In order to excel at a sport or become a better runner, you will need to do more than simply repeat drills on your high tech home gym equipments or run mile after mile. Some professionals suggest that cross training at a different sport will both break up the monotony you might deal with and help train different muscle groups in your body.

Another option to help you become better and stronger in your sport and to amp up the level of your workout is to incorporate resistance training/weight lifting.

Train your whole body and not just part of it in order to maximize your performance and make the most of your workout. A proper weight-lifting program accomplishes full body development. Studies show that weight lifting improves performance in your desired sport. In fact, one study targeted runners, where half lifted, and the other half simply ran. At the end of the study, those who lifted weights made more progress. Lifting works!

Getting Started

You might not know exactly where to begin as some aspects of resistance training might be confusing. A few ideas to help you start are listed below. First, think of all parts of your body and corresponding exercises. Then, incorporate resistance exercises to work those areas. See this example:

  • Back – Bent-over barbell rows, pull-ups, seated cable rows
  • Biceps – Standing barbell curls, alternate dumbbell curls, preacher curls.
  • Chest – Bench presses, incline barbell presses, dumbbell presses.
  • Triceps – Parallel-bar dips, lying dumbbell extensions, pushdowns.
  • Shoulders – Dumbbell presses, behind neck presses, upright rows.
  • Calves – Standing calf raises, seated calf raises, donkey calf raises
  • Legs – Squats, leg presses, hack squats
  • Abs – Hanging leg raises, decline-bench crunches, rope crunches

Scheduling Weight Resistance Training

You can set up an effective schedule by alternating your sport of choice with resistance training so that you complete a full body workout three days per week:

  • Day 1: Full body (Chest, shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, abs, legs, calves)
  • Day 2: Rest
  • Day 3: Full body (Legs, calves, back, abs, shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps)
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Full body (Back, chest, legs, triceps, biceps, calves, shoulders, abs)
  • Day 6: Rest
  • Day 7: Rest

You can do most of these workouts by using 2-4 sets of 10-12 reps. As you gain strength, you can either add sets, weight or both. You will be well on your way to becoming stronger and better at your sport of choice.

Up Your Workout Game

Weight training can help performance, flexibility, overall health and can even prevent injury. It only takes three days a week to begin, and studies show results. Many exercises can be done at home with a mounted pull up bar, dumbbells , and imagination. If that’s not possible, then all these exercises can be done at your local gym. Keep practicing, keep running, get plenty of sleep and start lifting. Watch as you improve at your chosen sport through taking these simple yet effective steps.

About the Author: Kevin Jones is a full time professional fitness expert. When he isn’t in the gym, he is offering practical research, fitness plans and nutritional tips to the world. Kevin regularly contributes to many fitness and health authority websites. With a passion for family, fun, and fitness, Kevin has found a way to manage and combine these three aspects in an effective and successful way. Connect with him online; LinkedInTwitter

Note from Rachel: As my readers know I am pretty busy in my final (and full time) semester of student teaching. I am open to guest posts if I think the content is something my readers will like. If you want to contribute a post, email 

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