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Top 5 ways to compete in triathlon without looking like a depression era Nebraska farmer (part 2)

Posted Jan 07 2012 8:53am


Editor's Note: Please click HERE for part one of Ben's advice.

3. Train Right

For years, sports scientists have know that short, hard and intense intervals give you just as much fitness and performance benefit as long, slow, aerobic exercise. But like a mouse on a wheel, it is tempting and even addictive for an endurance athlete to continue plugging away hours pounding the pavement, turning the pedals, or swimming back and forth.

Not only does this long, slow aerobic training completely nullify any attempts to add lean muscle or get a nice, defined body, but it also depletes hormones, causes overtraining syndrome, and takes away precious time from family, career and other hobbies.

Instead, for the triathlete who wants to avoid the skinny-fat look and get an amazing, muscular body, the training plan should incorporate strategically targeted high-intensity bursts of energy, a moderate amount of slightly longer 'tempo' work, and finally, a low amount of long aerobic training...

...strategically saving long rides, runs or swims for times when they are completely necessary and crucial to the program.

4. Supplement Right

Inadequate hormones are a big issue for both men and women, and especially physically active men and women. 'Andropause', the decline or imbalance in male hormones and 'Menopause', the decline or imbalance in female hormones can begin to occur when you're as young as 27 years old ­ and only gets worse as you age.

Although hormonal deficits are the biggest problem among endurance athletes, there is also a prevalence of nutrition deficiencies, mineral loss, and very low fatty acid and amino acid levels ­ all of which keep you from both getting fast and having an amazing body.

These deficits and imbalances can occur because the body simply needs extra help if you're lifting, swimming, cycling, running and cross-training on a regular basis. This level of activity is just more than the human body can naturally handle!

The extra help comes in the form of completely legal sports nutrition supplementation like digestive enzymes, fish oil, vitamin D, greens supplements, magnesium and Chinese adaptogenic herbs. While there are countless supplement ads in magazines and on websites, you really only need a few of these key supplements to have your body ready to both go fast and maintain muscle.

And yes, if you are pushing your body beyond it's natural tendencies, then even in a situation where your diet is perfect, supplementation is a must if you want to be fast and also have an amazing body.

5. Live Right

There are little hacks or tweaks you can make to your lifestyle to simplify this whole process of performing fantastic and looking good.

For example, you can sleep more deeply by using magnesium, melatonin, keeping your bedroom completely dark, and even using sleep applications like "White Noise". You can de-stress at the beginning of the day with a very simple 5-10 minute yoga routine. You can keep bouncing back from your workouts day-after-day by using a ice, compression and foam roller. You can detoxify your body by making sure you aren't using body-damaging chemicals to clean your house or cook your food.

These are just a few of the little lifestyle tweaks that you can make, but they're incredibly important if you want to add muscle and athleticism while getting the body of your dreams and still being fast for triathlon.

Questions, comments or feedback? Leave them below.

If you want to learn more about how to swim, bike and run lightning fast, but also have a nice body that looks good, (and get access to the other 6 articles in this series) then head over to for a brand new approach to training for the ultimate triathlon body.


Ben Greenfield is a triathlon coach and sports nutritionist at .

Follow on twitter @ everymantri or view latest videos on YouTube .

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