Picture the world’s most powerful Ferrari.
Thick, black tyres that grip to the road like glue, even round the tightest hairpin bends.
Exhausts that roar like a cornered tiger, aggressive and all-consuming.
And an engine with the power of a rocketship, propelling you forward with unimaginable force.
Now picture the chassis … Made of jelly.
All wibbly, wobbly, and with bits flying off in the wind.
Hardly the image you want, right?
And clearly, this is ridiculous.
I mean, who would build a supercar, with a high-powered engine, the ultimate performance brakes and steering, and tyres that cost more than most people earn in a month, but craft the body from jelly.
Well, that’s exactly what a lot of triathletes do.
Not literally, obviously.
But with their bodies.
They have incredible aerobic capacity.
Unbelievable levels of speed.
A high lactate threshold, and the ability to recover insanely quickly.
Yet they neglect the muscles, tendons and ligaments that hold everything together.
In other words -
They have the engine of a Ferrari, but a body made of jelly.
Because they don’t strength train.
Now I know the phrase ‘strength training’ might conjure up images of super heavy weights, getting big and bulky, and lifting so intensely that you cause an injury.
But that’s the old school view of strength training.
In reality, strength training should be in every triathlete’s program.
I may even be castigated for saying this, but I’m going to say it anyway -
A lot of athletes could even benefit from dropping one aerobic session each week in favour of hitting the weights.
See, you’re only as strong as your weakest link.
And what we’ve seen here at Brownlee Fitness, is that most athletes’ weakest link tends to be their muscular strength as well as the health of their connective tissue.
Ie. Their tendons and ligaments.
That’s why we make sure all our athletes have some kind of S&C in their program.
And I don’t mean things like bicep curling 2kg dumbbells, or doing a quick circuit on the leg machines at the gym.
I mean proper strength training.
Things like -
Unilateral work, to even out any imbalances, and improve running and cycling mechanics.
Upper-body exercises to correct posture, and ensure you can actually use your upper body strength to help your endurance, rather than hinder it.
A blend of low-rep and high-rep work, so we target a variety of muscle fiber types, boosting both muscular endurance and power.
Specific prehab and rehab exercises, so you bulletproof your weak points, and drastically reduce your risk of injury.
A focus on free-weights, making strength training fully functional and applicable for your next race.
Gone are the days of triathletes avoiding strength training.
We have enough science now to know that lifting weights (or even bodyweight training,) when done right, will only ever help your performance.
So if you’re not currently strength training, you really should be.
And if you’re confused about where to start, don’t worry.
The next few emails, I’m going to share some of our best advice when it comes to getting strong, and taking your training up a gear with the power of lifting.
Keep an eye on your inbox for that, if you aren't yet signed up to our news, click here.