This is a common issue for keen cyclists. Because of the range of movement required for cycling and the posture commonly adopted in the saddle, all other planes of movement gradually get weaker, and injuries start to present due to overuse in one area and underuse and immobility in other areas. That's why I specialize in helping cyclists with exercises and workout programs that improve whole-body composition, balance and mobility for improved movement and comfort, both in and out of the saddle.
There is a misconception that you get better at riding a bike, by just riding a bike. Strength training, either with bodyweight or with weights, can bring so many benefits to your bike rides that I cannot believe so many cyclists and mountain bikers ignore it.
A program of strength training will;
1 – Increase power, strength, and endurance, depending on the aim of the session.
2 – Improve the health and strength of the joints and bones.
3 – Burn fat and decrease overall body fat percentage.
4 – Boost metabolic rate, so more calories are burnt even at rest.
5 – Improve posture, both on and off the bike.
6 – Increase range of movement and flexibility.
7 – Prevent injuries by strengthening the muscles that are not targeted on the bike.
Upper body workouts are often overlooked by cyclists in favour of working the lower body. This is, of course, daft. Strength in the arms, shoulders, chest and back are essential for maintaining a strong and stable posture on the bike, controlling how power is delivered through the pedals and, above all, staying comfortable for extended periods. Neglecting this area leads to back and neck issues and means you won’t be generating the leg power you desire. Push-ups, pull-ups, rows and flies are a great place to start developing upper body conditioning, strengthen your joints and avoid those niggling injuries.
With one long ride a week, you should be able to fit 3 or 4 training sessions in per week too.
Rest days are essential and must be built into your training program. Overtraining is easily done if you don’t have sufficient rest between rides or training sessions and has a range of negative effects that you must look out for:
· Decreased performance – no matter how hard you try.
· Always feeling tired – due to low energy availability.
· Heart rate is elevated during rides or even all the time.
· Not sleeping as well as normal – stress hormones are keeping you up.
· Loss of appetite – stress hormones negatively affect hunger and satiety.
· Being moody – those stress hormones again!
· Nagging little injuries and illness because your body is not getting enough recovery.
Suffering any of these is your sign to have a rest day or two to recover. It may be frustrating but much better than missing weeks due to injury or ill health.
I have designed a versatile training plan to target the full range of movement and build stability, endurance, strength and power in every plane of movement. To do this, I recommend the following kit, which can be found in any gym or be bought cheaply and used at home:
Suspension Training / TRX Straps. These systems can be used anywhere and they are great for working on core stability and joint mobility. Every move uses your core muscles - there’s no backrests or support so you need to really work to maintain stability and keep the range of movement under control. With this one piece of kit, you can work every muscle in your body. Push, pull, hinge and plank in any plain of movement and with greater mobility than you can with weighted moves.
Plyo-Box. Plyometric exercise is a really effective way to increase reactive strength. By stretching the muscle (eccentric phase of the move) then demanding immediate, powerful concentric contraction, they recruit the whole muscle, allowing it to move more forcefully. A great example of this is my old favorite, the box jump. The stretch comes as you lower your weight before applying maximum force with the quads and hip extensors to jump off the ground. These exercises translate excellently to producing powerful and efficient pedal strokes.
Dumbbells / Kettlebells / Sandbags. Strength training is all about working on your ability to move weight and produce or withstand force. Building Strength is the first step towards developing your power and speed. Without strength, your ability to produce greater power and speed is massively limited. I target this using resistance weights in various guises to promote versitility of movment and stability around the joints.
Andrew Harding Personal Trainer and Nutrition T/as Cycle Strength is committed to respecting your privacy and to complying with applicable data protection and privacy laws. The purpose of this statement is to explain to you what personal information we collect and how we may use it.
If you do submit personal information you can be assured that we will only use your personal information to support your continuing relationship with Andrew Harding Personal Trainer and Nutrition T/as Cycle Strength .
We wish to help you make informed decisions, so please take a few moments to read the sections below and learn how we may use your personal information.
Personal Information Collection
We endeavour to collect and use your personal information only with your knowledge and consent and typically when you use our services, make customer enquiries, register for information or other services, request product information, submit a job application or when you respond to communications from us (such as questionnaires or surveys).
The type of personal information we may collect could include, for example, your name and postal address, telephone number, email address, and credit/debit card information; lifestyle and other information collected on registration or through surveys.
If you choose to provide us with personal information it will be used in support of the intended purposes stated at the time at which it was collected, and subject to any preferences indicated by you.
Non-personal Identifying Information
We may also collect non-personally identifying information about your visit to our websites based on your browsing activities. This information may include the pages you browse. This helps us to better manage and develop our site, to provide you with a more enjoyable, customised service and experience in the future, and to help us develop and deliver better services tailored to your individual interests and needs.
From time to time, if you consented accordingly we may also store and use your information to contact you for marketing purposes. We may contact you by email, phone or mail.
How will we use your information?
We may use your information for a number of purposes which includes; delivering any services or information requested by you or responding to complaints or enquiries that you have made to ourselves.
We may also undertake market and product analysis based on your use of our services and contact you with information about new developments, services and special offers by post, telephone and automated means such as mobile text message (SMS), Email and the internet (subject to any preferences expressed by you).
If you have consented to receive details of services and events you can contact us at any time to have your details removed from lists used by us for any or all of those purposes, to update your information or to otherwise tell us how you would like to receive information about our services – the choice is yours.
To update your marketing preferences please contact us via our contact page and tell us what you want us to do (i.e. ‘opt-out Email’, ‘opt-out SMS’ etc or if you have previously objected to receiving information by post for example, but would now like to change your mind and receive information then just say, ‘opt-in post’ in the subject header of your email). We will do this within 1 month of receiving your request.
Any opt into emails would need to be done by yourself via our website to ensure it is you that has requested the information. You can also unsubscribe from any future emails by clicking the links in the emails at any point.
When will we disclose your information to others?
Please note that Andrew Harding Personal Trainer and Nutrition T/as Cycle Strength does not sell or pass your personal information to any third parties.
Andrew Harding Personal Trainer and Nutrition T/as Cycle Strength may be obliged to disclose your personal information to meet any legal or regulatory requirements (for example to comply with a court order) or obligations in accordance with applicable law.
Social media, blogs, reviews
Any social media posts or comments you send to us (on the Andrew Harding Personal Trainer and Nutrition T/as Cycle Strength Facebook page, for instance) will be shared under the terms of the relevant social media platform (e.g. Facebook/Twitter) on which they are written and could be made public.
Other people, not Andrew Harding Personal Trainer and Nutrition T/as Cycle Strength, control these platforms. We are not responsible for this kind of sharing. We recommend you should review the terms and conditions and privacy policies of the social media platforms you use. That way, you will understand how they will use your information, what information relating to you they will place in the public domain, and how you can stop them from doing so if you are unhappy about it.
Any blog, review or other posts or comments you make about us, our products and services on any of our blogs, reviews or user community services will be shared with all other members of that service and the public at large. Any comments you make on these services and on social media in general must be not offensive, insulting or defamatory. You are responsible for ensuring that any comments you make comply with any relevant policy on acceptable use of those services.
How long do we keep your information for?
To make sure we meet our legal data protection and privacy obligations, we only hold on to your information for as long as we actually need it for the purposes we acquired it for in the first place.
In most cases, this means we will keep your information for as long as you continue to use our services. After that we will delete it other than where we lawfully can keep any data for audit or legal reasons.
We shall keep data on our prospect database for not longer than 3 years from receipt subject to an individual’s right to unsubscribe or be forgotten at any time.
Access to your Information
You can write to us at any time to obtain details of the personal information we may hold about you. Please write to: Data Protection Officer, Andrew Harding Personal Trainer and Nutrition T/as Cycle Strength , Holland Street, Denton, Manchester, M34 3GE
Please quote your name and address together with your email address. We would be grateful if could also provide brief details of what information you want a copy of (this helps us to more readily locate your data).
We will take all reasonable steps to confirm your identity before providing you with details of any personal information we may hold about you.
We will deliver this to you in a format of your choice within 1 month of receiving your request. You also have the right to request we remove your personal data from our files.
Andrew Harding Personal Trainer and Nutrition T/as Cycle Strength recognises that its customers are increasingly concerned about how companies protect personal information from misuse and abuse and about privacy in general. Andrew Harding Personal Trainer and Nutrition T/as Cycle Strengthis constantly reviewing and enhancing its technical, physical and managerial procedures and rules to protect your personal data from unauthorised access, accidental loss and/or destruction. Our website and management portal is covered by HTTPS.
Please be aware that communications over the Internet, such as emails/webmails, are not secure unless they have been encrypted. Your communications may route through a number of countries before being delivered – this is the nature of the World Wide Web/Internet. Andrew Harding Personal Trainer and Nutrition T/as Cycle Strength cannot accept responsibility for any unauthorised access or loss of personal information that is beyond our control.
Monitoring and or recording of all your Communications
Monitoring or recording of your calls, emails, text messages and other communications may take place in accordance with UK law, and in particular for business purposes, such as for quality control and training, to prevent unauthorised use of Andrew Harding Personal Trainer and Nutrition T/as Cycle Strength website to ensure effective systems operation and in order to prevent or detect crime.
As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better. However, you may prefer to disable cookies on this site and on others. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Cycle Strength Personal Training is offering all new prospective clients a free, one-hour consultation. This is to get to know your needs and goals so we can then work together to get you in the best physical and mental shape possible.