Strength Routine Questions

  • Creator
  • #43418


    I recently bought TFTNA and am currently in the base period focusing on Z1/Z2 volume, but I had a question regarding strength training. I don’t want to lose any muscle mass while picking up running volume, but I’ve been prone to injury and overtraining in the past. I have bad tightness and soreness in my left leg that crops up when I increase in training, so I’ve been diligent about staying at or below Z2, but I also had a few questions regarding strength training in general:

    During the strength workouts, if I want to maintain muscle mass while progressively increasing strength, what rep range should I primarily focus on doing? I always get uncertain whether to focus on bodyweight alone, or add resistance. I’ve committed to focusing on bodyweight only to avoid injury, but I’m at a bit of a loss for set/rep count. For legs, I’ve been usually pushing out close to ~100 band squats and lunges across -4 sets, and I wasn’t sure if that was crazy overkill and if I’m entering the overtraining realm. Push ups and pull ups I keep closer to ~30-40 total, but I vary the type or add resistance across the workout. While I usually feel tired after my workout, I’m not exhausted; however, between working on my aerobic capacity, core, and strength workouts, I don’t want to overtrain again. I’ve compiled a list of exercises that I rotate through each strength day to change things up and challenge my body. Right now, I do strength training 3x a week with core about 4 times a week:

    Squats w/ Band
    Weighted Push Ups
    Elevated Push Ups
    Plyo Ball Elevated Pushups
    One Legged Pushups
    Reverse Lunges
    Bulgarian Split Squats
    Single-Leg Deadlifts
    Weighted Pull Ups
    Slow Pull Ups
    Farmer’s Carries
    Side Rows
    Single Leg Glute Bridges
    Weighted Step Ups/Downs
    Super Push Up/Judo PU
    Box Step Ups and Downs

    Additionally, would you recommend adding weight to exercises, or is it better to keep with bodyweight and alter the exercise to make it more difficult (i.e. a one legged push up vs standard)? Do you see differences in strength gains or ME from this? I’d imagine that you’d get improved stability and core strength from one legged as opposed to weighted that would be beneficial in trail running. Again, my overarching fear is that I may overtrain by doing too many reps or too difficult of exercises, but at the same time, I don’t want my muscle mass/max strength to suffer as a result of my running. Thank you so much for your help, I know this has a lot of info, but this forum is awesome, and TFTNA has changed the way I look at training for hiking/climbing!

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Participant
    Shashi on #43438

    Welcome to the forum.

    Have you gone through this article on strength training?

    It provides some good info on progression.

    Anonymous on #43571


    I don’t want to lose any muscle mass while picking up running volume…

    Why not? If strength is the same or greater, then less mass can improve performance.

    bish11101 on #43670

    Hey Scott,

    I’ve always been underweight and have just recently made gains as far as muscle, so I’m trying to avoid losing the progress I’ve made this year. I suppose the reasoning is mainly aesthetic; however, I also figured I’d be losing some strength in the process with loss of muscle mass. At the same time, I don’t want to include too many strength days which could result in me overtraining. My thought was cycling more frequent strength weeks with lighter ones and supplementing with additional calories to offset the mileage from running and to aid with recovery.

    And thank you Shashi for the reference to the page! I’ve incorporated these into my strength/ME training days. Much appreciated!


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