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weight training or not???

bennybenny Posts: 1,314
Hi everyone,

I was wondering what everyone else is doing in this off season/base period. Are you doing weight training or not. I tried it last winter and love the change in training, but found it really hard to make the puzzle with the other three disciplines fit.

How often and how long(year round?) do you guys do weight training, or not at all??


  • I do for sure benny. Either some of the classes that go on in the gym or if you can find s decent instructor to write you out a programme specific to your needs.

    The way I look at it is if you arent training as much in the winter at least your core strength will be there for next season.
  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Horses for courses. If you enjoy gym work then why not. As for core strength there are ways of developing this without going to the gym.

    It's not for me thought. I used to do gym work a couple of time a week for more than a year for core & upper body strength. Results were very disappointing.

    My philosophy now is why train to be slower. Doing weights no matter how light or fast the repetitions will always be slower than muscle activity in any of the 3 disciplines. My cycling cadence is 85 to 95, an even higherer run cadence and a swiming target of 40 strokes per minute. All weight exercise repetitions will be considerably slower. So why train muscles to work more slowly in a manner never to be used in a competition?

    As shown in the current issue of 220 core exercises can easily be done from home. Turbo & treadmill workouts in the gym should prove beneficial if you don't otherwise have access to such kit or the weather is too bad outside for intervals. Surely you an get to a pool.

  • Couple of good points there from HarryD and as he says horses for courses. Im happy with the results and certainly havent got any slower. It would be different if you weight lift purely to build muscle as such.

    I also find I do enough on my own without being stuck in the house for more training, seems a bit sad.Last but not least the sports centre up here do such a good membership deal its hard not to use all the facilities[:)]

  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    I'm definately a fan of incorporating weight training into my programme. I struggle at the moment to fit it in more than once a week due to work and not wanting to subsitute all my other training for it, but otherwise I would do weights 2-3 times a week. It's not that I particularly enjoy it, I would far rather be training outside than in a gym, but the benefits I feel make it well worth it. It is well documented that resistance training improves endurance performance.

    I can't agree with too much of what HarryD says, weight training doesn't make you slower, just ask all the sprinters, rugby players etc out there who train with weights all the time, although in a different manner to us. Also Hound dog mentioned the whole core stability issue. Core stability/strength is important but some of the ways people train to improve it is nuts. You are likely to get far more out of well perfomed free weights exercises like squats, deadlifts, power cleans etc.

    Needless to say, I'm a fan.

  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Well David,

    I'm a bit of a fan too( I did amateur powerlifting when I was younger, I even was vice-champion of Belgium in -18years -60kilo in the year 1995, sorry but I'm a bit proud of that[&:][:)]).

    But my biggest problem is, alike you, to fit it in properly, without reducing the 'normal' training too much. Do you weight train year round or only off season and base period???

  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189

    don't be ashamed of being proud of your achievments. As for my weight training advice, I can tell you what I do and what I would like to do.

    Ideally I construct my season so that from October to the end of November/December I work on basic strength training, nothing too specific but good core exercises (not core stability). I train reasonably light (3 sets of 15 repetitions) with a lot of emphasis on legs, everything with free weights.

    Once this period is completed (the new year for me) I will start a very similar programme but with more emphasis on strength (3 sets of 10-12 repetitions. I only plan to work on this for about 6-8 weeks. I will probably take it a bit easier on upper body work as I already weigh about 83 kg and don't want to put on bulk.

    Come March time I will start to focus on more sport specific weight training, ideally twice a week and with lighter weights again. I am yet to decide if I will carry it on throughout the season of whether I will stop/reduce it once I start racing (probably in May).

    That is the easy bit, the hard bit as I am sure most people will find is fitting it in. I've been doing triathlon now since 2005 and during that time I've also been studying at university and running my own business. My winter training plan often goes to pot before I start due to my workload at uni. Despite the importance I put on weight training, I don't let it get in the way of my other training, i.e. I wouldn't put in two weights sessions at the expense of missing a run, swim or bike session (besides I prefer these).

    It really comes down to your own requirements, I need to spend alot more time on swimming than I do on improving strength, and I know lots of peolpe like to figure yoga/pilates into the equation. Ideally I would do weights on the same day as a swim skills session, but I never have the time.

    I hope that is of some help, it certaintly isn't going to work for everyone.

  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    thanks a lot, it all makes sense to me. Fitting it all in is the hardest part I guess.

    I know I really should try to do this and since I'm home a lot now( I'm a roof worker and in bad weather we dont work a lot), I have to be able to get it planned now.

  • Strength is a major part/component of endurance so specific weight training in the off season is a good idea but only in moderation.

    I tend to used connectic exercises...


    dumbell bicep curls into shoulder press

    squats with dumbells into shoulder press

    squats into lateral raises

    Fluent connetic movement is vital for swimming so why not incorperate it into weight training?

    You'll also benefit from keep rest periods to a minimum thus not letting the heart rate drop too much.

    Super sets are a great idea too.

    Anyone wanna shoot me down!

  • Thats just the sort of stuff I do Lee (in moderation) Whats fluent connetic?
  • Hi hound dog,

    Connetic exercises are one dynamic movement which can incorperate 2 or more exercises.

    Bare with me, I'll try and make sense!!!

    Imagine....snooker ball 1 is a bicep curl and snooker ball 2 is a shoulder press.

    When snooker ball 1 hits number 2 the energy is tranfered seemlessly.

    The aim of connetic exercises is fluently transfer from one exercise into another in one perpetual motion whilst keep total control of the movement.

    Swimming is a classic example of needing good connetic movement thus the logic behind it. Connetic weight training is a fantastic and specific way of training, Its more interesting and there are many way of linking various exercises with a little imagination.

    Its important not to go too heavy 3x15 reps is more than adequate with short rest times.

    I was shown this way of training by a friend of mine who was a GB athlete and a good friend of Simon Lessing (4times world tri champ)

    I've definately seen benefits.


  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Seems like we all should give it a try then!

    Has anyone some good exercises for hamstrings?? I really seem to suffer from weak hamstrings. Maybe because I have less biking experience.
  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    I'm not going to shoot anyone down, but some points on the post from Bristol. If you want to improve your strength with weight training you have to overload the muscle. Obviously training the legs is hugely important when it comes to triathlon. If you are doing exercises like a squat into a shoulder press, you will not be overloading the legs simply because your upper body won't be able to lift the weight required (unless your an olympic lifter, in which case you won't need to be doing weights for triathlon). For example, even when I'm training with light weights i.e. 3x15 I will still squat 70 kg fairly comfortably, and that is by no means an impressive weight, however I'm never going to get that above my head.

    I'm also afraid I disagree with calling these exercises specific. A specific exercise is one that mimics a sporting movement, I never move from a squat into a lateral raise during racing. I also dispute "not going heavy", if you want to improve strength you have to train heavy. Like I say I've got no intention of shooting you down and if it's working for you then so be it, but i have my reservations.

    As for good hamstring exercises Benny, squats, deadlifts, straight leg deadlifts, good mornings (although I find it hard to go heavy on these), lunges, box steps, glute raises.....can't think of anymore off hand. Just make sure you do them all well, although I'm sure with your background you will know what you're doing.

  • Boycie,

    Obviously you missed my point or maybe i didn't explain my point well enough so I'll try again. When i mentioned connetic exercise for swimming i was thinking of something more along the lines of bicep curls into shoulder press which would be VERY specific to swimming with the reach and pull in mind. So... yes, it should mimic closely to the actual motion in question but thats the beauty of this kind of training as its easily adaptable with a little imagination.

    Connetic exercises also train the brain to work to process connetic movements in a more fluent manner almost like multi-tasking ( ie leg kick & reach and pull all at once) I also never said it was strength training (or atleast never meant to give that impression) just weight training! Connetic training should be done after strength work or in a different session.

    Connetic training has been scientificly proven, it is a tried and tested method of training used by alot of top coach's

    Many elite triathletes already train this way and If it worked for a 4 time world champion i'm more inclined to believe in its benefits than not!

    Maybe you should re-aim your shot gun!!!

  • The Bulgarian split squat is the pimp daddy of all lower body exercises and is very specific to both running and cycling.
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    As far as weight training goes the ultimate answer is YES it will benefit you as long as you do a sport/muscle specific programme preferably a programme tailor made for YOU. However given that most of us have limited time ask your self the following questions... 1. Will I go faster in my target events if I spend my training timeweight training or will I go faster if I spend the same time swimming or cycling or running (or all three)? 2. Am I using weight training as a "valid" excuse to avoid a tough session in the pool, on the turbo, or out in the cold wet dark out-doors and 3. This is a sport that I do NOT HAVE TO DO, will I be happier after having pumped iron,or will a swim/bike/run session be more enjoyable, and make me feel faster (and be faster?)?

  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Hey Boycie, I did a lot of those exercises you mention like lunges, stiff leg deadlift and good mornings. Still, I suffer from weak hamstrings, I think its because I'm haven't biked a lot, mainly running. Its known among runners that they have weaker hams sometimes.

    The only exercises I didn't know is box steps: is it stepping onto a height of about 40cm with some weights on the shoulders??

    I have to agree with you on the squat-shoulder press exercise: the weight is insufficient for the squat.

    I can see what Bristol means with some other exercises he mentioned, they might give a new impuls to your muscles and nerve system. But it's not because it works well for the pro's,that it should be our way of training(If only we could[:(]).

    Like treefrog says, we shouldn't skip our primary sports to do weight training. For those among us who can afford the time, it's time well spent.

    I'll try to integrate it, lets hope it works[8|]
  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    Take it easy there Lee, this is a forum where we discuss ideas, so no need to get upset if someone has a different point of view.

    I think you did miss lead us so forgive me for my ignorance. You stated that you consider strength training to be an important part of endurance training and then said that you use connetic training, I asumed that was what you were recommending these exercises for strength training. You didn't mention that these should be performed after your strength training programme. You also mentioned specificity of movement, which I think can be imitated alot better with equipment like resistance tubing and medicine balls etc.

    Like I say we are only here to swap advice and opinions and I wasn't trying to rubbish your ideas, just give advise from my own experiences and knowledge,


  • Hi David,

    Please excuse if my reply sounded heated, it was never meant that way... i really need to look at how i put my views across in future!!

    You mentioned specific movement with medicine ball and rollers/tubing all of which can be very helpful especially when it comes to strenghtening the core.

    Personally i tend to use my TRX which works using the same prinicples, you simply work against your own body weight to the desired resistance and duration. The best thing is, the core is always engaged.

    You may well have heard of it already but if you haven't just google TRX suspension trainer, its well worth a look.

    Before anyone ask's this isn't a plug, i'm employed by TRX.. i'm simply a joe bloggs tradesman!


  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I think I did this TRX stuff before. Oh no, that was bungee-jumping.[:D]

    No seriously, I never saw this thing before, not even in shops here in Belgium.

    And hey Lee, You have too many serious posts already to be a real spammer[;)].
  • Hi Benny,

    I'm not in danger of being given my marching orders then....phew!!

    I ordered it via the net from The U.S, as far as i know its not sold in the uk or europe yet although i may be wrong. I do know alot of professional Uk based coach's use TRX, mainly for core stability.

    Thankfully, dangling 200m above i river is not involved!!!

  • Great thread, if not a little heated[:D] Interested to know what exactly the Bulgarian split squat is? I also find Im pretty hopeless at press ups and bench dips but generally upper body strength is good. What am I doing wrong? [:(]
  • Holy *%£*!! Think I'll try it without a bar first lol.
  • Not as bad as I thought, although a few reps with some weights and I might have a different opinion[:-]. Will try it tomorrow.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I never did this one myself, but I think you need circus training or so to do it easily[:D].

    Looks hard, I should try this one too.

    Better call that ambulance Before you get started hound dog!!![8D]
  • When the B B squats become a little easier you can always vary things a little like having you trailing leg on a large exercise ball (with a spot until good at it) This will work the core even more due to less stability

    and help develop not only the obvious muscles but also the support/stabilizing muscles i.e glutes, hamstrings & IT band's which wouldn't otherwise be so engaged.

    If you have never done then before expect a few days of discomfort afterwards!!!! It does get easier so dont worry too much.


  • Thatll definetly make the gym a bit more interesting Bristol newbie lol. Have been attempting single leg squats before, I can get down in a reasonably disciplined manner but that first few inches of coming back up......owwya! Hope this excercise will cure that. Let us know how you get on benny.
  • Interesting Conehead although you didnt answer the question What do you think about Bodypump ?
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Ok Darren, as I've seen your picture on your link, i definately wont argue with anything you say[&:][;)].

    But if you ever do a stayer-race, i'd love to hang on to your wheels, nice and comfy out of the wind[:D]

    By whole body movements; do you mean things like dead-lift, squats, and so on? Give us some examples please.
  • Thanks for your input Mr Conehead, its good to know I'm training in the right way.


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