Strength training

Hi guys Not finding my strength training very effective. Can anyone advise some good routines? Currently do 3 runs a week, one is a long run. Also some hill repeats, and a swim. Training for a half marathon. Am a 31 year old female. Looking to do 2 or 3 strength workouts a week, or whatever people think will be effective. Have lose weights and a fitness ball in my armoury! Thanks for your help.


  • Barbell squats are good, as long as you have ok form. They work mainly on your quads, core and glutes as long as you go parallel. In fact nearly all the major babrell lifts (squats, deadlifts, OHP and power cleans) all work on your core as you use it to stabilise yourself when doing these lifts; but then again lifting may not be your thing, and can be quite tiring (I've dropped most of my lifting now, apart from squats) but irregardless squats are something that should be incorporated. Leg press can be seen as an alternative to squats, but there is nothing stopping you from doing both.

    Lunges too work the core and legs so are another good exercise. In short, anything that works your legs and core (feel free to include your upper body if you want to balance it out).

  • I do 3 sessions of bodyweight exercises a week which works a treat... roughly as follows: Push-ups, sit-ups, squats, tricep dips and burpees. 5 sets of each with 60 secs rest inbetween. The number of reps would depend on your level for each exercise but for example I aim for a total number per exercise - 70+ press ups, 120 + sit-ups, 75 + squats, 60+ dips.

    I then increase the totals by five a week and the reps can be any combination of numbers as long as I reach my total and the last set has double the first set. I hope thats not too complicated but I find body weight more effective.
  • I think Oscar's advice is very good. You might want to try reading 'Convict Conditioning' or 'Never Gymless' (both easily available online). You can become very strong indeed with body-weight exercises.

    If you really find yourself getting a lot out of body-weight work and are enjoying it, then compound barbell exercises can take your strength to another level. You need to read a book like Rippetoe's 'Starting Strength' and get someone who knows what they are doing to check your form, otherwise you risk getting badly injured.
  • It depends on what you wanbt to get out of your weight training. If you are looking to specifically improve your running then have a read on he links below for some running specifric exercises. If its just general strength then compound exercises such as those mentioned above would be good

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