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The exact gym workout to do during race season

Posted Jul 25 2009 10:03pm

Pull-up You know the feeling. In the process of tapering for races, trying to check off your swimming, cycling and running workouts, and traveling to triathlons, you suddenly realize that you haven' t been to the gym for a long time...a very long time.

Something deep inside you knows that you' re supposed to do *something* to maintain your strength levels. After all, you don' t want your core to turn to jello, your muscular stability to atrophy, and your balance to fade away.

So let' s just say that you *could* make it the gym just one time a week during triathlon season.

What would be the exact exercises that you would want to do? What would be the exercises that would give you the most bang
for your buck when it comes to the ideal combination of injury prevention, sports performance, and power?

I' ve assembled the crème of the crop for a weekly gym workout during triathlon, using the following two criteria for choosing exercises:

1) the exercise must strengthen the external rotation muscles of the shoulders, hips, and core, which are the most neglected muscles of triathlon training and the most prone to imbalance and injury from swimming, cycling and running.

2) the exercise must not create excessive soreness, which will detract from
important swim, bike and run workouts during race season.

Using those two criteria, here are the instructions for "The Exact Gym
Workout to Do During Race Season."

-Warm-up 5 minutes. Go through each station 3x, performing the indicated
number of reps for each exercises and resting only long enough to be able to
do the exercises with good form. Once you finish all three exercises in a
station 3x through, move on to the next station.

(here' s the good news for you visual learners: each link will take you
straight to a video for that particular exercise)

"The Exact Gym Workout to Do During Race Season."

Station 1: Hip External Rotators

Exercise 1: Band Side Walks - 20 steps in each direction

Exercise 2: Hip Hikes - 10 per side

Exercise 3: Ice Skaters- 10 per side

Station 2: Shoulder External Rotators

Exercise 1: Bow Row - 10 per side

Exercise 2: Lateral Step with Reverse Fly - 10 per side

Exercise 3: Pull-ups or Pull-downs - 10 (no video, you know how to do these)

Station 3: Core External Rotators

Exercise 1: Side Plank Rotations - 10 per side

Exercise 2: Cable Torso Twists - 15 per side

Station 3: Woodchoppers - 10 per side

By incorporating this routine at least once per week during race season, you
will be working the exact muscles necessary to keep you injury free AND make
you faster. Although this workout is not in my book "Top 12 Resistance
Training Routines for Triathletes" at ,
it would be a good workout to incorporate along with the routines in the


It is now my job as an Ironman triathlon coach to sit down and create a roadmap for these athletes that ensures the same mistakes are not made twice! Please learn from their errors, take some notes, and have a smart and enjoyable race. Just shoot me an e-mail if I can help, or check out the new book, "Holistic Nutrition for Ironman Triathletes", over at

Whoisben 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, for more great training advice.

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