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Strength Training For Endurance Athletes

posted Jan 15, 2013, 2:26 PM by Stephanie Violett   [ updated Jan 15, 2013, 2:26 PM ]
Here is a great strength routine to add to your weekly training program. Endurance athletes often neglect strength training, but it's so important! Many studies have shown the benefits of strength training for enhancing performance. The enhanced endurance performance is attributed to neural adaptations, rather than hypertrophy. This means that strength training benefit isn't necessarily from larger muscle fibers but rather from improved neural recruitment patterns. Consistency in your strength training routine is important to optimize the benefits. Try to fit in at least one session per week. I like the circuit training listed below because it mixes up the muscle groups and goes by fast since you are always moving! 

Circuit Training Routine

Start by warming up for 5-10 minutes on a stationary cycle or rowing machine.

Pick one or two exercises from each A-D to perform for the first circuit. Start by choosing from the weighted options for the first few circuits and save the body weight options for the later circuits. Each circuit should have 4-6 exercises and take you approx. 5-10 minutes to complete. Between circuits do 2 minutes of cardio (cycle, row machine, jump rope, run, etc). Try to do 3-4 circuits for a total of 40-50 minutes. Spend the last 5 minutes doing abs followed by a 5 min cool down.


A. Upper-body

Weighted: medicine ball chest pass, bench press, kettle bell rows, bicep curls, tricep extensions, lat pull down, medicine ball above the head wall throw, lat press, chest press

Body weight: push ups, bench/chair dips, pull ups, push-ups with feet on physio ball, push-ups with hands on bosu ball,


B. Core:

Weighted: Medicine ball slams, weighted back extension, medicine ball crunches, cable chop,

Body weight: sit-ups, crunches, bicycle crunches, plank, V-ups, hip drops (side plank, lower hip up & down), back extension, bridges, reverse sit-ups, superman, pike ups on physio ball


C. Lower-body

Weighted: squats, lunges, leg press, hamstring curls (careful with these), calf raises, one legged squats (hold dumbbell in hand), deadlifts, knee extensions

Body weight: squat jumps (frog jumps), box jumps, wall sit, lunges on bosu ball, one-legged squats on bosu ball


D. Total body

Weighted: squat thrusts with dumbbells, kettle bell swings, clean & jerk, Turkish get-up

Body weight: burpees, jump rope, mountain climbers, row machine, inchworms