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Strength Training for Triathletes
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Strength Training for Triathletes



This presentation was given at a USA Triathlon CEU seminar at Athletic Lab in Cary, NC. The presentation details the importance of high intensity strength training for increased performance in ...

This presentation was given at a USA Triathlon CEU seminar at Athletic Lab in Cary, NC. The presentation details the importance of high intensity strength training for increased performance in multi-sport athletes. The presentation is research based with training recommendations that are easy to implement.



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    Strength Training for Triathletes Strength Training for Triathletes Presentation Transcript

    • Resistance Training for Triathlon Performance
      Michael Young, PhD
      HPC-Athletic Lab
    • Introduction
      A roadmap with definitions
    • Produces beneficial changes on muscuskeletal and endocrine system
      Non-impact means of training
      Introduces training variety
      Can address imbalances and asymmetries
      Reduces likelihood of injuries
      Enhances performance through improved neuromuscular efficiency
      Benefits of Resistance Training
    • Research Review
    • Muscular Strength: The ability to produce force
      Muscular Endurance: The ability to sustain high work loads
      Power: The ability to perform large amounts of work over short periods of time
    • Periodization: The planning of training variables to attain a specific goal in a predetermined period of time
      Intensity: The degree an activity approximates an absolute maximal effort
      Volume: The quantity of work performed
    • Running Economy: A measure of how efficiently a person uses oxygen while running at a given pace
    • The following factors affect running economy:
      Vertical motion while running
      Technique and type of activity
      Fitness and training
      Individual factors
      Weight of clothing and shoes
      Environmental conditions
      Neuromuscular efficiency
      Factors affecting Running Economy
    • Neuromuscular Efficiency: The ability of the neuromuscular system to allow prime movers, synergists, stabilizers, and neutralizers to work together synergistically as an integrated functional system
    • Running economy is a result of enhanced neuromuscular characteristics such as improved muscle power development and more efficient use of stored elastic energy during running
      Resistance training using heavier loads or explosive movements improves muscle power and enhances the ability to store and use elastic energy
      Mechanisms of Benefit
    • Research Review
      Ensuring evidence-based practice
    • Training has a positive influence upon gross efficiency
      Efficiency increased through muscle fibre type transformation, changes to muscle fibre shortening velocities and changes within the mitochondria
      Hopker J, Passfield L, Coleman D, Jobson S, Edwards L, Carter H.The effects of training on gross efficiency in cycling: a review. Int J Sports Med. 2009 Dec;30(12):845-50.
      Research Review
    • Highly trained runners and cyclists display more refined patterns of muscle recruitment than novices
      Interference with motor learning and neuromuscular adaptation may occur as a result of ongoing multidiscipline training (e.g. triathlon)
      In the sport of triathlon, impairments in running economy are frequently observed after cycling due to physiological stress and loss of coordination
      Bonacci J, Chapman A, Blanch P, Vicenzino B. Neuromuscular adaptations to training, injury and passive interventions: implications for running economy. Sports Med. 2009;39(11):903-21.
      Research Review
    • Explosive strength training vs heavy strength training
      A short period of traditional strength training can improve running economy in well-trained runners and seems to be more efficient for the improvement of running economy
      Guglielmo LG, Greco CC, Denadai BS. Effects of strength training on running economy. Int J Sports Med. 2009 Jan;30(1):27-32. Epub 2008 Oct 30.
      Research Review
    • High resistance/low repetition vs low resistance/high repetition vs cycling-only
      10-week training program
      All 3 groups followed the same cycling plan, but resistance trained groups added weights
      High resistance group made larger gains in leg press, but no significant difference for lactate values or economy
      Jackson NP, Hickey MS, Reiser RF 2nd. High resistance/low repetition vs. low resistance/high repetition training: effects on performance of trained cyclists. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Feb;21(1):289-95.
      Research Review
    • Meta-analysis:
      2.9% improved performance
      4.6% improved running economy (range = 3-8.1%)
      Resistance training has a positive effect on endurance running performance and running economy
      Yamamoto LM, Lopez RM, Klau JF, Casa DJ, Kraemer WJ, Maresh CM. The effects of resistance training on endurance distance running performance among highly trained runners: a systematic review. J Strength Cond Res. 2008 Nov;22(6):2036-44.
      Research Review
    • Just endurance running vs. endurance + explosive lifting
      Total training volume kept same; 9 weeks of training
      Simultaneous explosive-strength and endurance trainingimproves 5K time in well-trained endurance athletes withoutchanges in their O2 max.
      LeenaPaavolainen, KeijoHäkkinen, IsmoHämäläinen, Ari Nummela, and HeikkiRusko. Explosive-strength training improves 5-km running time by improving running economy and muscle power J ApplPhysiol 86: 1527-1533, 1999; Vol. 86, Issue 5, 1527-1533, May 1999.
      Research Review
    • Evidence supporting Training Resistance
      K Stkren, J Helgerud, E Stka, and J Hoff. Maximal Strength Training Improves Running Economy in Distance Runners. MSSE 2008
      G Millet, B Jaouen, F Borrani, and R Candau. Effects of concurrent endurance and strength training on running economy and VO2 kinetics. MSSE 2002.
      J Esteve-Lanao, M Rhea, S Fleck,  and A Lucia.  Running Specific Periodized Strength Training Attenuates Loss of Stride Length during intense Endurance Running.  JSCR 2008.
      And MORE
      Evidence against Resistance Training
      Research Summary
    • Methods of Strength Development
      Best practices for using strength development for neuromuscular efficiency
    • 1-3x/ week
      Short but intense workouts
      15-40 minutes per session is sufficient
      Focus on high resistance / low rep or explosive
      Train the entire body
      Use appropriate rest intervals
    • Core strength relates to the functional capacity and positioning of the the core of the body
      Core strength should be trained for stability using both static and dynamic movements
      Whole body movements that require mid-line stabilization are excellent at developing core strength in a functional manner
      Core Strength
    • Core Training
    • Core Training
    • Core Training
    • Muscles do not act in isolation
      Train movements not muscles
      Address asymmetries and imbalances
      Training Holistically
    • Multi-joint exercises through complete ranges of motion
      ~50 / 50 split upper / lower body
      Upper body:
      Presses (Bench press, shoulder press, DB incline, etc)
      Pulls (Pullups, Rows, Pulldowns, etc)
      Lower body:
      Squats (front, back, overhead, etc)
      Pulls (deadlifts, olympic lifts)
      Unilateral (lunges, stepups, split squats)
      Exercise Selection
    • Exercise Selection
    • Exercise Selection
    • Exercise Selection
    • Neuromuscular adaptations occur best at higher exercise intensities
      Heavy-Low Rep vs. Light-High Rep
    • Weight gain should be minimized
      Any changes in weight are largely a byproduct of macronutrient intake ratios and caloric intake
      Weight Gain Concerns
    • Integration of Concepts
      A primer on incorporating strength development concepts in to triathlon training
    • The body will adapt to stress
      Continually increasing stressors must be applied for continued adaptation
    • Volume and intensity should always operate in an inverse relationship
      Attempting to maintain both high concurrently may lead to overtraining
      Volume will start higher and drop off
      Intensity will start lower and increase
      Periodization of Strength
    • Strength for the sake of strength is meaningless
      Know the goal
      Use resistance training for strength not endurance
      Specificity of action and movement is important
      Other Considerations
    • Questions
    • mike@hpcsport.comwww.elitetrack.comhttp://youtube.com/hpcsport