Weight training is a great benefit if you’re training for an event of if you’re just looking to become a better cyclist. Weight training makes a difference by increasing muscle strength and reducing your overall risk of injury. When doing this program, use a high number of repetitions with an appropriate weight. Experiment with different weights to find one that’s challenging, but most importantly, allows you to do two to three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
If you do this workout two to three times a week during your off-season, and one to two times a week during peak cycling season, you will see a noticeable difference in strength, endurance and cycling performance.
Consult your physician before you begin to make sure that the exercises are appropriate for you.
A proper warm up is necessary prior to any form of exercise. Be sure to stretch all of the muscles that will be used during the exercise routine.
Incline Leg Press – The incline leg press is a great exercise for targeting the glutes and the quadriceps in a cycling-specific range of motion. Make sure that you adjust the seat to a distance from the platform that allows your knees to bend at a 90-degree angle. Also place your feet a little bit wider than your hips so you can target your glutes, which are key muscles for generating power as you cycle. Keep your upper body relaxed, then exhale and press the platform away from you, keeping a slight bend in the knees.
Leg Curls – For training your hamstrings you can use the leg-curl machine. Lie down on the machine on your stomach, making sure the leg pads rest maybe six to eight inches above your heels. The axis of the machine should line up with the axis of your knee joint. Now flex your toes under and then curl your heels in towards your glutes, and slowly lower down in a controlled motion. You’re training your hamstrings here to balance out the muscular strength around the knee.
Roman Chair – The roman chair is a great way to train the hip flexors, which are so important in that pull phase of the pedal stroke. You will place one foot on either side of the platform and then push shoulders and elbows down into the pads along the sides, also engaging the abdominals by pushing the lower back into the pad at the back of the machine. Step off one foot at a time, maintaining that stability in the torso, and pull one knee in towards your chest as you exhale; then down. Then the other knee, exhaling as the knee goes into the chest.
Your lower body muscles are the primary muscles used to turn the pedals and move the bike forward, while your upper body muscles are used to maintain an effective riding position so your legs can work efficiently. While at the gym, be sure to include exercises that work your chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps. And remember that our in-gym workout is just one component of an effective training program. It’s really important to maintain your flexibility while training with weights. This will help reduce fatigue and muscle soreness, and will increase your strength and overall range of motion.