Strength Exercises Based on One Repetition Max Lift or Progressive Overload
My strength training incorporates the major muscle groups, as well as the secondary support or stabilizing muscles. The body is an integrated “machine” that functions dynamically, based on demands and the signals sent by the brain, both consciously and unconsciously. The same thing happens when you swim, bike or run. Everything plays i’s part, and all parts are important to performance efficiency. My starting weight for any of the following exercises is based on a One Rep Maximum Lift. After a few warmup lifts at a lighter weight, I’ll perform a single repetition at what I think would be the maximum weight I can lift for that exercise. This sets the initial baseline weight in my base period of training or when coming out of any extended off-season…which quite honestly has not been more than a couple of weeks for a few years now. It’s also a good place to start if you’ve been slowly working at or maintaining strength training.
For those just starting out in a training program, I would suggest a Progressive Overload method of coming up to your base. This would be working for the first three to four weeks just performing the exercises in about 12 repetition sets, and increasing the weight as you begin to feel stronger. The intention with all of these exercises is train the muscles to near exhaustion, but only through recovery will they become stronger. Depending on what phase of your training plan you’re in, the reps performed could be anywhere from 8-10 and even up to as many as 20 reps. The actual weight will vary between 40% and 80% of the One Repetition Maximum, again, training phase dependent.
Adductor & Abductor Machine ~ This is sometimes a combination machine. You know the one I speak of, because we fear it. Subjecting yourself to a machine that wants to treat your legs like a wishbone is no picnic, but neither is a pulled adductor or gluteus medius.
Biceps & Triceps ~ Swimming and biking place demands on these muscle groups for good stroke recovery and pull phase, and climbing seated or standing.
Hip Extensions & Flexions ~ Strong hips will benefits your kick in swimming, pedal stroke in biking and gait or stride in running. An extension gets the gluteus firing, while a flexion fires the sartorius, what we refer to as our hip flexor. The hip flexor plays an important role in bringing the knee up and forward, especially on the bike and run. It’s not a very large muscle and tends to exhaust fairly easily. Train it well and you’ll feel the difference.
Shoulder Press & Chest Press ~ Again, swimming muscles for strong propulsion through the water, as well as arm carry and swing on the run.
Leg Extension & Leg Curl ~ Strengthens the quads and hamstrings for power on the bike and run.
Seated Row & Lat Pulldowns ~ Works the large latissimus muscles of the back, for strength after the “catch” and during the “pull” phases of your swim stroke.
Leg Press & Squats ~ Gluteus, quads and stabilizing muscles for power and core stability on swim, bike and run.
Lunges ~ These can be performed weighted or un-weighted by holding small weights in both hands. Great primarily for the quads, and secondarily for the gluteus maximus, adductor and calf muscles.
Heel Raises ~ Works the calf muscles, so important for biking and running. These can be performed weighted or un-weighted by holding a weight down to your side as you stabilize yourself with your other hand.
Finish with some light stretching of the worked muscles. Rehydrate yourself and get that recovery nutrition into your system within 30 minutes if possible, but no longer then 60 minutes post-workout. I use a recovery drink with a ratio of 3:1, Carbohydrates to Protein, and also includes 3 grams of L-Glutamine. Carbs will replenish muscle glycogen, protein helps with muscle tissue repair, and L-Glutamine does wonders in relieving D.O.M.S.
And don’t forget to Train With Grain!!