Powerlifting and running are two disciplines that you may not immediately think complement each other. However, strength training can make you faster, fitter and less prone to injury, says trainer Charles Poliquin, owner of the Poliquin Performance Centers. It also improves core and total-body strength and can aid with weight management. Include a twice weekly strength workout alongside your running, with each session focusing on the three power-lifting exercises.
Set a barbell at shoulder-height in a squat rack. Position yourself underneath with the bar resting across your upper back and walk the bar out by taking a step back. Place your feet hip-width apart and squat down by pushing your hips back and knees out. Keep going until your hips are lower than your knees, then forcefully stand up again. Squats work your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, core and lower back. Perform five sets of six to eight repetitions.
Place a bar in the bench press station and lie on the bench. Plant your feet firmly on the floor and dig your butt, upper back and head into the bench. Lift the bar out of the safety hooks and lower it slowly to your chest. Pause for one second with the bar lightly touching your chest, then push it back up until your arms are completely straight. Keep your elbows tucked in and squeeze the bar as hard as you can during the whole lift, advises Mike Robertson, owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training. Do three sets of eight reps and ask a training partner to assist you with unracking and re-racking the bar at the start and end of your sets. Bench presses work your chest, shoulders and triceps.
Put the barbell on the floor and stand with your feet directly underneath it, ready to deadlift. Hold the bar with a shoulder-width grip, bend your knees until your shins touch the bar, then lower your hips and lift your head and chest up until your back is flat. Lift the bar forcefully off the floor by pulling it up and back and finish the lift with your knees and hips fully extended, standing completely upright. Lower the bar back down under control. Perform two sets of three to five reps using as heavy weight as you can manage while maintaining perfect technique. Deadlifts focus on your hamstrings, glutes and lower, mid and upper back muscles.
- Perform these workouts on separate days to your runs.
- Aim to add a little weight or perform one or two more reps each workout.
- You can also include exercises for other body parts, such as your back and core muscles.
- Check with your health care provider before starting a training regime. Ask a qualified trainer or power-lifting coach to assist you with exercise techniques.
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.