Peter Sagan Resistance Training

Fatigue Dependent Training Plan Design

by Frank Overton 

Fatigue dependent training plan design is a method of prescribing training to accommodate for an athlete’s expected fatigue.  The hardest workout occurs first in a block followed by a less difficult workout and then an even lessor difficult workouts.  For example:

Sweet Spot > Tempo > Zone 2

The idea is that an athlete is the freshest and able to push the highest watts on day 1 of the block but then carries some fatigue into the second day of training, therefore then workout only calls for tempo watts.  Then on the third day of the block with two previous days of training the athlete is even more tired and therefore is only ‘asked’ to do zone 2 training.

At FasCat Coaching, we offer a variety of offseason weight training plans focused on increasing your FTP this winter:

Our Philosophy on Resistance Training for Cyclists: 
  • Sprinters should follow a weight program for at least 2 years to develop the muscle adaptations necessary for sprint power.
  • Time Trialists, Mountain Bikers, Cyclocrossers, Triathletes, and Road Racers will increase their Functional Threshold Power with this Resistance Training.  They will also increase the amplitude of their short term power output to attack, counterattack, respond to surges in the peloton and carry momentum over technical terrain.
  • Masters athletes benefit from resistance to prevent age related declines in performance
  • Resistance training needs to be speed specific and have accompanying neuromuscular work coupled to the gym workouts.
  • “Combining endurance training with explosive and heavy strength training will improve endurance performance due to the delayed activation of less efficient type II fibers, improved neuromuscular efficiency, conversion of fast-twitch type IIX fibers into more fatigue-resistance type IIA fibers” Ronnestad BR, Mujika I Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014 Aug 24 (4) 603-612

Now that you’re on board the weight lifting for cycling to improve your power output  you need a plan because successful resistance training involves more than just a lot of squats. You’ll want to break down your time in the weight room into four phases each having a physiological purpose. And couple those phases with on the bike training to take the strength gains from the gym out onto the bike.  Neuromuscular sprint and standing starts help achieve this adaptation.  Here’s a brief description of our 4 phase cycling specific resistance training plan:

# 1 Adaptation: acclimate your legs to the weight room

#2 Hypertrophy: build new muscle

#3 Strength: train that new muscle to produce great force

#4 Power: train the new muscle that’s now capable of producing great force to do so at cycling specific speeds.

What makes our resistance training program cycling specific is the neuromuscular sprint work that is coupled to the lifting in phases 3 and 4.

Phase 1: Adaptation
Your resistance program should start off gradually with an adaptation period of approximately three weeks. During these 3 weeks your training goals are to develop proper and safe squat technique and let your musculature and joints adapt to forces much different than they encounter on the bike.  Focus on three primary lifts: the squat, the leg press, and the hamstring (leg) curl.  The hip thrust may be added for athletes with prior weight lifting experience. Start with 4 sets of 8 repetitions (reps) per set, taking 2 minutes in between each set, three times per week. Gradually increase the weight over the course of the three weeks in a way that is challenging but not so hard that you cannot finish each set nor find yourself ‘sore’ in the days following.

Phase 2: Hypertrophy
After three weeks you will be ready for the big time: a muscle building phase. Because muscular size is closely correlated with muscle strength, the primary goal during this training phase will be to build muscle. This is where you can revel in the fact that you are creating those opposite sex attracting legs. Its OK to gain some weight during this phase! In power to weight terms you are increasing your power far more in the ratio that 1 – 4 pounds.  Like your adaptation phase, perform 4 sets of 8-12 reps per set with a 2 minute rest period up to four times per week. Set your 1RM (1 resistance maximum) and for the 6 sets lift 65% > 70% > 75% of your 1RM. With each set increase your weight by 5% and select weight that is hard but allows you to just finish the four sets. Plan on 2 weeks for maximal adaptation to this phase. You will notice that what was once difficult will become easier so increase the weight to keep you legs responding to the training stimuli.

Phase 3: Strength
Once you’ve put on a few lbs of power producing leg muscle, it’s time to train this muscle to produce more forceful contractions. Without going into a physiology lecture on nervous system stimulation, that’s the goal in this phase of resistance training. To teach your brain how to “enervate” (aka contract) the musculature you built in the previous hypertrophy phase. Thus, fewer sets, less reps and heavier weight is the name of the game. You want to increase the frequency and the magnitude at which the nervous system can stimulate the muscle to contract. To do this, drop down to 6 reps per set and bump up the weight (in a safety conscious way!) big time: 70% and up to 100% of your 1RM. For an even greater training effect, add weight with each additional set but drop the number of repetitions in the set. Note: this type of training produces great stress and training progress will only be seen with adequate recovery often involving up to 2-3 days inbetween lifting days. Plan on a 2 week “force” phase of 4-5 workouts before moving on to your final “power” phase.  Starting in the Strength phase we couple neuromuscular sprint intervals with the gym work to transfer the gains made in the weight room out onto the bike.

Phase 4: Power
In the final phase comes the fun part. Muscle strength is speed specific and up until now we haven’t been lifting at speeds specific to cycling. In your power phase drop the weight significantly to “almost ridiculously easy” (45% to 60% of 1RM) levels and concentrate on performing each lift as fast as possible. The squat will become the “jump squat” as you accelerate out of the squatting position so fast that you actually jump off the ground. Once again please exercise extreme caution and safety in the weight room during this time. One recommendation we make is to find a “smith machine” to perform your jump squats on. A better recommendation is work with a personal training to learn proper jump squat form and technique. But the  smith machine does have built in safety features unlike a free squat which is nice. Like the “force” phase allow 2 weeks of 4-5 workouts with 2-3 days of rest in between workouts.  Similar to the Strength phase we couple standing starts to the gym workouts to transfer the speed specific gains from the gym to the bike.

There you have it, more power for you to put into the pedal.  When given enough time in the off season, our coaches will split an off season into 2 parts with the first half including this 10 week resistance training but still planning for 8 – 12 weeks of sweet spot/aerobic endurance training afterwards. Here’s how a 32 week off season program would look that includes 10 weeks of resistance training

 

References:

Ronnestad BR, Mujika I. “Optimizing strength training for running and cycling endurance performance: A review.” Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014 Aug 24 (4) 603-612

Buy Our 4 Phase Cycling Specific Resistance Training Program for $49

Copyright 2017 , FasCat Coaching

Sign Up for More Tips

Frank is the founder and owner of FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO. Frank and the FasCat Coaches have been prescribing weight lifting for cycling for  over 15 years.  To begin your cycling specific resistance training program with coaching, you can email frank@fascatcoaching.com , call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to schedule a Coaching Consultation.  Or you may simply buy this 10 week, 4 phase plan for $49 here.  Either way, look forward to increasing your power output on the bike!

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The Benefits of Offseason Weight Training for Cyclists

Bryan Smith

One of the most effective ways to improve during the offseason is incorporating a well-built offseason weight training program. As we’ve written before, offseason weight training can mean a lot of things to cyclists, but in general, we’re talking about multi-joint cycling specific movements like a squat and leg press.  Of course, there are others and tons of variations but the squat and leg press hit all the muscles used in a pedal stroke.

The effects of offseason weight training have been studied again and again and again. These studies all show positive benefits to incorporating strength training into your annual and offseason training plan, with a few caveats:

  1. Cyclists are often hesitant to incorporate weight training into their programs for fear of hurting on-the-bike output and endurance. Studies suggest that replacing 1-2 days of on-the-bike training with 1-2 days of weight training increase both aerobic output and endurance.
  2. While heavy strength training (such as building a good 2-3 rep max in various lifts) can improve running performance, this type of heavy strength training is especially good for cyclists.
  3. Studies which focused on the benefits of strength training for well-trained female cyclists, showed that “adding heavy strength training improved cycling performance, increased fractional utilization of VO2 max, and improved cycling economy”.

During the offseason, many cyclists struggle because of the nature of “forced rest” and fewer hours doing what they love – riding their bikes. In our recent blog post about offseason training, we outlined the major concepts and focus that an athlete needs during the offseason.

That blog post makes the case for our offseason training plans which range in cost from $29 to $199, but more importantly, we wrote the post so that our athletes could think critically about their offseason plans. First and foremost, we want you to take an appropriate break from riding your bike, which will depend on who you are as an athlete and what your season was like.

Case in point is the legendary Nino Schurter’s #SecretTraining which we absolutely love and have tried to emulate for the past few years.

As coaches, we consider the offseason to start at some point in September and finish up after completing a 10 week, 4 phase cycling specific resistance training program. Now that we’re already a few days into the month of October, we encourage all of you to think carefully about how you’ll incorporate offseason weight training into your program for the fall.

Peter Sagan Resistance Training

Weight Lifting for Cycling

by Frank Overton 

Increase your Functional Threshold Power this winter with a resistance training plan. Weight lifting for cycling also known as resistance training ‘works’ and we’ve been coaching cyclists thru the following 4 phase, cycling specific resistance training program for  more than 15 years.  During these 4 phases of weight lifting, cyclists first build new muscle (hypertrophy phase) and then train that new muscle to produce great force (strength phase). Most importantly the 4th and final phase trains that new muscle capable of producing great force to contract at speeds specific to cycling (power phase).  “Speeds specific to cycling” is the secret sauce of this program and this weight lifting is made cycling specific by the velocity of the lifts plus the neuromuscular sprint workouts that are coupled to the Strength and Power Phases.

At FasCat Coaching, we offer a variety of offseason weight training plans focused on increasing your FTP this winter:

Our Philosophy on Resistance Training for Cyclists: 
  • Sprinters should follow a weight program for at least 2 years to develop the muscle adaptations necessary for sprint power.
  • Time Trialists, Mountain Bikers, Cyclocrossers, Triathletes, and Road Racers will increase their Functional Threshold Power with this Resistance Training.  They will also increase the amplitude of their short term power output to attack, counterattack, respond to surges in the peloton and carry momentum over technical terrain.
  • Masters athletes benefit from resistance to prevent age related declines in performance
  • Resistance training needs to be speed specific and have accompanying neuromuscular work coupled to the gym workouts.
  • “Combining endurance training with explosive and heavy strength training will improve endurance performance due to the delayed activation of less efficient type II fibers, improved neuromuscular efficiency, conversion of fast-twitch type IIX fibers into more fatigue-resistance type IIA fibers” Ronnestad BR, Mujika I Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014 Aug 24 (4) 603-612

Now that you’re on board the weight lifting for cycling to improve your power output  you need a plan because successful resistance training involves more than just a lot of squats. You’ll want to break down your time in the weight room into four phases each having a physiological purpose. And couple those phases with on the bike training to take the strength gains from the gym out onto the bike.  Neuromuscular sprint and standing starts help achieve this adaptation.  Here’s a brief description of our 4 phase cycling specific resistance training plan:

# 1 Adaptation: acclimate your legs to the weight room

#2 Hypertrophy: build new muscle

#3 Strength: train that new muscle to produce great force

#4 Power: train the new muscle that’s now capable of producing great force to do so at cycling specific speeds.

What makes our resistance training program cycling specific is the neuromuscular sprint work that is coupled to the lifting in phases 3 and 4.

Phase 1: Adaptation
Your resistance program should start off gradually with an adaptation period of approximately three weeks. During these 3 weeks your training goals are to develop proper and safe squat technique and let your musculature and joints adapt to forces much different than they encounter on the bike.  Focus on three primary lifts: the squat, the leg press, and the hamstring (leg) curl.  The hip thrust may be added for athletes with prior weight lifting experience. Start with 4 sets of 8 repetitions (reps) per set, taking 2 minutes in between each set, three times per week. Gradually increase the weight over the course of the three weeks in a way that is challenging but not so hard that you cannot finish each set nor find yourself ‘sore’ in the days following.

Phase 2: Hypertrophy
After three weeks you will be ready for the big time: a muscle building phase. Because muscular size is closely correlated with muscle strength, the primary goal during this training phase will be to build muscle. This is where you can revel in the fact that you are creating those opposite sex attracting legs. Its OK to gain some weight during this phase! In power to weight terms you are increasing your power far more in the ratio that 1 – 4 pounds.  Like your adaptation phase, perform 4 sets of 8-12 reps per set with a 2 minute rest period up to four times per week. Set your 1RM (1 resistance maximum) and for the 6 sets lift 65% > 70% > 75% of your 1RM. With each set increase your weight by 5% and select weight that is hard but allows you to just finish the four sets. Plan on 2 weeks for maximal adaptation to this phase. You will notice that what was once difficult will become easier so increase the weight to keep you legs responding to the training stimuli.

Phase 3: Strength
Once you’ve put on a few lbs of power producing leg muscle, it’s time to train this muscle to produce more forceful contractions. Without going into a physiology lecture on nervous system stimulation, that’s the goal in this phase of resistance training. To teach your brain how to “enervate” (aka contract) the musculature you built in the previous hypertrophy phase. Thus, fewer sets, less reps and heavier weight is the name of the game. You want to increase the frequency and the magnitude at which the nervous system can stimulate the muscle to contract. To do this, drop down to 6 reps per set and bump up the weight (in a safety conscious way!) big time: 70% and up to 100% of your 1RM. For an even greater training effect, add weight with each additional set but drop the number of repetitions in the set. Note: this type of training produces great stress and training progress will only be seen with adequate recovery often involving up to 2-3 days inbetween lifting days. Plan on a 2 week “force” phase of 4-5 workouts before moving on to your final “power” phase.  Starting in the Strength phase we couple neuromuscular sprint intervals with the gym work to transfer the gains made in the weight room out onto the bike.

Phase 4: Power
In the final phase comes the fun part. Muscle strength is speed specific and up until now we haven’t been lifting at speeds specific to cycling. In your power phase drop the weight significantly to “almost ridiculously easy” (45% to 60% of 1RM) levels and concentrate on performing each lift as fast as possible. The squat will become the “jump squat” as you accelerate out of the squatting position so fast that you actually jump off the ground. Once again please exercise extreme caution and safety in the weight room during this time. One recommendation we make is to find a “smith machine” to perform your jump squats on. A better recommendation is work with a personal training to learn proper jump squat form and technique. But the  smith machine does have built in safety features unlike a free squat which is nice. Like the “force” phase allow 2 weeks of 4-5 workouts with 2-3 days of rest in between workouts.  Similar to the Strength phase we couple standing starts to the gym workouts to transfer the speed specific gains from the gym to the bike.

There you have it, more power for you to put into the pedal.  When given enough time in the off season, our coaches will split an off season into 2 parts with the first half including this 10 week resistance training but still planning for 8 – 12 weeks of sweet spot/aerobic endurance training afterwards. Here’s how a 32 week off season program would look that includes 10 weeks of resistance training

 

References:

Ronnestad BR, Mujika I. “Optimizing strength training for running and cycling endurance performance: A review.” Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014 Aug 24 (4) 603-612

Buy Our 4 Phase Cycling Specific Resistance Training Program for $49

Copyright 2017 , FasCat Coaching

Sign Up for More Tips

Frank is the founder and owner of FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO. Frank and the FasCat Coaches have been prescribing weight lifting for cycling for  over 15 years.  To begin your cycling specific resistance training program with coaching, you can email frank@fascatcoaching.com , call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to schedule a Coaching Consultation.  Or you may simply buy this 10 week, 4 phase plan for $49 here.  Either way, look forward to increasing your power output on the bike!

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Nino Schurter Circuit training

Nino’s Circuit Training

Nino Schurter’s “Secret” Circuit Training is so specialized that most traditional gyms do not have the required equipment. However, in his “Hunt for Glory” youtube series he details what you need and how to do his circuit training.

What You Need:

You can set up your own home gym and do Nino’s secret circuit training with these 12 items (bold orange are links to buy):

** If you buy one item, buy the Balance Board

  1. Skateboard
  2. Old Handlebar
  3. Box Jump
  4. Swiss Ball
  5. Hula Hoop!!
  6. Barbells, 2kg’s
  7. Pedalo
  8. Medicine Ball (2kg) with Rope
  9. Bike Balance Board
  10. Revolution Balance Board**
  11. Viper Tube, 5kg
  12. 5 and 10 lb weights same as you’d put on a squat bar

BUY Our 32 Week Off-Season Training Plan that includes Nino’s Circuit Training

How to do it:

Once you have your circuit training equipment all set you are ready to do Nino’s 30-minute Circuit Training.  We have outlined 17 movements below to be performed ALL OUT 20 seconds “on” and 20 seconds “off.  Then move onto the next circuit for 30 minutes total.

1. In a Plank position with the Viper (5kg) underneath your chest on the ground: Slide the viper back n forth on the ground alternating hands.

2. Stand on Balanced Board (juggling optional) Move side to side balancing the entire time

3. With a Medicine Ball 2kg between your feet/ankles: Move your legs with knees locked out from side to side on your back but never touch the ground

4. Sit on Balance Board: hands out to the side, knees up like a crunch – ‘rock’ back n forth

5. Sit on Balance Board with hands on either side of the board > backs of feet on 5lb weights: while balancing, elevate your butt off the board and slide your feet on the weights, up and down towards and away from you all the while your butt is off the ground, hands on holding you up balancing on the board (diabolical!)

6. Hula Hoop! Up Level is Hula Hooping on the Balance Board

7. With Old Handlebar overtop a skateboard get in a plank-like position with feet on the Pedalo: ‘pedal’ 10 feet forward and then 10 feet backward, back n forth

8. Balanced Board Planks and PushUps with 2kg Barbells: alternate between a pushup and then raising the barbell with your right arm/then left arm up to the ceiling (similar to the moves you do in YOGA)

9. Medicine Ball Extensions: Lying on your stomach on a bench above your waist take a medicine ball between your feet/ankles and raise/lower it

10. Balance board “recovery”

11. Shoulder & Core “Inchworms”: with knees on a bench or couch and hands on the Pedalo, pedal all the way out to a fully outstretched plank and then ‘pedal’ back, raising your butt up: back n forth

12. Sit on Balance Board (Repeat # 4): hands out to the side, knees up like a crunch – ‘rock’ back n forth

13. Box Twist Plyometrics w/ Old Handlebar: Jump off the box twisting in the air, landing in a squat position and back up on the box (also twisting). The secret sauce is for your feet to be on the ground for only a split second, as fast as possible

14. Standing on Balance Board (juggling optional)

15. Swiss Ball Squats (diabolical!): with your handlebar and medicine ball with a rope, stand on a swiss ball, hold the medicine ball out in front of you and squat (yes, squat)

16. Bike Balance Board for “Recovery”: One foot forward and one foot back to mimic descending. Alternate with the other foot forward

17. Single Legged Stair Jumps – on one leg hop up an entire flight stairs as fast as possible, alternate between single leg right and left leg hops and then both legs together – ALL for 1 flight each (so 3 trips UP)

Copyright 2017, FasCat Coaching

Ready to learn more about cross-training like a world champion? Browse our archive of weight training articles for cyclists!

Frank is the founder and owner of FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO.  To discuss setting up the best offseason program for your goals, including Nino’s circuit training, please call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation.

Comments