Functional Strength Training for a 70.3 or Ironman

As endurance athletes we are always looking for new tools, tricks and gadgets to get us faster.  However, we often overlook the most simple and most effective tool to increase power and speed.  That tool is functional strength training.

I am not talking about bench press and bicep curls. 

I mean FUNCTIONAL and specific movements to increase swim times, core strength, and strength to climb hills with ease and power.  At Playtri we have trained and tested hundreds of athletes and strength training is 100% guaranteed to make you faster.

Not only does functional strength training help with speed, more importantly, it helps correct muscular and postural imbalances.  We see too many triathletes with poor posture, forward rounded shoulders, tight hamstrings and/or low back pain.

To get started we recommend you meet with a qualified coach or personal trainer that can assess your movement patterns in exercises like squats, lunges, push ups and core movements to identify any imbalances and weaknesses that need to be addressed.  Once you have established any areas that need particular attention we recommend adding 2-3 days of strength training to your schedule, depending on where you are in your periodization.  Again, it can be a little as 30 minutes depending on your availability.

When creating your program we recommend you perform 70% of the exercises targeting your back, glutes, rear delts, triceps and hamstrings.  The remaining 30% can be focused on quad, chest, and abdominal exercises.  This ratio helps combat the effects of being hunched over on a bike, sitting at the office, running, and swimming daily.

Below is an example of an effective functional strength program:

  • 10 minute dynamic warm up
  • 3×12-15 body weight/dumbbell squats
  • 3×12-15 TRX/resistant band/cable lat row
  • 3×45-60second plank
  • 3×12-20 push ups
  • 3×12 body weight/dumbbell reverse lunge
  • 3×12-15 rear delt row
  • 3×12-15 glute bridge
  • 3×15 calf raise
  • 3×15 dumbbell shoulder press
  • 3×45-60 second side plank

If you have any questions regarding how to start you own program contact Coach Mo at [email protected].