The Strength Matrix I: A Log for Triathletes and Bodybuilders

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The benefits of strength training and how to log your strength training, bodybuilding or weightlifting routine.

Strength training has always been a part of what triathletes log with much detail in their training logs.  Strength training has always been a valuable tool in the training toolbox-perhaps the 4rth discipline for triathletes.  Many people feel much stronger in the triathlon season if they spend some time in the weightroom during the winter.  Other people will choose to weight-train with a more conventional bodybuilding routine to gain some mass and definition.  A few of the main benefits are:

  1. Gain strength! Triathletes feel much stronger in the triathlon season if they spend some time in the weightroom during the off-season.  Many notice increased power on the bike after an off-season focusing on the legs.
  2. Become a stable platform.  Using a 'Core' strength routine will help with your stability and support in the various disciplines.
  3. Injury prevention.  Stronger muscles and joints will lead to increased stability thus reducing your chance for injuries.
  4. Resist fatigue. Strength training improves performance by allow the body to resist fatigue longer and by improving your strength endurance.
  5. Increase your bone density.  This is fundamental.  The more the bone is stressed, the denser and more stronger it becomes.  This can help to prevent Osteoporosis.  With Osteoporosis becoming a growing problem, the obvious solution is more and more overlooked.
  6. Burn more calories and increase lean muscle mass!  We all like that.  Besides the above benefits, we can burn more fat or eat more!
  7. Heal faster.  With your body strong and in tip-top shape, you can heal injured areas faster.
  8. Healthy cardiovascular system.  Lower you blood pressure and decrease cholesterol with a strength training routine.

There are several articles and triathlete-specific strength programs in our Strength category.

Whether you're a pure triathlete, still a hard-core bodybuilder or the casual exerciser, the benefits of a strength program in your routine seems almost like a no-brainer.  BT's Strength Matrix can be a valuable tool to chart and track your progress in detail. 

This article will show you how to log your strength exercises with BT's training log.  The next article in this series will show you how to graph and interpret your data with our powerful, new strength analyzer.

If you are new to logging, see our main category and the following introduction articles:

Where to log strength exercises?
You log your strength training within the main log editing screen below swim, bike and run logging.  It looks something like this:


Just select the bodypart and exercise to log from the dropdowns, input the number of sets and then it will open up empty boxes for repetition and weight data for you to fill out.

There are also some other exercise editing functions:

  The trashcan.  When the box is checked, all data for that exercise is deleted upon updating your log.
  Insert a new 'set' row after.  This will contain new set, rep and weight fields for that inserted set.
  Delete current row.

Creating/adding a template of exercises
Templates of routine, daily exercises are easy to create.  Once you have your exercises for a standard routine inputed, you can 'Save to template'.  Once saved, that template of exercises can be selected to load up any day with the 'Add to log' button.
*NOTE, you cannot update a previously saved template with additional exercises.  It's best to just delete the old template and save a new one.

Actual and Planned Strength Logging
Our strength logs gives you the ability to log your real training and also log your 'planned' strength training.  This can be useful to print out the details to take to the gym for planned strength logging.  Planned strength is a Performance Member feature.

Different ways to view your strength training
You can access all of the various strength reports and graphs by selecting the 'Strength' or 'Planned Strength' options from the hover boxes of the appropriate report-type:


By calendar
Will simply give you the bodypart exercise and the total time for that day or week total.


By blog
The blog view will give you the exact set details of that day.  If you log your planned strength, you can print out each weeks detailed data to take to the gym with the print button at the bottom of the blog screen.


By week and month
Strength training is located in the 'Actual' and 'Planned' part of the dropdowns for the week and month reports.  Like the calendar, only the bodypart is displayed in a column.


By Graphs
Selecting the 'Strength' graphs will allow you to graph up to 39 different graphs.  All users get to use the first 5 graphs free.  Performance members are able to use the full list of strength graphs for their performance analyzation.

Analyze your data
The next article in this series will show you how to graph and interpret your data with the powerful, new strength analyzer. 



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date: July 25, 2006