Are you guys as stoked about the TrainerRoad video on Strength training as much as I am?
I doubt it!
Not only is TrainerRoad a great tool to help Cyclists and Triathletes who aren't ready for 1 on 1 coaching to get some solid fitness, but it also has a great reach into the endurance community.
While I've been talking about strength training for cyclists for the last 9 years, knowing deep down that the time for change is ALMOST here.....this video with currently 69,000+ views, tells me the time IS here.
Today we hit on the TOP 3 RULES when it comes to Strength Training that you MUST keep in mind!
There are some rules to Strength Training for cyclists...
While the blog post that goes along with the video says there are no "hard and fast rules when it comes to strength training for cyclists", there are quite a few rules that apply to strength training in general that we MUST keep in mind. These are the top 3.
1. Specific Adaptations to imposed Demand
Whatever you program the body to do, is what it will do. This is super important as we get into strength training, as when we start off coming from loads of time on the bike, we must make sure that we work to find a happy balance for our joints, so they can perform on the bike, and stay healthy off the bike.
If you're looking to improve your strength for riding, or anything for that matter, you must impose that demand (do strength training) at LEAST 3 days a week in order to see results and progress. This means finding the right balance for YOU and YOUR needs for the different times of year. Simply hitting the gym 2x a week for a 2 hours strength session may be enough to help you see some small increases for a short time, but it won't be enough to stimulate the changes you're seeking!
For true beginners in the weight room, 2x a week for 60-75 min quality sessions may prove to be enough, however for the vast majority of us we will require 3 days a week regularly in the gym, in order to see results. More is not always better, and we must also keep in balance your riding,. Many riders with whom I've worked have found that a 60 minute gym session with a good 10-15 minute warm-up has allowed them to have absolutely fantastic results, and to maintain their abilities on the bike.
Find what works for you, and stick to it. You should see progress regularly and consistently, and be feeling better after your strength work, not worse.
2. Training is useless if your recovery sucks
We don't get stronger from the workouts we do, in fact, we are actually in a weakened state afterwards. We get stronger by getting the nutrients and rest we need after a workouts, so that the body can repair and adapt.
Strength training 4x a week PLUS riding 12 hours PLUS working 40 hours PLUS.... if you're not getting your sleep and nutrition on point, you'll see poor (if any) results.
3. Progression, progression, progression!
Many of the exercises shown in the video are very advanced, and require large amounts of range of motion, stability, and strength to perform properly. Specifically the Pistol Squats and Spiderman Pushups require an immense amount of core strength AND mobility at the hips.
While the mobility at the hips is a long post in and of itself, the core strength is a big issue for many of us, as we tend to have poor connection of the ribs and pelvis, leading us to perform these exercises with poor technique which can lead to pain,discomfort, and loss of time on the bike- something we very much want to avoid.
4. (BONUS) Work within the Range of Motion you have, SetTing yourself up for success, not injury
This is something many athletes, regardless of sport, tend to miss. While it is really good to go through a full range of motion for an exercise, pushing beyond YOUR range of motion to where you lose technique or proper alignment of the joints and body parts is only going to make your risk of injury increase.
There are a large number of Triathletes and Time Trials in particular with whom I've coached (after they hurt themselves), and seen in the weight room trying to "mimic my position on the TT bars".
There is a time and a place for being as "sport-specific" as possible, but with weight lifting exercises, especially ones such as the deadlift and bent over reverse flies, are not them.