This is what many of us think of when we think of a trained cyclist at his or her(god I hope not) race weight. Not unlike my own physique as team mate Kyle so eloquently pointed out a few weeks back…or maybe he was referring to the tan. I’d be willing to bet that even the scrawniest of professional cyclists incorporate some strength training into their year round training plans. For most of us amateurs its something we often overlook or make a point to overlook.
I’d like to talk about some very basic exercises we can all do that don’t require any special equipment (except for a few small dumbbells) and only a minimal time commitment. The benefits will pay dividends once the race season begins especially for those of us who race mountain bikes and cyclocross where it is not simply about putting force into the crank. I’ll share a simple routine that I personally do 2-3 times per week that improves my upper body strength drastically, helps flexibility, and honestly gets my winterized body burning more calories than just logging the miles alone. I like to do this routine on days when I’ve been resigned to the trainer, or a shorter, easier outdoor workout. It helps break the monotony and is a great post-trainer workout when you are all warmed up. Beware, this is not a rest/easy day activity as the pace and resistance should be enough to get your heart rate up and muscles really working. Never do this routine on consecutive days and if you are sore give it another days rest. Try to do 3 complete circuits of this routine resting briefly between circuits. Try to move from one exercise to the next as quickly as possible. If you need to, reduce the number of reps. Go for quality not quantity.
20 x Body weight squats (add dumbbells if its too easy and as you get stronger)
10 x Pushups (go from the knees if you can’t do regular)
20 x Walking lunges (10 each leg. add dumbbells as you get stronger)
10 x Dumbbell rows (these can become inverse body rows or pull-ups if you are strong enough)
30 second plank (45 sec…1 min as you get stronger)
30 x Jumping jacks (keep that heart rate up between circuits)
30 second rest and repeat the circuit
That’s it! Pretty simple, no crazy equipment needed. If you don’t have a dumbbell, grab anything…fill a gallon jug with water ~8lbs. Use a docile cat if you need to. Google the exercises if you need help learning how to do them. And you can always add reps and weight to make it harder…for example you could throw another set of 10 pushups at the end after the plank..just transition from plank to pushup. This workout should take less than 20 minutes of your time and greatly improve your overall fitness and physique. I’m posting it as a challenge to my BSBL teammates…who’s in? I want to hear comments from people that attempt this! I’d love to hear from those of you that already incorporate strength training in your workouts.