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Should I be using weights as part of my training or concentrating on cardio


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  • I did it last year and made a big difference to my power and fitness, I would not do it as a extra to runs, swim and bike but rather drop one of them and do a strength session maybe change on a weekly basis which session you drop. Also I read somewhere about maybe doing one every 10 days or so during race season due to how much it take out of you.
  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    Weights or not? Depends. If you watch the Blenheim or Windsor Tris on Channel 4OD you will see some pretty inefficient running actions from most of the elite athletes (harder to evaluate bike & swim from TV). Remember that they are top of the crop. Running Ugly it was called in the last edition of 220. Mark Buckingham was good as was Mr Sharp. Doing weights to strengthen poor movement patterns ingrains them deeper and stops you achieving your potential

    If you have good core stability I would build core strength but not before

    If you have good core stability and good movement patterns then think of doing weights/ resistance work but never before

    When your core is stable and strong then think of doing weights/ resistance work. Resistance work doesn't have to be weights or done in a gym

    Your problem will be getting a good assessment of core stability and movement skills 

    PM me if you want to discuss further


  • Yes!

    Weight training improves maximum velocity, useful for sprint finishes, short sharp hill climbs, overtaking, etc. but most importantly it improves economy, the amount of oxygen your body requires at a certain workload. So if your economy improves you can run faster for the same effort as previously.

    If you have the time try and do 3 sessions a week. They don't have to be long and can be combined with core work and injury prevention e.g. 10 mins on legs, 10 mins on upper body, 10 mins on core. If I remember right 30 mins of weight training 3 x a week for 6 weeks improved 5km running performance by about 4% (from a study I read for my dissertation). Your only worry is muscle soreness, the first time you squat your legs will kill for a good 3 days and will probably effect any sessions you plan in the following days. As you get used to it you'll find the time it takes you to recover gets less and less.

    Another idea though could be combining some plyometrics with weights. Plyometrics have a similar effect and improve power and effeciency with minimal gains in muscle mass so you don't gain weight. Tag some sprinting/hopping/jumping onto the end of a hard run session and you might not notice any additional fatigue.

    So yeah do weights (legs) and/or plyometrics 3 times a week and within 6 weeks your running and cycling will improve. I think the studies range from around 2-5%. If you run 10km in 40 mins that's up to 2 mins off your time, ignoring that it's already improved your bike.

    But who am I to tell you what to do? If you enjoy weight sessions do them. If not don't!

  • DDTTRIDDTTRI Posts: 21

    I do weights but most of mine is targeted at injury prevent and muscle imbalances.

  • Body building weights, bench, lat pull down etc. Are great for bulking up. But useless for motion strength- if you find the need to build up with weights try kettlebell exercise, the power and stamina for a range of movement is more beneficial than pressing a bar, it will cause the minor muscles to interact with the larger ones increasing flexibility, power and strength and you will be using almost your entire body for each exercise if done properly.

    Unfortunately muscle imbalances are a natural problem right handed people will be slightly bigger with that opposite side. When I trained in body building someone told me to counter this problem is to train your other side to "work" so everything is forced to my left turning door handles, writing, picking up rubbish. I learnt to become ambidextrous and this helps me to create a even spread of power. 

    Specific weight training BAD news..

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