strength training guidelines for endurance athletes

You can accomplish abundant strides in your sport performance in the weight room. As strength training can breach down a lot of muscle tissue I recommend weight assignment be done in the foundation or base period. This does not beggarly you will not abide to body strength throughout the season. Hill running, slow cadence cycling assignment outs, and resisted swim assignment outs are all forms of strength training that are specific to disciplines. Weight training should smoothly transition into strength training in your disciplines.

As your season progresses, and your intensity increases, weight assignment can be detrimental to your added specific assignment outs and events. Your legs may charge up to 72 hours to fully recover from a weight assignment out. This is a ample block of the week to accord up performance in other areas. Aloof according to your training aim your strength aim will action buttoned up specific phases. Endurance athletes should not statement body building plans that are focused on muscle mass gains. This can actually be counter productive for a distance athlete. Each phase will accept a specific aim such as acclimation, hypertrophy, muscular endurance and adeptness. If you are anemic on sprints and jumps, you may appetite to accent added adeptness training. If you are anemic on climbs, muscular endurance is a acceptable bull's eye. If you are generally anemic, or advanced to strength training, I recommend a slightly longer period with the weights. Shorter distance athletes may appetite to accent added strength assignment for speed, while longer distance athletes, that are added slow twitch, will not charge as much weight assignment.

Listen to your body and avoid overreaching yourself with the weights. This is especially big in the actual alpha of your aim. You may air the charge to push yourself, but you may again not be walking able-bodied the abutting day. This is due to micro trauma in the muscles or baby muscle tears. These tears accept to cure up before you amuse stronger, so booty it accessible. You may again acquisition yourself added annoyed, and you may charge added sleep during the initial acclimation period. Accomplish sure you refuel after a strength assignment out aloof according to you would any other.

Core strength is crucial to protecting your back during lifting. I recommend using a array of exercises to strengthen all core muscles every other day. Core strength again will advice with your running, biking, and swimming adeptness. If your muscles are actual sore, accomplish not overstretch them. This may re-injure the micro trauma that occurred during training and slow the healing action. Ablaze stretching and recovery assignment is recommended. I accomplish not statement a weight girdle. These belts are for adeptness lifter who wants to access inter-abdominal pressure for max lifts. They may actually accomplish your back weaker. Accomplish not statement a girdle to exceed your limits. In actuality you should be no where near this type of lifting. I according to to perform my core strength at the borderline of my assignment out. Performing core exercises aboriginal may allowance them too fatigued to properly abutment you.

Choosing when to strength train is actual big as it affects your other assignment outs. I usually ace shot to strength train after a rest day early in the week. I accomplish sure I accomplish not accept a critical or aerial stress assignment out in the abutting few days following my leg assignment out. Again, this is why weight assignment is ace performed in the base or foundation period when there are not a lot of breach buttoned up assignment outs.

I generally alone strength train my legs heavy one age per week. I may accomplish a lighter session at the borderline of the week. Strength training and endurance training are according to oil and baptize for the most allotment. They assignment able-bodied when separated, but accomplish not blend. With a heavy foundation load I accomplish not recommend strength training added than twice per week. You may negatively act on your other training, or added likely over grasp yourself.

These are general guidelines. I will not recommend specific assignment outs. I accomplish recommend the core of your routine be compound or multi-joint exercises such as the squat, lunge, dead lift, step up, and leg press. The figure one rule of strength training is switch up your routine. Your body will acclimate quickly to the selfsame routine week after week, and advance will be retarded. Switch up your exercises each week. You may appetite to amuse with a certified strength trainer to apprentice advanced training techniques such as drop sets, compound sets, super sets, and other methods. Ace shot to statement a pedal wideness stance on your exercises and mimic the scope of motility of running and cycling.

One exercise I will caution you on is the leg extension. Most bodies statement road to much weight on this exercise, which can put a lot of pressure under the knee cap. This may advance to cartilage damage. Leg extensions are a acceptable exercise to balmy up with. Statement ablaze to moderate weight and lots of reps. You may appetite to perform this exercise in the top 20 degrees scope of motility. This helps strengthen your VMO or innermost quad which plays a answer role in patella tracking.

Finally, if you are unfamiliar with weight training and proper anatomy I highly recommend you amuse with a certified athletic trainer. Exercises such as the squat, dead lift, and even leg press can easily injure you if performed incorrectly. I could inscription an entire book on how to perform these exercises, but if I am not standing abutting to you and watching your anatomy, you could still be performing them incorrectly. I beam and correct bad anatomy from even experienced clients on a daily basis.

Phase I- Acclimation 4-8 weeks
Aim: To gradually adjust your body to the stresses of strength training. During this phase you will statement ablaze weight and aerial reps. You may appetite to alpha of your aboriginal few weeks with actual ablaze weight or body weight. Accomplish sure you perform your exercises slowly and controlled.
Reps: 15-25
Weight: Ablaze to Moderate
Exercises: 3-5
Sets: 2-3
Rest between sets: 1-3 minutes generally allows full recovery

Phase II Hypertrophy: 4-6 weeks
Aim: To enlist maximum amount of fibers and advance muscle advance and absolute strength. Accomplish sure your aboriginal set is a ablaze balmy up set. You will appetite to “pyramid” or access the weight on each set while lowering the reps. A typical rep scheme may attending according to this 12-10-8-6, or 12-10-8. This phase has a acceptable abeyant for injury, so be careful and listen to your body. You can booty your lifts to muscular failure during this period. I recommend a spotter. Don’t be surprised if the aboriginal few weeks allowance you actual sore.
Reps: 6-12
Weight: Moderate to Heavy
Exercises: 3-6
Sets: 3-4
Rest between sets: 1-3 minutes generally allows full recovery

Phase III Strength Endurance: 6-8 Weeks
Aim: To train the adeptness to sustain repeated adamantine efforts, agnate to a steep climb. This phase will lift your lactate doorway and age to exhaustion. You appetite to statement moderate weight and slow controlled motility. You can bring yourself to muscular failure but at a higher rep scope. I recommend that you lift your rep scope slightly as you progress.
Reps: 15-30
Weight: Moderate
Exercises: 3-5
Sets: 2-4
Rest between sets: 1-3 minutes generally allows full recovery

Phase IV Adeptness: 3-6 weeks
Aim: Adeptness is arm over age, or the adeptness to act the most resistance in the shortest age period. This is all-big for jumps and short sprints. Again, I recommend a trainer during this period as of the abeyant for injury, and the artistic adeptness needed for adeptness training. You will booty each strength exercise and explode upwards. Be careful on the eccentric phase (lowering). Ace shot to picture a spring that is slowly coiled until it is tensioned, then explodes. Action ablaze, especially in the alpha. This does not beggarly you will not tiredness the muscles. I statement a body weight for the aboriginal few weeks.
Reps: 8-20
Weight: Ablaze to Moderate
Exercises: 4-6
Sets: 2-3
Rest between sets: 1-3 minutes generally allows full recovery

You accept to appearance strength training as a tool box. You accept to decide which tools are adapted for you based on your body, and your accident. I personally am a smaller person, slow twitch, and my goals are usually short events. This means added age in the weight room for me. If you are a marathoner, you will charge less strength assignment and less weight. If you are a ample muscled person, who has acceptable short distance speed, yet you are training for an IM accident, I would bull's eye less on hypertrophy and added on strength endurance for climbing.

About the Author

Matt Russ has coached and trained athletes around the country and internationally. He currently holds licenses by USAT, USATF, and is an Expert akin USAC coach. Matt has coached athletes for CTS (Carmichael Training Systems), is an Ultrafit Associate. Appointment for added advice.

Originall posted January 24, 2012