Winter Strength Series: Gym

Winter Strength Series: Gym

So you’ve signed up for STARMAN 2020 but it’s 9 months away so you can worry about it later right? Well, not exactly!

Now is a key time to be adding some more strength sessions to your training. Not only will it help you develop power and enduring for your summer training and racing, but it will help to ward off injuries. Aim for twice a week over the winter to make the most strength gains alongside your normal training.

This is the best time to be lifting heavy weights at the gym, but you can also do bodyweight exercises at home. Both are beneficial in their own right, and should not be allocated according to gender – both men and women will benefit equally from following a well-structured strength programme!

If you’re new to strength training, it is worthwhile investing in a strength and conditioning coach, or even ask the fitness instructors at the gym to help you figure out a good routine to follow and the appropriate weights to use. Ask them to suggest exercises that are specific to your sport.

As a general rule of thumb, triathletes should focus on big compound moves that challenge multiple muscle groups – such as deadlifts, squats, lunges, and push / pull movements like chest presses and lat pull downs. A typical workout should maximise your limited time and avoid focussing one area (unless that area is specifically weak / injured). You can leave the bicep curls to the body builders!

Don’t go in guns blazing just because the guy next to you is deadlifting 150kg. That’s a sure fire way to end up injured. Start light and aim for around 12-15 reps of each exercise to start with. The last round of each exercise should be difficult and you should be failing by 10-12 reps. Failure is where the magic happens!

Below are two separate programmes – one for the weights are of the gym and one to be done at home as a circuit. if you don’t know the exercises, Google them or ask at the gym! There are plenty of examples on You Tube. And don’t forget – if something hurts, see a professional like a physio.

Gym Programme with weights
Perform 3 rounds of each exercise before moving on to the next, leaving 30 – 60 seconds rest in between each round.
1. Deadlifts x 15
2. Squat x 15
3. Split Squat x 10 each side
4. Hamstring Curl and Leg Extension machines x 12
5. Single Leg Calf Raises x 20 each side
6. Lat Pull Down x 15
7. Chest Press x 10
8. Single Arm Shoulder Press x 12 each side
9. Dynamic Side Plank x 10 each side.
10. Deadbug ab exercise x 30


Bodyweight Circuit
Perform 3 rounds of the circuit (or less if you don’t have time), taking 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds rest for each exercise. Use an interval timer app to keep track of the time!
1. Squat
2. Oblique Sit ups
3. Burpee
4. Push ups
5. Supermans (on stomach)
6. Reverse Lunge
7. Mountain Climber
8. Squat Jump
9. Bridges
10. High Knees