Benefits Of Higher Intensity Strength Training

Posted: July 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

Runners tend to rely exclusively on just running to achieve and sustain their fitness.  Undoubtedly, running provides an incredible sense of accomplishment and the greatest return on investment of time and effort.

However, focusing predominantly on just one activity has its drawbacks.  Runners can become mentally stale and overdevelop certain muscle groups; making them more injury prone.  Additionally, the law of diminishing return takes effect. As a runner becomes more fit it takes more effort to achieve greater caloric burn and cardiovascular benefit.

One of the most effective solutions is to incorporate higher intensity strength training.  Just one session of higher intensity strength training per week can yield significant physiological and mental psychological benefits.  Runners will jumpstart their metabolism and protect themselves against injury by improving their muscular balance.  Replacing just one run per week with a higher intensity strength training will also improve a runners overall mental state and enthusiasm for running.

Just as hill work, intervals, speed work and long slow distance are important components to a successful running program, a variety of higher intensity strength training exercises will provide greater overall fitness benefits.  I recommend a combination of weight training (e.g., bench press, dumbbell curls, military press, etc.) and strength training (e.g., lunges, squats, pull ups, push ups, etc.).

Runners can improve their running efficiency and technique with greater core and upper body strengthening gained through this type of workout.  It’s important to be moderate and consistent when adding this new component to your training program.

Replace just one run per week with a higher intensity strength training workout and enjoy improved fitness and less down time due to an overuse injury.

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