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Gym membership? Necessary?


Due to the weather being particularly nasty this latterly (and it looks set to be a practically bad winter) I have been looking into a gym membership.

I was wondering what peoples thought are on gym memberships to complement my triathlon training, I at present don't do any weighs of any sort and have been advised this would really bring on my triathlon in all areas, especially in the fact that doing weighs help increase fat burning. Thus lighter = faster!

Does anyone agree with that statement? If so what kind of weighs should I be doing?

I was just wondering if people would class it as a necessary cost on top of what is already a quite expensive sport...


  • Without a doubt use a gym as well. It helps with motivation i think, if its rubbish outside then you can go to the gym and run, cycle etc. My gym also has a pool - only 20m but can do some good mileage.

    I personally do 2 weights sessions a week. 1 session - Chest, Arms and Core work. 1 session - Shoulders, Back, Legs.

    Muscle burns more calories so therefore less fat = lighter. I also use protein supplements after a weights session to help with muscle growth. Hope this helps.
  • grant1974grant1974 Posts: 262
    Do you have any suggestions of sessions?

    I ideally want to burn more fat and increase my cycling power output...
  • I'm no expert but in my opinion doing weights is essential to any sport for body balance, strength (specially as you get older).

    For instance if you mainly do freestyle swimming, as most triathletes probably will that emphasises certain upper body muscles so by going to the gym you can work on the opposites and surrounding ones (for strength and stability) to prevent injury and keep your body neutral. You can also work on core stability which helps all disciplines.

    Also for cycling and running it can help you with strength if you live in central london and thus don't have easy access to hills (like I do!) as well as injury prevention by strengthening the stabilising muscles.

    The key to it though is 2 things,

    1) Technique

    2) You don't want to bulk up

    To address them if you are not experienced I would recommend getting the free introduction and actually listening to them. If you hvaen't got that option just concentrate on slow and controlled movements. Its also probably safer to stick to machines, as although they don't engage quite so many stabilising muscles they do work to help you keep form.

    Secondly you don't want to bulk up, hence you don't want to be lifting heavy weights, go for about 70-80% of your 1 rep max and aim for about 12-15 reps with 2-3 sets per exercise. For just some basic conditioning you can use these readily available machines

    Leg Press

    Hamstring Curl

    Leg Extension

    Calf Raise

    Chest Press

    Lateral Pull Down/Row Pull

    Shoulder Press

    Bicep Curl

    Tricep Press

    Throw in a bit of core stability work at the end and try and do the set twice a week and your set!

    Hope this helps,


  • Jelly legsJelly legs Posts: 278
    You have to look at it slightly differantly i think.

    I am lucky in that i have corporate membership of a gym so its cheap.


    What you need to ask is this

    If i get a membership of a gym for a year (which is normally the minimum period), will it save me money.

    If not then pay as you go.

    Millions and millions of pounds are wasted each year on gym sub's that no one uses.

    Bear in mind that whislt in the winter you might use it 2/3 per week, in the summer months you probably wont use it all.

    You need to tot up how many times you have used a gym in the last year, and go from there.

  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I am a big one for using the gym as I find it has really enhanced my cycling performance in particular. I think the best way to go at it is essential a non-body builder way.

    What I mean by this is bodybuilders often train muscles rather than the movement, I.e bicep curls.

    So what you need to be doing is conditioning your body as a whole, with a small amount of muscle specific work on key areas. My suggestions are -

    session 1 - Legs and whole body -

    Squats - proper bar bell ones NO MACHINES!


    Clean and jerk/press - (best full body power move there is, but do it with a fairly light weight and do it 6-8 times, rather than the 1 done by the weightlifters).

    kettle ball one arm clean and jerk.

    Pistol squats/lunges with weight

    Other sessions include biceps/back and chest and tris, but focus on the movement so in biceps and back your principle exercise should be chinups/pull ups and in chest and tris the bench press.

    However all the exercises ive said especially squats/deadlifts/clean jerks are very dangerous unless you know how to do the form correctly, so you will need to be shown how to do them properly.

    And save this stuff for the off season.

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