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Home / News / 220’s Winter Training Advent Calendar (Part 24)

220’s Winter Training Advent Calendar (Part 24)

In the final part of our Winter Training Advent Calendar, Joe Beer shows you why you should make your resistance training count - or not bother with it at all...

148 Resistance Training Rule One: Make It Hard Work and Regular Throughout The Off-Season or Leave It Alone

There’s still no definitive evidence that you need resistance training in your programme at all. But what we do know is:

1 It helps maintain bone density which low-impact sports (swim and bike) don’t, especially in veteran athletes.

2 It burns calories, raises metabolic rate and helps blood fat profiles in a season known for its higher calorie intake.

3 It can be combined with short aerobic/skill sessions to bring some variety to indoor training.

4 For those with a history of injury or those currently rehabbing, the gym is vital.

149 Rule Two: Be Realistic in Your Aim and Goals

The key to your sessions in the gym is to keep to two a week, keep them short and take with you a clear list of exercises that you want to complete. Either make them count or save your energy for more specific swim, bike and run workouts.

150 Rule Three: Keep the sessions specific, documented in a training diary and nutritionally supported

Resistance training should be written up to include precise weights, reps and machines, or free-weight descriptions. To be progressive, you need to know from whence your progressed. Lifting to just waste time in the gym means less time to cover the three key sports and slower recovery. Be sure to add calories, protein and snacks to your day if resistance training starts hiking up your appetite. To get stronger, you must force a muscle and feed it well.

151 The Perfect Gym Workout

1 Warm-Up (10mins)

Easy cycle designed to get you into a working frame of mind and warm. Don’t go hard – that’ll come later in the session.

2 Alternative Warm-Up

Using a rowing machine can get the whole body ready for a resistance training session. Keep aerobic with good form and look to get off energised rather than fatigued.

3 The Lifting

15 reps of a resistance you could do five to 10 times more. Then the high-intensity training set: keep exercise resistance in first six weeks to a level where you can perform 12-15 reps, then add resistance so fatigue happens in six to 10 reps. Move to another muscle group.

4 The Brick Runs

After the weights, it’s useful to get on the treadmill and run steady (not race pace!). Your body will feel like it does coming out of the water and heading into T1 and off the bike and running out of T2 – all combined together. Get used to this and triathlon just got easier.

Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.