Journey To Ironman WA: Strength Training

Journey to Ironman WA Strength Training

I mentioned in my previous blog “Journey To Ironman WA Begins” about the misconceptions around strength training for endurance sport. They often follow a similar tune to females not wanting to lift heavy weights for fear of getting bulky.

Now we all know how many times this has been debunked, so why do we fear getting too bulky for endurance sport?

I’ll be the first to admit, carrying extra weight around a marathon or ironman course is not ideal. After all, we spend all our money making sure our bike is as aero as possible because #aeroiseverything but there are also the injury risks that come with carrying extra weight be it muscle or fat.

Bike Aerodynamic

The major question that comes to my mind is, how on earth can we put on mass whilst training for big endurance events? We are spending so much time in a catabolic state that any significant size gains we could potentially get are quickly halted by our swim, bike and run training.

I see and hear far too often of endurance athletes training with lower weights and higher rep ranges. Looking at basic principles of strength training, this often sits in hypertrophic ranges. What else comes hand in hand with that kind of loading? DOMS! Why on earth would we want DOMS when we have a long run the next day…

If we train strength, I’m talking pure strength 1-5 reps, and taking large rest periods, we are much more likely to have small increases in strength by allowing our ATP stores to replenish rather than burning through bigger sets with small rests. Lower reps also come with lower amounts of muscular breakdown, leading to less DOMS.

Less DOMS means happy athletes and athletes who aren’t sore are going to perform better in their next session.

My strength training week


Back rack lunge 5x5 @ 45-55kg

Pull ups 5x8 @ BW

Front squats 5x3 @ 80-100kg

S/arm DB row 5x5 @ 30kg



RDL 5x5 @ 80-85kg

Chest press 5x5 @ 27.5kg

Good morning 5x5 @ 45-55kg

BB shoulder press 5x5 @ 50kg



Deadlift 6x3 @ 120kg

Hang power clean 5x5 @ 70-80kg

Snatch balance 3x5 @ 50-60kg

Push jerk 3x5 @ 70-80kg

So there you have it…

All of these strength training exercises, sets, reps and load has a focus on improving my performance.

Although many of them may seem a long way from the sport of triathlon or endurance training, I am a strong believer in sport specific sessions are for getting better at the sport, while strength sessions are for making you stronger, more powerful and an injury resilient athlete.

In case you are interested in getting a program for yourself, hit me up at Fieldwork Inglewood to have a chat about getting your strength training on track.

Happy training!


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Andrew BaileyComment