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Fitter & Faster Podcast: Everything Triathletes Need to Know About Strength Training

In the latest episode of our training podcast, we look at all aspects of strength training—from why it's important, to how to fit it in, to creating the best at-home gym for your budget.

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Welcome to Triathlete’s training podcast, Fitter & Faster, where we cover one training topic in-depth each month—from the basics to your questions, plus all the gear you need.

Fitter & Faster and all our Triathlete podcasts are now on one feed, so you can get all your triathlon news in one place. Be sure to subscribe to our Triathlete podcast feed so you don’t miss anything: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Spotify | iHeartRadio

You can also listen to past Fitter & Faster episodes with Dr. Stacy Sims, Jay Dicharry, Dean Karnazes, Matt Dixon, cycling guru Matt Bottrill, sports psychologist Jeff Troesch, and plenty more.

In this episode of Fitter & Faster, strength and conditioning coach Nate Helming joins host Emma-Kate Lidbury to talk through all aspects of strength training. We kick off by talking about why strength training is important for triathletes and what it should look like. Helming gives us plenty of examples of movements and exercises he likes to see endurance athletes master, regardless of their experience, ability, or aspirations. We talk about the role that strength, conditioning, and mobility work can (and should) play in injury prevention—and how improving efficiency of movement is the triathlete’s holy grail.

We reference this article when we talk about how minimizing risk in the weight room can actually create greater risk of injury (Helming is a big advocate of using free weights versus machines in order to make exercises more functional). We also discuss the hormonal response to heavy lifting—and how this can be of huge benefit to the endurance athlete.

RELATED: The Right Way to Find and Use Your Maximum Lifting Weight

Helming underscores the importance of regular mobility work that doesn’t need to be complicated or lengthy—mini-sessions of 15 minutes or less everyday are perfect, he says—and these help us get to know our bodies better and identify potential injury sites when training volume ramps up. You can check out the exercise he mentions, the couch stretch, in his video demo here.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be Fitter & Faster without our Gear Up section with resident gear guru and Triathlete executive editor Chris Foster. We talk through the myriad of gear and equipment options out there when it comes to doing strength work at home. We kick-off by discussing the TRX—and, as promised in the show, you can find a few different TRX workouts here. We reference the “I, Y, T” exercise, a video demo of which you can find here. Foster also references one of his go-to at-home strength routines using the EmPack OG. He said: “It’s a 30-minute routine, you can’t put the pack down during that time—if you do, you stop the timer and you owe 30 burpees.”

The routine involves 30 seconds of each of these movements (beginners use 25lbs, intermediate 35lbs, advanced 45lbs+):

  • Curls
  • Front squats
  • Overhead walk
  • Overhead press
  • Right side oblique dips
  • Left side oblique dips
  • Bent row
  • Front lunges