Gym Sessions during the Season ?
You may be wondering whether or not you can add a few sneaky gym sessions into your current triathlon/cycling programme.
Coaches Answer: Most definitely but the type of gym session should be determined on what stage you are at in your training plan.
Huge benefits can be made by adding gym sessions into your training whether it is gaining strength during your off season or adding power during your in season. If you target the right component of fitness at the right time there is no doubt that you will maximise your training and racing performance.
For the beginner triathlete/cyclist in your off season, it will be beneficial to include gym sessions that target strength with lower reps (5) and heavier weight. Exercise selection should include functional movement patterns which will not only provide a solid strength base but also minimise the risk of injury further down the track.
The off season is also time for revitalisation! Variety is a key factor. Look into what your gym has to offer, there are many different sessions available, branch out, and try something new! By the end of your off season you want to be chomping at the bit to get back into the cycling and running miles, not feeling tired and over it.
As you begin your in season build up strength endurance will give you your base. These workouts should consist of higher reps (15-30) and lower weight. It will also allow you to carry on with your specific discipline training without the risk of severe muscle soreness as in theory this should of happened back in the off season or early stages of your build up.
Closer to your race your training intensity will be high, gym sessions should target power, reps 8, and weight enabling explosive movement. Exercises should be specific to discipline(s). Check out attachments for weight machines such as paddles for dry land training.
Throughout both the off season and in season core and flexibility training remains a priority.
Training can get a little more complicated with the more serious athlete. Take a cyclist for example; whilst leg strength and power are maximised during gym sessions, a different approach has to be taken when strengthening the upper body and core to discourage muscle bulking. The cyclist must stay light and nimble!
The importance of planning your season is crucial, for beginners and even seasoned athletes it can be time consuming and overwhelming. It’s a good idea to invest in a coach who will tailor a programme to suit you; your seasons will be clearly laid out with most, if not all components of fitness covered off complimenting your specific discipline(s) training.