Nation's Tri blog

Preseason Weight Training

Now is the time to think about weight and core training for the upcoming triathlon season.  If you have ever been wondering about whether weights can get you over that “hump,” they most certainly can.  By strengthening our bodies we are able to hold it together better throughout the race.  This starts with better core rotation and back strength while swimming, leg strength during cycling, and stamina and core strength during the run.

Over the past couple months I have been working with a trainer to help me develop proper weight lifting techniques and exploring core exercises.  Since I have been lifting, I have found myself to be standing taller, being stronger, and recovering quicker (although I don’t know if there is a connection with recovery).

With the whole body approach to becoming stronger, I have broken down my body into different areas, and concentrate on a different aspect everyday (or nearly everyday with proper rest in between since this is when our bodies are actually becoming stronger).  The groups are Chest, Back, and Legs (major groups); and Arms, Shoulders, and Core (minor groups).

Now I have been instructed that you can only do one major group a day to allow proper recovery between sets, but you can add a minor group to any major group to add variety to your workout, and allow yourself to cover more muscle groups at a time.  As for the core, and we can (and should) hit a session of these every time we go to the gym.

Here are some exercise from each group, the I find myself routinely doing when I hit the gym.

Chest (major group):
Bench Press (3×10)
Incline Bench Press (3×10)
Cable Flys (Standing) (5×10)

Back (major group):
Bent Over Row (3×10)
Lat Pull Down (3×10)
T-Row (3×10)
Back Extensions (5×10)
Body Row (Reverse Row) (3×10)

Legs (major group):
Leg Press (3×10)
Leg Curls (3×10)
Leg Extensions (3×10)
Calf Raises (3×10)
Squats (3×10)

Arms (minor group):
Alternate Bicep Curl (3×10)
Concentration Curl (3×10)
EZ Bar Curl (Preacher Bicep Curl) (3×10)
Tricep Pushdown with Rope (3×10)
Tricep Pushdown with Rope (one arm) (3×10)

Shoulders (minor group):
Shoulder Press (3×10)
Front Raise (3×10)
Lateral Raise (3×10)
Dumbell Shrugs (35 lbs, 30 lbs, 25 lbs,…) (2×10)

Core (minor group):
Crunches (5×10)
Planks (3x 45 seconds)
Side Planks (3×10)
Bridges (5x 10 seconds)

Now, these are the exercises that I do, but do not limit yourself to what I have written (do less, do more, mix it up).  There are plenty of different exercises for more advanced weight lifters, but these should get you started on a stronger triathlon season.

Please be careful out there, as adding weights to your regiment without proper knowledge of how to lift properly could put you on the couch with an injury for a while.

Lyle Ganz

Lyle’s racing career started back high school where he was a multiple sport athlete. He was an all-conference track and cross-country runner, and did swimming and diving in the off-season to stay fit. He participated in his first triathlon back in the summer of 1996. Since then, he has competed in events from sprint triathlons through Ironman competitions; and currently is looking forward to competing at USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee in 2015.