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Everything On Strength Training for Triathletes

Strength training is not just about building muscles for aesthetic purposes; it’s about enhancing performance and reducing injury risks. Furthermore, it helps in improving overall endurance, power, and speed. Besides that, strength training aids in creating a balanced body, preventing overuse injuries that are common in repetitive endurance sports

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about strength training for triathlon races.

Should Triathletes Lift Weights?

Yes, lifting weights is an integral component of strength training. When done correctly, it improves muscle strength, bone density, and joint function.

Triathletes, however, shouldn’t aim for maximum bulk. Instead, the focus should be on functional strength that aids their performance.

Most importantly, the weightlifting routine should be tailored to mimic the motions and demands of triathlon disciplines.

Why is strength training important for Triathletes?

Strength training, for triathletes, is not an optional add-on; it’s a necessity.

It aids in better posture, especially during the cycling and running segments.

Additionally, a stronger body means more efficient movement, translating to better speed and endurance.

Besides that, it’s essential for injury prevention, ensuring that triathletes can train consistently without being sidelined.

What is the best strength training for Triathletes?

Triathletes need a blend of endurance and power. Therefore, a combination of compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses with stability exercises using body weight or resistance bands is optimal.

Moreover, core strengthening is crucial because a strong core provides stability during all triathlon disciplines.

Besides that, plyometric exercises can be incorporated for power generation, especially beneficial in the final sprint of a race.

Should triathletes do deadlifts?

Deadlifts are a fantastic exercise for building strength in the posterior chain, which is vital for running and cycling.

Therefore, incorporating deadlifts into a triathlete’s strength training routine can be beneficial. However, form is paramount. A wrong technique can lead to injuries.

Besides that, it’s best to consult with a fitness expert to determine the weight and repetitions suitable for one’s individual needs.

Are push-ups good for Triathletes?

Push-ups, primarily targeting the chest, shoulders, and core, can indeed benefit triathletes. Strong shoulders aid in swimming, while a robust core provides stability across all three disciplines.

Therefore, push-ups are a great bodyweight exercise to incorporate.

Besides that, they can be done anywhere, making them a convenient choice for athletes on the go.

Are squats good for triathletes?

Squats are fundamental. They build strength in the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, which are essential muscles for cycling and running.

Therefore, squats should undoubtedly be a part of a triathlete’s strength training routine. Besides that, squats improve joint flexibility, which is beneficial for fluid movement during races.

Should triathletes do crossFit?

CrossFit, a high-intensity functional movement workout, has its merits. However, for triathletes, the decision to integrate CrossFit should be approached with caution. While it can improve general fitness, it’s intense and can be taxing.

Therefore, it should be balanced with other triathlon-specific training. Besides that, there’s a risk of injury if not done correctly, so it’s essential to ensure proper form and perhaps even engage with a CrossFit coach familiar with the needs of triathletes.

Triathlon Strength Training Program

Here is an example of a strength training program you can incorporate into your training schedule.


  1. Enhance race performance.
  2. Injury prevention.
  3. Increase power and efficiency.
  4. Improve form and body mechanics.


  • Strength Training Sessions: 3 times per week.
  • Session Duration: 30 minutes.
  • Rest: 30 seconds between exercises, 2 minutes between sets.

Set 1: Upper Body & Core

  1. Straight-Arm Standing Lat Pulldown: 12 reps at 25-35 lbs.
    • Focus: Engage the back muscles while maintaining a straight posture.
  2. Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press: 20 reps each arm at 15-20 lbs.
    • Focus: Engage the chest and shoulder muscles, keep core tight.
  3. Bench-Supported Dumbbell Bent-Over Single-Arm Row: 12 reps each side at 20-30 lbs.
    • Focus: Engage the upper back and biceps.
  4. Side Plank: Hold 30 seconds each side.
    • Focus: Strengthen obliques and overall core.

Set 2: Lower Body

  1. Dumbbell Walking Lunge: 24 reps each leg at 15-25 lbs.
    • Focus: Engage quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
  2. Box Jumps: 12 reps.
    • Focus: Improve explosive strength and engage leg muscles.
  3. Calf Raises: 20 reps.
    • Focus: Strengthen calf muscles for improved running form.

Set 3: Full Body & Mobility

  1. Dumbbell Deadlift: 15 reps at 20-35 lbs.
    • Focus: Engage hamstrings, glutes, back, and core.
  2. Push-Ups: 15 reps.
    • Focus: Strengthen chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  3. Dynamic Stretching: 5 minutes.
    • Movements: Leg swings, arm circles, hip circles.

Training Tips:

  1. Off-Season vs. In-Season: Strength training should vary. In the off-season, consider introducing heavier weights. In-season, focus on maintaining strength without overexerting.
  2. Race Schedule Awareness: As race day approaches, reduce the intensity and volume of strength workouts to avoid fatigue.
  3. Consistency: Dedicate time to strength training. Even a short session can contribute to improvements.
  4. Fundamentals: Ensure proper form in all exercises to maximize benefits and reduce injury risk.
  5. Warm-Up: Always start with a 5-minute dynamic warm-up to prepare the body for the session.

Remember, the key is consistency and dedication to the program, alongside regular cardiovascular training for triathlon events. As always, consult with a fitness professional or physical therapist before starting any new exercise regimen.


In essence, strength training is not just beneficial but essential for triathletes. It complements their endurance training, ensuring they’re powerful, resilient, and injury-free.

Whether one is a beginner or a seasoned triathlete, integrating a well-structured strength training routine can make a world of difference in performance and overall athletic longevity.

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