2009 Update: More new material coming
It is impossible to design a program that is good for all. Peoples needs differ depending upon their current level of fitness, injury history, weight, desired results, and a host of other factors. All runners are neither equal, nor making plans to run the same distances, and vary in many ways including prior strength training, current fitness level, and ultimate ability levels.
Body weight training in addition to or instead of machine and free weight training is helpful. Core training is known to be important. Many good exercises can accomplish both. A variety of web based resources are available. We can only give a sampling of exercises and routines here made with runners in mind.
Old School Strength Training:
- Don't forget, we are runner's not body builders.
- Some of us are beginners.
- Get a physical, be careful.
- Check with your trainer.
- Use your brain, not your brawn in carefully easing into an exercise program.
- Start with light weights.
- There is no shame in using body weight (BW), light dumbbells (DB), 5 lbs, 10 libs, or 12 lbs. You are not there to impress anyone in a gym.
- Most of these exercises can be done at home.
Only a small variation in thought will lead from old school strength training to the latest in weight training. Choose one from each category and up to 8 or so exercises. Mix it up with some body weight exercises and core body exercises and you'll be on the way. Vary your training by increasing reps and sets (up to 3 after a warm up). Warm up gently, stretch,then do light weights also for a warm up with lower reps.
Don't forget, we are runner's not body builders. Some of us are beginners. Get a physical, be careful. Check with your trainer. Use your brain, not your brawn in carefully easing into an exercise program. Start with light weights. There is no shame in using body weight (BW), light dumbbells (DB), 5 lbs, 10 libs, or 12 lbs. You are not there to impress anyone in a gym. And most of these exercises can be done at home.
Concepts runners should keep in mind include:
- Horizontal Push-Pull
- Vertical Push-Pull
- Core Body Exercises
- Leg Work
Nostaligic Old School Workout:
Bench Press (BB) Wide Grip (Chest - Pectorals - primary, Triceps - secondary)
Flies (Chest-Pectorals primary, Anterior Deltoid secondary)
Bent Over Rows (DB or BB) (Back - lats)
Cable Low Row
Arms & Shoulders
Arm Curl (DB or BB) (but note, biceps are worked with the rows in a multijoint and multi-muscle exercise, and curls are not necessary)
Overhead Press (BB or DB)
Optional: lateral raises or front raises
Lying Triceps Pullover
Cable To Face Pulls (posterior deltoid, lats, serratious)
Legs and Abdomen
Leg Extensions or Leg Press or (cautiously) Squat
Calf Raise (optional)
More Options For Variety:
Pull-ups (Back - Lats, Biceps), Dips (Chest, Triceps), Pushups (Triceps, Pectorals, Deltoids)
New School Routines:
Core Focus Circuit:
Planks - hold 20 - 60 seconds
Bridge - hold 30 - 60 seconds or repeat 12 times holding 2 seconds each time.
Side Planks - hold 20 - 30 seconds
1 Legged Bridge - repeat 10 times on each side
Pushups - do 5 - 20+ (according to your level of fitness, on your knees if you must) (optional)
Prisoner Squats (arms crossed behind your head, not too deep if you have any tendency to knee trouble, skip if necessary) (optional)
Mountain Climbers - kneeling similar to squat thrust position, alternating bringing legs forward to your chest.
Bird Dog - On hands and knees - lift and point with opposite arm/hand and leg/foot - hold 5 seconds, repeat 10 times (optional)
Body Weight Circuit:
Prisoner Squats - 15
Pushups 5 - 15
Jumping Jacks - 40-50
Planks - Hold 20-45 seconds
Bridges - Repeat the bridge 12 times
One legged bridges - 10 times each side
Side Planks - 12-30 seconds each side
Step up or split squat (low step, avoid if knee problems)
Reverse Crunch - 15 times
Pull ups 3 - 10 (assisted if needed)
DB Lunge - or BW Walking Lunge - 15 each side
DB Split Squat
DB OH Press
DB Combination Squat, Curl, Press (do gently or substitute curl/press if necessary)
DB - Combo - Fly/DB Bench Press
DB - Bent over Row
DB - Step up (optional)
Jumping Jacks 40-50
DB Squat/Curl/Press 10-15
DB Fly/DB Bench Press - both in each set moving from fly to press to fly, etc. 10-15
Planks - hold 20 - 50 seconds
Bridges/1-legged bridges 15/10
Side Planks 12-20 seconds each side
BW or DB Lunges
Coming up soon - Swiss Ball options
|“...begin any exercise program with caution...”
|“... You may weigh less at 45 than you did at 35, but body composition
show you that your body fat percentage has increased and what you've
lost is lean muscle mass, not fat. ...”
Body Weight Circuits and training: The master of body weight training is Craig Ballantyne. Craig emphasizes fat loss through his turbulance training programs, but his body weight circuits and his "circuit challanges"
are truely an amazing workout. Of course the one draw back is that you'll be exposed to his books on the "evils of cardio", but he is wise, as are many of the modern certified trainers. He knows that not everyone can pick up with a HIT (high intensity training) program and that one should vary their speeds for optimal results. As runners we know that one speed does not fit anyone well. Optimally even the long distance runner and every good long distance runner has a tremendous mix in their training. Arthur Lydiard and all who came after him used periodization and a combination of training types, distances, and speeds for their athletes to perform at their best. No one recommends doing only long, slow, distance. Joe Henderson's early teachings on LSD (Long, Slow, Distance) has been misinterpreted by those who didn't read what he had to say, and what he has said many times. Essentially that it isn't all long, and it isn't all slow.
To be successful runners, you'll have to get out of your comfort zone. But, I'd advise you stay well within in for your initial forays into strength training.
Craig Ballantyne has a number of excellent videos available both on his site and also at youtube. A podcast of his training is also available. While he sells a program, there is much available at no charge. Links will be placed here shortly. In the meantime, google will be your best friend.
Strength Training Programs For Runners:
Blog entry: The Three Pillars of Fitness