Understanding Your Premium 80/20 Strength Training Plan

This document covers how to use your premium strength plan. For support on your free strength plug-in see Understanding Your Free 80/20 Strength Training Plug-in.

Regardless of your current physical strength and neuromuscular control levels, the 80/20 Endurance Premium Strength Plans will help you improve by focusing on the fundamentals of building a strong base and progressing according to evidence-based principles in a manner that complements your endurance training.

Designed by A.J. Gregg, MS, DC, CSCS, each plan features two strength workouts per week, averaging about 45 minutes in duration. Individual workouts are provided as PDF attachments located within the TrainingPeaks workout. You will be guided through the exercise with photo illustrations, step-by-step written instructions, and guidelines for loading, sets, reps, and rest.

There are four phases to the program:

  • Foundation: Focusing on isolating specific muscle control
  • Strength: Development of muscle recruitment and force
  • Strength Endurance: Sustaining muscle stamina
  • Taper: Recovery sessions with programming to stay sharp

Each phase is carefully structured with specific increases and decreases in intensity and volume.

The foundation exercises may help you find areas in your body where you need improvement or serve as excellent activation or dynamic warm-up exercises. They will prepare you for the harder work to come. After gradually building a strong base with core exercises the program will then move into proven exercises for strength development enhancing your training and performance.

It is important to note that the program progresses from isolating specific muscles to more compound movements at a higher intensity, while chaining together additional muscle groups. The aim of this format is to develop your body in such a way that your mechanics and form become stronger and smoother. 

Maintenance Strength Plans

Our Maintenance strength plans differ from the others in a couple of ways. Intended for use during "off-season" periods and other breaks from race-focused endurance training, when strength development can and should be a higher priority, they feature more challenging workouts with a focus on Power:

  • Foundation: Focusing on isolating specific muscle control
  • Strength: Development of muscle recruitment and force
  • Power: Development of speed of contraction
  • Taper: Recovery sessions with programming to prepare you to transition to a formal plan

Workout Format

The format of each workout is clustered into super sets. The left column and the right column in each row are linked, and the sets alternate to keep the tempo high. The value in the black chevron represents the number of repetitions for that exercise/set. In cases where the repetitions for Set Two are greater than Set One, begin with Set Two. There is no rest between exercises and they should be done in circuit style. Once completed, move onto the next row minimizing rest. In some plans, the documentation incorrectly instructs you to perform all of Set One before beginning Set Two. That will be corrected and updated in your plan's documentation.

Let's use this workout as an example:

In this example, you would perform the workout left to right, up to down like this:

Side Plank, Split Squat, Side Plank, Split Squat, Side Plank (in this example, you begin with Set Two since that set has more reps)
Single Leg RDL, Torsional Buttress, Single Leg RDL, Torsional Buttress, Single Leg RDL, Torsional Buttress,
Double Leg Hamstring Bridge, Double Leg Calf Raise, Double Leg Hamstring Bridge, Double Leg Calf Raise
Leg Swings with Resistance, Isometric Clamshell, Leg Swings with Resistance, Isometric Clamshell, Leg Swings with Resistance

Larger images of the strength exercises can be found in our Premium Strength Library.

Equipment Required

In order to achieve peak efficiency, many of the exercises require specific equipment. We recommend you acquire or attend a gym that can provide the following:

- Exercise bands of various lengths and resistance

- Swiss Ball

- Yoga mat

- Dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the differences between the Premium Strength plans and the Free strength plug-ins?

A: Please see the comparison chart on our Strength plan page.

Q: What are the differences between the Premium Strength Run and Triathlon plans?

A: The triathlon plans are programmed with focus on exercises specific to cycling and swimming. There is extra focus on core exercises for the different stability demands of triathlon.

Q: Are there any exercise videos with the Premium plans? 

A: The Premium plans include robust picture examples in every workout, and supplemental images in the Premium Strength Library. However, there are currently no exercise videos associated with the plan.

Q: The exercise images in the workout documents are kind of small. 

A: Larger images of the strength exercises can be found in our Premium Strength Library.

Q: Why are there two strength sessions the week of my race?

A: The final strength session with includes markedly reduced volume and intensity focused on activation/potentiation and circulation. After completing the previous multi-week program, this session will be a piece of cake! (but don't actually eat a piece of cake right before your race...)