I’d like to share my ideas on strength training. It’s a good idea to get in the gym in the off season, and for some people, it may be a good idea year round.
It can help rehab any imbalances you may have and build new strength.
For us endurance athletes this doesn’t mean hitting the bench and aiming for “World’s Most Plates.” Next to the mega meat dudes, our gym routines will look pretty slim. It’s okay to put the ego aside and just focus on a few key exercises that I think will really make a difference in your next year’s season. Ideally you should get in and out of the gym in 30min.
Examples of some exercises you might consider in your routine.
Twisting ball crunches
Back extensions / superman
Side-to-side bends with med ball over head
Med Ball Slams
Walking lunges or reverse step lunges
Bulgarian squats or sometimes called single leg split squats
Light hamstring curls or hamstring curls done with a Swiss ball
Single leg calf raises on a step, slow and full stretch
Squats – good form is key
Box Step up’s
Hip/Glute turn and reach
Seated rows or bent over rows
Lat pull downs
Rotator cuff internal and external with cords
Plyometrics – Only after three months of successful lifting; no weight ever with these!
Russian lunge jumps
Four corner single legged hopping
Full squat jumps
The number of reps, intensity and weight added changes as you develop. I recommend starting out with no weight (just your own body weight) and focusing on perfect form in slow tempo. 2 sets of 8-15 reps is usually a good starting point.
As you get stronger you can aim for adding light weight and periodizing sets and reps. Be sure it works well with your swim, bike, run training cycles and is added into your total load over your entire program carefully. Twice a week of strength work is what I recommend. Make sure it is placed carefully within your week with your key sessions.
Heavier lifting should be done by experienced athletes only and must be done properly and carefully.
Each block can last from two to three weeks before changing and moving to the next block. Always start with weight you can successfully complete holding good form, increase slowly in small amounts.
Doing some gym work in your off season can be a nice way to break things up and improve for your next season.