How to build endurance through gym workouts

Today we return to our ongoing series featuring excerpts from the Strength Training for Cyclists approach developed by Cody Waite with Sessions: 6 Sport Performance. We’ve previously covered:

If you haven’t yet read those posts, take a moment to peruse them before diving into this one on the endurance phase of strength training.

Once you’ve increased your force with Strength sessions, you can begin to work on your ability to produce more force repetitively with Endurance sessions. Endurance sessions are typically performed on a weekly basis along with weekly Strength sessions.

A typical Endurance session includes an Adaptation set as a warm-up (1 set of 12 repetitions at 50% your 1 rep maximum) followed by two sets of twenty repetitions at 50% of your 1 rep maximum. The movement of the individual reps should be performed at a smooth and comfortably controlled pace.

Cody Waite has identified exercises that develop muscles specific to the sport of cycling (including road cycling as well as mountain biking). These movements help you produce more power when: pedaling, pulling on the bars, controlling your bike through rough sections of trail, and keeping your core stable.

Here are examples of three supersets (i.e. exercises done in conjunction with one another) suggested in the Strength Training for Cyclists approach.

Superset #1

CHEST PRESS Lying on a bench on your back, lower weights to a few inches from your chest before extending then outward using your chest muscles. Use dumbbells or bench press bar for added weight.

SEATED ROW Begin with arms fully extended and a slight stretch in your back muscles. Pull cable towards your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together behind you. Use stretch cords or cable weight machine.

Superset #2

STEP UP Begin with femur parallel to the floor. Step up 10-12 inch high step. Return to start position for one rep. Complete all reps for right leg before beginning left leg. Use dumbbells or Olympic bar across shoulders for more weight.

STANDING LEG PULL Begin with foot slightly behind you. Pull with hip flexor to bring femur parallel to floor. Use stretch cord or cable machine strapped around ankle.

Superset #3

STABILITY BALL PIKE Begin with your body outstretched, supported by your hands in a push-up position and feet on a stability ball. Using your stomach muscles, roll the ball forward with your feet bending your knees and bringing your heels to your butt. Pause before returning to start position.

BACK EXTENSION w/ TWIST Begin bent over medicine ball with legs wide and hands at your lower back. Using your lower back muscles, lift your torso up while twisting to one side. Alternate twisting direction each rep.

Want to dive deeper? For $29 you can download Cody’s complete 16-week program.

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