Strength de­vel­op­ment

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - T1 -

Strength to cre­ate force is built in the weight room, rid­ing hills and push­ing big gears. Cycling-spe­cific strength work in the gym should be short and sim­ple. Train the pri­mary cycling mus­cle groups two to three times per week. These ex­er­cises tar­get those mus­cles – per­form them with your own body weight to start. You can in­crease the chal­lenge by hold­ing dumb­bells. 1. Sin­gle leg squats 2. Sin­gle leg step ups 3. Sin­gle leg split squats with rear leg on a block or ball Do two to three sets of 10 of each of these ex­er­cises to strengthen the main ped­alling mus­cles. (Sta­bi­liz­ing mus­cles are strength­ened, too, when you bal­ance on one leg.)

Hills are a great way to build strength. Ride in the largest gear pos­si­ble at a very low ca­dence (40 to 50 rpm). Hill work­outs for strength are the equiv­a­lent of mul­ti­ple leg press rep­e­ti­tions, only on a bike. With this type of work, speed is ir­rel­e­vant.

Overgear work is a sim­i­lar type of re­sis­tance train­ing. The only dif­fer­ence is it can be per­formed over flat ter­rain. Shift­ing to very hard gears (53 x 13 or 14) and rid­ing a sim­i­lar ca­dence of 40 to 50 rpm cre­ates the re­sis­tance re­quired for strength work on flat ter­rain.

Com­plet­ing six to eight weeks of strength and skills train­ing is a great way to lay the ground­work for a strong sea­son. The only dan­ger with low ca­dence strength work is the loss of leg speed, so keep­ing up with some high ca­dence drills is an im­por­tant part of your train­ing reg­i­men.

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