Cardio Tri

A Mini Triathlon Cardio Workout With Machines

Sometimes, I don’t feel like swimming, biking or running. But as we all know, our triathlons won’t train for themselves.

So, for those cold and rainy winter days when I don’t feel like getting my hair wet in the pool, when I’ve already missed spin class and when running on the treadmill sounds like the worst idea ever, I do this workout.

A Mini Triathlon Cardio Workout With Machines |

I call it a Mini Triathlon Cardio Workout because each of the 3 machines you use works the same muscles that you use for the swim, bike and run. Plus, it’s really fun and since you’re changing machines every 15-20 minutes, you won’t get bored!


A Mini Triathlon Cardio Workout With Machines | TwoTri.comI’m sure you’ve seen this weird looking machine at the gym. It’s called an arm bike and it will give your arms a killer workout!

For the “swim” portion of this workout, hop on the arm bike and “swim” for 15-20 minutes.

I can adjust the height of the arm part on the machine at my gym, so, for the first 10 minutes, I raised it as high as it would go to stimulate the entry and catch phase of the swim. The next 10 minutes, I lowered the arm part to stimulate the pull and recovery part of the swim stroke.

You could also increase the resistance every few minutes to stimulate arm fatigue. I don’t know about you, but my arms get pretty tired towards the end of my swim workouts.


A Mini Triathlon Cardio Workout With Machines |

The reason I chose the stair master instead of a stationary bike is because I’m still recovering from a knee injury since running a marathon because I didn’t stretch enough.

(Side note: stretching and strength training is SOOOO important to help prevent injuries so take my word for it and don’t skimp on your stretching!)

For the “bike”, hop on the stair master and work those legs for 15-20 minutes!

The stair master is a great way to strengthen your quads, hamstrings and your glutes.  The stair stepper motion imitates the pushing down on the pedal motion and it  activates your hamstrings as you lift up your leg which is good for practicing full circle pedaling.


A Mini Triathlon Cardio Workout With Machines |

Sure, you could run on the treadmill for the run part of this mini triathlon workout, or you could switch things up and do the elliptical.

To finish this workout, hop on the elliptical and “run” for 15-20 minutes till you reach the finish!

The movement of the elliptical is very similar to running form, but without the impact. It’s especially awesome if you use those arm levers to mimic pumping your arms while running.

Hope you like this workout! For more awesome triathlon workouts and strength training routines to help you rock your triathlon, check out our workout page! 


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 →

  1. Beth

    This is an awesome workout idea! I can’t wait to give it a try while training for my triathlon.