Resistance training for endurance athletes by Ben Greenfield
Posted Feb 10 2009 10:03am
Pool time can be tough in the winter - not only are outdoor pools shut down
(suppose that means you Florida and California athletes can quit reading),
but many indoor pools are inundated by hordes of children and/or water
It is quite often that both these groups are
annoyingly floating in your direction, wearing diapers, giggling, and
dangerously flailing. And let' s face it - floaters aren' t fun.
Indoor lane swimming can go from a smooth, relaxing exercise to an dangerous
obstacle course of geriatric swimmers, bratty kids and strange foam toys. So
for triathletes, it can be effective to turn to the weightroom as an
alternative to your swim workout.
Today, I' m going to give you a fun and challenging swim-specific workout.
For an extra boost to your multi-sport training, complete this challenge
directly before a spin class or bicycle workout - and for those of you going
for the longer base endurance workouts, tack on a run as well. What the
heck, might as well get the full meal deal, right?
I' ve attempted to include equipment that most gyms should have. Remember,
wearing your swimsuit, swim cap, and goggles in the weight room is optional,
but not recommended. In some situations, you just shouldn' t squat in
Warm-up: Complete on arm ergometer or rowing machine:
2 minute warm-up, followed by a hard-easy ladder: 1 hard pull or cycle
followed by 1 easy pull or cycle, then 2/2, 3/3, and so on up to 10 hard
pulls and 10 easy pulls. Then ladder back down from 10/10 to 1/1. Finish
this station with a 2 minute maximum effort, before moving on to...
Cable work: Complete 15 repetitions for each of these three exercises, with
Straight arm cable pulldowns: use a bar for a handle - grab with both arms
and pull from high (above shoulder height) to low (down to hips) without
bending your arms.
Bent arm cable pushdowns: do the same exercise, except begin with elbows
bent at 90 degrees, and straighten at bottom
Standing cable rows: bring cable height down to bellybutton level - row into
body, squeezing shoulder blades back.
Complete this cable circuit three times through, then move on to...
Core work: Again, complete these three exercises as a 3x circuit with
minimal rest (15 repetitions):
Superman: line in prone position on ground with all four limbs outstretched
- lift all limbs off the ground, hold briefly, then return to starting
Bicycle crunches: start on back with one leg extended and one leg bent (both
feet hover above the ground). Complete a crunch by flexing upper body up
while bending the straight leg and straightening the bent leg. Return to
starting position (that' s one rep, complete 15 for both sides).
Mountain climber: in push-up position, bent right knee to touch left elbow,
then left knee to touch right elbow (complete 15 to each side)
Finally, move on to....
Leg work: Complete both exercises as a 15 repetition circuit.
Cable kick forward: attach leg to cable apparatus - standing on one leg with
the kicking leg straight, kick forward as if kicking soccer ball. Switch
after 15 and complete 15 kicks for the opposite leg.
Cable kick back: again stand on one leg, but hinge forward at the waist and
kick behind. Same number of repetitions.
Complete this circuit only 2x.
This workout will work many of the same muscles that are utilized while
swimming, but remember, nothing can substitute for the feel and drag
experienced in the water, so don' t completely neglect the pool - just throw
a resistance training workout in if you simply can' t get a good swim time or
need a change-up from the normal routine.
The off-season is a great time for cross-training, so a weight training
routine like the one outlined above is recommended, especially at this time
of the training season. If you like this type of workout, you' ll definitely
want to check out a book I wrote that is jam-packed with video exercises and
workouts specifically designed with the busy triathlete in mind. Just go to www.thestrongtriathlete.com.
Ben Greenfield is the Renaissance man of the sport of triathlon.
He' s a fast triathlete, a coach, a personal trainer, and much more more.
We recommend that you surf on over to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com, where he' s just released a very valuable podcast that talks about critters living in your gut. Yes, you heard right. Check it out, you don' t want to miss this one...