Extra Life TriFit Strength and Mobility Training

  • Strength is one of the critical, but often overlooked elements of a proper triathlon training program. No matter how much you swim, bike, and run, it can always be complemented by an effective strength training protocol.

    How does a strength training protocol become effective? Can’t I just go out and lift weights? Not quite, because you’re at risk of doing more harm than good if you a) do too much, b) do the wrong workouts, c) do the workouts at the wrong time, or d) do them with improper form.

    “Less is more” is a good mantra for strength training for endurance athletes, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it completely. On the contrary, ignoring strength training can result in decreased performance, or even injury.

    When a supporting muscle group is not strengthened, and remains weak despite an increase in volume of exercise, the muscle may fatigue during long workouts. When this happens, surrounding muscles overcompensate, your form will begin to break down, and this can cause pain or discomfort during exercise, and performance gains will be slow to come.

    The solution is to practice a structured and consistent strength training program which targets the primary and supporting muscle groups responsible for swimming, biking, and running. The approach should follow in line with progression of training during the season, with an offseason maintenance program (designed to improve functional strength and mobility), early season “base” strength (where muscular strength and endurance is built), power phase strength (where we increase the sets and the weight, and reduce the reps), and finally a taper phase (where we taper down the strength training in lead up to race day).

    The Extra Life strength training protocol incorporates one element of strength followed immediately by a associative mobility exercise. Each combination is repeated for the necessary number of sets. This combo not only promotes strength of the muscles being exercised, but also strength through a wider range of motion. Additionally, stretching is incorporated into each strength training workout.

    It’s good to practice strength training about twice per week, spread out over at least a couple days. The elements of each workout should include significant core work, leg work, and upper body workouts. Much of the workouts throughout the training phases can be body weight only, but during the power phase it may be necessary to incorporate more weights.

    For demonstrations of common workouts, please see the video gallery below.

Strength Training Phases

During a triathlon training build, there are three primary phases of strength – Base, Power, and Taper. 

Functional Strength Programs

Core Strength Workout


Core Strength Demonstrations

In and Outs

Demonstration of In and Outs

Russian Twists

Demonstration of Russian Twists

Side Hip Raises

Demonstration of Side Hip Raises


Demonstration of the Superman

Stability Ball Back Extensions

Demonstration of back extensions to improve core strength


Oblique V-Ups


Leg Strength Demonstrations

Trap Bar Deadlift

Demonstration of Trap Bar Deadlift


Demonstration of squats without weight


Demonstration of a proper lunge with no weight


Upper Body Strength Demonstrations

TRX Band Rows

Demonstration of TRX Band Rows

Stability Ball Chest Press

Push Ups


Mobility Demonstrations

Stability Ball Reaches

Demonstration of Stability Ball Reaches

Side Bends

Demonstration of Side Bends

Half Bridge

Demonstration of Half Bridge

Full Bridge

Demonstration of Full Bridge

Hip Series

J Curls

Demonstration of the J Curl, an exercise to improve back, hamstring and shoulder mobility

Forward Bends

Arm Circles


Flexibility/Recovery Demonstrations

Using the Foam Roller

Demonstration on how to use the foam roller on your legs

Leg Stretch Series

Stretches to perform after a workout