Power Up Your Ride
In three months’ time, you’re either going to hop on your bike and ride with increased endurance and power— enjoying challenging hill climbs and longer times in the saddle—or you’re going to spend the early months of spring gasping your way to fitness, out of shape and out of breath. One thing’s for certain. How you spend the next few months will determine this year’s cycling season.
Get Fit, Lean and Strong Over the Off-season
Spending time in a spin class or on a trainer at home over the winter months will help you maintain your fitness during the off-season. But that only gets you part of the way to a lean, strong body. Looking your best, maintaining your ideal weight, keeping fit and gaining strength and power, is not just about the bike. To power up, you need to firm up. That means increasing your muscle mass. And that means doing strength training off the bike.
The Benefits of Weight Training Reach Far Beyond the Bike
Strength training will not only make you a faster, stronger cyclist but it has many other benefits. It increases your metabolism, so you burn more calories 24 hours a day, which helps you maintain a healthy weight. It staves off osteoporosis by increasing your bone density. It improves your mood and boosts your self-esteem. It enhances your cardiovascular fitness. And finally, it firms and tones your core, legs, hips and arms, making you more shapely and spandex-ready.
Strength Training Made Easy
We’re not talking about heavy-duty bodybuilding and bulging muscles. In fact, “it’s impossible for women to build “man-sized” muscles without the use of anabolic steroids,” says author Clair Cafaro.
The Strength Training for Women Cyclists e-program starts easy and builds slowly but the strength gains come fast. Each exercise has a detailed description telling you how to execute the movement, with photographs showing you how. Those unfamiliar with strength building are encouraged to start the program with no weights— first learning how to do the movements correctly.
No Time for the Gym?
No problem. If you have a gym membership you can do the program there, but managing job, kids and travel can make scheduling gym time a problem. With a few low-cost weights, Strength Training for Women Cyclists can be done whenever you’ve got the time in the convenience of your own home.
Power up your ride with strength training now, and next spring you’ll be at the front of the pack!
Benefits of Strength Training
- Builds power on the bike, increasing your endurance and speed
- Stimulates your metabolism so you’ll burn more calories 24/7
- Firms and tones your legs, hips and arms
- Staves off osteoporosis by increasing your bone density
- Enhances cardiovascular fitness
- Fosters mental health
- Improves self-esteem
- 3-phase strength-training program from October to April
- Phase one focuses on building strength
- Phase two focuses on building endurance
- Phase three focuses on building power
- 28 colour photos demonstrate how to do:
Squats with weights
Lunges with weights
Woodchops with weights
Push-ups (four variations)
Planks (four variations)
Dynamic Split Squats
Squat Depth Jumps
Clair Cafaro is the president of C.O.R.E Cycling®, an indoor cycling instructor certification program based on authentic cycling principles. Clair is also a Periodization Planning Specialist through the Tudor Bompa Institute, and a level 1 multi-sport coach with the NCCP.
The Strength Training for Women Cyclists e-program can be done in a gym or at home with the following low-cost equipment:
- Weighted bars or barbells – 5 kg to 22 kg (10 – 50 lbs)
- Dumbbell or plate – 2.2 kg to 11 kg (5 – 25 lbs) [What is a plate?]
- Chin-up bar or Lebert Equalizer (www.lebertfitness.com)
- A sturdy step or box (must support your body weight) 30 to 40 cm in height (12 to 16 inches)