Strength And Weight Training Rules For Cyclists
Use a Swiss Ball
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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