Jen Rulon

By now, you have figured it out: I am a huge advocate for strength training for triathletes, runners, cyclists, and swimmers.

As a triathlete, there are a lot of options for you, especially in San Antonio. There are over 60+ CrossFit gyms, Personal Strength Training Gyms, “Boutique” Gyms, and Strength Training Groups. If you live elsewhere, you will probably see a variety of the same. So, where the heck do you go? Start doing your research and make sure that the gym or the studio you go to is designed to help you reach your goals.

Strength for Website

Today, I came up with:

Five Questions to Ask a Strength Gym/Coach as an Endurance Athlete:

  1. What is your background?
  • Such a crucial piece of the puzzle. Some personal trainers will go online and get their certification. They will also get a certification over a weekend.
  • Make sure their certification is a legit one. One of the best ones out there is NSCA – CSCS. Very well respected.
  1. How long have you been doing strength? What other activities do you do other than strength?
  • Check out their personal background as an athlete versus their professional background.
  • Maybe you don’t want to go to a specific Olympic lifting gym because they may not have the knowledge of what a triathlete needs.
  1. Am I able to scale certain workouts according to my ability?
  • This answer should automatically be YES! If a coach does not allow you to scale, then look for another gym.
  • For example, in back squats, I would LOVE to see everyone go butt below parallel BUT as a coach, not everyone can do that, so I adjust according to how low they can go.
  • Form is crucial in my eyes. If they are not doing it correctly, then that coach needs to adjust ASAP.
  1. How do I time my strength workouts so they will not affect my other (main) workouts?
  • Most coaches should be able to help you out with this question if they understand the concept of periodization. (Another question!)
  • Here is my two cents: Give yourself at least 6 hours in between workouts.
  • 8 weeks from your “A” race: Do your swim, bike, and run first. This is when you are getting into the specificity of your training.
  • 10 weeks + from your “A” race: Go ahead and knock out your strength first. If you have to do your swim, bike, and run afterwards, due to time, that is fine but make sure it is an “easier” workout. I don’t want you to sand bag your strength, nor your swim, bike, and run!
  1. My goal is ________. Will you be able to help me reach that goal?
  • This answer should automatically be YES! Tell the coach what you are training for, and then they have an idea of how to help you out and maintain your fitness and strength!

Interviewing a personal trainer, a coach, or a gym (global, CrossFit, boutique, etc.) can be crucial in the endurance world. You have goals! You want to make sure everyone is on board and that you are able to go into a workout with ease with the coaches or the personal trainers that are helping you.

I truly feel that these questions are for ANYONE who wants to start up a strength program. Strength training is crucial for the human body, especially as we age. A person’s max strength will decrease steadily with aging. Think about how you get up from a chair now.

Think about a 50 year old versus an 80 year old and how they get out of the chair. The strength of the quadriceps has decreased drastically if you don’t work on strength and/or resistance training.

So, you ready to start your strength training? Are you in San Antonio? Go check out The Tribe Strength and Conditioning Gym! First Class is FREE: You will NOT be disappointed!

The Tribe San Antonio


AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I am Jen Rulon, a Coach, Kona Finisher and a Public Speaker. I’ve been coaching triathletes for 18+ years and I received my Masters in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. I train triathletes to reach their potential and coach triathlon coaches to successfully grow their businesses using my own proven methods. My knowledge has been featured in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Men’s Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach — I’m a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii on October 14, 2017.

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