Training

Bonus sessions: strength and conditioning

Boost power this winter and reap the rewards come the new season

(Image: Jonny Gawler)

Exercises and sessions

As a rule of thumb two strength sessions per week, at least 48 hours apart, works best when adding strength and conditioning into a weekly off-season plan. If you’re doing an aerobic session on the same day separate the sessions by 6-8 hours and try to schedule the strength workout at a time of the day when you feel at your best in order to get maximum benefit.

Session structure

The sessions described in the boxes below are made up of four parts; a general warm-up, dynamic mobility/flexibility drills, the main session and the post-workout routine. Here’s how you should approach them.

Warm-up (5-10mins) This is made up of some low level aerobic activity to elevate the heart rate gradually and warm up the body.

Dynamic mobility/flexibility drills (5-10mins) This involves drills to get the body moving through a full range of motion. It’s important for joint health and so is a must for older athletes. Movements like step-over hurdle drills and upper body movements performed with a broom handle/light bar are ideal.

The main session (45-60mins) This should last no more than 60mins and ideally be done in 45mins. To select the level of resistance start with light weights and build up gradually. As a guide, at any point you should be able to complete all the sets with the selected load and have enough left in the tank to be able to do two to three more reps if needed.

For bodyweight exercises, either terminate a set when your technique deteriorates or when you have only two to three more good reps in you. If these exercises become too easy, either increase the number of sets, add load such as a weighted vest, or substitute in a more difficult variant of that exercise.

Cool-down (10-15mins) This section should include more gentle dynamic mobility drills similar to the pre-workout, plus some static stretching concentrating on the ankles, hamstrings, hip flexors and the chest and shoulder region.

How to start

The two example main sessions, as detailed in the boxes below, are made up from some of the swim-, bike- and run-specific exercises that appear in issue 295. To build your own session you can swap and change any of the exercises with others from the same category (swim/bike/run).

The same letter followed by a number denotes a paired exercise, for example A1 and A2. So in this instance, you do 1 set of the first exercise (A1), then a set of the second (A2) rather than completing all of A1 then all of A2.

Or, to put it another way, you’d do A1, A2, A1, A2… until three of each are completed before moving on to B1. If the exercises aren’t paired just repeat the sets of the same exercise  until all sets are done.

Session 1 Home

Warm-up 5-10mins of light aerobic exercise (turbo trainer/skipping)

Dynamic mobility/flexibility drills 5-10mins

Main session

Rest interval (secs)

Load

Sets x reps

Notes

A1: Kettle bell Swings

60

Kettlebell

3 x 10-14

Swing load only to shoulder height

A2: Supine Hip Extension

60

Body Weight

3 x 10

5s isometric hold at top

B1: Terminal Knee Extensions

30

Body Weight/Band

2 x 15

Squeeze quads at peak contraction

C1: Reverse Lunges Into High Knee

30

Body Weight/DB/KB

3 x 6-10

Alternate legs

C2: Inverted Row

90

Body Weight

3 x 10-14

Pull to lower chest

D1: T Press-Ups

30

Body Weight/DB

3 x 10-14

Hold for 2s each side

D2: Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

90

Body Weight/DB/KB

3 x 6-10

Hold load on none working side if used

Cool-down 10-15mins stretching and repeating easy dynamic mobility exercises

Session 2 Home

Warm-up 5-10mins of light aerobic exercise (bike/skipping)

Dynamic mobility/flexibility drills 5-10mins

Main session

Rest interval (secs)

Load

Sets x reps

Notes

A1: Kettlebell Swings

60

Kettlebell

3 x 10-14

Swing load only to shoulder height

A2: Side Lying Leg Abduction

60

Body Weight

3 x 10

5s isometric hold at top

B1: Terminal Knee Extensions

30

Body Weight/Band

2 x 15

Squeeze quads at peak contraction

C1: Overhead Squats

30

Broom Handle

3 x 6-10

Rack load on shoulders

C2: Band Face Pulls to External Rotations

60

Band

3 x 10

Briefly pause in each position

D1: Press Ups with Feet Elevated

30

Body Weight

3 x 10-14

Elevate feet to increase difficulty

D2: Walking Calf Raises

90

Body Weight/DB/KB

3 x 10-14

Hold a pair of DB/KB in hands

Cool-down 10-15mins stretching and repeating easy dynamic mobility exercises


 
 

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