A Different Way for Preparing for Intensity in Training...

Female weight training
January 30, 2017

Mike Ricci



Are you doing the right strength work? When should you do strength work? What is the best way to do strength work?

I hear these questions almost on a daily basis. Not only from my active clients, but from anyone that I meet. As soon as people find out that I am a triathlon coach and a strength coach, they never really want to hear about the way to coach or train for multisport. No, what is on the minds of all these people: What should I be doing in the gym?

Well, I am the same as these people, I have always wanted to know what was the right combination of exercises, at what intensity and with what weights. For over 12 years now I have been working with not only athletes, but the general population to help them get stronger, improve posture and avoid injury. That doesn't mean I am a magician.

The question of strength training is always a hot topic, especially amongst the endurance sports coaches. Most will tell you: It's important but they won't give specific guidelines, and it makes you wonder why?

Well, there isn't just one way to strength train. There isn't a magical solution for what every athlete should do. The first step to successful strength training is to find a trainer who understands and has the knowledge to perform a functional movement screen. This test is a fantastic measuring tool to aid the coach as to the muscle and mobility issues that the client may have.

After that initial interview. The coach will continue to assess the athlete. Every training session is a coaching and assessment session. The trainer will design a program that has the following components:

1. Active Warm ups

2. Mobility and Activation Exercises

3. Strength Exercises

4. Conditioning and Stability Exercises.

With these four components athletes will notice a huge difference. When athletes are consistent with strength workouts, their recovery is faster, they will feel speedier on the bike and the run, and they will not be as sore. However, what's really painful, is taking 3-4 weeks off from strength work and then getting back into it. Yes, if you aren’t consistent you will be sore. Yes, your runs and bike rides will suffer for a few workouts subsequently. But, after a few weeks of consistent workouts, you should see your pace per mile has dropped, your longer bike rides will seem easier and you will recover enough to do a workout the next day.

What does all of this prove? Look at what you can accomplish with consistent strength workouts. I see how our athletes can race back to back weekends and bounce right back. Most importantly, I see our athletes with strong race results and accomplishments. Yes, it's due to consistent swim, bike and run workouts, but it's also due to the consistent workouts in the gym.

If you haven't tried to be consistent in the gym, or you aren't motivated, finding that you are slogging thru the miles with little return, then what you are missing is the strength component. Try a group workout- see how you can change your training and your life.

Coach Mike Ricci is the Founder and Head Coach for D3 Multisport.  His coaching style is ‘process-focused’ vs. ‘results-focused.’ When working with an athlete, their understanding of how and why they are improving is always going to take precedence over any race result. Yes, there is an end goal, but in over 2 decades of coaching, experience has shown him that if you do the right work, and for the right reasons, the results will follow.

Coach Mike is a USAT Level III Elite Certified Coach, Ironman University Certified Coach, and Training Peaks Level II Certified Coach. He was honored as the USAT Coach of the Year.

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