For the last 3 months, I’ve been making efforts to include lifting workouts into my typical weekly workout schedule. This has been tough for me because for all the years of running/triathlons I’ve been doing, I’ve NEVER been able to stick to a consistent lifting program. However, after two years of triathlon training/racing, and two years of feeling incredibly weak on the bike, I realized it was time for me to add lifting to my workouts! One of my goals this year is to improve my strength on the bike. I do awesome bike workouts to build my power, but that just isn’t enough with my tiny runner legs! So, lifting seems to be the answer.
I’ve decided the best thing for me is to lift twice a week, with each lifting session including lifts for upper body, lower body, and core. I’m also making sure to hit every major muscle group, and it’s opposing muscle group. This will help my overall strength, and help prevent me from getting overuse injuries. I typically do 2-3 sets of an exercise at a challenging weight, increasing the weight for each set. I aim for between 6-10 reps for each exercise. This allows me to continue to build endurance, but also work on my power a little bit as well. Here’s what my typical lifting looks like. Two sets of each of these exercises typically takes me about 50 minutes to complete.
- Back Extensions
- Back Squats
- Dead Lifts
- Side/lateral Bends
- Split Squats
- Box Step-Ups
- Rotation Pulls
Occasionally I’ll substitute The Asylum workouts, T25, or a different lifting program for this standard program, but this is what I usually do each session.
As you can see, the focus is on my legs, but I have several upper body and core exercises as well. It seems to be working pretty well for me! I try to increase the weight as soon as I can handle 6 reps of the new weight. I can feel (and see) I’ve gotten a lot stronger since I’ve started, and it’s really encouraging! I haven’t seen any drastic improvements to my biking yet, but I’m hoping once I get more into my bike workouts that I’ll notice my strength training help me!
Do you strength train?
How have you seen improvements in your fitness?