Weight Training

Written by Jesse. Posted in Coaching Thoughts

The start up of training for a new season typically comes with the start of weight training. I usually recommend a 12 week focused cycle for all athletes regardless of age or gender. In most cases where strength on the bike isn’t a limiter, weight training will slow you down (very unsport specific). This is why its best done early on in training. However, weight training will make you much more resistant to injury during the hard workouts later on that WILL make you faster. Injuries kill consistency, consistency is the key to long term progress. Being triathletes, running tends to eat away at muscle mass throughout the season. Weight training helps put this muscle back on during the off season so we stay triathletes and don’t turn into runners. Many bike coaches believe weight training isn’t necessary for bike power…I agree, for cyclists. As triathletes the running component will kill bike strength over the long term if muscle mass isn’t rebuilt annually. You may have noticed this within each season; as the season goes on your bike speed weans as your run speed gets better. For some, one strength session per week is beneficial throughout the whole season if strength is a limiter on the bike. This is typically for older athletes (over 50) or woman (over 40). Also note, strength plans should be just that; strength plans. This includes heavy weights below 10 reps. Again, stay out of the grey middle. If the objective is to get strong, than get strong. There is no good reason to be in the 12-20 rep range. Many think this is better for endurance sports. In reality, this rep range will do nothing to stimulate either the aerobic system or glycolic systems (energy systems used in triathlon). Therefore if you are going to lift, you might as well expose the muscle tissue to very high force and make it resistant to injury.