Strength training for cyclists has been a controversial topic of debate since the beginning of the cycling competition
Cycling is a highly competitive and grueling sport which physically challenges the power, speed and endurance muscle fibers of the legs and gluteals. It is vital that each of the metabolic muscular systems of the cyclist be in optimal working condition. As a former competitive cyclist who still cycles a lot of miles at my mature age, I have my opinions which may conflict with some of the current theories. As a Certified Personal Trainer and very active cyclist, I have manipulated strength and endurance variables to attempt to enhance my cycling skills. What I have found is a major overlap in producing a strength stimulus in the gym and an endurance speed stimulus on the road. By overlap, I mean the lack of producible results when both are introduced into a properly designed training program. The first well know fact that personal trainers are aware of revolves around the concept of recovery of the leg muscles. It is a well know fact that leg muscles take 72-96 hours to recover after a leg and gluteal strength and conditioning workout. The question that comes to mind is if this is the situation, then how can the competitive cyclist train his legs effectively on the bike on his off days? He will of course be sore after the leg workout. His bike workout will suffer. Will added strength training induce repetitive stress and ignite a myositis or tendinopathy, if coupled with the cyclist road work? The answer is yes.
Strength training for cyclists is based on a specific number of repetitions from 5 for muscular power to 10 plus for muscular endurance. Weight loads and repetitions are adjusted based on what periodized phase the athlete is in. Regardless, both loads of 5 repetition for power fibers and a 12 repetition for endurance fibers will wreak havoc on the targeted muscles. Unfortunately for the competitive cyclist the large muscles of the legs, gluteus and the calves are conditioned along with some hybrid core and neck exercises. Therefore the conventional strength training for cyclists programs become a conflict of interest for the cyclist who needs to knock out 3-5 hours of daily cycling. However, if you are a recreational cyclist or a weekend warrior type of cyclist then this doesn’t apply to you. Implementing a strength training program will probably help you avoid injuries.
What if there was a unique hybrid training system that allows you to train aerobically, challenge your core and strengthen your legs without the risk of overuse and myositis? The problem with conventional Strength training for cyclists is that it can only improve muscular efficiency, but not cardiovascular fitness.
My training program for athletes is called Athletic Training Movement Systems. It is cyclist compatible and works. Initially developed for Olympic Wrestlers and Martial Artists, it is designed to condition the body for endurance in all the primary three planes of motion. Sagittal (Front to back) Frontal ( side to side) and Transverse (rotational). There is also a tremendous amount of core engagement involved too. Core conditioning is very important for the competitive cyclist who is at risk for lumbar and cervical spine pain. The best part of Athletic Training Movement Systems is the cardiovascular response. Achieving a 90% heart rate max is very achievable. This is the ultimate conditioning program for the competitive athlete who is looking for the competitive edge, while avoiding tendinitis and myocytis from lack of proper recovery and periodization.
Enclosed is a video demonstrating one of ten components of my sports condiitioning training style that really works the heart, core and legs. Enjoy it and let me know what you think!
Rivak Hoffman is the Founder of Every Bit Fit Arizona LLC. He is a Nationally Certified Personal Trainer, Performance Enhancement Specialist and Medical Exercise Specialist. Rivak is a former Ironman Triathlon Competitor and a competitive cyclist He is now dedicated to helping endurance athletes achieve there goals. Rivak is also an avid writer who enjoys sharing the realities of health fitness and nutrition. To discover more about Rivak and his Sports Conditioning Programs, click the link Everybitfitaz