Unless you’re still charging hard into cyclocross, the cycling season is rapidly winding down. And while it’s always smart to take a breath and relish all that you accomplished, it’s not exactly time to rest on your laurels either. As the snow begins to fly, it can be a good time to renew your focus on strength training at the gym.
When we ride – whether road biking or mountain biking – we’re ultimately limited by the maximum strength our muscles have to work with to apply force. The more weight you can move in one repetition directly relates to how much force you can apply to the pedals, and remember that Power equals Force + Speed, and more Power equals faster riding.
Strength training helps you increase the amount of force you can apply to forward motion. It also has several other benefits, including:
- Developing lean muscle mass (don’t worry you will not “get huge” as long as you choose the right strength training routine)
- Strengthening of the tendons and ligaments that help stabilize joints and reduce the likeliness of injury
- Increasing bone density
- Improving overall health and longevity
- Boosting our self-esteem and psyche (mental strength is every bit as critical on race day as the extra force you are able to produce repeatedly as you ride your way to faster finishes).
Cody Waite with Sessions:6 Sport Performance has generously shared his Strength Training for Cyclists approach with us. You can download a PDF of the full guide here. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be spotlighting specific aspects of Cody’s approach.
Block out regular times on your schedule, grab a dumbbell and join us in making the most of the off-season.