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Strength Training/Weight training for a runner


Hello Adam,

I am a college student who runs 4 days a week, but now I would like to incorporate strength training into my weekly routine.  Which would be to run 2 or 3 days and lift weights 2 or 3 days a week.  Right now, I am doing a low intensity high rep circuit type strength training.  

Yet, during the winter break (December) I would like to do a 4 week strength training program where weights will be lifted 6 days a week and I will only run 1 day, just to maintain it.  The reason for doing this is a combination of available time and the desire to put on alittle bit of muscle and this appears to be a great way to start.  My plan would be to do three days of high intensity and the last three days of the week low intensity of the same muscle groups.  Like, for example, high intensity shoulder and back Monday would be followed by low intensity shoulder and back on Thursday.  Then when January starts I will go back to 2 days run and 3 days weight lifting.

My question is whether or not this is healthy for someone who has done a relatively small amount of weight training to lift everyday?  How would you modify it?  And if this plan seems unacceptable, do you have any recommendations?

Thank you for your time,

You could do six days a week, but if your body isn't used to doing that, you will be sore.  By the time your body gets used to it, you'll be switching back to your normal routine.  If you do each muscle group twice that week, doing what you suggest a high intensity then three days later a lower intensity workout, the shock to the system should be a good change.  Like I said you will be a little sore doing it that way.  When you get back, I would think about lifting three days and doing your running on those same three days so that the other days are complete rest days for you.  If you chose to do cardio on those days it wouldn't hurt, but it wouldn't have to be necessary.  Hope that helps.

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Adam Kessler


USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. I have 16 years experience in the industry and now run my own personal training company.

I am a speed expert. I can answer questions in regards to how to get faster and or quicker. If you are an athlete, I can also help you with your strength training routine. Understanding how you need to workout to get stronger will also help you get faster as well.

Please Note: I cannot give out any type of exercise programs. I can give advice, but don't ask me to give you an off-season workout or program to do at home. I know nothing about you and cannot give information like that over this forum. You might misinterpret what I'm saying, get hurt, and I get in trouble. Ask specific questions. I do have a document you can download that discusses the basics of losing and gaining weight. Please click here to download this document.

I have a nice report that discusses what you would need to do to be successful with your speed program. I also have highlighted over 100 athletes and coaches that have worked with me and the success they have had with my speed program. Some of them, we have documented the exact improvements in their running times to illustrate what an awesome program this is. It is called The Secrets to Their Success and you can check it out at for more information.

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I have had over 16 years of experience in the health and fitness field. The last 9, I started and have been running my own personal training company. I was also the head strength coach of an area high school for 4 years before committing to my company full-time.

I am a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. I also belong to USA Weightlifting.

I have been the feature of several articles in Columbus Business First and Mid-Ohio Golfer. I have written articles for various online article directories which can be found by Google searching my name. I have done speakings at several state and local clinics for strength and conditioning.

B.A. at Indiana University (1994)
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach

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