Get Fitter & Faster By Incorporating Power Bags Into Your Strength Training Routine

This is a great wee workout for runners and triathletes to include in their training a couple of times a week to build and enhance their strength endurance which will benefit their overall health and fitness.

The advantages of strength training for endurance athletes include:

  • Decrease the risk of injury;
  • Improved speed;
  • Enhanced efficiency;
  • Improved muscular power; and
  • Decreased body fat, optimised lean muscle tissue.

Each week I’ll take you through a progression of exercises and workouts that you can do on your own (or in a  group) with no equipment required. Do a couple of sessions a week for 2-4 weeks before progressing onto the workout I’ll post about next week.

A Power Bag (PB) is a sand (or sawdust) filled bag that will provide you with weight or a resistance to make certain exercises harder and challenge your body more.

This weeks article follows on from last week’s one:

Utilising a Power Bag as Part of Your Strength Training Routine

PB Triathlon Strength Session EQ Phase C

  • 10min WU running;
  • 3 sets of:
    • PB Mil Press,
    • Bicycles,
    • PB Squats,
    • PB Burpees,
    • Shuttles;
  • No rest between sets.  Go straight from one exercise to the next.
  • First set – 45sec each exercise;
  • Second & third set – 60sec each exercise
  • After each complete set rest for between 30-60sec, long enough to grab a quick drink.
  • 5min jogging CD;
  • 10min stretching;

Set up by placing a mat down and setting some cones (or some other marker like a hat or a jacket) out at either 10m, 15m or 20m intervals from the mat.

Start with a 10min Warm Up (WU) running at Level II (read this article here for the explanation of Training Intensities). This will get the blood flowing through your muscles and your body ready for the exercise that will follow.

For this workout you’ll complete three sets of each exercise. You will do all exercises in order without rest then the shuttles before taking a short 30-60 second Rest Interval (RI). During the Rest Interval (RI) grab a qwik drink and do some stretching then get back into it. The reason this session is done in a circuit format is because as endurance athletes you compete without taking a rest, rather than break the session into many sets and rest periods like body builders and more power oriented sports do.

The first set is 45 seconds long for each exercise (including the shuttles). and the second & third sets are all 60 seconds long for each exercise. In this time, try and complete as many reps of each exercise that you can maintaining good form in the time available, then change over to the next exercise qwikly with no delay. The first set will last for a total of 3:45 minutes and the other two sets five minutes in total for each set.

Start off with a PB Mil Press.  With the Power Bag held across your chest and the palms of your hands cradling the Power Bag, drive the Power Bag to full arm extension overhead. Slowly lower the bag to your chest and repeat. Maintain a slight bend in your knees throughout.

The next exercise is Bicycles.  Lie on your back with your feet off the ground and your finger tips resting just behind your ears (not behind your head or neck). Lift your shoulder blades off the mat and drive your left knee towards your chest. At the same time rotate your core to the left so your right elbow touches your left knee. Extend your left leg and rotate to the right at the same time as you drive your right knee towards your chest until your left elbow and right knee meet. Continue the leg drive and rotations for the duration of the set.

The third exercise is PB Squats.  Complete these by standing with your feet hip width apart and the Power Bag across your shoulders.  Squat down by bending your knees and pushing your hips out behind you then return to the start position.

The last exercise (prior to running the shuttles) is a PB Burpee. Start standing holding the Power bag at your waist.  Push the Power Bag to the ground and drive your legs out behind you to adopt the front support position. Rapidly drive your knees forward planting your feet so that you can stand up.  As you stand up lift the Power Bag up driving it overhead, then lower to your waist before repeating.

To finish off the set complete as many shuttles running between your two cones or markers. It doesn’t matter if they are 20m or 10m apart (or even 15m).  You just end up turning more often if they are closer together.

After you have completed the set, take a short Rest Interval (RI) prior to the next set. After the last set, complete a Cool Down (CD) of a minimum of five minutes jogging at Level II. Finish off with ten minutes of stretching.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to my informative newsletter.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

For more great workouts see my eBook: ‘Top 10 Workouts from Coach Ray – The Ten Most Popular Training Sessions from www.CoachRay.nz”.  Use the workouts within the eBook to enhance your fitness.

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