In The Cyclist’s Training Bible (5th edition) an entire chapter is devoted to building muscular force — strength. This is part of what produces power when turning the pedals. The other part is the velocity of your pedaling – cadence. What this means is that power is the result of force and velocity (p = f * v). The more powerful you are the faster you go. What follows is a summary of force development that is discussed in much greater detail in my book. Here you will find a list of the recommended force-building exercises and then 3 tables that fill in the details of how to plan your season to become more powerful.
Muscular Force Exercises
The following is an overview of exercises to include in your gym workouts in Prep, Base, Build, and Peak periods of training. There are a total of 3 or 4 exercises to be done in each session. Explanations and illustrations of each may be found in The Cyclist’s Training Bible, 5thedition.
- Do one or two of these 6 exercises (your choice):
Double-Leg Squat (freeweights)
Single-Leg Squat (freeweights)
Dead Lift (freeweights)
Step-Up (freeweights) – may be done as “power” step ups with lighter loads and explosive movement
Leg Press (machine)
- Also do this exercise to maintain muscle balance:
Leg Curl (machine or elastic band)
- May include an optional exercise to build greater power in place of an above #1 exercise (for advanced weightlifting athletes only):
Power Clean (freeweights)
- To build/maintain core strength in each phase do some combination of these in each session:
Front Plank with Rows (freeweights)
Table 1. The weightlifting phases and their purposes.
|Weightlifting Phase||Seasonal Timing||Purpose|
|Anatomical Adaptation (AA)||Prep and/or early Base 1||Become accustomed to the various exercises.|
|Max Transition (MT)||Prep and/or Base 1||Gradually adapt to heavier loads.|
|Max Strength (MS)||Base 1 (and possibly going into Base 2)||Build strength.|
|Strength Maintenance (SM)||Base 2, Base 3, Build 1, Build 2, Peak||Maintain the strength gains made in MS.|
Table 2. How to Determine the Load for Each Exercise
Estimate your 1-repetition max (1RM) by finding how many Reps you can do for a given exercise. (Exercise loads in each phase are determined by percentages of your 1RM.)
Step 1: Do an exercise from Muscular Force Exercises (above) with a challenging self-chosen load with which you can only do 4-10 reps.
Step 2: Divide your load for that exercise set by the corresponding Factor (see Table) based on the number of Reps you did to estimate your 1RM for that exercise.
Table 3. Details of the weightlifting phases.
|Weightlifting Phase||Period||Total Sessions||Sessions per Week||Load (% 1RM)||Sets per Session||Reps per Set||Recovery (in Minutes)|
|Anatomical Adaptation (AA)||Prep||4-6||2-3||40-60||3-5||15-20||1-1.5|
|Max Transition (MT)||Prep||2-3||2-3||70-80||3-5||8-12||2-3|
|Max Strength (MS)||Base 1||8-12||2-3||85-95||3-4||3-6||3-4|
|Strength Maintenance (SM)||Base 2