If a budding triathlete isn’t busy enough, I have to dream up a fourth sport to become proficient at. We’ll call it weights.

I ought not to propose it was altogether my idea but to me it falls more to common sense training and yes my coaching training may have proclaimed it to be essential at some point but either way I’m all in.

Since 2005 I have been annually recertified as a PTS (personal trainer specialist) by Can-Fit-Pro and will confess that I use these training skills with all my monthly triathletes as our fourth sport.

Every one of them has joined me in a gym setting where I coach them as a personal trainer would in the proper use of all gym equipment. I write them a “Weights” training plan specific to them and for that time of year.

As a coach, safety is always on my mind and is number one regardless. But I also know there are risks when playing any sport. The risks even go beyond the best training possible as soon as you introduce one other person or hundreds of them, accidents can happen! A strong body will be your best friend when it comes to saving yourself.

It never surprises me anymore that when heading into the gym with a new athlete who may or may not have experience as a gym person jumping from machine to machine, that we will discover weaknesses.

Even the most experienced, the strongest will at some point in our testing show a weakness of the body in one location or more. Assuredly in my experience nobody has ever revealed the perfect all-around body that doesn’t need strength training somewhere to help protect itself.

As a triathlete we (hopefully) travel in one direction, straight ahead. When we train our bodies for hours, days, weeks, months to go in one direction, that leaves us wide open to a catastrophic failure should another direction be forced upon us.

It can be a fall from a bike, stopping and turning quickly on the run to avoid another athlete, hopping unusually over a curb all alone during a long run that can bring our joint weaknesses to front and center.

Stabilizing our joints with weight training and multi directional activities is vital to keeping us safe and sound when the unordinary comes calling.

Get into the gym heavy from the end of the triathlon season until the new year, continue two sessions per week until spring and then once a week throughout the summer months, your body will love you for it!

Cheers, Paul

The Fourth Sport

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