Brick Stack Workout - Triathlon Strength Training |

Brick Stack Workout – Advanced Triathlon Strength Workout

triathlon strength training

No…it’s not just a brick, it’s a stack of bricks!

This is one of my favorite triathlon training workouts…and for good reason.

You don’t have to be around the sport of triathlon very long before you learn good and well that the most difficult part of a triathlon race is running on tired legs directly after the bike ride.

That’s why someone invented the brick workout – to practice just that. When you do a brick, you ride your bike and then run in quick succession. (You could also do a swim/bike brick).

In case you didn’t know it, BRICK is a technical term that means “Bike, Run: It Can Kill!” Just kidding…

A brick in and of itself is a challenging workout, but I’m gonna turn it up another notch with my “Brick Stack Workout!” It’s really quite simple:

  1. Warm up with a 20 minute bike ride. Jump off and…
  2. Follow my high intensity strength training for triathlon routine.
  3. Chase it all down with a light run (or perhaps the survival shuffle).

This triathlon workout is great for a few good reasons, so please let me explain before you hightail it out of here, thinking I’m “another one of those crazy triathlon coaches.”

Two-For-One Training Special

First, there’s only so much time in the day, so you’ll have to decide which workout to do. So why not do both? Finding time to cross-train with strength and conditioning can be tough, so why no save time and fit it in during your brick workout?! Remember that the main reason for brick training is to practice running on tired legs. Whether you bike or lift weights, you’ll have tired legs.

Get In Tune With Your Body

Body builders are always talking about “getting the pump.” Basically, all that means is working an isolated muscle until it’s “pumped up” or full of blood. Along with the pump, they talk about putting your mind into the muscle, feeling or imagining the muscle work mentally, and allowing more blood, oxygen and nutrients to flow through the muscle fibers.

When you get on the treadmill fresh after a triathlon strength training workout, you’ll be well aware of your muscles firing because – trust me on this – you’ll feel them. You’ll feel your quads flexing, your glutes extending, hammies working, and calves…well your calves will be burning!

Brick Stack Workout |

Take some time to focus: it’s a great way to think and feel your way through your running form and technique.

Build Mental Toughness

Ok, “build mental toughness” sounds worse than it really is, but here’s the deal. When you first hop on the treadmill and get it going up to speed, your legs will scream in protest and refuse to cooperative. Mind over matter kicks in and you have to scream back, only louder, “RUN, DAMMIT!”

Dial in a pace that’s slower than your usual, and yell at yourself (inside your own head, of course) saying…

“I can do this forever!” 

“I love every thing about triathlon training!”

“I’m burning so much fat and building lean muscle!” 

“I’ll never quit, because I’m good enough, and I’m strong enough!” 

At this point you may feel adrenaline course over you, especially if you have your power song playing. You’ve transcended to reach the rare and mystical Bricker’s High!

Hopefully, the next thing you know, you’re approaching your first mile already. And we all know that the first mile is the hardest.

It’s all downhill to your own personal victory from there!

Try my Brick Stack Workout today. Here’s how:

Like I said before, this is a high intensity workout with high reps and minimal rest. It will help build your stamina and endurance so you can fly into T2 and then power right into your run feeling like you have strong legs instead of weak, shaky ones. Not only will you be getting in a brick workout, but you’re also doing a strength training workout at the same time. These leg exercises will stimulate how your legs will feel after you bike – 14 miles for a sprint or 24 miles for an Olympic – and that’s why I have you go right into the run.

Triathlon Strength Training Workout |

Start with a 20-30 minute bike ride (try Jess’s conquer the hill bike workout)

Now that you’re warmed up, it’s time to hit our strength training for triathlon workout. You’re gonna superset 2 exercises together for 2 sets of 20 reps each.

The first one is 20 barbell squats. Then go right into 20 calf raises. (You can see how I got the piece of wood ready so I could go directly from squats to calf raises without any rest. This is good because it trains your lower legs to balance even though you’re fatigued from the set of squats.)

This is a challenging set, so catch your breath after your 1st set, then go right into your second set.  Try to limit your rest period to 30-45 seconds. If you have to rest longer than that, your weight is too heavy.

Next, you’ll do 20 quad extensions, and then go right into 20 hamstring curls. Again, although you’re using less weight, you’re doing high reps… I really want you to get that burn on! Repeat this set after a 30-45 second rest.

Then, you’ll do 2 sets of twenty 45 degree back extensions followed by 20 decline sit-ups.

How are you feeling? Are your legs good and tired? Perfect. Now finish up your brick stack with a 10-20 minute run. And don’t forget to work on your mental toughness! You got this!

Make sure you stretch and drink plenty of water after your workout. And don’t forget to top it all off with your favorite protein shake. You earned it!



About Author

Trainer DaveyTrainer Davey is an Orange County personal trainer at heart, but has since moved to Nashville and taken on the new challenge of triathlon training. Of course, he misses his home of Surf City...but Music City ain't so bad either!View all posts by Trainer Davey →