Wikipedia tells us that strength training, when performed properly, can “provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being.” I call it the “Fountain of Youth.” Train correctly and you can expect bigger and stronger muscles, less fat, better joint function, and reduced potential for injuries of all kinds, as well as greater heart health.
However, to experience the benefits you need to do it the right way! I am a HUGE advocate of making sure you know what you are doing. For the next few weeks, in no particular order, you will find the “Top 10 Strength Training Mistakes to Avoid.” This is NOT only for triathletes and runners, but it is for athletes that have been doing strength training for quite some time. The next few weeks, we will be doing Dave Letterman’s “Top 10 Strength Mistakes for Triathletes.” We chatted already about 10/9 and 8/7. Click the numbers for those blogs. And here we go:
6) Not Getting Enough Sleep
When you strength train, you are tearing down your muscles. Proper nutrition and proper rest help those muscles repair, and as you increase the amount of weight you use in your training regimen, your muscles will grow over time. You simply cannot function properly, and your muscles will never grow to their maximum size, if your body is not well rested.
The typical human being does not wear down their body during a normal day anywhere as much as a triathlete, a strength trainer, or a bodybuilder does. This means that if you are used to getting by with six hours of rest every night, you are doing your body a huge injustice if you believe that that will be enough sleep when you begin strength training. Check out my blog that I just wrote about lack of sleep and how that can affect you, your training, and life!
Why It’s Time to Prioritize Your Sleep, Triathletes
Multiple studies have shown that sleep deprivation will not only keep you from attaining your fitness and strength goals, but it also makes subtle changes to your hormone levels, and can increase levels of stress dramatically. You need sufficient sleep for so many healthy reasons, so make sure you are getting enough of it. See blog above. Seriously: Crucial!
5) Not Working out Enough
One of the biggest and most common strength training mistakes is to allow your busy lifestyle to dictate when you work out. If you are serious about strength training for triathletes, you need to dedicate at least two days each week to a preplanned and tracked fitness regimen, along with your swimming, cycling, and running!
When you begin to lose fat, you must protect your muscle and bone by causing stress to it, since this is what causes lifting weights and strength training to kill fat and build bigger, stronger muscles. Make sure you are receiving pretty intense weight training workouts at least two days each week, and always, always, always, track your results. Off season would be ideally 3x a week for a triathlete.
Stay tuned for the next 4 lessons for Strength Training for Triathletes over the next few weeks, along with Pool WOD workouts! I will also upload a PDF for the Top 10 Strength Training Mistakes to Avoid at the end of the series to give to you! Are you interested in At Home Workouts for Triathletes? Click the photo below: