Dating in the 19 s be very structured
Two weeks into my experiment, I entered a road race.
It was a fairly innocuous Surrey League 2/3 race with a rolling but gentle parcours. As the race got going, it quickly became apparent that I was going to struggle.
It was at this point I realised that until the weights programme was done, I would not be competitive in races. Repeatedly shredding my muscles and doing lots of weights gave me a big appetite.
I wasn’t doing as much cardio as before either, and so gained a few kilos – some of it muscle mass.
I wanted to find out for sure so I enlisted the help of Martin Evans, head strength and conditioning coach for British Cycling. Evans has worked with elite cyclists who, like me, have been riding for years but have never done any strength work.
Six Winter Strength Training Exercises for cyclists In light of my previous gym experience (next to nil) and my skinny upper body, Evans prescribed machine-based exercises.
“Machines don’t require much skill and can therefore be loaded quite quickly and safely to get the changes in muscle performance.” Longer term, I would aim to do dynamic free weight exercises, as, according to Evans, “they will give a better return.” He was keen to stress that free weights should be used only “if you can perform the fundamental movements well and have prior experience,” adding that athletes “shouldn’t do exercises that they are not conditioned to perform.
People get injured because they overload themselves doing squats and end up with knee or back problems that could have been avoided.” British Cycling’s Martin Evans prescribed the following programme, consisting of three sessions a week for eight weeks, with each session consisting of session preparation and movement competency, followed by strength development.
Below is an example of how an eight-week progressive overload programme for leg press could look (similar to the Ronnestad studies that have demonstrated improvement in cycling performance).