Our Favorite Workouts: Winter Gym
As you face the winter you might be starting to look at areas you can work on that you aren’t able to target during your race season.
Through my 20s I spent many hours in the gym learning all kinds of dynamic strength programs for different sports. Most of them were explosive sports, but as I ventured into the endurance world I took the time to learn the value of gym strength in training for the long stuff.
Most people don’t have time for the gym and it’s the first to go. Some are afraid of looking like the jacked up meathead and carrying around extra bulk. Done right, the gym can help an endurance athlete:
- Increase power on the bike.
- Help rehab and prevent injury and imbalances.
- Increase durability for later stages of the race; especially the marathon.
Most of us don’t need an extensive program that cycles through different phases. A basic gym program for 12 to 16 weeks through the winter will do you fine to make a change in your body for endurance sport.
Here is an example of a basic gym program I like to use through the winter.
Focus on keeping the weight low and your technique very accurate. Range of motion is key.
Core work: 3x 15 of each
- Twisting ball crunches
- Hanging knee raises
- Back extensions
- Side to side bends with medicine ball over head
- Plank 2x 1min
Lower Body: 2x 15 of each
- Walking lunges
- Bulgarian squats (sometimes called single leg split squats)
- Leg press
- Light hamstring curls or hamstring curls done with a Swiss ball
- Single leg calf raises on a step – slow and full stretch
- Squats – light weight deep squat with good form
- Hamstring/glute bridge
- Box step ups with a knee-high box
Upper Body: 2x 15 of each
- Bent-over rows with dumbbells
- Rotator cuff internal and external with cords
Always do a little warm of 10 to 15 minutes before starting your gym work. I encourage a 10-minute spin after to finish up as well.
Target the areas that are your weakness this winter. Use this time to come out in 2012 a better, stronger athlete.