Tag Archives — strength

Do Strength to Improve Your Cycling

You *should* do Strength in the Off-Season to Improve Your Cycling

Studies and practical experience from top athletes in the elite and masters ranks show us that that strength training can increase our on bike performance AND make us more resilient to injury. You need only look at athletes like Nino Shurter for elite examples of strength training and general athletism!

Strength training improves cycling performance
If not the above is an infographic from YLM Sport-infographic to help start your investigation into why you should strength train.

But What should you do for strength to improve your cycling? 

Your first priority is to get used to strength. Getting in the gym and moving through a range of motion in the fundamental movements. Squat, Hinge, Push, Pull. Many of us are best served working on limiters in range of motion and to get used to moving well. This may take several months of work but you will see improvements each session, and if you stick with it for a few months you will notice you feel stronger, more stable on the bike and likely less stiff and tired throughout the day. The trick is what exactly should you do? How many reps? How many sets? How many exercises?

Strength training improves cycling performance

If you check out my ‘Anywhere Core Routine’ you can get started today! This free video gives you the basic motions and you can start at only a few reps and one set today and progress until you are feeling comfortable with that plan => see the free 20-minute anywhere core routine below

Ready for More Time in the Gym? Want to stop guessing at your routine?



Get 12 weeks of Strength Training with Examples in downloadable PDF documents you can keep on your phone or print out.


Exciting News for Smart Athletes – Now Available at Active Life Conditioning Collingwood

Exciting News for Smart Athletes !

I am working with a local Collingwood Gym called Active Life Conditioning
This will provide a great venue I have been needing to offer on Bike Lab Testing for clients without power meters, or without the ability/motivation to test on their own AND to add muscle oxygenation to inform my decisions on training direction.
This Gym atmosphere also will help me provide Kinesiology services to help everyone move better on and off their bike. I hope you can join me at Active life for one or more of the below offerings.0) A free workshop SUPER EVENT on Off-Season Training 
-> Learn how strength training, spin classes and other modes of training might fit into your training
-> Learn why one training might work better and how to determine what you need
-> Learn how to avoid Saddle sores and Pelvic Floor Disorder
-> Ask any questions you want !  Tues Nov 4 6-8pm REGISTER HERE

1) Performance Testing – Wattage, HR and Muscle Oxygenation.
-> Find out how your body uses oxygen to create your performance and what training will help address your limitations
-> Includes training recommendation and zoning for HR/Power.  (email to book/inquire)
*early bird discounts until Dec 4*

2) Performance Pedal Class – Indoor cycling for Cyclists (LINK)
-> I am co-teaching this with Noelle Wansbrough and Stephanie Martinek, My class is Saturday Mornings Starting late November
3) Strength Training for Cyclists Class – Build towards your goals and a non-threatening environment
-> Mondays with me and Wednesdays with Sarah Applegarth (LINK)
4) Kinesiology Sessions – Personalized sessions to help you move and ride better.
Includes Personal training, Strength training, injury rehab, mobility assessment/lesson
supervised bike workouts & movement/position analysis for you and your bike(email to book in) 
Please let me know if any questions about these new services and how they might fit into your training
*PDF Of active life schedule
PeterPS. Easily Book a call or session with the big green button

Strength Training, Crosstraining, Pushing Sleds and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Do ‘Non-Cycling Interventions’ (NCI), such as strength or power training, belong in an optimal weekly plan for a cyclist ? a mountain biker ? an endurance athlete?

Reason for Post/Back Story: 
Two Colleagues of mine just posted about Pulling/pushing Sleds as a tool for athletic development and this got me thinking, or at least gave me more reason to think, about what we (cyclists/mountain bikers) include in our weekly plan and what we hope to gain from these practices. Adam, who trains cyclists (such as Emily Batty) did a post discussing two ways to look at ‘sprinting’ and he shared a tool he has used called the ‘Sledbarrow’. Steve, who trains many explosive/team sport athletes in addition to select cyclists, added some methodology for pushing/dragging sleds and also provided 2 examples of sprint/power training on the bike. Where I hope to contribute is in a cycling specific consideration of why we may or may not want to use “NCI” to achieve cycling goals.
*See Steve Neal/Crossfit Orangeville Post HERE in response to Adam Morka/Wired for Performance SledBarrow Post 

Pre-Post Bias: 
I am very fond of the idea that general health, movement skills especially, will create a great base for athletic performance. This is, admittedly, not always true as evidenced by top athletes in a given sport being very limited in abilities outside of their performance domain. (*ask a pro cyclist to squat or touch their toes or jump up and grab a pullup bar). Given this ‘movement bias’ I do choose the idea of variety and non-specific modes of exercise in my own training and the training of my clients with the belief that the resultant health and performance will be positive.

If one’s goals were strictly, or largely, performance based we must evaluate whether “NCI” have a role.

Peer Reviewed / Research Evidence: 
a) A 2010 review of studies done on trained cyclists (>7hrs/wk) found that if Resistance training was added on top of Endurance training there was no gain in time trial performance. However, if the strength training replaced some of the endurance training there was improvement.

b)  This study found that Non-resisted sprint training was as effective as Resisted Sprint training (i.e. sled push). The resisted sprint training did have positive benefits on horizontal acceleration and did not negatively affect running/upper body mechanics.
c)Elite Cyclists/Athletes training time consistently found to be 80-90% Volume (low intensity 90%vo2)

Anecdotal/Practical/inferred Evidence:
a) Joe Friel – Strength training drops out of plan in mid ‘base’ periods (early in offseason) but he is in favor of using it initially then transferring to the bike.
b) Hunter Allen – 3-4 weeks, periodized (variety of rep/sets) but moving to bike specific.
c) Andy Coggan – “Strength is Irrelevant”
d) Nino/Swiss Power Videos   featuring balance, strength and core training
e) Todd Wells discussing plans to build power mid-season in prep for 2012 olympics
*and prior to 2011 discussing huge miles and North America vs. World Cup race demands.

My Experience: 
a) Folks with minimal experience and/or time to train will benefit more from doing something rather than nothing. I have seen this with Steve as he has continued to race at a respectible level while doing crossfit, max strength, stretching with 1-2 bike sessions a week (this is estimated by me) but he also has tremendous experience and natural skill in MTB racing and so this idea of strength/crossfit being a solution for all becomes somewhat limited if someone can not technically handle a MTB.

Questions I am debating given the Above:
a) Does it make sense to suggest someone with less time to train (‘time crunched’) would be better served by random or variable training stimulus vs. a specific (‘game play’) based regime.
b) would an Elite Athlete be benefited by punctuated and isolated exposure to strength training and/or sprint based training (sport specific or not)
c) If the individual is more important than the classification of the athlete (i.e. beginner vs. elite) then how do we isolate who would benefit from any “NCI” to better progress athletes through plateaus and limiters.

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