The Killer Tri Workout Combo
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that multisport enthusiasts have amazing figures thanks to the three disciplines. You get the arms of a swimmer, the legs of a cyclist and the leanness of a runner – all in one super-sexy package!
Don’t have time to do all three? Did you know that other workout combos can be just as effective as the classic triathlon, says fitness expert Holly Perkins. “The key is exercise variability, which helps you feel and look better and gets you in better overall shape.”
These killer combos below will also get you toned from head to toe!
Swimming, Boxing, Sprinting
Best for: Fast-tracking a flat tummy
Most workouts keep you moving in one direction, like running, where you plant one foot in front of the other. This combination utilises different planes of motion – forward while sprinting, unilateral while swimming and rotational while boxing – to build functional strength from head to toe.
This mix also gives you built-in recovery: since both boxing and sprinting are high-impact, intense activities, the steady-pace swim lets your muscles and joints recover while improving your cardiovascular endurance. And because all three activities rely heavily on core strength, every sweat session will work to whittle your waistline.
Sprint once or twice a week, box once or twice a week and swim three or four times a week. Choose one workout each day and take one day off per week to recover.
SWIMMING: Swim at a steady pace for at least 30 minutes.
BOXING: Find a kickboxing or boxing class, or follow a DVD. Be sure to brace your core when you kick and punch.
SPRINTING: After warming up, sprint for 10 to 15 seconds at a pace that’s close to your all-out max. Rest for two to three minutes and repeat six to 10 times.
Elliptical, Strength Training, Pilates
Best for: Injury-prone women
If you’re often sidelined by soreness or you’re coming back from an injury, this combination avoids joint pounding, high-impact activities. The elliptical builds cardiovascular endurance but won’t do much to increase muscle strength or endurance. That’s what the strength training is for. And to sculpt rock-hard abs and keep injuries at bay throughout your entire body – especially your core and the muscles that support your joints – round out the programme with stability-enhancing Pilates.
Complete each activity twice a week.
ELLIPTICAL: Pedal forward for five minutes, then in reverse for one. Repeat for 40 minutes.
STRENGTH TRAINING: Do 15 reps of each move in the Simple Strength Circuit without resting. Repeat four times. (Start with light dumbbells – two to four kilos – but don’t be afraid to go heavy as your strength increases.)
Simple Strength Circuit
1. Dumbbell squat: Holding dumbbells at your sides, feet hip-width apart, lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Return to standing.
2. Chest press: Lie face-up on a bench with dumbbells at chest height, elbows bent. Straighten your arms to press the weights towards the ceiling; lower them.
3. Lat pull-down: Sit at a latpull- down machine and grab the bar just outside your shoulders. Slowly pull the bar to your chest, then reverse back to start.
4. Shoulder press: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height. Press the dumbbells up directly above your shoulders. Slowly lower them back to start.
PILATES: Take a class or pop in a DVD. Focus on technique to engage your core.
Running, Plyometrics, Yoga
Best for: Fast fat loss
If you want to blast kilojoules but you’re short on time, pick this plan. Instead of logging loads of kays, you’ll maximise your time on runs by switching between a steady pace (to build aerobic endurance) and tempo runs (to boost kilojoule burn and steer clear of plateaus). To speed up fat loss, you’ll add plyometrics (explosive moves like hops and jumps), which burn kilojoules long after your workout ends, says strength and conditioning specialist Robert Dos Remedios. “Plus, they give women a more developed bum and legs by recruiting type-II muscle fibres, which have a greater growth capacity,” says exercise physiologist Dr Jason Karp. Yoga counteracts runners’ tight hip flexors and hamstrings by improving flexibility, while increasing upper-body strength for all-round definition.
Complete a plyometric workout once or twice, run two to four times and practise yoga two to four times a week. Do one workout per day and rest one day a week.
PLYOMETRICS: If your gym doesn’t offer a plyometrics-based class, try the routine “Power Plyos” from Dos Remedios.
RUNNING: Switch between steady-state runs (at least 30 minutes at a moderate pace) and tempo runs (jog easy for 10 minutes, run 20 minutes at a hard but sustainable pace, then jog easy for 10 minutes).
YOGA: If you’re doing yoga within one day of the plyometrics, choose a gentle yoga practice to help your muscles recover.