"Endurance Athletes: The Necessity
of Strength Training"
"Shoulders: Add Size & Strength
Using Only Cable Exercises"
- STRENGTH TRAINING FOR THE ENDURANCE ATHLETE
focus here is on STRENGTH development, not muscular ENDURANCE.
The endurance athlete already has extremely high levels
of muscular endurance due to their high-volume aerobic training
regimens. Resistance training is prescribed in this program
to build strength in the muscle fibers and the connective
tissue to enhance performance and strengthen tissues against
injury. Studies with endurance athletes have shown that
the addition of high-intensity resistance training (5 sets
x 5 RM) increases strength and short-term endurance performance
(exercise to exhaustion test).
program emphasis is on the legs, single-leg training, and
core strength (abdominal and low-back complex). These are
the keys to almost all success in athletics. Upper-back
exercises (rowing exercises) are included to balance the
strength development of the "pushing" muscles
(pectorals) to ensure muscle balance in the upper-body.
The pushing (presses) and pulling exercises will help build
adequate arm strength to increase arm stride performance.
are the important considerations for the training program:
*1-2 warm-up sets (12 repetitions per set at a light intensity).
Choose 1 lift from each group of exercises.
Rest 1 minute between sets.
Tempo = 2 - 0 - 1 (2 count on downward movement, no pause,
1 count up).
Stretching must be done every day. Do NOT neglect this component.
Week 1 = 1 set of 12-15 repetitions
= 1 day of training per week
Week 2 = 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions
= 1-2 days of training per week
Week 3 = 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions
= max of 2 weekly sessions during
heavy conditioning periods
= max of 3 weekly sessions during
1 exercise from every grouping)
-*DB (dumbbell) STEP-UP
- HAMSTRING CURL
-*NARROW-GRIP SEATED ROW
-*WIDE-GRIP SEATED ROW
-*DB FLAT PRESS
-*DB INCLINE PRESS
- 1 ABDOMINAL EXERCISE
- 1LOW-BACK EXERCISE
- 1 OBLIQUE ABDOMINAL EXERCISE
- "CABLE-STACKED": BIG SHOULDERS WITHOUT SHOULDER
you want to make an impression around the office, on the
beach, or at the bar? Might I suggest developing big, muscular
shoulders? Broad shoulders are looked upon with great respect,
after all, it is has been said that the shoulders make the
most popular exercises used for deltoid (anatomical name
for shoulder muscles) development have been the shoulder
press and the narrow-grip upright row. Unfortunately, repetitive
overhead pressing and the unnatural movement promoted by
the upright row may leave some individuals at risk of injury.
But what other exercises can be recommended for shoulder
development aside from these basics?
first exercise that comes to my mind based on personal experience
and training success with my clients is the cable lateral
raise. This action applies continuous and isolated tension
to the deltoids to help stimulate muscle growth. In fact,
an entire workout for the shoulders can be performed using
the cable stack. But first, take a closer look at the cable
LATERAL RAISE EXERCISE TECHNIQUE
sideways at a cable stack. The pulley should be set in the
lowest position with a single-arm handle attached. Grab
the handle and return to a standing position with the knees
slightly bent and torso erect. Slowly raise the arm out
to the side with a very slight bend at the elbow. Raise
the hand to shoulder level and concentrate on contracting
the deltoid muscles. Pause at shoulder height and then slowly
return the weight to the starting position.
see the superiority of the cable version, a comparison of
the dumbbell (DB) and cable lateral raises is necessary.
The lateral raise is initiated by moving the arm sideways
(parallel to the floor) before any vertical action occurs
and in the DB version, there is no resistance against the
deltoid because the DB is not moving against gravity. Lifters
often take advantage of the low-resistance in this phase
to use very heavy weights but the difficulty in the latter
phases of the exercise contribute to the abundance of poor
form seen in the performance of this exercise.
analysis, the DB lateral raise does not provide the optimal
stimulus to the deltoid muscle as there is very little effort
required at the start when the muscle is strongest but a
very high effort required when the muscle is weakest. The
use of a cable stack with the handle set at the low pulley
position is a better mode of resistance because the weight
is always moving vertically (against gravity) and is always
applying resistance to the deltoid.
addition to the cable lateral raise you should include the
cable wide-grip upright row and bent-over cable lateral
raise for complete deltoid development. The upright row
will provide supplementary stimulation to the deltoids and
trapezius muscles for growth and the bent-over lateral raise
targets the oft-neglected posterior head of the deltoid.
Dumbbell shrugs isolate the trapezius muscles to build a
thick and strong neck area. Finally, external rotations
will help build strength to keep the vulnerable shoulder
area safe from overuse or traumatic injury.
narrow-grip upright row may place the trainee at risk for
shoulder impingement however it would be a shame to eliminate
such an effective exercise due to the injury risk. Fortunately,
the exercise can be used safely and effectively simply by
increasing the width of the grip so that the hands are slightly
greater than shoulder-width apart. This simple grip adjustment
alters the biomechanics of the exercise to allow the shoulder
joint to move in a more "natural" motion and will
reduce the risk of shoulder impingement.
the cable stack at the gym has never made any friends, but
after this program you will have such huge shoulders, no
one will want to be your enemy! However, if maximal strength
in the shoulder press is your goal, then you have no choice
but to continue with a variety of pressing movements.
"cable-stacked" program may increase strength
a little because of a greater muscle mass but remember the
principle of specificity of training: In order to improve
the amount of weight lifted in the shoulder press), the
training routine must focus on that exercise. For maximal
strength in the shoulder press, begin your workout with
1-2 high-intensity sets of a shoulder press movement and
then continue with the "cable-stacked" routine.