-2014, 19:36
If I say get to 160 lbs due to extra mass, and was squatting 300, would that be "heavy," or okay?

Depends on your strength levels.
Whatever you can do 5 reps at proper form should be the upper limit for what you lift.

In a nutshell: don't test your 1RM limit in the squat.
This is where you do the damage.

If you're curious, your 5RM pretty accurately predicts 1RM.
5RM = ~90% 1RM

WarriorDiplomat
04-22-2014, 20:20
Well, in this article linked below he mentions tearing a quad at a powerlifting meet three weeks before completing a 50 mile ultra. And his youtube video said he pulled 715lbs just 48 hours after a three hour trail run.

So yeah, he is claiming to be simultaneously extremely strong and still able to go long. No talk off seasons or cycling between endurance and powerlifting sports.

Link is NSFW and possibly NSFLife due to photos-
http://chaosandpain.blogspot.com/2013/06/time-to-stir-that-pot-refutation-of.html

But I'm questioning if the 4:15 mile, if it happened, was years ago when he wasn't nearly as big or as strong? Did he run the 4:15 five years ago at 160lb, and now after five years of being juiced to the gills he's up to 230lb and he puts up the impressive powerlifting numbers?



Never mind his one Ironman finish, I'm more interested in how he was able to run the 4:15 mile rather than do some tris/ultra.

Compared to that mile time, it's relatively easy to slog through an Ironman or an ultra. I've done an Ironman and a 44 mile ultra without training a lot for either. I was slow, mind you, but I finished them. (I also was skinny and not strong at the time, so in no way am I trying to make it sound like it's a big deal.)

However, I could have trained a lifetime and I would still never have reached a 4:15 mile.

BTW, from googling Viada, it looks like one or two folks are disputing his run times. All anyone can find online is a 5k he ran in 26 minutes back in 2007. (One race time predictor, using an extrapolation formula, says that someone that runs a 4:15 mile should run a 5k in 14:08. So somewhere along the way he got a lot faster, it would seem).

Having said all that, I'll admit that it's very cool to be that strong and finish an Ironman and some ultras. Good to know that cardio doesn't have to kill strength.



Agreed 700+ lbs is NFL lineman numbers some rare ones can push 900+. You give me a guy who can squat like that and has the leg stamina of the claim I will get him a NFL contract.

Anyone with that much strength and the ability to run 4:15 miles is not believable.

GratefulCitizen
04-22-2014, 21:07
Chris Solinsky.
There is an example of a freakishly big fast middle-distance runner.

6'1" 165lbs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Solinsky

Read elsewhere that he ran around a 4:15 mile at 175lbs.

booker
04-24-2014, 09:06
When you say "ridiculous strength numbers," like what are we talking?

To me, anything in the 2xBW or greater with a high work capacity is a very well conditioned athlete. Rob MacDonald at Gym Jones weighs a hefty 245, but has a near 600# DL, a 355 overhead squat (with a 300 overhead squat where his hands are touching on the bar) but can also row 500m in 1:17 or 5000m in 16:55. Those to me are ridiculous numbers, especially given that the world rankings at concept2 have the #1 ranking for men at the 500m at 1:15 and the 5K row time would put him in the top 30 in the world.

To quantify, I have to agree that the mile time may be BS for the guy discussed at the start of the thread, but there are folks out there that can perform at that high of a level, although they are few and far between. To me the proof is in the pudding. If you are willing to claim a 4:15 mile, then post a video you actually weighing in and then running that mile. Otherwise, STFU and go back to trolling for people who will believe what you put on the internet.

To the endurance side (forgot the original question):

148# athlete (owner Mark Twight, 52 yrs of age)

DL @ 365, Wt Pullups with +106#, Denali from 14K to summit in 5.5 hrs

Most of the endurance folks have a 2x+ BW DL and close to that in front squat.


BTW if your back is an issue don't back squat, people tend to do a forward lean due to hip mobility issues. Start front squatting instead and work on mobility...

Boxer99
07-16-2014, 10:25
Over on wannabebig.com (I can't pull up the site at the moment due to internet restriction), Alex V. posted a number of times in an ongoing thread regarding his training. I believe the thread is titled "Rebooting my goals - Ironman Cozumel". I am a little suspicious of the 4:15 also. I could see 4:45 maybe, 4:15no.

Viada's training recommendations I think are very sound and right in line with what I've personally seen from some very good friends who are good runners (friends running 2:37-45 marathons and 16:30'ish 5Ks in their late 30s). Mainly being, the recommendations in doing your lower body strength training on the same day as your harder runs. This is also practiced by Alberto Salazar's guys such as Galen Rupp, Mo Farah, etc. The difference being I believe they do their run workouts first in the day, then come back later to do their strength work, and then another run. Viada recommends doing the lower body strength work first, and then the hard run workout after on the same day.

Personally, and I speak from an optimization standpoint, I agree with Viada, Salazar's, etc., bunching of these stresses. But if I went Viada's route, I'd have to do the run right after the lifting, I'd be too stiff later in the day. Again, speaking about being optimal as opposed to just gutting it out.

In that Viada thread, he flat out admits that he can suck it up for a pretty good 1.5 mile time, but after that, the laws of physics really hit hard and he is much, much slower. And I've also read where he admitted that one concession is that he had to limit the amount of accessory lifts, to also have the energy and ability to recover from the endurance training (maybe this was in the jts article?). I think what we see in Viada's performances is also somewhat similarly seen in decathletes (though typically taller than Viada, you are dealing with bodyweights ranging from as broad as 175-210lbs). These decathletes have some really great 1500m times, but I think the drop-off in pace when asked to race a 5K would be pretty significant. A 4:30 1500m is worth around a 4:50 mile. I typically see a 12-15 second per mile slowing of athletes from the 1 mile to the 5K. I don't think that these guys are going to be running sub-16 min 5Ks / 5:05 min/mi at their size, even if their training were more targeted to it (and why we've only seen one Chris Solinsky). I'd wager we see a slowing to a good 6:00 min/mi pace at least. Which I believe Viada only claims around a 19:00 min 5K himself? Anyways, just some thoughts.

Glad to see the Gym Jones reference. I can tell you this, the competitors that they prep for the CF games, do much, much more traditional "cardio" than most CF athletes I believe. When you look at how Gym Jones trained teams, like the Games Teams winners in 2012 or 2013, it didn't seem to hurt their performance. And I believe that we'd be looking at 4 x 60 min endurance runs during the week, not counting some rowing and swimming. I'd wager that Tommy Hackenbruck, also Gym Jones trained, does very similarly.

What I like most is that Viada, a lifter himself, recognizes that to be optimal at both, you can't just go on a lifting program, and then just add in a random running program. If they are not programmed and coordinated together, and the similar stresses of each program individually are not taken into account, then you're likely going to see mediocre results at best. Not to mention likely feel like crap as you'll never have much recovery. I think with age, this "programming" if you will only becomes that much more important.

Greath thread and though I'm late to the party, I enjoyed reading all of the input.

PhyrricVictory
04-14-2015, 15:41
He has an e-book where he claims

e’s refined his methods from working with hundreds of athletes in all disciplines, from strongmen who want to run half marathons, to members of the Special Forces, to the countless athletes who just want to be able to deadlift 500-600 pounds and run a 5:00 mile.
http://www.jtsstrength.com/articles/2015/04/01/the-hybrid-athlete/

From a separate article:
Still on the fence? Here’s a basic overview of Alex’s training methods that have helped pro powerlifters and strongmen run 5ks while improving their total or placing in shows, Special Forces candidates survive selection, and athletes of all stripes boost their performance in ALL realms simultaneously.
http://www.jtsstrength.com/articles/2015/04/03/the-essentials-of-hybrid-training/

Assuming that he isn't applying the term "Special Forces" to any selective unit (Rangers, SEALS etc..) is anyone in this community able to verify these statements and provide some insight to what may have been taught?

EDIT: Formatting