The 8 Top Benefits of Strength Training for Triathletes

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strength training for triathletes

This article will explain why strength training is important to triathletes, the top benefits of strength training for triathletes, how you can incorporate strength training into your triathlon workout schedule, and what types of exercises are best suited for triathletes at different stages of their career.

Why strength training is important for triathletes

Triathletes need good core stability and muscular endurance because they typically train with high intensity throughout long periods of time. Core stability helps reduce your risk of injury by preventing excessive joint loading during running or cycling (1). Muscular endurance allows you to maintain power output for longer durations and prevents fatigue from interfering with your ability to produce force quickly (2).

Strength training is also an effective way to increase your overall fitness levels. Triathletes tend to have low aerobic capacity, which limits their maximum oxygen consumption (VO 2 max) (3). By increasing muscle mass and improving the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, you can increase VO 2 max (4).

Strength training increases lean body mass, which improves your total body weight (5). Increased body weight reduces the amount of stress on joints and muscles, making it easier to run and cycle for longer distances (6). In addition, increased muscle mass decreases the rate at which energy is used while performing activities such as walking up hills or swimming laps (7). Therefore, strength training has multiple benefits that will make you a better athlete.

strength training for triathletes

How much strength training should I do?

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends doing 3 days per week of resistance training at least twice per week to reap the most benefit (8). However, if you’re new to strength training, you may want to start out with just one day per week. As you get stronger, try adding another day per week. You can gradually build up to three times per week over time.

If you don’t like working out in front of other people, you can always work out alone in private facilities or in your home. If you prefer to exercise in groups, consider joining a local triathlon club or participating in online workouts. For more information about how to find a group program, see How to Find a Fitness Class Near Me.

When choosing exercises for your strength training session, focus on compound movements that use large muscle groups, particularly those involved in running and cycling. These include pushups, squats, lunges, pull-ups, chin-ups, bench press, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and barbell curls. Avoid isolation moves that isolate small muscle groups, such as bicep curls and leg extensions. They won’t give you the same results as compound movements.

What type of exercises should I do?

To maximize your gains, choose exercises that challenge your entire body rather than isolating individual muscle groups. Most athletes who participate in sports such as football, soccer, baseball, hockey, basketball, or volleyball use resistance bands instead of weights. Resistance bands allow you to perform basic resistance exercises without having to purchase expensive gym equipment. Some popular resistance band exercises are:

• Squats – Stand in a squat position. Bend your knees and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then stand back up. Repeat this motion 10 times.

https://youtu.be/EUEWJi-r2kY

Lunges – Stand in a lunge position holding the ends of a band around your ankles. Step forward into a lunge position keeping your left knee slightly bent and your right knee straight. Lower down until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Push back up. Do 10 repetitions.

• Pull-Ups – Grab a pull up bar so that your palms face away from you. Lean back, bend your elbows, and raise your torso towards the ceiling. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Complete 15 reps.

Other options include using free weights and dumbbells. When using free weights, place them on an exercise rack or take them directly to the gym floor.

Incorporate interval training into your routine by alternating between high-intensity and low-intensity intervals. High-intensity intervals are performed at near maximal levels of exertion followed by short rest periods. Low-intensity intervals are performed at moderate intensities lasting 30 seconds to two minutes. This type of training involves repeating sets of 1–5 reps of a movement with little recovery time between each set. To increase your endurance, practice these types of exercises three to four days per week.

How long does it take to build muscle mass?

It takes anywhere from 8 weeks to 6 months to develop significant amounts of muscle. The amount of time required depends on several factors including your age, gender, fitness level, diet, and genetics. Once you begin strength training, you’ll notice changes within one month. You may also feel stronger after just three weeks of training. However, if you haven’t been physically active before, expect to gain muscle mass over a longer period of time.

You need to eat plenty of protein to build muscle tissue. Protein helps muscles recover from workouts and provides amino acids for healthy growth and repair. Eat about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight daily, but don’t consume more than 2 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 lbs.) of your ideal body weight.

You should drink enough water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated. Aim to consume eight glasses of water each day. If you’re not drinking enough water, you could lose minerals through sweat, weaken bones, and even lead to kidney stones. Also, make sure you get adequate sleep every night. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night will hinder your ability to gain muscle. If you keep all of these things in mind, you won’t have any trouble gaining muscle.

The best way to gain muscle mass quickly is to incorporate compound movements such as bench press, squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, pushups, lunges, and chin-ups into your triathlon strength training program. These exercises target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making them better overall gains than single-joint exercises like bicep curls and triceps extensions.

triathlon strength training program with weights

For example, a study published in Muscle & Nerve found that people who completed 20 minutes of resistance training five times per week gained more muscle mass than those who only completed 10 minutes twice per week. The researchers suggested that doing compound exercises instead of isolation exercises increase the number of contractions your muscles experience, which results in greater stimulation to your nervous system, triggering anabolic processes needed to grow new muscle fibers.

For maximum benefits, start with smaller weights and gradually work your way up. As your strength improves, use heavier loads and perform fewer repetitions. When you first start working out, do two or three sets of 8–10 repetitions. Increase this to 5 or 6 sets of 4–6 repetitions when you reach 60 percent of your maximum load. After reaching 70 percent of your maximum load, add another repetition to each set. Continue adding sets until you complete six to 12 repetitions for each set.

What is the difference between free weights and machines?

Free weights are typically used in barbell and dumbbell routines. Machines are designed specifically for performing certain exercise motions, such as chin-ups, shoulder presses, knee bends, etc. Each type has its advantages. Machines allow you to isolate specific joints or muscle groups so you can focus on targeted areas.

Free weights increase the range of motion by allowing you to move freely during exercise. For instance, while using a machine, you can only raise and lower your arms at a preset angle because they are attached to a fixed pulley system. This limits the amount of movement necessary to achieve a full range of motion. With free weights, you can lift heavier loads without worrying about pinching sensitive tissues inside your joints. Most machines are equipped with adjustable handles. This allows you to choose how much tension you want to apply to the weight stack.

Another advantage of free weights for triathletes

The benefits of strength training for triathletes include improved endurance, better power output, increased speed, and decreased chance of injury. It also helps build muscle mass which is important because it increases your metabolism and helps you burn more calories throughout the day.

A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that triathletes who performed weight training twice per week during their off-season had an 8% increase in VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake) compared to triathletes who did no strength training. That means they were able to run further at higher intensities without getting tired. This was true even though the group doing strength training only trained for 12 weeks.

The Key to Strength Training for Triathletes

The most important thing you should know about strength training is that it takes time. You don’t have to do it every single day. Just three days per week is enough to see results.

Why triathletes should be lifting weights

Triathletes benefit from strength training because it helps them:

Build Muscle Mass

It’s been shown that athletes who regularly lift weights gain greater amounts of lean body mass than those who train without weights. One study showed that men who lifted 15 pounds for 12 weeks gained more weight than others who did similar exercises but didn’t lift any weights. However, if you’re trying to lose fat then weightlifting isn’t what you need.

Improve Endurance

Research shows that weightlifters have a faster recovery rate after intense workouts. They’ve also been found to recover faster than runners and swimmers. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that male cross-country skiers benefited from strength training by improving running form and decreasing the number of times they suffered from shin splints.

Decrease Risk of Injury

The Italian research team studied 19 professional cyclists and found that triathletes experienced fewer injuries when they regularly performed resistance training. This is probably due to the fact that it improves flexibility and joint mobility and reduces inflammation in the muscles.

Increase Speed

In one study researchers measured the speed of sprints on a treadmill by 20 elite Australian football players. Those who did weight training ran 4 percent faster.

So there’s really no excuse to skip out on strength training. If you’re thinking that the thought of lifting weights makes you feel weak or intimidated, just remember that many people find swimming, cycling or rowing difficult – yet they still get stronger over time. As long as you listen to your body, you’ll be fine!

If you want to learn more about building muscle mass through weightlifting check out my article How To Build Muscle In 6 Weeks.

How Do I Get Started With A Triathlon Strength Training Program?

First things first, you’ll need some equipment. The best way to start is with free weights, like dumbbells and barbells. You can also use exercise bands and other devices such as medicine balls or stability balls. I’m also a fan of kettlebells for 

With these tools, you will be able to perform basic compound movements. These are lifts that involve moving large amounts of force against an immovable object, such as deadlifts, squats or bench presses.

As mentioned earlier, this type of strength training won’t make you look bulky or muscular. But it will give you the foundation you need to achieve a toned, defined physique. And that’s something we all strive for.

Start slowly.

 Don’t try to jump right into heavy sets. Instead, start with 10 repetitions at approximately 50% of your 1RM (1 repetition maximum). That means that if your 1RM was 100kg, your starting load would be around 50kg. Then gradually increase the amount of weight you lift each week until you reach 80% of your 1RM.

Next, choose between single leg or multi-joint exercises. Single leg exercises include squats, lunges, step-ups, wall sits, and core rotations. Multi-joint exercises include back extensions, shoulder press, seated rows, and bent-over rows.

Once you’re ready, aim to do three sets of eight reps with four minutes rest in between each set. Focus on performing every rep perfectly. If you miss a rep, don’t worry, you’ll be able to correct yourself before the next set.

The key to making gains in the gym is consistency. So take the time to go to the gym once per day, even if it’s only 30 minutes. Also, mix up your routine. For example, instead of doing just bicep curls, try alternating them with triceps pushdowns. Switching up the exercises and mixing up your routine has proven time and again to be effective in fat loss, muscle gain, and overall fitness development.

And last but not least, don’t forget to eat healthy during your workout. It’s important to consume plenty of protein post-workout as this helps repair damaged tissues and stimulate muscle growth. 

It might sound simple, but following this regimen will ensure you stay injury-free and build muscles while losing weight.

There are two ways you can start strength training for triathlons.

Do it yourself

You can purchase the equipment needed to set up your own home gym and perform your routine. The basic pieces include: dumbbells, weight machines and a bench press station. Your local sporting goods store will be able to provide you with all the equipment necessary. However, if you choose this option you’ll need to devote time each day working out to keep up with the rigorous demands of triathlons.

Have someone else do it for you

This may be easier to implement since you aren’t going to have to buy everything yourself. Instead, you could hire a personal trainer to go through the whole process with you. These professionals will give you personalized advice on how to perform specific exercises safely and efficiently. They

Increase Speed With Triathlon Strength Training

According to Dr. Richard E. Peterson, coauthor of Fitness First, strength training will increase your top speed by as much as 5%. Studies show that triathletes who perform weight training consistently experience faster speeds during long-distance runs.

Improved Power Output

Power output refers to the amount of energy you use to complete a particular task. When performing explosive movements such as sprinting or jumping, your ability to generate maximum force is measured in Watts. Weight training has the potential to improve your peak power output.

Imporve Aerobic Endurance

When you perform high-intensity exercise, your muscles are working hard to supply blood and oxygen to the active tissues. Anaerobic endurance involves this type of activity where your muscles cannot produce enough ATP (energy) to sustain the effort. In other words, your muscles work harder than normal. If you’re not used to this type of workout, it may take longer to get back into shape. To avoid this problem, start with lower intensity activities and gradually add more strenuous ones.

Increased Muscular Coordination

Your muscular coordination is how well your brain controls each individual muscle. The more coordinated your muscles are, the less movement control your brain needs to exert over them. This is referred to as neuromuscular efficiency.

A research article published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology states that muscle coordination can be improved through strength training. It adds that the stronger the muscles become, the better their coordination becomes.

Lifting weights can help you reach these goals. There are two main types of exercises:

Isometric Exercises

These involve holding an object against gravity while maintaining constant tension on the muscle group being exercised. Examples include pushups, chin ups, squats and lunges. You don’t need weights to do this kind of strength training. You’ll simply hold a dumbbell in one hand and press both feet flat on the floor.

Concentric Exercises

These are lifts that require you to pull or push an object away from yourself. Examples include

Muscle size affects your ability to produce force during exercise. Larger muscles require less energy to contract and therefore generate greater forces. Therefore, larger muscles will result in faster running speeds.

Burn More Calories

Lifting weights helps you lose fat and build lean body mass, which means you’ll burn more calories even if you’re sitting on the couch watching TV or relaxing after a hard workout. In fact, studies show that people who regularly lift weights eat 50% fewer calories than sedentary individuals.

Improve Your Running Economy For Triathlons

One reason some athletes might struggle on long runs is that they aren’t burning enough calories during exercise. Weight training causes your body toburn more calories at rest, so when you combine weightlifting workouts with cardio, you’ll likely see improvements in your overall running economy. Studies have shown that runners who lift weights before a race run up to 40% slower per mile than those who don’t.

Increase Bone Density

Osteopenia, also known as low bone density, occurs when there’s too little calcium in your bones. This condition is more common among women than men, but many men suffer from osteoporosis later in life. Weight training is one of the most effective ways to increase bone density in older adults. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that after just six months of resistance training, participants had increased their bone mineral content by almost ten percent

 Don’t try to jump right into heavy sets. Instead, start with 10 repetitions at approximately 50% of your 1RM (1 repetition maximum). That means that if your 1RM was 100kg, your starting load would be around 50kg. Then gradually increase the amount of weight you lift each week until you reach 80% of your 1RM.

Next, choose between single leg or multi-joint exercises. Single leg exercises include squats, lunges, step-ups, wall sits, and core rotations. Multi-joint exercises include back extensions, shoulder press, seated rows, and bent-over rows.

Once you’re ready, aim to do three sets of eight reps with four minutes rest in between each set. Focus on performing every rep perfectly. If you miss a rep, don’t worry, you’ll be able to correct yourself before the next set.

The key to making gains in the gym is consistency. So take the time to go to the gym once per day, even if it’s only 30 minutes. Also, mix up your routine. For example, instead of doing just bicep curls, try alternating them with triceps pushdowns. Switching up the exercises and mixing up your routine has proven time and again to be effective in fat loss, muscle gain, and overall fitness development.

And last but not least, don’t forget to eat healthy during your workout. It’s important to consume plenty of protein post-workout as this helps repair damaged tissues and stimulate muscle growth. 

It might sound simple, but following this regimen will ensure you stay injury-free and build muscles while losing weight.

There are two ways you can start strength training for triathlons.

Do it yourself

You can purchase the equipment needed to set up your own home gym and perform your routine. The basic pieces include: dumbbells, weight machines and a bench press station. Your local sporting goods store will be able to provide you with all the equipment necessary. However, if you choose this option you’ll need to devote time each day working out to keep up with the rigorous demands of triathlons.

Have someone else do it for you

This may be easier to implement since you aren’t going to have to buy everything yourself. Instead, you could hire a personal trainer to go through the whole process with you. These professionals will give you personalized advice on how to perform specific exercises safely and efficiently. They

Increase Speed With Triathlon Strength Training

According to Dr. Richard E. Peterson, coauthor of Fitness First, strength training will increase your top speed by as much as 5%. Studies show that triathletes who perform weight training consistently experience faster speeds during long distance runs.

Improved Power Output

Power output refers to the amount of energy you use to complete a particular task. When performing explosive movements such as sprinting or jumping, your ability to generate maximum force is measured in Watts. Weight training has the potential to improve your peak power output.

Imporve Aerobic Endurance

When you perform high-intensity exercise, your muscles are working hard to supply blood and oxygen to the active tissues. Anaerobic endurance involves this type of activity where your muscles cannot produce enough ATP (energy) to sustain the effort. In other words, your muscles work harder than normal. If you’re not used to this type of workout, it may take longer to get back into shape. To avoid this problem, start with lower intensity activities and gradually add more strenuous ones.

Increased Muscular Coordination

Your muscular coordination is how well your brain controls each individual muscle. The more coordinated your muscles are, the less movement control your brain needs to exert over them. This is referred to as neuromuscular efficiency.

A research article published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology states that muscle coordination can be improved through strength training. It adds that the stronger the muscles become, the better their coordination becomes.

Lifting weights can help you reach these goals. There are two main types of exercises:

Isometric Exercises

These involve holding an object against gravity while maintaining constant tension on the muscle group being exercised. Examples include pushups, chin ups, squats and lunges. You don’t need weights to do this kind of strength training. You’ll simply hold a dumbbell in one hand and press both feet flat on the floor.

Concentric Exercises

These are lifts that require you to pull or push an object away from yourself. Examples include

Muscle size affects your ability to produce force during exercise. Larger muscles require less energy to contract and therefore generate greater forces. Therefore, larger muscles will result in faster running speeds.

Burn More Calories

Lifting weights helps you lose fat and build lean body mass, which means you’ll burn more calories even if you’re sitting on the couch watching TV or relaxing after a hard workout. In fact, studies show that people who regularly lift weights eat 50% fewer calories than sedentary individuals.

Improve Your Running Economy For Triathlons

One reason some athletes might struggle on long runs is that they aren’t burning enough calories during exercise. Weight training causes your body toburn more calories at rest, so when you combine weightlifting workouts with cardio, you’ll likely see improvements in your overall running economy. Studies have shown that runners who lift weights before a race run up to 40% slower per mile than those who don’t.

Increase Bone Density

Osteopenia, also known as low bone density, occurs when there’s too little calcium in your bones. This condition is more common among women than men, but many men suffer from osteoporosis later in life. Weight training is one of the most effective ways to increase bone density in older adults. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that after just six months of resistance training, participants had increased their bone mineral content by almost ten percent

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