Selected weights for weight training for cyclists Online
When it comes to cycling, a lot of weight is usually given to fitness and weight training for cyclists is being emphasized now more than ever. Cycling has been found to be more reliant on heart rate and thus the focus on improving fitness and through cycling exercises. However, adding weight training to this mix offers some undeniable benefits as well.
If you are interested in cycling to dominate competitions you will find that strength and power gained through weight training will make quite a difference in giving you an edge over your competitors.
Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Training
Let’s look at the two broad categories of exercises:
- Relies on the breakdown of oxygen to supply energy to muscles.
- They are of moderate intensity over long distances as the oxygen takes some time to be delivered to muscles and then broken down.
- Examples of exercises include long distance cycling, swimming and running.
- Aerobic training requires an immediate injection of energy in the muscles. This means that rather than waiting for oxygen to be delivered, energy is obtained from glycogen which is stored in the muscles.
- It involves intense workouts over a short period.
- Some examples of these workouts include sprints while running or cycling as well.
When you ask cyclists where cycling belongs in between the two categories above, most will tell you that it is aerobic. However it is important to note that it incorporates both aerobic and anaerobic workouts. During periods where the cyclist sprints to overtake or catch up with other cyclists, they are getting anaerobic workouts while during stretches where they cycle at a constant cadence, they are getting aerobic workouts.
How to Enhance Anaerobic Capabilities
For a cyclist, increasing their anaerobic capabilities also enhances their ability to sprint faster and longer.
For this you will need explosive power and larger muscles for a higher level of glycogen storage. The simplest way to attain these two requirements is to invest time at the gym lifting weights. Weight training not only boosts your strength but also increases muscle size.
However, you must remember that here we are only talking about the muscles that will be needed for cycling. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to get this done.
These are the muscles behind the human knee. We rely on these muscles to flex the knee and hips as well. The best hamstring work outs include:
The Deadlift workouts
This is a popular work out for a variety of athletes and not just cyclists. It strengthens the hamstrings and lower back muscles as well. With stronger lower back muscles, you will not experience as much soreness as is common for bending down when riding.
- When conducting deadlifts, stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Pick up the barbell after bending your back is at 45 degrees and then bending your knees.
- To lift up the barbell, straighten the knees and then your back pushing up from your heels in a single fluid motion.
- Return the barbell to the floor.
The quadriceps is made up of a large muscle that is positioned at the front of the thigh. It is sub-divided into four sections. The main function of the muscle is to extend the leg. Examples of quadriceps workouts:
This is one of the basic weight training exercises for cyclists. It enhances the cyclist’s strength and balance as well.
- To perform squats you will need to stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Put the barbell weight on the trapezius muscles and balance it appropriately. Note that the weight needs to rest on the said muscles and not that neck as it would be very risky.
- Look to the front and then bend your knees while going downwards as if sitting down. Hold when your knees are parallel to the floor.
- Finally push up through your thigh muscles in one fluid motion until your back at your starting position.
Leg Press Work outs
It is recommended that you do this exercise after the squats routine to fully exercise the quadriceps.
- To perform this exercise, position yourself on the leg press machine. Plant your feet on the leg press separated by your shoulder width. When lowered, your legs should come close to a ninety degree angle against your body. Make the necessary adjustments if this is not the case.
- Push the leg press weight outwards through your thighs until your legs are almost straight and then bring the leg press down to the initial position slowly.
This is the muscle responsible for controlling how high or low the heels remain. It is essential during cycling sprints as the heels tend to be raised at this time. These exercises are part of the basic workout routine for runners and not cyclists. However, their effectiveness in strengthening the calf makes them quite adequate for cyclists as well. Calf raises are the main exercises here:
- To perform these exercises, stand with your shoulder width length separating your feet holding a dumbbell in both hands.
- Flex your claves as you raise your heels off the ground while taking care. When you feel that you have reached your limit lower yourself to the initial standing position. repeat this routine for maximum effect.
Designing a Proper Weight Training Routine
Did you know…?
Did you know that every time you work out your muscles get tiny tears?This is exactly why you need to consume a diet that promotes regeneration and healing as well as separating workouts with enough time for the tears to heal properly.
Exercising too much without the necessary breaks will result in more harm than good. Since cycling is an exercise itself, make sure you have the necessary down time.
The above exercises are essential in getting you ready for the strengthening of these important muscles. However you still don’t know how to combine them into a package that will deliver the best results. At this point you have no idea what the appropriate weight and number of repetitions will work out great for you. This will need a lot of knowledge when it comes to how much certain muscles twitch and identifying these muscles as well.
As a rule of thumb, low twitch muscles respond to lower weight and higher repetition exercises while the opposite is true for high twitch muscles. Therefore, a cyclist’s weight training schedule should look something like this.
- Three sets of six to eight repetitions of deadlift exercises.
- Three sets of twelve to fifteen repetitions of Calf raises.
- Three sets of six to eight repetitions of squat exercises.
- Three sets of six to eight repetitions leg press exercises.
Great Tips on Weight Lifting for Cyclists
- Do not Over Train – This is perhaps the most important tip in weight training for cyclists. The muscles you train are also used in cycling. By denying them the chance for proper recovery, they will not perform at their peak when needed to as you ride. The workouts are usually limited to twice a week.
- Good Form – Weight training should always be comfortable and safe. Conducting the exercises above in good form minimizes you chances of injury. It also ensures that the muscles you are trying to exercise gain strength uniformly. Good form is not something you can see but is what and how you feel.
- Don’t Forget to warm up and Cool Down – Warming up is essential in the prevention of injury as well as in helping increase your weight capacity. A warm up loosens the muscles and also increases heart rate and blood flow to the muscles. Warming down eliminates the risk of lactic acid build up in the muscles after exercise sessions and keeps you free from soreness.
- Keep a Record of your Progress – If you plan on increasing your fitness step by step, then you will need to keep increasing the exercise load by increasing repetitions and weight. By recording the information pertaining to each workout in a notebook, you get a better view of your progress.
- Right Nutrition – To make any progress during workouts make sure that you match your routine to good nutritional habits. You need to be fueled up for the workout by consuming carbs about two hours before hitting the gym. After the workout, consume a high carb and protein rich meal (50-50 proportions) to fuel your muscle recovery.
Is all This Necessary?
The immediate benefit you will see from practicing weight training for cyclists is an increased capacity for high powered sprints. As your muscles build a higher tolerance foe exercise you will also find that you cycle for longer before getting tired.
Books About Weight Training for Cyclists
More information about weight training for cyclists can be found on several informative books. Take a look at these selected books: