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Strength Training for Endurance Athletes

Including strength training into a training program will enhance an Endurance athlete’s performance.



What is the big fear of strength training?

We have all experienced this. It isn’t the fear of the actual strength training, it is the fear of not doing the sports specific exercise. If you are a cyclist, there will be a fear that you can’t miss out on cycling time just to do some strength training. And why not; for the athlete who has a limited amount of time this seems like a reasonable argument. 

However, as the nights draw in, this could be the time to swap some of the time spent outside in the dark (and cold, and wet, and …). Putting in some strength training will lead to big gains when you can finally get back outside and do higher volume sessions. 


Why Strength Training

The importance of striking a balance between sports specific and rounded athletic development has been recognised for many years. You just have to look at athlete’s body tones to know that strength training is part of their routine. 

By definition, areas that can be improve, have obviously not improved doing just sports-specific skills. Identifying areas to improve, will enable the athlete to put together an exercise plan, the benefits of which, will be increased power and athlete’s form. Injuries should also become less likely as greater muscle balance and overall strength is improved. 

But there is also a second factor to consider. Doing session after session of sports-specific skills is tedious. Laziness and boredom creeps in. Adding another element into your routine will refresh the athlete’s training and motivate them to see new gains when they return to sports-specific session.  


The Best Type of Strength Training

We want to look at ways to bring in 3 elements that compliments cycling long hours in one given plane. These elements are; Building Strength, Explosive power, and Lateral movement. Setting a time limit of between 10–12 minutes will particularly benefit those who have limited time. 





Exercises should target areas of weakness because we are looking for improvements.  

Athletes should aim to complete as many sets as they can in the set time. 

Plyo Press-ups: 10 reps, pressing up so hands leave the floor

Side Lunges: 40 reps (20 each side)

Dips: 20 reps – feet should be raised off the floor

Single Leg Squats: 20 reps (10 each leg)

Burpees: 15 reps – jumping high off the floor

Mountain Climbers: 40 reps (20 each side)

Step Ups: 30 reps (15 each leg) upper leg to be as close to parallel to the floor as possible


Because the aim is to complete as many circuits as possible, it would be easy to let the amount of movement of each exercise to become less. Keep the range consistent, bracing the core at all times to help develop your core strength. This bracing of the core will help recruit more muscle groups, improving form and balance.



Improving weaker areas will develop a more rounded athlete and reduce the risk of injury. Less time off because of injury means more training time. Engaging in the High Intensity strength sessions will develop top end power and speed, bring a mental freshness to training and greater belief in output ability.



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