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It Isn't Just Strength/Weight Ratio- Last Time I Checked, Fat Doesn't Contract.

In the sport of triathlon, a lot is being asked of an athlete. In traditional sports, an ideal set of anthropometric exists for each positional player and sports sciences seems to show that just isn't true in triathlons. Most coaches focus, rightfully so, on strength to weight ratios. This concept spotlights the value of speed and endurance for those sports whose success is drastically influenced by this ratio.


"Success in long distance triathlon (as defined by faster racing times) goes to the athletes who have ability to generate the greatest force and aerobic power, in the most economical manner, to overcome the drag or resistance of water, wind and terrain." Jennifer Hutchinson, RD, USAT L3 Elite

It is commonly accepted that it is ideal to be light, powerful and have the capacity to work at near redline efforts for extended periods of time. Runner's Magazine has been quoted in publications as saying a drop in 2lbs, 1%, of body fat is believed to increase your half marathon time by 1 minute and 1:45 for the full 26.2 miles. When you look at the sport's coveted champions- Gwen Jorgensen, Miranda Carfrae, Patrick Lange, Daniella Ryff and/or Jan Frodeno- a common denominator is a low body fat %.


The difficult part is going about losing the unwanted body fat all while preserving that coveted force-producing muscle tissue. Most coaches are simply unfamiliar and uncomfortable with implementing cost (time/safety) efficient methods to walk this fine line of performance.


To increase your current strength-weight ratio, you need to either

1) integrate a strength plan that caters to your needs and discipline demands

2) have what extra fat you do have sucked out, freeze zapped or smashed

3) or 1 & 2


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