Triathlon Strength Prep-Base Advanced

Average Weekly Training Hours 01:50
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 01:50
Training Load By Week

This plan was designed by Joe Friel for the serious triathlete who wants to improve strength in the Prep and Base periods of the season. This weight-lifting program is based on the model described in The Triathletes Training Bible. It is only for advanced triathletes who are experienced with weight training having lifted weights seriously before.

This program may be blended in with a Joe Friel Base period triathlon training program by changing the days of the week when it calls for a strength session. This plan calls for two strength sessions each week.

Purpose: Build greater muscular strength for later conversion to power for swimming, biking and running. One of the challenges in lifting weights is that it tends to decrease your capacity for higher cadences, especially on the bike. Note that after each strength session the instructions suggest you spin on a bike for 5-10 minutes. The purpose here is to “remind” the neuromuscular system of how to make quick and smooth pedal strokes.

Progression: There are four phases in this strength program. Each of the first three builds on the previous phase to create greater strength. The last phase is a maintenance phase to be followed throughout the Build and Peak periods (once each week). Here are the phases with an overview of each:

Anatomical Adaptation (AA) The purpose is adaptation of general body muscles and tendons to the stresses of strength training in preparation for the greater loading of the Maximum Strength (MS) phase to follow. This phase will last 2 weeks. On completing 4 sessions you will move on to the next phase.

Maximum Transition (MT) This phase will provide for transition from the light loads and high reps of the AA phase to the heavy loads and low reps of the MS phase. Complete 4 of these sessions before progressing to MS.

Maximum Strength (MS) The MS phase is the final stage of strength development before beginning to convert strength to swim, bike and run force with sport-specific training. This phase will improve your strength reserve and develop the maximum force capabilities of muscles and tendons by improving neuromuscular recruitment patterns. In later training this will be converted to muscular endurance and power. You will complete 8 of these sessions.

Strength Maintenance (SM) The purpose this phase is to maintain muscular strength throughout the season. It is typically only done once each week in the Build and Peak periods, but may be done twice weekly in the later Base periods.

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
Custom

Anatomical Adaptation Workout #1 of 4

Equipment: Either free weights or machines. Can be done as a circuit.

Load/Resistance: 40-60% of 1RM or the greatest load possible for 20-30 reps per set (exception is dead lift for which you start lighter than possible and build during several weeks.) Be conservative with loads today as you are likely to be sore the next 2 days and that should be somewhat limited by holding back just a bit now.

Sets: 3-5

Reps: 20-30

Recovery between sets: 60-90 seconds.

Important: During recoveries stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

Speed: Slow to moderate emphasizing perfect form

Progression: Complete one set of each exercise in order (1, 2, 3, etc) before starting second set. This can be done quite effectively as a circuit training workout using machines. If pressed for time, or weight room is too busy for a circuit, you can complete all sets of one exercise before going to the next. The first set every exercise is the lightest. When you can complete 3 sets of 30 reps, increase loads.

Warm-Up: Warm-up aerobically (rowing, stationary bike/trainer or by running easily) for 5-10 minutes.

Exercises: In order of completion (this is the most exercises of the year). See The Triathlete's Training Bible for pictures of the exercises and detailed instructions on how to do them.
1. Hip extension (squat, step-up, or leg press)
2. Standing, bent elbow with elbows high, lat pull down
3. Hip extension (different one from #1)
4. Chest press, OR dips, OR push-ups.
5. Seated row
6. Personal weakness (hamstring curls or knee extensions)
7. Core strength (crunches, planks, Russian twists, etc)

Cool Down: Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance. Do not run following this workout.

Sample Day 5
1:00:00
Custom

Anatomical Adaptation Workout #2 of 4

Equipment: Either free weights or machines. Can be done as a circuit.

Load/Resistance: 40-60% of 1RM or the greatest load possible for 20-30 reps per set (exception is dead lift for which you start lighter than possible and build during several weeks.)

Sets: 3-5

Reps: 20-30

Recovery between sets: 60-90 seconds.

Important: During recoveries stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

Speed: Slow to moderate emphasizing perfect form

Progression: Complete one set of each exercise in order (1, 2, 3, etc) before starting second set. This can be done quite effectively as a circuit training workout using machines. If pressed for time, or weight room is too busy for a circuit, you can complete all sets of one exercise before going to the next. The first set every exercise is the lightest. When you can complete 3 sets of 30 reps, increase loads.

Warm-Up: Warm-up aerobically (rowing, stationary bike/trainer or by running easily) for 5-10 minutes.

Exercises: In order of completion (this is the most exercises of the year). See The Triathlete's Training Bible for pictures of the exercises and detailed instructions on how to do them.
1. Hip extension (squat, step-up, or leg press)
2. Standing, bent elbow with elbows high, lat pull down
3. Hip extension (different one from #1)
4. Chest press, OR dips, OR push-ups.
5. Seated row
6. Personal weakness (hamstring curls or knee extensions)
7. Core strength (crunches, planks, Russian twists, etc)

Cool Down: Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance. Do not run following this workout.

Sample Day 8
1:00:00
Custom

Anatomical Adaptation Workout #3 of 4

Equipment: Either free weights or machines. Can be done as a circuit.

Load/Resistance: 40-60% of 1RM or the greatest load possible for 20-30 reps per set (exception is dead lift for which you start lighter than possible and build during several weeks.)

Sets: 3-5

Reps: 20-30

Recovery between sets: 60-90 seconds.

Important: During recoveries stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

Speed: Slow to moderate emphasizing perfect form

Progression: Complete one set of each exercise in order (1, 2, 3, etc) before starting second set. This can be done quite effectively as a circuit training workout using machines. If pressed for time, or weight room is too busy for a circuit, you can complete all sets of one exercise before going to the next. The first set every exercise is the lightest. When you can complete 3 sets of 30 reps, increase loads.

Warm-Up: Warm-up aerobically (rowing, stationary bike/trainer or by running easily) for 5-10 minutes.

Exercises: In order of completion (this is the most exercises of the year). See The Triathlete's Training Bible for pictures of the exercises and detailed instructions on how to do them.
1. Hip extension (squat, step-up, or leg press)
2. Standing, bent elbow with elbows high, lat pull down
3. Hip extension (different one from #1)
4. Chest press, OR dips, OR push-ups.
5. Seated row
6. Personal weakness (hamstring curls or knee extensions)
7. Core strength (crunches, planks, Russian twists, etc)

Cool Down: Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance. Do not run following this workout.

Sample Day 12
1:00:00
Custom

Anatomical Adaptation Workout #4 of 4

Equipment: Either free weights or machines. Can be done as a circuit.

Load/Resistance: 40-60% of 1RM or the greatest load possible for 20-30 reps per set (exception is dead lift for which you start lighter than possible and build during several weeks.)

Sets: 3-5

Reps: 20-30

Recovery between sets: 60-90 seconds.

Important: During recoveries stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

Speed: Slow to moderate emphasizing perfect form

Progression: Complete one set of each exercise in order (1, 2, 3, etc) before starting second set. This can be done quite effectively as a circuit training workout using machines. If pressed for time, or weight room is too busy for a circuit, you can complete all sets of one exercise before going to the next. The first set every exercise is the lightest. When you can complete 3 sets of 30 reps, increase loads.

Warm-Up: Warm-up aerobically (rowing, stationary bike/trainer or by running easily) for 5-10 minutes.

Exercises: In order of completion (this is the most exercises of the year). See The Triathlete's Training Bible for pictures of the exercises and detailed instructions on how to do them.
1. Hip extension (squat, step-up, or leg press)
2. Standing, bent elbow with elbows high, lat pull down
3. Hip extension (different one from #1)
4. Chest press, OR dips, OR push-ups.
5. Seated row
6. Personal weakness (hamstring curls or knee extensions)
7. Core strength (crunches, planks, Russian twists, etc)

Cool Down: Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance. Do not run following this workout.

Sample Day 15
1:00:00
Custom

Maximum Transition (MT) #1 of 4

Equipment: Either free weights or machines. Free weights are preferable.

Load/Resistance: Use loads that allow only 10-15 reps. Increase resistance carefully each week.

Sets: 3-4
Reps: 10-15
Recovery between sets: 1.5-3 minutes.

Important: During recoveries stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

Speed: Slow to moderate emphasizing form.

Progression: Complete all sets of each exercise before starting second exercise. The first set of each exercise is the lightest.

Warm-Up: Warm-up aerobically such as on a treadmill, stationary bike/trainer or jumping rope easily for 5-10 minutes.

Exercises: In order of completion (note changes from AA phase):
1. Hip extension (squat, step-up, or leg press)
2. Seated row
3. Core (your choice of exercises done to near failure on each)
4. Personal weakness (hamstring curl or knee extension, 20-30 reps with light load)
5. Standing bent elbow with elbow high, lat pull down

Cool Down: Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance.

Sample Day 19
1:00:00
Custom

Maximum Transition (MT) #2 of 4

Equipment: Either free weights or machines. Free weights are preferable.

Load/Resistance: Use loads that allow only 10-15 reps. Increase resistance carefully each week.

Sets: 3-4
Reps: 10-15
Recovery between sets: 1.5-3 minutes.

Important: During recoveries stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

Speed: Slow to moderate emphasizing form.

Progression: Complete all sets of each exercise before starting second exercise. The first set of each exercise is the lightest.

Warm-Up: Warm-up aerobically such as on a treadmill, stationary bike/trainer or jumping rope easily for 5-10 minutes.

Exercises: In order of completion (note changes from AA phase):
1. Hip extension (squat, step-up, or leg press)
2. Seated row
3. Core (your choice of exercises done to near failure on each)
4. Personal weakness (hamstring curl or knee extension, 20-30 reps with light load)
5. Standing bent elbow with elbow high, lat pull down

Cool Down: Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance.

Sample Day 22
1:00:00
Custom

Maximum Transition (MT) #3 of 4

Equipment: Either free weights or machines. Free weights are preferable.

Load/Resistance: Use loads that allow only 10-15 reps. Increase resistance carefully each week.

Sets: 3-4
Reps: 10-15
Recovery between sets: 1.5-3 minutes.

Important: During recoveries stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

Speed: Slow to moderate emphasizing form.

Progression: Complete all sets of each exercise before starting second exercise. The first set of each exercise is the lightest.

Warm-Up: Warm-up aerobically such as on a treadmill, stationary bike/trainer or jumping rope easily for 5-10 minutes.

Exercises: In order of completion (note changes from AA phase):
1. Hip extension (squat, step-up, or leg press)
2. Seated row
3. Core (your choice of exercises done to near failure on each)
4. Personal weakness (hamstring curl or knee extension, 20-30 reps with light load)
5. Standing bent elbow with elbow high, lat pull down

Cool Down: Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance.

Joe Friel
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Joe Friel Coaching

An endurance coach since 1980, Joe Friel has worked with triathletes and cyclists from all over the world helping them achieve their race goals. He also trains coaches around the world and has consulted with national federations and national Olympic team coaches. Coach Friel offers personal camps, and seminars for clubs and teams, and consults with professional athletes. He is currently not accepting one-on-one coaching clients.