You got this Doug!
So Dave, would you say that doing the higher reps is a waste of time when one could instead lift heavier and do fewer reps for more gain (at least in the short term?
It seems to me that we're all defining things differently. When a lot of surfers, runners, etc. that I know talk about "strength" training, most of the time they're actually talking about increasing endurance, not total power output. So if we take your definition, you're right in that regard. I see what you're talking about when comparing "strength" training vs. exercise or endurance training.
So, from the perspective of a runner or surfer (or whatever) that wants to simply maintain overall fitness and correct imbalances that come from the sport of choice (runners obviously don't build much upper body strength and surfers don't build the most powerful legs), do you think time would be better spent doing low reps/high resistance (6-10, near failure on last rep) vs. high reps, low resistance?
The problem as I see it: there has to be an end point to strength building or we're now talking bodybuilding/competitive weightlifting and some really impractical gains? (i.e., if a surfer were to continually increase leg press weight for an entire year, and the year after that, they'd likely end up with legs that were bigger than functional for their sport) A certain amount of strength is never going to hurt anyone...but there is a logical endpoint for any given sport. (I can tell you right now I'm too big to be a good distance runner, not just body fat, but muscle as well. My forearms are the size of a lot of skinny runner's calves.)
I think what we're all actually debating is the question of when is enough enough? And once that point is reached, isn't the goal simply maintenance and endurance, not a continuing increase in strength- which also brings unneeded size to many sports.