In this Episode:

  • Dean Somerset
  • Mindset Evolution
  • Squat Loading and Methods
  • Individual Body Awareness
  • Breathing Training
  • Shoulder Position
  • Spine Range of Motion
  • Injury Prevention
  • Tissue Adaptation in Strength Training
  • Road Cyclists’ Gym Volume
  • Hips and Rotary Stability
  • Conclusion




Show Notes:

0:41 –

Dean Somerset

  • Plethora of knowledge
  • Has been presenting for over a decade
  • The Complete Trainer’s Toolbox
  • The Complete Hip and Shoulder Blueprint
    • With Tony Gentilcore
  • His wife is a cyclist
  • He trained cyclists and paracyclists up in Canada – where he currently lives


2:48 –

Mindset Evolution

  • “Before they used to just walk past the weight room because they didn’t wanna get big and bulky” – Dean
    • But now they understand that’s not necessarily the case
    • Maintain that watt to body weight ratio and you’ll get stronger on the bike
      • Watts/kilo – relative, not absolute, power
  • People don’t see the numbers change over time
  • Cyclists are all about performance outcomes and biometrics
    • As threshold power goes up so does VO2 and RPMs and everything else that goes into the metrics of what makes a cyclist perform


4:40 –

Squat Loading and Methods

  • Dr. McGill spoke about a belt squat
  • Menachem likes to do a front squat or goblet squat before ever doing a back squat
  • Dean likes to start with a front squat with most athletes
    • “If you have access to a belt squat machine – great!” – Dean
    • A front squat is more specific to cyclists
      • It’s anterior loading instead of posterior loading
      • “A safety squat bar would be even better” – Dean
  • Range of motion is going to be very independent to the individual
    • Essentially, it depends
    • “Everybody has a bit of a different squat” – Dean
  • “Some people have Tony the “shoulder guy” and you the “hip guy”, but you’re well beyond that” – Menachem
  • “For a beginner – the best place to begin is at the beginning” – Dean
    • Learn how to do a clean squat and a deadlift properly with good body control over compound movements, and then, gradually add loading as you can tolerate it
    • You’re not training to be a powerlifter or an Olympic lifter, but you’re using those techniques to benefit cycling performance


9:34 – 

Individual Body Awareness

  • It depends!
  • It’s so athlete-specific
  • Series of assessments
    • Medical questionnaire
      • Helps determine red flags for certain exercises
    • Passive range of motion on table
    • Active assessment
      • Can they generate tension?
    • Actually doing stuff
      • Can they squat, deadlift, kettlebell swing, etc.?
        • What does that look like?
  • Also depends on their schedule/calendar
  • Dean wants junior athletes to learn body awareness, position, technique, etc.
  • Get them train based on what they’re looking to do, where they are in the training calendar, and how old they are (masters vs. juniors athletes)


15:00 –

Breathing Training

  • “It’s a fundamental component to how a person moves and what they do” – Dean
  • Breathing is a mobility and a stabilization tool
    • It is extremely essential with endurance athletes
  • It’s not yoga – breathing helps to increase your lung volume and lung capacity to allow you to create pressure, stability, and stiffness and increase oxygen delivery to the working tissues
  • “Let’s make you breathe better” – Dean
  • “If you have somebody who cannot get full thoracic extension – they’re limiting tidal volume – which is gonna affect their performance on the bike” – Dean
    • Because then they’re breathing through a smaller bag of air, so it will make them have to work harder and waste more energy
  • Rib expansion, thoracic extension, diaphragmatic depression will all inflate the lung into a bigger size
  • You have to start young
  • Interlace breathing work in everything you do to get maximum performance out of your exercise
  • 360º breathing
  • “Just become aware of what happens when you breathe” – Dean


23:22 –

Shoulder Position

  • “You can’t just have one position all the time that’s anatomically perfect and aerodynamically perfect” – Dean
    • So it comes down to if you manage the stress on the body during the positions and after for recovery
      • Train shoulder range of motion drills, work on thoracic extension and rotation, and get them to move their shoulder blade
      • Foam rolling or lacrosse ball work will decrease tension
      • Soft tissue work and basic mobility drills
  • A lot of cyclists can’t separate their rib cage and shoulder
  • Lat activation can affect side expansion of the ribs which affects breathing
  • Red flags:
    • AC joint pain when swimming
    • Side stitches with intervals
    • Cramping or rib pain


28:34 –

Spine Range of Motion

  • Track cyclists typically sit in flexed posture longer than a road cyclist would
  • In training, a track cyclist typically has more gym-based time focusing on extension and explosiveness, whereas a road cyclist would likely spend less time there
  • It depends on the athlete
  • Relatively safe ways for a road cyclist to maintain thoracic extension:
    • Stretch and cool down when you get off the bike
      • Foam rolling and basic stretches
      • Deep breathing or yoga
  • For cyclists, anything that involves rotation is great
    • Hip cars, shin box, shoulder circles 90-90 rotation, etc. are great for shoulders
  • Where can people find you?
    • Instagram – Dsomerset1
    • YouTube – Dean Somerset
    • Website –


33:35 –

Injury Prevention

  • Connutation and nutation have a big impact on the SI joint and pelvic positioning
  • One of the main goals for a triathlon is to see if you survive
  • Don’t try to increase volume or intensity too suddenly
  • Give yourself D-load weights
  • Take time off
  • Programming accounting is very important for keeping yourself healthy and away from potential overuse injuries
  • Maintain tissue quality and integrity
  • Injuries are bound to happen – so do your best to prevent them
  • Adding strength training can add resiliency if you’re consistent with it
  • “Decreasing your ride time on the trainer, and added 10-15 minutes consistently – 3-4 days a week – can really help with those tissue qualities” – Menachem


41:00 –

Tissue Adaptation in Strength Training

  • Almost a form of cross training from what you do on the bike
  • “If you do it concurrently with cycling, you’re cycling performance goes up” – Dean
  • The most adaptation will be neural, compared to anything structural
    • The tissues may become more pliable
    • Joints tend to move better when exposed to force or range of motion that’s different from what they’ve been put through on the bike
    • “Strength goes up, power output goes up, range of motion improves, and wattage to rate ratio improves as well” – Dean
  • “Mass = gas” – Dean
  • It depends what kind of cycling you’re doing – mass can either be an advantage or a detriment
  • Important to pay attention to weight and diet as well
  • “For most endurance athletes, it’s gonna come down to weight to power output” – Dean
  • Strength training will probably injury-proof a lot of their joints and tissues down the line
  • Cyclists typically don’t do much upper body stuff
  • 2 sets of 3-5 – once or twice a week – you can maintain strength pretty well


50:18 –

Road Cyclists’ Gym Volume

  • It depends
    • Training calendar, time in off-season, specific sport, etc.
  • Phase training in off-season is typically:
    • Introduction into strength training, max. strength, strength endurance, power endurance
      • Shows huge improvement in strength training
        • One guy went from 1800 watts – 2000 watts
    • You should have 1-2 reps left in the gas tank after you’re done
  • “I don’t max test any of my athletes” – Dean
    • It can increase the risk of injury 


58:15 –

Hips and Rotary Stability

  • Look for impingement
  • 2 coaching tips:
  1. Don’t hurt the client in the gym
  2. Make them better at their sport
  • You need to train strength, not just test strength
  • Basic hip stuff:
    • Brace, breathe, create tension, hold tension through range of motion, etc.
  • Dean’s goal: get them into a training environment where they can get a loaded adaptation to what they’re trying to do
  • “Why is that important to you?” – Dean
    • Then break into their belief system
  • Ask a runner what they feel getting tired on them after they run
    • If they say quads – then they’re not using glutes
      • They’re probably stooped forward, have a hard heel strike, and knees are flexed as they hit the ground
      • Using a knee extension eccentric contraction to control their stride
    • If they say it’s their glutes – then they’re using their glutes
  • “In terms of rotary stability, the glutes and a lot of the hip musculature are a power source” – Dean
    • It just comes down to how you actually run and cycle
  • “The glute med is like the rotator cuff of the hip” – Menachem
    • Pulls head of femur back and into acetabulum
  • “The glutes operate as a complex – so let’s get the glutes to actually operate as a complex” – Dean




  • Key takeaways for listeners:
    • “There is nothing that will replace compound strength” – Dean
      • Get good at basic compound strength because that stuff you can take with you anywhere you go
      • “You won’t get bulky” – Dean
    • Train to get stronger, don’t train to fail
      • “You should always have one or two reps in the tank” – Dean
    • Train mobility of your joints
  • Where can people find you?
    • Australia in July
    • Instagram: dsomerset1
    • Facebook: Dean Somerset
    • Website:

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