Combining two seemingly different workouts may appear daunting to some fitness clients at first glance, but for cyclists who want to go beyond speed, strength workouts can help them up your game. Strength workouts are a necessary compliment to cycling, as it helps develop power and strength.
Your clients may wonder, is it really possible to be fast and strong at the same time? It is perfectly natural to think that juggling two different workouts may compromise the quality of training on the other. It is certainly more practical for cyclists to spend more time on the bike rather than training off it.
But with the right preparation and planning, you can have the best of both worlds: being fast and being strong.
Here are four essential tips for combining strength and cycle training:
- Avoid burnouts by pairing strength workouts on your easy to moderate cycling workouts.
- When doing strength training, focus on your important zones as a cyclist.
- At least two sessions per week of good strength workouts will suffice. Go for quality and not quantity.
- Have enough rest to recover in between workouts.
Upping the Game Through Strength Training
For long-distance biking or when pedaling way up the hill, the need to build strength and endurance on the bike makes sense. However, there are times that getting the training you need while off the bike can be more beneficial at the end of the day.
Since cycling focuses on certain muscles such as glutes, hamstrings, and quads (and mostly only Type II and Type IIa fibers), strength training will help you strengthen the muscles that are not used when you’re on the bike. A more balanced approach will be effective to build the strength you need in cycling and to ensure overall body health and strength.
Whether you go for a hybrid bike, a mountain bike, or a road bike, there’s no doubt that incorporating strength training is beneficial for improving your cycling performance. When the trail requires you to push the pedal with more power, you’ll see how your strength training is paying off.
Benefits of Strength Training for Cyclists
As what has been noted earlier, cycling is a linear workout. Your legs and hips are doing most of the work, and overusing these muscles can cause imbalances and injuries. Incorporating strength workouts can help correct the negative effects of your clients spending too much time on their bikes.
Moreover, as clients age, they will experience muscle loss. Strength training can slow and reverse this process. Though cycling helps build endurance strength, resistance workouts keep the body in balance by developing balance, power, and strength missed when cycling alone.
If you or your clients enjoy participating in cycling races, power, endurance, and speed are usually the main goals. And here’s the good news for you, strength maintenance increases your cycling performance.
Another reason why clients should incorporate strength training is to stay in shape even during winter months when many cyclists are forced indoors. Indoor strength training can help vary the challenge and incorporate periodization during the “off” months.. Also, the off-season is the best time to start doing your strength training to increase efficiency when the season comes.
Do’s and Dont’s of Combining Strength and Cycling
Start slow. As you are not training to be an instant bodybuilder, but you are aiming for long-term strength and endurance. Add load to your weights gradually and of course, it pays to listen to your body. You definitely know when to push yourself for more and you also know your limit.
Don’t lift just whenever you feel like it. If you are expecting remarkable progress, consistency is key. Strength training for at least two weeks can help you achieve the results you’re looking for. Squeezing strength workouts in your schedule may be challenging but you already know that inconsistent training will do more harm than good.
Have a structured plan, aside from keeping up with your schedule. Having a structured plan can help you avoid burnouts and unnecessary injuries. Especially when you wish to combine strength and cycling in one day, knowing how to pair the workouts together efficiently will lead to happy clients.
Don’t combine the two in one go. Have at least six hours interval to ensure that you have the needed energy to sustain during workouts. Also, plan your strength training on the day you’re going for easy or moderate cycling workouts. Alternatively, a client could opt for an easy indoor or flat outdoor cycling session following a strength workout
Strength Exercises For Cyclists
Don’t forget to teach your cycling clients to release tight muscles such as the hip flexors which are in a shortened position while cycling.
When all is said and done, we only have one thing in mind: consistent progress. Consistent progress is what we want for ourselves and what we want for our clients. Starting something different from what you’re used to is never always easy. And doing it consistently is another matter.
But cyclists are always up to go the extra mile and will never give up. Once they start seeing how strength training boosts their cycling performance, they will stay committed.
About the Author
Chelsea Smith is the editor and content creator at cyclinghacker.com. She’s crazy about all things cycling and spends most weekends exploring her home state of Ohio by bike.