JetBlack Strength Training for Cyclists.
There is no doubt that cyclists can benefit from including gym based strength training. When designing the appropriate strength training programme for cyclists there are a few key factors to consider.
- Strength requirements of the sport/discipline.
- Postural and Biomechanical Health of the individual.
- Overview of the competitive season and where they are currently positioned.
When considering the strength requirements of the sport you need to look at the duration, intensities and movements performed of the given discipline the athlete is competing in. Shorter events demand more power and speed with longer events having a bigger focus on endurance. Bear in mind that all three will need to be addressed in varying degrees to optimize your performance.
Functional strength training has been shown to give athletes the most ‘useable’ strength for their chosen sport. I consider the following exercises to be the best ‘Functional Exercises for Cyclists
- Squats – Front & Back
When performed correctly all these exercises require significant integration of major muscle groups across multiple joints – all with good core strength and control. These are the key requirements to meet when looking to translate strength improvements into athletic performance.
Qualifying an athlete for advanced lifts e.g. Power Cleans, Squats and Deadlifts is very important when finding the appropriate starting point of training intensity. Before beginning advanced lifts people need to have good joint mobility and control through all the major musculoskeletal junctions i.e. Ankles, Knees, Hips, Lumbar/Pelvic, Thoracic and the Shoulder Girdle. Any shortcomings in these areas will likely increase the chance of developing faulty movement patterns along with the likelihood of injuring yourself.
A good sport’s orientated Physiotherapist or Coach who understands functional anatomy, biomechanics and strength training should be able to assess your bodies current state of postural and functional movement capacity and suggest the appropriate starting points.
The frequency and volume of strength training sessions will be determined by where you are in your competitive calendar year. The following table gives a basic overview of areas to focus on at various stages of the year. Remember if your volume on the bike is high, keep your gym sessions short and sharp, 20 – 30 minutes is all that is needed during a high volume training phase.
The focus of your strength training programme will depend on the individual athlete and the discipline they are competing in. The following table provides an overview of how to train the different types of strength. Whilst endurance athletes do not require large amounts of maximal strength, small doses in the off season/preseason will lay a good foundation for developing power in season e.g. Plyometric training should be preceded with a 4 week cycle of strength training to prepare the musculoskeletal system for the high forces generated in plyometric/power type training.
With the basic principles we have covered above and mixing with JetBlack training App, you should now be able to sit down with your trainer and plan the appropriate workouts to maximize your on bike performance.