Cyclist strength training: making it count on the bike

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Introduction to strength training with Jo McRae: making it count on the bike

How to translate off-the-bike conditioning to in-the-saddle performance gains


Technique drills for integrating strength work to the bike

One simple way of making sure that you are effectively recruiting your muscles in the pedal cycle is to perform some deliberate drills which force you to focus on what is happening and when. Taking your cadence outside of the normal or ‘average’ range can make you more aware of your style and enable you to focus on making changes to improve.

Slightly over-gearing can help make the rider aware of the muscle groups used in pedalling

Most people pedal at between 85 and 105rpm on a normal flat road, so slowing your cadence down to outside this range by slightly ‘over gearing’ can make you aware of the muscle recruitment through the pedal stroke and help to co-ordinate the transition from down stroke to upstroke. The way you use the muscles of the legs and hips should naturally change at different intensities depending on how you are riding, but working with a steady cadence with a ‘heavier’ gear provides a good general base for improving your pedalling efficiency in a variety of situations.

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