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2181 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Jan 30, 2010 10:20 AM by jasonmellet
bman007 Amateur 9 posts since
Aug 17, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 14, 2010 7:58 AM

Strength Training for the Bike

Anyone have recommendations for strength training for bike muscles?  I do some drills on the bike trainer, but haven't done any other strength training off the bike.  I thought now would be a good time to work on this, given the cold weather and the misery of sitting on a trainer in the basement!


My apologies if this has been discussed recently...

  • Hound_Dog Amateur 27 posts since
    Nov 5, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 15, 2010 6:55 AM (in response to bman007)
    Re: Strength Training for the Bike

    Good question.  I've been strength traing for awhile, and here's what I would suggest:


    First: DON'T kill yourself in the first few sessions, you're body's not ready for it.  Just ease into weight training. Do very light work outs at first because you're going to feel it the next day.  Also, you are NOT going to bulk up like a body builder.  Even if you were full time training, you could only put on 1lb of muscle a month.  (Pro lifters take decades to get to the size you see, even with steroids) So doing weights for endurance will not "Pack on the muscle".  In fact, you will probably find that you're becoming tighter and more efficient when you cycle.


    Squats - I do these on a smith machine, but free weights are great too.  Squats focus squarely on your glutes, quad, calves (gastronemius?) and your hip/lower back stabilizers.   Use a light weight, maybe even an empty bar, and do 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps, focusing on form. (BTW, one legged squats are OF THE DEVIL, they are evil. Do them with a partner or on a machine.)


    Leg press - similar to squats, but focuses on quads and calves.  light weight, 2-3 sets, 15-20 reps.


    Calves press - same technique as leg press, but the squad are held steady, and the calves are the only ones that flex.  again, 2-3 sets, 15-20 reps, making sure to fully extend and flex calves.  focus on the full range of motion.


    Hip flexors - These muscles pull your thighs to your chest.  They can be exercised by doing either decline situps or hanging leg lifts.  2-3 sets, 8-12 reps, using body weight. (the reps are lower because body weight is usually heavier than most people are ready for).  Ease in to these; you'll feel them the next day.


    Back extensions - these muscles help to stabilize your spine on the bike.  lie face down on the ground and slowly arch your back, pulling away from the floor.  2-3 sets of 8-12 reps at body weight.  (these are sometimes known as Supermans)


    That's just a start.  If you're only going to do a couple of these, then do the Squats and the Calf presses.  That will cover the majority of your lower body, without eating up much time.


    This is a fantastic site that I use A LOT:   (it's safe for work)


    Good luck!



  • jasonmellet Pro 77 posts since
    Jul 6, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jan 30, 2010 10:20 AM (in response to Hound_Dog)
    Re: Strength Training for the Bike

    i would agree with all of that, i would however also add hamstring exercises. there is a machine in the gym, not sure what its called but you lay on your belly and curl your legs up behind you. for a better workout on the machine, engage your abs, and then point your toes as straight as possible. in doing this you disengage your calf muscles and your hammies are doing all the work.


    another way i have helped myself get faster on my bike up the hill is to lose 8 pounds.


    just a a thought


    happy training.

    Jason Mellet

    Im racing my first full ironman in may 2011. I am raising money for alzheimer's whilst im training for it. You can find out more in my blog on my Facebook page.

    Here is my Alzheimer's donatation page.

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