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Strength And Weight Training Rules For Cyclists

Updated on December 23, 2011

Use a Swiss Ball

Swiss Balls are a great tool to recruit stabilising core muscles
Swiss Balls are a great tool to recruit stabilising core muscles | Source

Weight train for better cycling performance

To get a better result on the road it's a good idea to stay indoors. In the Gym!

Weight training for cyclists is concerned with the application of force through the pedals and subsequently the synchronisation of muscles groups and how they are recruited. It will not benefit a cyclist to behave in the same manner as others in the gym as sets of 8-12 repetitions for muscle size will not help velocity on the bike.

Simple rules for an effective workout

I believe that all cyclists should consider the below before and during their weight training sessions.

1. Mimic positions and movements where possible as you would on the bike.

Adapt positions to copy your riding posture. For squats use a narrow leg width apart that mimics your bodyline to the pedals

2. Always focus on Key Cycling Muscles

Cyclists do not need a set of 'guns' to make the ladies swoon in a bar! You need to focus on cycling specific muscle groups.

3. Use Multi Jointed Exercises

Use these to stimulate dynamic movement patterns and stabilising muscles. Single joint movements like Bicep Curls are best left to the bodybuilders.

4. Pay attention to include Core exercises too

Power is transferred through the body so a strong core (Back and Stomach) is vital to ensure energy is not wasted and provides a solid platform for power generation in a sprint. Use of a Swiss Ball is ideal as it forces the use of stabilising muscles

5. Never spend more than an hour on Weight Training workouts

Keep your workouts short and sweet to ensure you stay motivated. Longer workouts encourage your body to create higher levels of cortisone which can be responsible for muscle breakdown- a nice fact to tell the "beefcake's" in your gym that claim they've been there a couple of hours!

6. Use strength training to prepare your body for the rigors of training

Strength training fitness should precede your on bike training to prepare your mind, muscles and tendons for the stresses that lie ahead in your training regime. Use light weights and high repetitions as endurance work prior to base training and phase more power work in the Gym prior to starting more sprint related training.

7. Mix up your training

It is believed that the body needs new stimuli to improve. Doing the same thing every week means your body may stop adapting and need a new stimulus. Once in a while do something out of your normal cyclist's regime. Do some speed work on the turbo trainer or join an exercise class. Variety can often add to the pleasure and keep us mentally stimulated.

Happy riding and lifting.


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    • qwark profile image


      7 years ago

      My pleasure...:)


    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      7 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks for the feedback Qwark

      Specific padded lycra cycling shorts now do wonders around the crotch area and a fine layer of vaseline/ petroleum jelly right at the top of the thighs provides a barrier against friction.

      It sounds like you have been on some fantastic adventures too. I've riden in France, Spain, Italy and Turkey so far and looking to extend that list to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco later this summer.

      I spent many hours more than I should have done in the gym when younger- including missing school lessons and had the same problem with gaining weight even though I spent alot of time training with ex Paratroopers

      Thanks again for your feedback- much appreciated

    • qwark profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello cycling:

      I've been into weightlifting and bodybuilding for about 50 yrs.

      I've owned 2 neighborhood gyms and was a personal trainer, counselor and advisor.

      In my early 20's, I and a friend, toured E Europe by bicycle when I was in the USAF in Germany.

      We left Munich, made our war S to Italy. We then took a zug (train) back up to Bremerhaven and rode to Denmark. Then rode S to our base in Munich. We were on the road the better part of 2 months. Overnight and a meal cost us about $.25 cents in the bike hospices.

      I was also weightlifting in our base field house.

      When I got back to the states, I really got hooked on powerlifting and am still doing it at 68..:)

      I never got back into bicycle riding.

      One of the things that really bothered me on our Europe trip was, regardless of how I angled the seat, my crotch was always sore at the end of the day.

      I was young and put up with it because I was on a great adventure. A little pain was worth it.

      I workout 5 days a week and my workouts are about 1 1/2 hours.

      In the old days, I was a gym rat and sometimes my total body workouts (which were nuts) took me 4 hours! I had a helluva a time gaining bodyweight. I wonder

      This is a good little hub with good advice for the cycling athlete.

      Voted up.



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