General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Weight training- necessary? Rss Feed  
Moderators: jmk-brooklyn, Ron Reply
2013-10-16 10:14 AM

User image


97
252525
Subject: Weight training- necessary?
I am a 45 yr old female, fairly fit, weight is 120. I swim and run 3 days per week each. I don't make enough time for the bike, actually I am a little bit afraid of it.

I just did my first sprint this weekend and had a blast, however my bike and run times were pretty weak. Especially the bike, no surprise ;-)

DH and I were talking about our training plans for this year and I suggested that we start hitting the gym. His thought is that if I want to get better on the bike I simply need to spend more time on it, not worry about building leg strength on machines.

We live in So. Cal so winter weather is not really an issue to training. I would like to get stronger and faster, I don't necessarily expect to land on the podium, but I do want to increase my fitness.

Is gym time necessary or optional?


2013-10-16 10:50 AM
in reply to: dace

User image

Elite
6648
5000100050010025
PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?

Completely optional.

2013-10-16 11:09 AM
in reply to: dace

User image

Member
18

Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
I have to pre-qualify my statement: Having only done one sprint I am still a tri newbie. However, I have trained for and run several half and full marathons. Cross training in any form is wonderful and beneficial, but ultimately is complementary. You will see big gains in biking fitness just by spending more time riding. The same is true for running. Once you have harvested those bigger gains you can always augment with gym time. Just my experience. Good luck to both you and your DH!
2013-10-16 11:11 AM
in reply to: axteraa

User image

Veteran
579
500252525
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
If your goal is to improve your bike fitness, I would suggest riding more. The more aerobically fit you become, the more you will be able to ride at greater intensity.

Strength vs weight training that focuses on specific muscles can enhance running, swimming, and biking, however. For example, focusing on core stabilizing muscles can help with body position in the water so that your legs do not drop and create drag. Strength training targeting your glutes, hip flexors, and hamstrings can be important in helping maintaining good form when running to help, among other things, avoid injury. Using swim cords and other strength exercises can also help increase strength in shoulders, back, and triceps which are important in creating pull in the swim.
2013-10-16 11:12 AM
in reply to: kalish

User image

Regular
309
100100100
Aalborg, Denmark
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
If you are weak on the bike you need more T.I.T.S: Time In The Saddle. Nothing else will help. Strength training is good for complimenting your overall fitness (and perhaps especially swimming), but I still think the best philosophy is: if you're weak in the swim/bike/run then swim/bike/run more.
2013-10-16 11:32 AM
in reply to: dace

User image


97
252525
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
Awesome feedback, thank you all.

I will focus on my swim/bike/run for now...time is always a factor ;-)


2013-10-16 12:15 PM
in reply to: dace


76
252525
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
Necessary? No. But if your not looking to be a top triathlete you might consider it for more well rounded fitness.What good is being an aerobic mule if you strain a bicep muscle lifting a gallon of milk?! And also, you may think your only burning fat while your training but you are also burning muscle tissue and at our age (I'm 49) we are already on the clock of losing muscle mass due to aging. It does not have to be a full blown bodybuilders program but at least a couple days a week of select exercises would be very beneficial if you have the time available.
2013-10-16 12:36 PM
in reply to: 0


1374
10001001001002525
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
TOtally not necessary unless you were severely weak in certain core areas to begin with. (Does happen if you were off the couch.)

This is one of few areas which I totally disagree with respected coach Joe Friel's Training Bible (otherwise it's great and I use it and recommend it!) - he advocates a lot of strength training early on, and decreasing as training ramps up, but he continues to emphasize it. I simply haven't found that to be useful at all, and I come from a strength training background even before running and triathlon, so I know very well the effects of strength on performance and how to train strength, both force and burst.

In the vast majority of cases, you're better off for triathlon performance to keep SBR. Lift for other reasons outside of triathlon (which are legitimate) as well as on the days where training any more SBR would be overload.

Edited by yazmaster 2013-10-16 12:36 PM
2013-10-16 12:40 PM
in reply to: 0

User image

Pro
5268
50001001002525
Harrisburg, PA
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?

Strength training isn't going to directly make you faster, but a good program customized for you to correct imbalances, address flexibility issues (whether inadequate or too much), improve your sense of balance, correct movement dysfunctions, and strengthen stabilizers may increase your potential to go faster as well as help avoid injury.  I prefer to do most of this type of training with my clients over the winter months.

To get faster directly from training, sport-specific training is usually the best use of your time.

Of course, beyond those considerations, as a 45 y.o. female, I'd strongly encourage you to do ST at least a few months out of the year to help maintain bone density and muscle mass, to reduce the chances of osteopenia and osteoporosis and strength losses in the coming decades.

 



Edited by TriMyBest 2013-10-16 12:42 PM
2013-10-16 4:07 PM
in reply to: #4878267

User image


97
252525
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
Ok more great advice! I would actually like to fit in some gym time, but maybe right now is just not the best time... Juggling a bit too much as it is.

I will keep it in mind to add to my schedule this winter. Thanks for the feedback.
2013-10-16 7:01 PM
in reply to: dace

User image

Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
Originally posted by daceOk more great advice! I would actually like to fit in some gym time, but maybe right now is just not the best time... Juggling a bit too much as it is.I will keep it in mind to add to my schedule this winter. Thanks for the feedback.
You don't really need "gym time." If you do choose to incorporate strength training then there are a lot of body weight exercises or simple routines you can do with resistance bands and/or exercise ball that will help. You can do this at home, maybe while watching some TV so it can better fit into your schedule. No point in driving X minutes to and from the gym as you're likely not going to need gym quality fitness equipment.


2013-10-17 5:03 AM
in reply to: Jason N

User image

Pro
5268
50001001002525
Harrisburg, PA
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?

Originally posted by Jason N
Originally posted by daceOk more great advice! I would actually like to fit in some gym time, but maybe right now is just not the best time... Juggling a bit too much as it is.I will keep it in mind to add to my schedule this winter. Thanks for the feedback.
You don't really need "gym time." If you do choose to incorporate strength training then there are a lot of body weight exercises or simple routines you can do with resistance bands and/or exercise ball that will help. You can do this at home, maybe while watching some TV so it can better fit into your schedule. No point in driving X minutes to and from the gym as you're likely not going to need gym quality fitness equipment.

Jason's right.  This is one of the reasons I try to design ST sessions for endurance athletes that only require a stability ball and some dumbbells.  Most athletes seem to already own them, and if they don't, it's not a huge investment.

 

2013-10-17 5:49 AM
in reply to: #4878681

User image

Extreme Veteran
849
50010010010025
Connecticut
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
Odd word choice, necessary. Nothing about athletics is necessary, if you can live with the alternative. If you can live with being a slower rider, runner, and swimmer, then sure, strength training (not necessarily weights) are optional, sure. But if you think strength training will hurt you, or slow the process of improvement down, I would say that's pretty ridiculous. You don't have to work on core strength, but it sure makes it easier if you do. You don't have to work on upper body strength for swimming, but it sure makes it easier to swim if you do. You don't need to strengthen your legs, but your explosiveness and sustainable power will be better if you do. I'm not encouraging anyone to be a MetRX muscle machine, but going to a gym and ignoring 90% of the equipment in there because you don't think it can help you improve as an athlete is foolish.
2013-10-17 2:38 PM
in reply to: 0

User image

Alpharetta, GA
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
Necessary? Not for improved bike fitness. Get on that bike!

Beneficial? At 45, absolutely without a doubt it's beneficial to your overall health/fitness. I'm 44 and incorporate 3 days/week strength in the off season and 2 short sessions/week in season and never the week before a race. I have a home gym (mostly dumb bells, bands and a halo swim trainer, balance ball, medicine balls, and mat and some other stuff) so it makes it a lot easier than having to go to a gym! Some of the best strength training uses your own body weight...

Andi

Edited by Anditrigirl 2013-10-17 2:41 PM
2013-10-17 3:40 PM
in reply to: dace

User image

Expert
1871
10005001001001002525
2011 Scion xB
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
Weight training? No
Strength Training? Yes
2013-10-18 11:07 AM
in reply to: #4878267

User image


97
252525
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
Thank you for the feedback. I will work on adding body weight exercises to my routine. You all make a good point about my age (ick) but I know that you are right,

It is so nice to have a friendly place to come and ask questions, I love the varied responses which give me lots of food for thought!


2013-10-18 11:47 AM
in reply to: dace

User image

Elite
2603
2000500100
Denver, Colorado
Gold member
Subject: RE: Weight training- necessary?
For better endurance performance given the time constraints that recreational athletes have, weight training is not necessary.

For overall health, particularly maintaining bone density, joint strength, and muscle as we age, I believe weight training IS necessary.

Good article here on a study showing the effects of heavy squatting on bone density:

http://breakingmuscle.com/health-medicine/big-heavy-squats-can-help...
New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Weight training- necessary? Rss Feed