It doesn’t matter what season it is or what excuse you have—there is no time like the present to take your training into the gym. If you are looking to improve your performance on the bike or just want to drop the hammer on your weekend warrior group, strength training is one of the most effective ways to get faster.
To get strong you have to do compound exercises: deadlifts, squats and shoulder presses that engage multiple joints and muscles groups. These exercises will increase your strength while also engaging your core.
Get back to the basics and each week add a little more weight so you continue to drive the process of getting stronger.
Squats3 sets, 5 reps 1 of 7
Squats are the king of all exercises. Place a barbell on your upper back and take a few steps away from the rack. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed out 30 degrees. Push your butt back and down while keeping your knees over your toes. Squat down so your hip crease is just below your knee. Next, drive your hips up towards the ceiling.
Remember to keep your head down, with your eyes looking at the floor in front of you.
Deadlifts3-5 reps, 1-3 sets 2 of 7
Stand with your feet under the bar. Grab the bar with both hands and bend your knees. Let your shins touch the bar. Keep your arms straight and shoulder blades directly over the bar. Expand your chest and pull the bar up in a vertical path. Make sure not to let your back round. Stand tall and return to the starting position.
Shoulder Press3-4 sets, 4-6 reps 3 of 7
Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them right above your shoulders. Squeeze your abs and legs and press the dumbbells upward in a vertical line until your elbows lock out. If you are advanced, ditch the dumbbells and grab a barbell.
Bench Press3-4 sets, 4-6 reps 4 of 7
Lie on a bench. Grab the bar with both hands and pull your shoulders back and down. Your feet need to be planted firmly on the floor, eyes on the ceiling and not on the bar. Tighten up your abs before you unrack the bar. Lift the bar out of the rack and lower it to your chest. Press the bar back up into the starting position. Do not let your elbows flare out at any point.
Chin-ups4-10 reps, 3-4 sets 5 of 7
Grab the chin-up bar with palms facing you and pull yourself up so your chin clears the bar. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Make sure your reps are in the full range of motion—all the way up, all the way down.
Dips4-10 reps, 3-4 sets 6 of 7
Grab the dip bar with your hands. Get yourself into the starting position by holding at arm's length above the bar. Lower yourself slowly down while keeping your elbow close to your body. Once you get to the bottom, return to the starting position by extending arms.