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Tri Power: The Ultimate Strength Training, Core Conditioning, Endurance, and Flexibility Program for Triathlon Success [Paperback]

Paul Frediani , William Smith

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“As a collegiate hockey player and rower, I didn’t think of core training when I moved into [performing] triathlons. Only when I suffered through several injuries that laid me up for almost two years, did I realize that core strength would not only make me faster, but also improve my body’s ability to prevent and heal injury. I got started late on the Tri Power program last year, but it still enabled me to make Honorable Mention All American in 2006 and, given training splits on the bike, track, and pool, I’m confident I’ll be making All American this year–and race more with far fewer injuries.”
– Charles Macintosh
Honorable Mention All American USA Triathlete (2006)
Member of Team Enhance Triathlon Team NYC
Member of Elysium Fitness Cycling Team

“As I get older, the line between training and injury becomes more difficult to straddle. I have discovered that strength training is the key to keep me strong and injury-free during the long triathlon season. Not only are there physical benefits, the psychological lift it gives me when I need to push through fatigue and out of my comfort zone is immeasurable.”
– Renee Meier
NYC Triathlon, 1st place Age Group (2005)
NYC Triathlon, 2nd place Age Group (2006)
Montauk Mightyman 1/2 Ironman, 1st place (2004, 2006)
Mighty Hamptons, 1st place (2004, 2006)
Vytra Tobay Triathlon, 1st place (2004)
Mighty North Fork, 1st place (2003)
Vytra Tobay, 1st place (2003)

“After a week packed with running and cycling, most of my Monday mornings are intimately spent unknotting my legs on the foam roller. Like a best friend with a sadistic edge, it hurts as good as a hard sprint session. But it’s the best selfcare for my ITB, glutes, and hamstrings (that get as tight as a taught derailleur cable). Tri Power details a terrific and easy-to-follow myofacial release program that leaves me feeling loose and flexible and ready for the next go ‘round.”
–Stefani Jackenthal, elite endurance athlete and adventure journalist
Big Sur Trail Marathon, 1st place (2006)
South African Augrabies Extreme Marathon, 1st place (2006)
Costa Rica’s The Costal Challenge, 2nd place (2006)
All American USA Triathlete (2001)
New York City Triathlon, 1st place (2001, 2002)

“I have followed a strength training program in the off-season for the past three years. Triathlons, particularly cycling in my case, tend to create muscle imbalances that I believe lead to an increased risk of injury. I want to compete in this sport for a long time, and a structured strength training program allows me to achieve a sense of muscular balance and improve my performance by addressing weaknesses first. Tri Power not only provides me with the opportunity to assess and evaluate my strength program, but it also provides a structured program that compliments traditional strength programming with non-traditional training protocols such as balance training, movement prep, and corrective flexibility training.”
– Robert Auston, amateur triathlete and cyclist

“Tri Power protocols address the necessary components of injury prevention. Lack of neuromuscular coordination in traditional core training, namely effective core training, should be done in a challenging environment that incorporates balance and stability. Inefficient motor patterns can develop in static movement patterns, such as crunches. Periodization through phased training as used in Tri Power is important for [your] body, particularly the nervous and muscular systems…. Traditionally endurance-related sports such as running, cycling, and triathlons have not [before] incorporated consistent power training in program design, for either misplaced safety or lack of knowledge… [It] increases your running form through greater nervous system recruitment.”
Dr. Scott G. Duke DC, DACBSP,
A graduate of the New York Chiropractic College
American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians Diplomat
Expert in the field of athletic and spine rehabilitation specializing in soft tissue management

“Having worked with hundreds of Olympic, national, and world class athletes, it is amazing to appreciate how finely attuned they are to small changes in their body. If we multiply the number of repetitions, as in the sport of Triathlon, times the abnormal forces acting on the body it is easy to understand how this could set up a soft tissue disaster. Tri Power addresses muscular imbalances, along with addressing the soft tissue changes, through a dynamic strength program designed for the everyday athlete. Athletes who perform repetitive activities, such as triathletes, subject their musculoskeletal and myofascial systems to higher risk for injury. This repetition of movement creates continual biomechanical stress which for many athletes leads to breakdown of these soft tissue structures producing scar tissue.”
Dr. Marc Jaffe
United States team chiropractor for the 2003 World University Games in South Korea
United States Olympic Team Chiropractor for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece
Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians
2006 New Jersey Sports Chiropractor of the Year

About the Author

Paul Frediani, ACE, ACSM, is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach and author of many fitness books, including PowerSculpt for Women, PowerSculpt for Men, PowerBand, Golf Flex, Surf Flex and others. Paul has finished more than 20 triathlons, placing 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in Masters Clydesdale division. He has been featured on national television and magazines, including Fitness, InStyle, and Self, and currently resides in New York City.

William Smith, MS, NSCA, CSCS, MEPD, began coaching triathletes in 1993 and works with athletes and post-rehab clientele. He was a Division I Collegiate Strength Coach and has been competing in triathlons and marathons since 1998, recently finishing the Steelhead Half Ironman in Michigan in 5 hours and 22 minutes. Will founded Will Power and Fitness Associates and currently consults for fitness, healthcare, and wellness centers in New York and New Jersey.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Triathlons are one of the most popular and accessible of sports. Regardless of age, sex, or athletic prowess, you can begin a training program that will lead you to the end of a successful race. Training for and competing in a triathlon gives you the satisfaction of completing a race and lets you walk away from it with a greater understanding of how your body functions and adapts to stress.

The vast majority of triathletes who compete recreationally are age groupers, or individuals with day jobs and families. Their most common complaint is that they do not have enough time to add strength training to their training program. After all, they are preparing for three different sports, and they feel their workout would be best spent swimming, biking, or running.

It’s time to re-evaluate that train of thought. Tri Power’s program is a valuable investment in your most important asset: your health. It will teach you discipline, self-respect, and commitment to your goals, all qualities that will take you far in any path of your life.


We began to work together training adults for their first triathlons in May 2006. We weren’t trying to make our clients into the next Olympic champions. Instead, we taught the health benefits of being a triathlete, how to train smart, and the best way to stay injury-free. We designed a road map to help each client find their inner voice that says, “I can, I will.” Bobby McGee, a renowned coach and sports psychologist, once said, “Show them that training is only the process of learning to unlock that greatness that is within us all.” We are delighted to share with you now the program we designed for our clients.

Our goal was for our clients to participate in the 1st Annual JCC Triathlon at the end of three months of training. With this in mind, we created a program that encompassed a weekly team training session supported by a motivated coach. We used extensive postural, flexibility, and strength assessments to determine current abilities.

Fifteen New York professionals were not going to take our advice as coaches at face value. They asked questions–lots of them. They prodded and challenged us every step of the way. No one in the class had ever done a triathlon before so the thought of doing a 1/2 mile swim, one-hour bike ride, and 3-mile run was daunting. As the training evolved, they saw results–and then what once seemed impossible seemed doable.

On August 7th at 7:10 A.M. sharp, 15 individuals jumped into the water for a 1/2 mile swim, and by 9 A.M., not only did we have doctors, teachers, psychologists, and stockbrokers in our midst, we had 15 triathletes.


Most triathletes are just like you–people with jobs and families who want to make health and fitness an integral part of their life. They want to be around other likeminded individuals in a supportive atmosphere. It really doesn’t matter if you participate in a mini-distance sprint-triathlon or a full-blown Ironman, because in both, it’s the first step that counts.

Triathletes know the challenge in front of them and accept it. They commit to a solid training schedule and see it through, demonstrating their dedication and persistence. Take your pick: swim, bike, or run. Chances are at least one of these events will pose a challenge to you and require additional work. Even the greatest obstacles can be conquered. Just ask one of our triathletes, Nancy Newhouse.

Nancy, age 57, had an uphill battle to her first triathlon. Three years before she attempted our program, she had severe back surgery that left her with no abdominal strength, extra weight, and a long and arduous rehabilitation. Nancy quickly became the inspiration of the group as she gained strength and mileage step-by-step. Did she have any doubts? You bet. A week before the triathlon she had problems sleeping. But she trusted in her training and completed her race. Now, she calls herself a triathlete.

The success of these 15 professionals helped prove that anyone can become a triathlete. Know that when you choose to complete a triathlon, you are committing to a healthier way of life. Remember to train smart, be consistent, listen to your body, and let Tri Power be your guide.

In Health and Fitness,
Paul & Will

Chapter 1


Tri Power will provide you with the knowledge, guidance, and structure you need–while still allowing you to have a life! This is NOT a how to swim, bike, and run book. Training for a triathlon, especially your first, can be an overwhelming and involved process. This is a to-the-point and time-conscious program designed to keep you on the road–or in the water, if you’re swimming laps.

Tri Power
follows a simple format that incorporates five elements: Beyond Stretching, Warm-Ups, Strength Development, Corrective Exercises, and Core Development.

Beyond Stretching

Have you ever said to yourself, “I stretch all the time! Why am I not getting any more flexible?”There is a way to increase your flexibility through improved knowledge of how your body functions. We will be introducing you to a foam roller (a long cylindrical object made of dense foam). This, and knowledge of your myofasical system (a network of tissue that wraps around your muscles, organs, bones, and the rest), will help you understand the relationship between parts of your body.


A lot of us grew up knowing we should stretch before participating in any activity. The end result of this is that we spend a lot of time preparing ourselves with stretches that have nothing to do with the movement patterns and intensity of exercise that is about to happen. In Warm-Ups, we will talk about balance between your muscle groups, the benefits of raising your body temperature to a vigorous sweat, and how to contract your muscles over multiple joints at once. We also call this movement preparation.

Strength Development

I’m sure you are saying to yourself, “I know what strength development is; I’ve been doing it all my life!”While we believe that to be true, Tri Power will be taking you through multiple patterns of movement with increased resistance. Triathlons generally require a forward motion, or an activity with very little lateral motion. Did you know that moving continuously in one pattern of movement creates imbalances in your body that can result in weak performance or injuries? In a triathlon, we react dynamically: running out of the water, sprinting out of the transition area, or slipping on a rock and catching our balance. Whatever the scenario, Tri Power will stimulate your body on this journey of movement through four phases of training: Foundations, Building, Power, and Maintenance.

Corrective Exercises

We all have different muscle weaknesses and restrictors. For example, weakness can appear in the form of recurrent lower back pain, and restrictors could be tight hamstrings pulling on your hips. In Tri Power, you will be shown strengthening and flexibility exercises that can be used based upon your individual needs in your strength program.

Core Development

Your core is not limited to your abdomen, but includes the entire area between your knees and shoulders, otherwise known as the connection between your lower and upper body. Your core strength is not only your abs, but also your groin, spine, and ribcage strength. Tri Power’s goal is to build muscle from the inside (around your organs and spine) outward toward your abs. As you read further, you’ll realize there is a strong connection between foam rolling exercises and the core.

Each of these five elements is included in the four strength phases. It’s that simple: five components, four phases. These four phases of training will peak your conditioning for a single triathlon or for the full triathlon season. The phases (Foundation, Building, Power, and Maintenance) build your conditioning to give you the greatest chance for success with the least possible risk for injury. This progressive conditioning is known as periodization, or a way to rotate the phases of your training throughout your yearly training cycle. Like when you build a house, you begin with the foundation, then install the frame, insulations, and floors. It’s only at the end that you paint and add the bells and whistles. If you skip a phase, your house may not stand the first time there is a storm.

A triathlete must condition for three sports, which is in itself time-consuming. However, our program will cut it down to basics and will take approximately three 30-minute workouts per week–all from home with minimal equipment.

Spending hours in a gym each week can feel redundant and ultimately ineffective. You probably think you’re wasting a lot of time–and you are. A well-designed strength and flexibility program should not take more than 30 minutes of real effort a few times a week. If you consider the long-term benefits, this small investment of time is well worth it.


Phase I: Foundation and Adaptation

Before you begin working on strength and power, you need to make sure your foundation is secure. Think of your body like a tree. You have the stump, trunk, roots, and branches. We need to grow your foundation, and evolve the surrounding structures. In the Foundation phase, we introduce our strength program for the first time. Warm-Up, Strength, Core, and Beyond Stretching exercises are included.

Phase II: Building

During this phase, you will begin exercising through different patterns of movement, grow stability in your spine and hips, and increase the weight for all of these exercises. Holding t...
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