Finish Strong Q&A: Resistance Training for Endurance Athletes


As 2021 draws to a close, two members of the Seton Hall community are set to ‘End Strong’ with the release of their first co-authored book.

Seton Hall Strength and Conditioning Trainer Angelo Gingerelli and former athletic trainer and current associate professor Richard “RJ” Boergers contributed to the book “Finish Strong: Resistance Training for Endurance Athletes” (available November 30 from Bloomsbury Publishing). The book is the product of three years of concentrated effort and decades of experience in training athletes and competitions to bring to the general public the methods they teach their students and employ in their own training. . recently had the opportunity to talk to the authors of the book and what readers can expect.

SHU: What is your role at Seton Hall and how did that prepare you to write “Finish Strong”?

Angelo: I have been a strength and conditioning coach at Seton Hall since 2005 and for the past 17 years I have worked with all the teams in the athletics department. I’ve always written programs and coached our cross country and swim teams, but it wasn’t until around 2010 that I really got into endurance sports myself. Like most strength trainers, I had a background in strength sports like weightlifting and Olympic weightlifting. I ran my first marathon in 2011, caught the “marathon bug” and really entered the New Jersey endurance community. It has made me a much better strength trainer because it has given me a better understanding of how endurance athletes train and what their bodies go through on a daily basis.

RJ: I am an associate professor in the Master of Science in Athletic Coaching program at Seton Hall. I have been in this position since 2011, but I have also worked as a clinical track and field coach in track and field from 2000 to 2003. As a sports coach with a background in biomechanics, my area of ​​specialty is related to injury prevention . The content of the courses I teach, combined with some of the lectures I gave to the endurance sports community, only had to be converted into digestible content for the average endurance athlete. . For me, triathlon is my passion and I thrive living an endurance sporting lifestyle. I have participated in IRONMAN events in Europe and the United States as well as countless short distance triathlons, running races, cycling or swimming. When I returned to Seton Hall in 2011, I even started a triathlon club. Between my years as a sports coach and my years of competing in endurance sports, it was time to give something back to the endurance sports community that has been such a positive force in my life.

SHU: How did you meet and how did the book come to be?

Angelo: When I was training for my first marathon, RJ came back to Seton Hall as a teacher and was training at the Recreation Center and running on campus. We hit it off pretty quickly and soon we lifted up together in the weight room and ran south to Orange. One of the common topics of conversation about our training races would be the lack of knowledge about strength training in the world of endurance sport. We would be in awe of people who could cycle more than 100 miles or swim in rough open water, but who would be terrified of the idea of ​​a squat rack or a pulling machine.

As these conversations unfolded, we both continued to lift weights as part of our training and remained injury free and competing at ever higher levels. This led to the idea for the book and the desire to share this valuable information with more people.

RJ: When I returned to Seton Hall in 2011, I came back to the recreation center because I wanted an environment that was familiar with people I knew and a place where I felt welcome. I introduced myself to Angelo and the rest of the bodybuilding and conditioning staff and quickly had some workout buddies. When Angelo and I trained I would tell him countless stories of triathlete friends who had been sidelined with injury and unable to cross the finish line; and it frustrated me to see talented people not being able to compete. We discussed how frustrated we both were with the culture of endurance sports to neglect strength training and focus solely on your sport discipline. We have done things differently and with great results. Basically it was time to preach what we have been practicing successfully for years.

SHU: What can readers expect from the book?

Angelo: “Finish Strong” is basically divided into two parts. Part 1 explains why athletes should add resistance training to their endurance sports training program. We go into the principles of anatomy, physiology and training as to why this type of training is valuable. The second section explains how to implement resistance training into the reader’s program. We understand that everyone is busy and that people may be in different stages of their training or have access to different types of training equipment or have different goals. We cover as many of the basics as possible and give the reader several options and ways to incorporate resistance training into their lives.

RJ: Other books related to bodybuilding for triathletes or for runners just say – “Do these exercises…”, without going into periodizing bodybuilding around a competitive season. We want readers to build good habits like us, add strength training throughout the year, and structure it appropriately. To do this, we periodized the program: off season, construction and base, maximum mileage and taper. In addition, we have targeted the exercises for a runner, cyclist, swimmer and triathlete, so we have covered all endurance disciplines. There are over 68 workout models at the end of the book, so the person new to strength training could just take it and perform it while the seasoned athlete could see how we’ve structured them. workouts and potentially plug in / swap some of the exercises.

SHU: What was the creative process behind the book like?

Angelo: We initially discussed the book in the summer of 2018. In early 2019 we were offering the book to publishers and a few were interested in the spring. We wrote the majority of the text in 2019 and originally planned for a 2020 release. Obviously, COVID-19 has arrived and pushed back our release date by almost a year. However, with the return of road races, the holidays approaching and January being the perfect time to incorporate a new training modality, we think things have worked out pretty well.

As for our collaboration, I’ve covered the majority of information directly related to strength training, and RJ has covered topics such as injury prevention, running mechanics, and mobility. We really worked together on the actual programs for Part 2 of the book. Strength trainers and athletic trainers really need to work together on a day-to-day basis in order to provide optimal care for student-athletes. I speak to Seton Hall’s athletic training staff daily about how the weight room can either aid recovery or help prevent future injuries, and I find these relationships to be incredibly valuable. Oddly enough, there aren’t many platforms (books, social media accounts, YouTube channels, etc.) that combine the two disciplines like we did on “Finish Strong”.

SHU: Where can we learn more about the book?

Angelo & RJ: We’re on Instagram at @Finish_Strong_Book and the book is available for pre-order now on Amazon. Check it out and if you want to go for a run and talk about it Angelo is always open for a loop around South Orange and RJ will definitely meet you for a trip around the IHS campus.


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