STRENGTH & MOBILITY FOR THE ENDURANCE ATHLETE
Our Strength & Mobility Program is designed specifically for the endurance athlete with the goals of increased strength, range of motion, power production and injury resistance. Through a periodized approach of strength development, plyometrics, muscular stability training and strength maintenance, we help correct the imbalances that come from sport training and daily life for improved health and performance.
Most endurance athletes today accept the value and benefits of strength training for improving their swimming, cycling and/or running abilities. Many still remain unmotivated to make time for strength training or are unsure of exactly how to go about implementing strength work into their overall training program. Our professional endurance athletes and coaches at S:6 are here to help!
Put simply, our Strength & Mobility Program at Sessions:6 focuses on improving the movement of the human body.
On the strength side we focus on the posterior chain (think backside: glutes, hamstrings, low back, and to lesser degree the quads) as these are the prime movers for forward propulsion in endurance sport. In addition to these major movers we train the full spectrum of functional movers of “the core” (hips, back, abdominals, and shoulders). Our periodized program is highly progressive and adaptable by the coach for the individual athlete to all ability levels. First you learn the proper movements, then you gradually add resistance, and if appropriate you finally add speed.
The Mobility piece focuses on correcting movement imbalances that come from both sitting on a bike for hours a week and even more so sitting in a vehicle or at a desk for extended periods of time. Simply said, sitting is killing us; both from a health standpoint and physical movement standpoint. As we sit the soft tissue in the front of the hip shorten and we lose range of motion, our muscles begin to “turn off” and lose functional capabilities, not to mention other areas of the body like the spine, shoulders, and abdominals being negatively effected. These effects directly impact our ability to perform in sport by a loss of rang of motion and ultimately power production. They can also set us up for injury and being an unhappy athlete.
Our Strength & Mobility Program is a twice weekly program that helps to improve strength and range of motion to minimize those detrimental effects of life and training .
Over the years we have found that the most effective time of the year for a strength focus in an endurance athlete’s training program is right after the completion of their competitive season. This window of the year is often referred to as the “off-season” meaning that the athlete is “off” from their sport specific training and racing. During this time it is best to pull back from the main sport training (cycling, running, swimming) and spend time focusing on the supplementary work of mobility, strength and power development. For the majority of athletes in the Northern Hemisphere this time of year is November through January; this 3-month block is phase 1 of our annual cycle.
Phase 2 is a short 4 week block of plyometric & stability training. This allows the athlete to recover from the strength work in Phase 1 and incorporate some lighter and faster movements. This also aligns with the the toughest block of training found in our Trainer Series so athletes can tackle those sessions with a bit more pep in their pedals.
Phase 3 is a return to more strength development right before the start of their competitive season. This 8 week block in March and April is the final window of strength gains before entering the completive season.
Phase 4 is maintenance training that focuses on plyometrics and reactive movements with small amounts of strength work to maintain the gains made in the off-season. This phase goes the entire competitive season: May through September, with the exception of race weeks. Once the competitive season is complete, athletes return to the strength training phase in the off-season and are able to jump right in a continue their strength development without starting from scratch and make more progress from year to year than if they were to drop strength work through the summer season.
The primary goals of Strength & Mobility training is to help improve an athlete’s joint mobility, strength across the joint, improve posture and hip stability for running, generate more power and increase comfort on the bike, and increase shoulder stability for improved swimming propulsion and injury resistance. This program is designed for the endurance athlete with limited experience with strength training in mind, however is also suitable for more experienced “lifters” looking for a progressive program of strength and conditioning through the year.
Phase 1 Begins November, 2017
PHASE 1-3: November through April are Mondays and Wednesdays:
- 12:00-1:00 pm
- 6:00-7:00 pm
PHASE 4: May through September Sessions are Tuesdays and Thursdays:
- 12:00-1:00 pm
- 6:00-7:00 pm
The progressive strength program and Sessions:6 coaches has made strength training not only highly beneficial for me but it’s also very motivating and fun!
Silvia Snape, Multi-Sport Athlete