3 REASONS YOUR STRENGTH PROGRAM ISN'T WORKING
1. Diverting from your goal
Unfortunately we often get sidetracked when strength training with people opting to train the muscles that are the most fun or easiest for them. Commonly we choose exercises that are going to make us look good as opposed to what is going to help our performance. We can also find ourselves in one of two categories, the ‘try an exciting new exercise every session’ sort, or the ‘been following the same program for a year’ type, neither of which are specific or particularly effective.
The so called "strength training" programs that prescribe high intensity, high repetitions, star-jumps, sit-ups, burpees etc aren't beneficial for endurance athletes. These workout are used as "fitness" workouts. Remember it is not fitness you are trying to achieve, you already get that through the miles you put in each week in the pool, on the bike or running. What we are aiming for is developing the structural strength around our joints, performing jumping jacks in a strength for endurance program will not achieve this and could even cause injury and added stress.
We need to remind ourselves what our end goal is. Training well is often not glamorous or terribly exciting, but more about focusing on doing the basics well and doing them consistently. Every exercise in your strength program should have a purpose, how is it going to benefit you for your sport?
2. Failing to progress
Moving on from the last point, some of us fall into the trap of repeating the same program you have always done without making changes. Albert Einstein once said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” If we keep doing what we have always done, our bodies will become accustomed to the work and no progression will happen. So be sure to change things up every 4-6 weeks to avoid a plateau in your training. Remember progression in strength training doesn't necessarily mean increasing the load. Mixing up the time under tension, having an eccentric focus or increasing the instability can add to the difficulty, even if you keep the actual exercise the same.
3. Ignoring the warm up
The majority of us hitting the gym will do 5 minutes on a cardio machine and head straight to the weights or machines. Why? because that’s what we were shown to do in our gym induction…years and years ago. Even though this will elevate the heart rate (as a warm up is intended to do), by just doing this we aren't using our time most effectively. For endurance athletes the real benefit of our warm up is an 'early warning detection'. By including a dynamic mobility routine it enables us to see what areas are tight, what is restricted and what needs a little more attention. Our findings from the warm up shouldn't be ignored, spend time working on your mobility, it's your time to take notice of what your body feels like, before injury occurs.
Not sure what your warm up should include? Our StrengthForEnduranceKIT program comes with a 10 minute dynamic mobility warm up - a perfect preparation for your strength sessions or used on it's own.