Cycling is a power sport. Power equals force times speed, Force is the amount of effort you apply to a pedal stroke and speed is your RPM. Cycling requires leg strength. Cyclists who continuously crank out more power must also put more force per pedal stroke. Riding a bike will give you a lot of the strength you need to ride well, however there are times when you require more power ie accelerating, sprinting or charging up hill.
Strength training has the added benefit of increasing bone strength, the very nature of cycling is non impact and therefore it must be supplemented with impact movements - resistance training improves bone and muscular strength.
Strength training involves muscles not used on the bike and you therefore become more balanced and overall more efficient and stable on the bike. Fabien Cancellara can plank for an hour and deadlift weights that put powerlifters to shame. When you see him in the Paris-Roubaix accelerating away from the lead group with his upper body like a statue you know he's been hitting the gym!!
Finally as we age we lose muscle mass, even with training. You tend to lose your type II (fast twitch) muscle fibres and these are the same ones built mostly by resistance training. If you don't lift heavy weights you will lose muscle mass as you age even if you continue to ride your bike.
When we think of cycling, the first parts of the body we generally think of are legs. Yes, it’s fairly obvious that our legs are important to cycling, but what may not be so evident is the role that other parts of our bodies play in moving ourselves along on our two wheeled beauties, namely our core! If you are serious about cycling this year and you want to do more than ride at a gentle pace down a sunny road or trail then you really need to start strengthening your core!
What is the Core?
There is a common misconception about the core: when the ‘layman’ talks about ‘core strength’, they usually think of the abdominal muscles, the ‘six-pack’ and so those who think that way tend do a hundred thousand crunches and then wonder why they’re not as good at cycling as they’d like! (If this sounds like you, don’t worry; you’re in good company).
The core muscles are actually quite a bit larger than just your abdominal muscles. They start at your hips and go all the way through your abs, up along your spine and to your shoulders and neck. The core muscles are complex muscles requiring far more than simple crunches in order to get stronger. However, if you do improve your core strength, you’ll find that your cycling will vastly improve.
Cycling specific body conditioning
ciclopoweroffer core, leg and overall body-conditioning to make you a more powerful and efficient rider.