Strength Training for Cyclists: Building Power and Endurance

For many cyclists, strength training is a secondary consideration or sometimes, even an afterthought. Cycling, at its core, involves repetitive, high-volume, low-weight movements, which seem far removed from the explosive, low-volume, high-weight activities of the weight room.

However, when incorporated correctly, strength training can be an effective tool in a cyclist’s arsenal to improve performance, build resilience, and increase longevity. This article offers a comprehensive guide to integrating strength training into a cycling regimen.

Debunking Myths: The Importance of Strength Training for Cyclists

The world of cycling is not immune to misconceptions, and one such myth is that strength training is not suitable for cyclists. Let’s debunk this myth and explore why strength training is crucial for every cyclist.

Enhancing Cycling Efficiency

Strength training, particularly for the lower body and core, enhances pedaling efficiency and power output, allowing for more effective energy transfer and faster, stronger cycling.

Injury Prevention

Resistance training strengthens muscles, tendons, and ligaments, thus reducing the risk of injury. A stronger body can withstand the repetitive strain that cycling places on specific muscle groups.

Longevity in the Sport

Strength training can help combat age-related muscle loss, allowing cyclists to enjoy the sport well into their later years.

Crafting a Cyclist’s Strength Training Routine

With the importance of strength training established, let’s dive into how cyclists can incorporate it into their training program.

Embrace Compound Movements

Focus on compound movements that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Squats, deadlifts, lunges, and step-ups are all excellent choices for cyclists.

Core is Key

A strong core provides better stability on the bike, which is particularly beneficial during climbs. Include planks, Russian twists, and bridges in your routine.

Upper Body Balance

While cycling predominantly targets your lower body, don’t neglect your upper body. Push-ups, pull-ups, and rows can create a balanced, well-rounded fitness profile.

Functional Training

Incorporate exercises that mimic the movement and strain of cycling. This could include single-leg exercises to simulate pedaling, or balance exercises to enhance bike control.

Integrating Strength Training into a Cycling Regimen

The key to incorporating strength training is to balance it with your cycling schedule to avoid overtraining.


The off-season is the perfect time to focus on building strength. With a lower volume of cycling, you can perform 2-3 strength training sessions per week.


During the cycling season, maintain your strength with one session per week. Focus on lighter weights and higher repetitions to avoid fatigue.


Ensure adequate recovery time between your cycling sessions and strength workouts. Nutrition and rest are key for muscle recovery and growth.

A Powerful Combination for Cyclists

Strength training offers several benefits for cyclists, from increased power and efficiency to injury prevention and enhanced longevity. By integrating strength training into your cycling regimen, you can become a stronger, more resilient, and faster cyclist.

Lastly, the key is to balance strength work with your cycling schedule and always listen to your body. With consistency and dedication, you’ll reap the rewards of this powerful training combination.

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