4 Principles of Strength Training for Cyclists

Fall is a great time to ride. It's also a great time to think about coming up with a resistance-training program to supplement your cycling. Resistance training can help you ride stronger, stay healthy and may minimize the occurrence of training-related injuries. Following these basic training principles will help keep you on track and can help prevent those dreaded training plateaus.

Before you decide on a program, let's take a moment and review the basic principles of training:

More: 6 Reasons Cyclists Should Start Strength Training

Specificity

Resistance training is most effective when exercises are similar to your target activity. For cycling that means single-leg exercises (i.e. single leg squats, step-ups, and lunges) are probably better than two-leg exercises (i.e. conventional leg press).

Overload

To get stronger, periodically you need to overload your body. This could mean more weight, additional repetitions or sets, more training sessions per week, or less rest in between sets.

More: A Strength Plan for Time-Crunched Cyclists

Individuality

What works for one person may or may not work for you—it's important to take your individual considerations into account when coming up with training programs.

Allowance for Adaptation

Stress plus rest equals success. We're humans, not machines, so be sure to allow time for adaptation to occur. Think of progressing your training program in a staircase-like fashion. For example, you can do a four-week program, and then take it easy for a week before resuming your progressions.

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