Hi there,

I had some thoughts today on my bike ride and how I feel when lifting weights.

Do you lift weights at least once a week?

I know many of us endurance athletes and triathletes think we do not need to lift leg weights, or weights in general, because we swim, bike or run.  I have always done more upper body and core work than leg exercises honestly- probably because tired legs from lifting would impact my next scheduled run or bike workout.  It feels that we are getting enough leg work on our bike climbing hills and during our run workouts- especially when our new house is on a hill!  We do speed run sessions and bike hill workouts – plus I often finish my run or bike session from home with a hill sprint since we have to get up the hill to get to our house!

About four months ago, as many of us, we returned to the gym to lift weights, as we had many months of not being able to use the gym.  I have always loved to lift weights and to feel strong.  The home gym workouts were helping maintain muscle tone but not get stronger.

Since lifting at our club (The Bay Club) on Mondays and Wednesdays, I feel that I am getting stronger in my UPPER body – but once again I was not focusing on lower body exercises.  Just because I ride and run hills- does not mean I am strong in my legs.  I had an incredible “ah ha” moment last week at the gym when I attempted to to the sled machine -one leg.  Then when I tried to do squat rack and then lunges with the bar…then the leg curl and leg extension.  I have no muscle STRENGTH!  I must have muscle endurance but limited power and strength in my legs…so now I have a new mission: To get stronger in upper and lower body by my birthday!

I have been on a mission since we started back in the gym to get stronger and leaner- especially with my big birthday coming up in November.  My DNAFit report shows that I have a higher percentage (73% power to 27%endurance) of power/strength genes than endurance genes – so if I want to change my body shape/muscle tone/strength, I should do more interval workouts with fewer reps/more sets.

Choosing what kind of workout to do can be a confusing business, and our experience in what works can differ dramatically too. The good news is that no matter our genetic profile, we all improve from exercise. What our genetics can influence, however, is our individual response to different types of exercise stimuli. We’ve all experienced this one way or another. If we work out in a group, all of the similar fitness levels and on the same training program – we see differences in the way individuals respond to that program. So, what we are looking for in this section is how to better understand your personal genetic response to different types of exercise training, so we can make better informed decisions about how to focus our training choices.

  • Evidence shows that how we respond to exercise is influenced by genetics. It won’t be the whole picture alone, but it will be a part of the picture.
  • Variations in our genetic profile can help explain why some people see a better response to different types of exercise.
  • Following a genetically-guided exercise program from the DNAFit panel has shown up to three fold improvements in training compared to genetically mismatched training.

Understanding Training Intensity

Whatever your level, whatever your goal, there’s a number of different workout methods to get there.

High Intensity vs. Low Intensity Exercise


High Intensity/Power exercise

High intensity exercise methods use short, intense bursts of exertion to work towards your goal. In general fitness, this is most commonly seen as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions. In sports training terms high intensity is characterised by short sprints or intervals, or resistance training using higher weights but with less volume.

Low Intensity/Endurance Exercise

Lower intensity exercise methods use longer, less intense periods of exertion. In general fitness, this is most commonly used in road cycling, longer jogging, hiking or cardio work, and circuit style training with higher volumes but lighter weights. In sport, lower intensity disciplines would be generally characterised by the longer distance running, cycling and swimming events.

Here are some workouts I wrote for myself and clients…some examples

5 x 5 x 5 workout

5 reps, 5 sets, 5 exercises

  1. Pull-ups or lat pull to upper chest
  2. Squat jumps or squats with weights
  3. Push-ups- off stability ball or Burpees (can do with BOSU)
  4. Reverse lunges with bicep curl (curl when step together)
  5. Seated V-sits on BOSU or bench

Superset workout:  3 exercises, back-to-back, 3-rounds

10 reps – 8 reps- 6 reps

A1. Squats with overhead press

A2.  Kettlebell deadlift

A3.  Hamstring curl- on floor, heels on stability ball, lift hips and roll ball in (singles or doubles)

B1.  Chest press- free weights or cables

B2.  Pull ups or Cable Row

B3.  Plank with alternating one arm row (Renegade Row)

C1.  Plank knee tuck crunch off stability ball

C2.  Cable “golf” rotation swings or Med ball rotations

C3.  Side plank with top arm reach under rib cage – spinal rotation

D1.  Off-set squat with bicep curl

D2.  Tricep overhead on cables with rope or free weights kick back

D3.  Side arm raises to rear arm raises (can balance on one leg)

Total Body Circuit Workout:

6 reps, 4 rounds

  1. 1 Pull-up, 1 push-up “Burpees” or Chest punch on cable machine
  2. Cable row or TRX under row
  3. Squat thrusters- press weight over head
  4. Kettlebell squat and high pull row
  5. BOSU “walking” planks – forward plank, walk up to straight arm plank to hands (up, up, down, down) “Rambo Push-Ups”
  6. Walking Lunges or Reverse lunges with side arm raises (lighter weight)
  7. Bicep curls- standing on BOSU in squat
  8. Single leg steps up with single arm overhead press on bench, ledge, platform or BOSU

Don’t forget (S)TRESS REDUCTION:        

  • You eliminate or reduce exterior stressors
    • Avoid people who are energy robbers.
    • Exercise early in the day.
    • Give thanks or find your place of gratitude.
    • Meditate or just learn to breathe properly.
    • Get musculo-skeletal, physical framework checked out for proper alignment/balance.
  • We help eliminate hidden internal stressors and dysfunction with next-level testing


  • Nutritional supplements substitute for missing elements, stimulate function and support weak organs and tissues.
    • Digestive Enzymes: take before meal to help in breakdown
    • Magnesium: take before bed to help with multiple benefits as muscle repair and relaxation
    • Essential Fatty Acids:  cell health, inflammation and more
    • Glutathione Complex: liver support and methylation

Are you taking care of the WHOLE you from the inside out to burn fat, optimize health and improve performance?

Are you striving to be FIT and HEALTHY from the inside out?

Let’s talk.  Schedule a consult with me to learn more about how to improve the aging process for your body!

Coach Debbie Potts

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