Proper Planning Makes Weight Training Effective for Cyclists

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12/9/2005| 0 comments
by Tim Pelot

Proper Planning Makes Weight Training Effective for Cyclists

Many cyclists toss around the idea of working out with weights to improve performance.

number of repetitions. This type of program will elicit the best strength gains with very little, if any, hypertrophy or ?bulking up?.   Remember that the strength training program is designed to improve efficiency at producing force by allowing the body to work less at a given resistance.   This is achieved by building up sheer strength, which is accomplished by performing strength exercises with a significant amount of weight.  

 

Use the following sets and repetitions schedule to maximize your gains while reducing the risk of injury:

 

Strength training

period

Duration of period

 

Sets

 

Repetitions

Rest between

sets

Level of resistance

Speed of movement

Adaptation

4-6 weeks

2

12-15

1 minute

Light

Moderate

Foundation

4-8 weeks

3

10-12

1 minute

Moderate

Moderate

Strength

4-8 weeks

3-5

3-6

2-3 minutes

Heavy

Moderate

Power

4-6 weeks

4-6

2-3

3-5 minutes

Moderate

Rapid

Maintenance

Competitive cycling season

 

2

 

8-12

 

1 minute

 

Moderate

 

Moderate

 

Amount of Resistance

Finding the correct level of resistance for each exercise may take a few tries, particularly as you move from period to period.   When starting your Adaptation period, err on the side of caution.   Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments all need time to adapt to the stress of strength training, which can be quite different than that of cycling.   Once you?ve given your body a few weeks to get used to the new activity, you can start to bump up the weight.   By the Foundation period of strength training, you should make sure that the last repetition of each set is strenuous; this will ensure that the level of resistance is appropriate.   If you can easily get through all repetitions of a set without strain, then the weight is too light and should be increased for the next set or for the next exercise session.

 

Speed of Movement

The speed of your strength training movements should be generally moderate, except for during the Power period of strength training, when you are specifically working at using your new strength at faster speeds.   Early in the strength training year, your muscular structures may not be ready to produce strength at faster speeds, so minimize your risk of injury by moderating the quickness of your exercises until your body is ready for it.   At any time, if the speed of the movement gets in the way of good technique, the movement should be performed at a slower speed.

 

Number of Sessions Per Week

Your strength training program should complement your cycling training, not impede it. So, you need to take into account your overall weekly training demands and your current period of training.   During the Transition and Foundation periods of your aerobic training, try to devote 2-3 days per week to strength training.   The goal at this time is to reacquire the strength lost from a demanding race season and to develop greater strength for next season.  During the Preparation period of aerobic training, devoting 2 days per week to

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