How To Become A Better Triathlete Using Bodyweight Conditioning
Looking to boost your running performance?
Do you have a triathlon event coming up and looking to improve your conditioning so you set a new PR?
You should strongly consider implementing one of the greatest training methods known to man… bodyweight conditioning.
Bodyweight conditioning can help you reach the next level of muscular strength without packing on too much additional mass.
Maintaining a streamlined and tight body is key for succeeding in endurance events. If you carry too much muscle bulk, it will be harder to cross the finish line with record times and you’ll be more likely to fatigue part-way through.
But, you don’t have to sacrifice strength because you’re avoiding adding muscle size. Just use bodyweight conditioning and you’ll be seeing results in no time.
Let’s look at how to get started with body weight conditioning and some of the top exercises you can utilize for success.
How To Add Bodyweight Conditioning To Your Triathlon Training Protocol
Before we get into details on the specific exercises, it’s critical you understand how to properly add these into your workout properly. This is critical because if you add them in incorrectly you’ll risk poor performance in your training due to fatigue and you could risk injury as well.
First, note that you should avoid doing bodyweight conditioning daily. Even though you aren’t using external weight resistance, you are still breaking muscle fibers down, which means they need a day to recover. Do your bodyweight exercises two to three times per week with at least one day of rest between. Use two if you have a particular hard running or cycling session scheduled.
Second, note that you should balance your bodyweight training with your yearly training schedule. During your down season when you aren’t racing as much, that’s the time to really dive into body weight training and seek maximum strength enhancement. Do more sessions during this time and add a few more exercises to each session.
Since peak performance at events is not the focus right now, you can put a bit more stress on your body with your daily training regime.
Then when the prime racing months get going, scale back a bit. Focus on strength maintenance instead so that you are coming to each training session feeling as fresh as possible.
This yearly periodization schedule will ensure that you are really getting the results that you’re after.
Now let me walk you through some top exercises to get you started.
The very first exercise to consider is bodyweight squats. These are great for hitting the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core, all muscles that will be called into play as you go about your running or cycling.
When doing bodyweight squats, the key is to lower yourself down as far as you can possible go as this will really get the glute muscles firing. Far too many people make the mistake of only going halfway down, thus shorting themselves of their potential results in the process.
Bonus Tip: As an extra bonus tip, try doing this exercise on a single leg to really boost the overall intensity level. Single leg squats, aka Pistol Squats, are one of the hardest lower body exercises you could perform, so are great for maximum strength development.
Pull-ups are the next excellent bodyweight exercise to be doing. A pull-up will hit the biceps, lats, as well as the traps and will even touch upon your core muscles.
Muscular strength in these regions will be essential for any swimming events you may perform as the lats will assist you to move through the water quickly and more powerfully.
When doing this exercise, the main point to focus on will be taking a brief pause as you reach the top of the bar. This will eliminate the use of momentum throughout the exercise, ensuring it’s purely your own muscular force causing the movement.
Bonus Tip: As extra credit, try doing pull-up variations on a regular basis. You can use a wider grip to hit the lats more over the mid-back or use a reverse grip position to really zero in on the bicep muscles.
Continual change is good as it keeps your muscles responding and getting stronger.
Want explosive power? Burpees should be the name of your game. This bodyweight exercise is great for building up strength in all the main muscle groups in the body and will also enhance your cardiovascular fitness as well.
When doing this exercise, make sure that you rebound up off the ground as high as possible to really focus on improving your power.
Do as many as you can in a row and work on increasing that number. You’ll boost both muscular endurance along with muscular strength.
Bonus Tip: To make this exercise even more challenging, perform one push-up between each burpee that you do.
Finally, part of ever strong runner or triathlete will be a strong core, so knowing how to maximally challenge this area in your body will be important.
The plank hold is perfect for this as it will not only boost strength, but muscular endurance as well. You’ll also hit the upper body muscles while you work your core doing this one as they will contract to keep you in proper position and balanced.
Bonus Tip: To increase the intensity of this exercise, try putting the hands up on an exercise ball as you perform it. You will immediately notice the increased stimulation occurring in your abs and spinal column.
So don’t neglect bodyweight training any longer. Doing a proper strength training program is vital for any runner or triathlete and bodyweight conditioning serves your own body aesthetic needs best.
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