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One-Hour Workout: The Pros’ Strength Session

What do the top pros do for strength training during the season? Find out with this workout from E.C.FIT Boulder's Erin Carson.

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Every Tuesday we’ll feature a different coach’s workout you can complete in 60 minutes (or less!).

This week’s strength workout comes from Erin Carson, head coach and founder at E.C.FIT Boulder. Carson is the strength coach for world-class athletes such as Mirinda Carfrae, Tim O’Donnell, Flora Duffy, Tim Don, Cam Dye, Paula Findlay and more. E.C.FIT is focused on triathlon-specific strength training for triathletes of all levels. The workout below starts with mobility and activation before moving onto the main strength set. The demo videos feature pro triathletes Tim O’Donnell and Omar Nour.


Purpose: To prep the body before loading it by opening up the front side and allowing the backside (posterior chain) to do the work. “The majority of people have tight hip flexors from an excessive amount of time spent in a sitting position,” Carson says.

Step and reach over head
8x each side |video|

Split stance lateral tilt
8x each side |video|

Front lunge with twist
5x each side |video|

Split stance over the shoulder reach
10x each side |video|

Lateral step to curtsy lunge
5x each side |video|

RELATED: Why You Should Take Care Of Your Kinetic Chain


Purpose: To “turn on” the glutes. Igniting the conversation between your brain and glutes prior to lifting heavy weights is imperative. Sitting for extended periods of time not only shortens your hip flexors, it allows your glutes to “fall asleep.”

Double leg Bridges
2 sets of 10 |video|

Lateral band walks
2 set of 3 steps each way |video|

RELATED: The End Of Injury

Main Session

Purpose: To lift heavy and leave the gym feeling strong and confident! “You’ll notice the rep counts are much lower than traditional endurance strength training methodologies,” Carson says. “Endurance athletes don’t need more exercise.”

Take roughly 45-60 seconds in between sets (2 minutes between “H” sets), keeping your heart rate low, and don’t be afraid to take a seat if you need to.

Key: “M-H” moderate to heavy progression | “H” heavy | “M” moderate | “L” light | “BW” body weight

Alternate between exercises within each group before moving on to the next grouping.

Group 1
Hexbar-deadlifts (adding a little weight each time)
4 sets of 6 “M-H” |video|

Group 2
Narrow grip lat pull downs
2 sets of 6 “H” |video|
Swiss ball push up to pike
2 sets of 8 “BW” |video|

Group 3
Single leg “tip at the hip” reach and pull
2 sets of 8 each side “M” |video|

Group 4
Swiss ball single arm chest press
3 sets of 6 each side “H” |video|
Low plank to high plank push-ups
2 sets of 10 total “BW” |video|

Group 5
Seated row
2 sets 6 “H” |video|

More one-hour workouts.