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.
Helming underscores the importance of regular mobility work that doesn't need to be complicated or lengthy—mini-sessions of 15 minutes or less a day 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+):