Most cyclists are looking for gains in performance. Whether you ride for fun, use your bike for a commute, or cycle for sports activity such as road racing or mountain biking, boosting your capabilities is helpful. Increasing stamina and adding power can improve your confidence on a bike, make rides easier, improve your skills, and allow you cycle faster and/or longer.
A mistake many people make is believing these gains can only be achieved on the bike. They’ll put in hours of training on a bike and may be left annoyed when the improvements are relatively small. That’s because they ignore exercises that can help them away from the bike. Yes, that means hitting the gym or finding amazing PT sessions you can do from home online.
Firstly, most people don’t like the gym but see it as a necessary step to achieving their fitness goals. Hitting the weights does build power and strength, helping cyclists to ride longer and faster without feeling as exhausted.
That said, you don’t want to be a body builder lifting heavy weight over intensive training sessions. To be accomplished on your bike, a light weight and core body exercise routine is your best bet. With that in mind, below is our guide to getting the best training regime for cycling.
Why Strength Training Can Help
It’s a simple equation that many cyclists ignore… the stronger you are the faster you can ride, and for longer periods of time. If you want to turn that 45-minute slog of a commute into a 25-minute breeze, you need to build strength. Preparing for a big race or downhill mountain bike competition? You’ve guessed it, strength training can help.
Cyclists often fall into a trap of thinking training on the bike simply means spending more time on the bike. Sure, that will build your cardio capabilities, but will not do enough to increase your core strength.
Confusion about what strength training involves usually scares cyclists away from the gym. They associate weightlifting with body building. Cyclists usually need to be light and svelte and not rippling with bulky muscles. Many don’t realize that strength training can be used to build core endurance, create a lean physique, without compromising on bulk.
Strength training is an excellent performance enhancing tool whether you are a beginner or elite cyclist. Needless to say, the sooner you can start strength training the better, making it ideal for newcomers. When you’re stronger, your body becomes more resistant and injuries are less likely to happen. All you need is to make sure you protect yourself from injuries while training and improving your strength. To do so, you must have all the professional equipment such as belts, wraps, and weight lifting belts for women or men. Again, just using it doesn’t mean you’ll turn into a powerlifter, but you will decrease the chances of injuring yourself.
Building core strength helps you to workout longer and harder on your bike and improve your peak performance. The idea of gym or at home strength exercises is to improve the riding experience, including leg and butt workouts to make gains in power transfer when cycling. Some of the core exercises you can do specifically to boost your bike riding performance include:
- Low Weight Deadlifts
- Planking Rows
Remember to start any gym training regime slow and with realistic targets. As your strength builds you can expend the length of session and the number of reps and/or weight you do.