Getting to some strength training for endurance athletes



Over the next few weeks, a few of us will be testing out some strength training designed to improve explosive and short-duration power. I built the program with the help of a former strength coach of the Washington Redskins. I’ll periodically provide some feedback here and on the Coaches’ Corner Podcast, as I am taking a little different approach to strength training this off-season. Depending on how it goes, I may open it up for others to participate. The key is that you will need to have access to equipment and have knowledge of how to perform certain lifts or have access to someone who can help you do it the first time.

The staple workouts of the program are the power clean or high pull, the back squat, the dead lift, and the glute-hamstring crunch (aka glute-hamstring raise). We’ll try to get some video of us cyclists throwing around some weights. Just don’t laugh at how little weight we use compared to some other videos you may see on YouTube!

The glute-hamstring crunch, though, is something everyone should look into doing. It will significantly improve your ability to avoid injury in those regions. Here are some videos:

For variations, see the latter half of the second video

An alternate version if you do not have the equipment

This is a very difficult exercise, so don’t expect to be able to do it unassisted the first time.


awesome, strength is so important, and i rarely see runners and triathletes doing it when all sprinters and short distance athletes i have worked with do!


Day 1 for me is tomorrow. @Coach_Flo will start a week later. We’re going to get yuge!


Ahma git jack’t too, bruh


You have no idea. I got so big yesterday. Actually, day 1 was just baseline testing. Felt good.


As promised, here are videos of two of the exercises in this program. More to follow, but I was limited on what I could video. Didn’t want to infringe on other’s workouts/privacy.


You like that trap-bar?
I like doing a few reps then taking it for a 25 foot walk, 2 more reps and then down. Turn around, short rest, take it back.

I can’t believe you don’t work out in those harem pants.


Normally I use the harem pants and a fanny pack. Just wanted to show off the legs a little bit in the video.

I like the idea of the walk, but the padded area for olympic lifts is slightly raised. I know that I would trip were I to try walk.


So what is/are the difference(s) between the high pull and the clean? Why are you dropping the bar?
I’ve been doing what I think are cleans: I believe they are something you had me doing in the run training?


The difference between high-pull and clean is that the high-pull only gets the bar up to your chest level. You don’t drop the hips to get under it and stand back up. You can do high-pulls instead of cleans if you struggle with the technique. Many of our pure cyclists also don’t have the upper body strength to manage some of the clean techniques really well.

As for dropping the bar, that is because there is no negative in the clean or high-pull. When you get to heavier weights, you risk injury by trying to control the weight as you put it down.

I will get a video up of the clean so you can see the difference.



I’ve been doing 110 pounds, 3 sets of 8. This is a weight I can control. We’re not set up for serious powerlifting, so dropping the weights isn’t an option. Maybe I could just throw a few mats down. I am definitely controlling the weight on the way down with core and hips. Maybe what I’m doing isn’t really a clean. I’ll get a kid to video it and put it up.


You are probably good on the way up. It’s the way down that can add problems. Here’s my video. It’s not perfect form by any stretch, but I wasn’t at my max weight.


I just made a video: I’m not dropping my hips. In fact, it looks all kind of awful.


I can’t seem to add the videos from my phone(?)


you may have to put it on YouTube first.


oh the shame! :smile:




Ok, a couple of things.

Dead Lift

  1. Not bad, but notice that you are rounding the upper back when you start the lift by letting the shoulders drop forward. Keep those monsters pinned back, and it will help you keep your whole back straight.

  2. Keep your weight evenly balance on your feet. Try not to rock forward or backward. That can cause some issues. Think of your toes and heels being nailed to the ground.

Power Clean

  1. You need to drop your butt lower on the starting position. You are starting with a rounded back. It should be as close to flat as possible.

  2. Don’t let your knees lock out until you are at the finish point of the exercise. Even then, you want a soft lock-out. When you get to the point that you want to lock your knees, that’s when you need to drop the hips under the bar. Once the bar is under your chin with your elbows beneath the bar, you stand up straight by straightening the legs.

Overall, not bad. With some better form, you would easily be able to clean much more weight. Practice with that weight, though, until you get the form down.


Thanks a lot. Some cues to think about when I get ready. I know the back is an issue: I have a hard time getting down there without taking skin off my knees on the way up. I’ll work on it. Twice a week alright for this kind of stuff? At least 48 hours between?