I have a defined strength and conditioning regimen that I like to employ for my clients, basically consisting of three primary workouts: upper body, lower body and core. I find that most triathletes can accommodate two workouts per week during the base and build training phases without compromising endurance fitness. Any more than that can start to impede the swim/bike/run workouts. Of course, that means that you are revisiting the same muscle groups only about every 10 days, which is not ideal but tends to allow for strong strength MAINTENANCE but not much excess GROWTH or atrophy.
When I see a muscle-bound professional triathlete, I’ll be concerned!
For most of my athletes, strength and conditioning is about a.) addressing imbalances and b.) injury prevention. You must accept that it cannot be about strength in the classic sense. You only have so much time and so much energy each day- they are both finite. No amount of gym lifting will make you a faster triathlete. And that is almost always time better spent swimming, biking and running. This is not forever- this is for four months. And this is not the ideal fitness model, but neither is a full Ironman. Ironman is a lot of things and many of them are great. But it is not a sustainable health system. Those who fight this law often pay a heavy price.
Every session you “lose” from the big three (LSD, HIIT and TECH) from each discipline each week, moves you a step back in your progress toward long course success. It doesn’t matter if it’s for travel or for yoga or for a wedding. This will happen, it’s okay, but if you “swap” something, do so with full understanding of this maxim.
Most of my athletes may have existing training modalities used presently or in the past. I’m committed to making sure we always leverage existing structures while still integrating some of the exercises my clients have responded well to in the past. In addition, clients will oftentimes show a need to address a specific imbalance that needs to be addressed with a new exercise. But this offers a good platform from which to start from.
IGNORE THE REPS- they are appropriate for a specific athlete at a specific point in the season and may not align for you now. It’s the exercises I want you to review.
The workouts sometimes stay the same across a season if the client is responding well, but we do try to vary the reps and volume-loads frequently (i.e. monthly) to accommodate the objectives of each sub-macro cycle (lower weight, higher reps early in the season, transitioning to more weight and less reps and we enter the later, strength-focused periods of the second build phase and peak phase.)
As we approach the taper window, we will usually back completely out of weights to focus more time on the swim/bike/run techniques and race-related skills that you will be actually employing during your competitions. In addition, older athlete will always want to exercise maximum prudence with any resistance training, since adverse effects can be more dramatic and require longer periods of recovery.
The following represent the foundational movements that all endurance athletes will benefit from integrating into their existing cardiovascular training regimen. Please consult your doctor and consider employing a licensed professional before initiating any strength-based program.
- Lunges (Forward/Backward)
- Leg Press
- Leg Extension
- Leg Curl
- Calf Raises
- Lateral Pull-downs
- Bench press
- Lateral dumbell raise (side/front)
- Bicep curl
- Tricep Extension
- Dumbbell Pullover
- Ball Cobra
- Side Plank
- Cable (Wood) Chop
- Stability Ball PushUp/Pike/Knee Tuck
Question: What exercises do you employ to supplement your cardio training?