We recently caught up with Aaron Ashdown from A Plus Health & Performance. When Aaron is not training himself (Triathlon), he spends his working hours as an Exercise Physiologist, Strength & Conditioning Coach and proud Strength for Endurance provider in and around Burleigh Heads, Australia. We caught up with Aaron to ask him some important questions on training athletes who are new to the strength training world.


Q. What are the 2-3 most important factors to consider when working with a beginner athlete?

A. The main factor is to determine the demands of their sport and the most prominent movement patterns involved. What level are they currently performing at and discuss their short and long term goals. I also like to discuss their training history and experience within the sport as well as any previous strength training. Finally it is important to assess movement capacity including limitations, restrictions or previous injuries. 


Q. What strength exercises would you use with an endurance athlete new to strength training?

A. My 'go to' exercises are focussed on strengthening the large muscle groups of the lower body with compound movements including squat and deadlift variations, lunges and bridging. It is also important to strengthen the upper body and promote good posture with pull downs, rows and stability exercises. 


Q. What exercise/s do you consider a waste of time?

A. Isolated or single joint exercises targeting individual muscles that have no relevance to the specific sport or movements involved. The body is designed to move as a whole and we need to train in that way. 


* If you're an endurance athlete who is thinking about seeking some advice on strength training, make sure you take these questions into consideration. Whoever you choose to work with, make sure they understand who you are and what sporting demands your body goes through. At The Strength For Endurance Network we want to help you get the best advice possible, so get in touch and we'll connect you with one of our Strength For Endurance providers.



About the Author

Aaron Ashdown

Aaron is an experienced health professional providing exercise physiology services and strength coaching for competitive athletes, weekend warriors and those looking to improve health and well-being. He has a keen interest in strength training for endurance athletes and has recently become a member of the 'Strength for Endurance Network' which aims to connect coaches, trainers and athletes worldwide to promote the importance of strength training to the endurance community and raise the standard of coaching for all professionals.