Strength Training on the Bike
Over the years there has been numerous discussion regarding strength training for the cyclist. Some advise the weights room, some advise plyometrics and some advise on the bike strength training. Today I’m going to outline the method for strength training on the bike.
Slow Revolution Repititons or S2R’s as used by SportsExerciseEngineering.com (SEEng.com) is an on the bike strength training regime. Similar type systems have been used in the past by Dr. Aldo Sassi and Dr. Massimo Testa. The system is aerobic by nature and improves circulation in the muscles which would normally be impaired during muscle contraction. Contracting the whole of the muscles used in the full pedaling stroke increases its efficiency with reference to circulation thus increasing aerobic levels.
Before doing any strength training on the bike it is very important that a rider be 150% sure that there is no potential for injury as this type of training can be very severe on the knees, ankles and hips.
Cadence on the strength will tend to get as low as 35rpm. For riders with potential injury issue higher(60 – 70rpm) cadences can be used with reductions coming as the body accustom itself to the loads being applied. Cadence in the norm should vary between 35-45rpm.
The intensity levels of the workout should be around 80-90% of your Threshold Heart Rate (THR) and 84-94% of your Functional Threshold Power (FTP).
These workouts should be completed on grades of between 3-6% or on a flat road into a head wind in order to create the resistance needed. It is important to ensure that training Zones and RPM (Gearing) are correct in order to elicit the required effects on the body.
During these workout it is worth considering other issues like pedaling technique, pushing and pulling through the whole stroke especially over the top, also body position on the bike i.e. no rocking from side to side and try to stay seat and relaxed in the saddle.
Sessions should be short at first with durations building as adaption occur i.e:
4 x 1min on + 2min off, 6 x 1min on + 2min off, 8 x 1min on + 2min off improving to
4 x 5min on + 10min off, 6 x 5min on + 10min off, 8 x 5min on + 10min off.
The rider needs to be patient with these as they take time to develop the muscles but you will see more for them.
How frequent should these sessions be performed? Three times a week with recovery days between sessions? Any considerations for “masters” aged athletes? Thanks
I would normally prescribe this type of session for 1 day in a three day block of neuro, vo2, endu. Usually the first day neuro…then probably a rest day or two depending on fatigue levels and then back into another 3 or 4 day block. so in short you could end up doing 2 in one week or just 1 the depending on how your prescribed cycle sits.
I forgot to say that masters riders should not miss these sessions as they need them probably more than the endurance as they will loose this ability quicker than they will endurance,Masters typically hold endurance from numerous years of racing
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