WEIGHT TRAINING ROUTINES
Adding weight training routines to your triathlon preparation could well make you a more successful triathlete.
For many people adding weight training to the mix might seem like a scary thought. They might feel they will be terribly out of place with all those muscle-bound types in the weight room.
I agree that was the case years ago, but not anymore. You’ll even find senior citizens adding weight training routines to their fitness regimen since it was discovered how weight training can better their quality of life.
Contrary to what some people think, weight training routines are not necessarily all about just building big muscles. Of course getting stronger is an important part of the equation, but so is improving flexibility and endurance.
Often it’s just a matter of adjusting the amount of weight you use and how many repetitions you happen to do that will dictate the benefit you will derive from any one weight training routine.
As a rule, if you lift big weights and do few repetitions, you “will” build big muscles, however your flexibility will suffer.
What triathletes really want is to have long, smooth muscles and when you see the pro triathletes in action, that is exactly what they have. It’s probably safe to say that most pro triathletes have their own weight training routines that work for them.
I don’t claim to be a fitness expert, but I will tell you what exercises and what format worked for me after many years of trial and error trying my hand at many different types of triathlon weight training routines.
Also, I had my very best Ironman results and race recoveries when I included three 30 minute trips a week to the weight room and sound eating habits into my training program.
TIPS ON WEIGHT TRAINING FOR TRIATHLETES
I narrowed it down to six exercises. Three for upper body and three for lower body.
UPPER BODY– Lat pull-downs, arm curls and bench press…These exercises will add some strength and flexibility for your swimming.
LOWER BODY– Squats, Quad extensions and Hamstring curls…These exercises will improve your running especially on hills and they will also help pretty well every aspect of your biking.
If you plan on giving triathlon weight training a try, you would get the best results if you workout at least three times per week(not more)and always have a rest day in between.
Do three sets of each exercise and do ten reps each time.
Always use machines as opposed to free-weights. Its much safer especially if you’re new to the weight room.
Always use your first set for warm-up and use very light weight. Do all three sets of one exercise before moving on to the next one.
For your second sets add a small amount of weight (2-5 lbs.). After the second ten reps you should feel a bit of a burn. If you can complete the third set fairly easily, increase the weight of your second and third sets next weight training day.
Always leave your warm-up set at a very light weight. When you get to the point that you can’t finish the third set, then stay at that weight until you do. That’s how you will tell if you are getting stronger from your triathlon weight training routines.
NOTE– You should record the amount of weight you are at on any given day so you don’t forget the next time out. It’s very important to increase the amount of weight gradually to ensure the best results and avoid injuring yourself.
Your body simply needs time to adapt to the demands you are making on it–and it will–and you will get stronger and fitter if you stay dedicated to your weight training routine.
***I once read an interview of the Puntos twins when in the early days of Ironman when they were ranked among the best women triathletes in the world. They were both excellent swimmers and runners.
They said their cycling never really improved a lot until they went to the gym and included lots of squats into their program. In 1984 they were the first and second women finisher’s in the Hawaii Ironman.
Check out this information on these related topics.
WEIGHT TRAINING TECHNIQUES
There are many types of weight training techniques to be aware of as different people might benefit from different types of strength and flexibility training
There are several weight training techniques that will help you get stronger. Free weights, weight training stations, and isometrics are just a few of the options when it comes to weight training techniques
WEIGHT LIFTING SCHEDULE
Everyone has a different reason for hitting the weight room and often it depends on the athletic goals one has set.
Perhaps you want to take up weight lifting as a passion or choose to weight lift to become better at another sport like triathlon for instance, so in that case your weight lifting schedule will be set up so you can achieve your personal goal.weight lifting schedule
WEIGHT LIFTING FOR WOMEN
There are still many women who do not feel comfortable in the weight room, but it will greatly enhance their strength and flexibility.
There are also many women who have been pleasantly surprised at the results they can achieve in the weight room and how it can help their strength and flexibility. Weight lifting for women can be very beneficial.
WEIGHT LIFTING WORKOUTS
There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to how you approach your weight lifting workout.
weight lifting workouts come in many forms. It might not involve any weights as all if you decide to give “isometrics” a try for example as it is also another form of weight lifting workout that is great if you do not have access to a fitness facility.
People who are traveling can use Isometrics in their hotel room without any need for weight lifting equipment.
WEIGHT TRAINING AT HOME
It’s not always possible to get to the gym in order to fit weight training into your busy schedule. There are many good reasons to consider doing your weight training at home.
For some people there is a bit of an issue of being self-conscious and they are not eager to lift weights for the first time in front of others. Starting out in the comfort and privacy of your own home is a great way to get used to weight lifting and learning what it’s all about.
You can always take it to the gym later on when you have more self-confidence.
Most people will do much better at any sport if they develop the larger muscles of the legs.
Doing exercises that involve leg weights will prove beneficial to triathletes and athletes in general who are involved with running, biking, power walking, or any sport that requires the use of the leg muscles.
Many triathletes for instance, do not realize their full potential as cyclists until they incorporate some form of leg weights training in their program.
If a person does decide to try out a leg weight program, then the squat exercise is most likely the most beneficial of all the leg exercises the one can do.
Even if a person only has twenty minutes to work-out and maybe one set of exercises, the best exercise they could probably do is the squats exercise.
Squats done properly are most likely the one exercise that will increase over-all leg power. I really feel that triathletes who are after their best possible result should incorporate some form of squats exercise into their program.
HOMEMADE SQUAT RACK
Some people are determined to build their own squat rack but a homemade squat rack is not always a great idea.
If you do decide to make the squat exercise a regular part of your training program and decide to do them at home, a homemade squat rack might not be the best idea.
It is much safer to buy one that comes complete with all the safety features. A homemade squat rack has it’s drawbacks.
USING WEIDER FREE WEIGHTS PROGRAM
There are many types of strength programs out there that you might want to try, but Joe Weider’s might be the best.
The Joe Weider free weights program was the first one I ever tried, and it was also the most productive and most successful of all the different weight training programs I tried over the years.
Finding a free-weights workout program that suits you will greatly increase your over-all strength.
GAINING MUSCLE WITHOUT WEIGHTS
Gaining muscles without weights is very possible and is something that is done by people all over the world every day.
The key is to understand that our bodies react to physical stress and will do it’s best to meet the challenge by increasing flexibility and muscle strength as needed.
Our bodies don’t care or know if you are using weights or not, it just knows when you are asking it to get stronger. It is quite possible to gain stronger muscles without weights.
Whatever your triathlon goals happen to be, adding weight training routines that work for you into your training plans will pay dividends in the long run.
Adding strength, flexibility, and endurance will go a long way toward improving your training results and at the same time help prevent injuries.
Check out weight training from Women’s Health website.
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