Cycling has a unique connection with respects to functionality of muscular development, overall body mass and limitation of machinery. The dedicated cyclist is very aware they must produce an enormous amount of power with each stroke but along with the generation of force, their overall technique and machinery must work hand-in-hand with the actual body weight they carry. This leads to a distinctive set of concerns as regardless of muscular weight carried, it will have an impact upon final speed and therefore all resistance work must be under the microscope to limit the load pushed. Quite obviously, this leads to rationale that within resistance training, all musculature developed must serve the purpose of increasing speed, obviously posture in the saddle but not be cumbersome as extra body weight.
For the dedicated cyclist, they must first envision their broad training system with the understanding of technical sports mastery and overall conditioning. Physical conditioning, off bike, is an integral component but cannot supersede work on two wheels nor possibly harm technique. Conditioning work on the bike is the first priority but additional training, including resistance work, is an absolute must.
The key aspect for cyclists to understand is that resistance work assists in the development of power, which for many, relates to the need for extraordinary speed-endurance, while limiting an increase in body weight. Resistance training feeds power on the bike but never at the expense of adding weight to drag. The perfect example of this is in the peloton where a rider effortlessly maintains pace with the pack before bringing the hammer down with power to break away. That is power but equally shows the ability to manufacture perfect technique at high intensity levels.
This leads to the crucial post as of the overall ideas of increasing power on the bike, it is imperative to understand that resistance work should allow optimal technique while under the duress of racing and in turn, create greater power output.
Possibly one of the greatest concerns of cyclists with resistance training is that will slow them but this is because the work has been directed correctly. Resistance training will greatly enhance performance but only if it is done correctly.
With this in mind, the three overall keys for generating greater power on two wheels relates to the functionality of resistance training that allows posture to be maintained in (or out) of the bike saddle and augments technical performance with improved speed and speed-endurance. Resistance training will further improve recovery from fatigue of countless hours in the saddle but always done in a manner to increase the “functionality” of muscle.
Ultimately, this leads to a unique series of training decisions for riders, to be discussed in the next addition to our cycling section at USP Labs.
prepared by John Davies
photos credit: John Davies ready to ride, Renegade Cycling Club copyright protected © Renegade Style Productions, 2010.
The information provided in “Instant Training Improvement Tips”, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should it be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.