"Mountain Biking & Cycling:
Strength Training for Performance"
- RESISTANCE TRAINING TO PREPARE YOU FOR SUMMER CYCLING
leg strength through resistance training will help anyone
improve cycling performance. Clients have told me that by
developing greater hamstring strength they have had more
power when climbing hills (a skill that separates the elite
from the rest of the pack). Here are some suggestions for
a cycling-based resistance training program.
the routine for about 4-6 weeks and then you can begin to
learn more sport-specific advanced exercises such as the
single leg exercises (lunges & step-ups) and also the
ease into leg training or the muscle soreness that will
follow will severely interfere with your endurance training
at first this may mean only 1 set of 10-12 reps (for each
exercise) and then build
up to the recommended volume (below)
train legs 1-2 times per week
warm-up with the general "5-minute cycle" and
a light warm-up set
stretch your legs (hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves/Achilles
endurance training is recommended for after strength training
the tempo of each rep should be 2 - 0 - 1
seconds eccentric, no pause, 1 second concentric)
i.e. 2 seconds in down phase of Leg press
and 1 second taken to push it up
Feet shoulder width apart, but with the feet as close to
the top of the platform as
possible (to increase hamstring recruitment)
Lower the platform as deep as possible while maintaining
contact between the
back and the seat pad
Work up to 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions over a 2-3 week
curls (Leg curl machine)
Work up to 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions
Support yourself on a ledge on only one foot and raise up
as high as possible,
then lower your heel as far as possible
Start with your body weight & progress to using a light
(held in the one hand & use the opposite
arm for balance/support)
3 sets of 8-12
extension (machine or back extension chair)
3 sets of 10
any other muscle group, the abs should be trained only 2-3
times per week, and should use low rep ranges (8-15 reps
per set) as you want to make them stronger too!
Kneel facing away from a cable column, hold a rope behind
the neck and curl
the trunk forward.
This may be an advanced exercise but beneficial if you can
already do 25 or
more crunches from the floor.
Hold a weight plate across chest during regular crunches.
Not a huge performance variable although it will
be of benefit for bike control, especially for mountain
bikers. Start slow and use the same prescription as for
Either machine or free weight.
The machine bench press is still a very effective exercise.
3 sets of 8-12 (for all upper body exercises).
Use a shoulder-width grip with palms towards you (for lats,
biceps & forearms).
close grip bench press
Use the decline bench, and grip the bar about shoulder width
Trains the chest and triceps.
row (preferably a wide-grip on a wide-bar)
: Trains the upper back muscles. Try to begin
each repetition by bringing the shoulder blades together.
may want to add one shoulder exercise (press or cable lateral
raise), but the above routine is probably more than enough
for your training goals.
- HOME WORKOUTS: RESISTANCE TRAINING OPTIONS
people don't have time to consistently go to the gym. So
I have put together some training options you can do at
home. The options include dumbbell workouts and exercises
that need no external resistance. I have provided many options
so that even a home workout can have variety.
for increasing strength and adding muscle mass:
sets x 8-10 repetitions (*plus 1-2 warm-up sets of 10 repetitions).
1 exercise from each pair.
SQUAT or *DB LUNGE
DEADLIFT or DB STEP-UP (onto bench)
CRUNCH (10 reps)
CRUNCH (15-25 reps)
& TRICEPS WORKOUT
FLAT PRESS or
*DECLINE DB PRESS
FLAT FLY or
DB INCLINE FLY
DB TRICEPS or
OVERHEAD DB TRICEPS EXTENSION
& BICEPS WORKOUT
CURL or DB HAMMER CURL
PRESS or *DB LATERAL RAISE
BENT-OVER LATERAL RAISE
is a bunch of leg exercises that will not require external
resistance. They challenge you for leg strength, endurance,
balance, and agility.
Warm-up with 2 sets of 15 repetitions of both full squats
not use any weight, BUT/ go through the entire range of
2-4 sets of 6-15 repetitions per exercise
Perform the exercises with the weak leg first to help correct
Choose one exercise from each group.
STEP-UP + CALF RAISE
the push-up is an upper-body exercise that is effective
at building upper-body endurance and moderate levels of
shoulder width apart, feet together, maintain neutral spinal
alignment (head, neck, and back straight). Bend elbows until
upper arms are parallel to the floor, then back return to
wider apart = increased chest recruitment.
close together = increased triceps recruitment.