There are multiple excuses as to why endurance athletes avoid strength training like the plague. They fear they may gain weight, or get injured, or lose speed. I have heard them all… I am a “fill in the blank” endurance athlete not a body builder, why should I lift weights? I don’t want to get big and bulky. This is where the professional comes in and avoids those things. Just because you lift does not mean you will get big. In fact most don’t have the genetics, and the diet is not such to produce those results. The truth is that lifting weights may be the missing link to move them forward and give them that extra edge, especially the MASTERS AGE groups. Weight training helps to maintain and /or build lean muscle mass that can be catabolized during racing and just the normal muscle loss from aging can be off-set.
Weight training also boosts metabolism, regulates hormones and improves posture, which leads to one of the most beneficial reasons to add weight training to your life routine. Weight training when done properly can correct muscular and postural imbalances, caused by repetitive movements (as is done in endurance sports such as running and cycling). Also postural formations like hunch back, which can be caused by activities such as cycling, a desk job, or longer term computer work. This all can lead to all kinds of postural dysfunctions and head aches, neck and back discomforts, etc. If you don’t do something to off-set the muscle loss of age you will never get it back, not to mention the performance loss that happens over time, even if you are not an athlete.
My hope is that by reading this, any myths and misconceptions you may have are now replaced with the desire to improve your performance and your life. If you are curious or motivated to get involved in a scientifically based and sport specific training program, start by seeking out a knowledgeable experienced coach or trainer. Within a short amount of time you could be enjoying your strongest, best year to date!!