For a lot of us, it’s getting to be cold and dreary outside. That means you’re either suiting up with half your closet trying to stay warm, or spending more time indoors on the trainer. But it’s also great time to think about other types of training – like strength training.

While most of us probably think of grueling trainer workouts when we think of The Sufferfest, they’ve also just released their Strength Training for Cyclist program this past month.

Which brings us to their second installment in our AASQ series – the ins and outs of strength training for cyclists. Many of us have at least thought about this and maybe even hit the gym, but if you don’t know where to start or what exercises will be the most beneficial for you as a cyclist, this is your chance to find out.

The Sufferfest will be enlisting the help of coaches Neal Henderson and Mac Cassin from APEX Coaching to field your questions, so send ’em on through using THIS LINK!

23 COMMENTS

  1. not that I don’t agree with the principal of strength training for better performance in cycling. But body weight training isn’t strength training, you will barely see any adaptations from this. The scientific litterature state that you need to use actual charge to get higher intensity to see actual benefits in your cycling performance.

    • “But body weight training isn’t strength training, you will barely see any adaptations from this. ”

      Yes, it absolutely is, and I absolutely did.

      • I think you you’re both right. You’re not going to develop a ton of mass from body weight exercises but you’ll definitely gain strength, explosiveness, and mobility. If you want to push pass a certain threshold of gains you’ll need to start doing weighted exercise. That’s where I recently landed at. I just wasn’t seeing further progress past a certain point with plyo. Your body is just too adaptive to get huge gains from natural movements. Your body will organize to become efficient but not necessarily target a specific muscle and overload it. It’s good to be efficient and have strong muscle memory but I think weight training is very important to getting to the next level. The caveat is that you can’t really be squatting year round so the time window is somewhat limited. Just my two cents. I’m not a doctor or physical therapist though and would love to have some explain if I am wrong.

  2. The sufferfest website is such a mess it’s so hard to tell where you’re supposed to go. I guess at the end of the day the fact it’s for pay means you need to spiral down some kind of marketing speak path to find out How Much and For What

    • Jay,
      Dylan from The Sufferfest here. Sorry if you find the website confusing. We offer a 7-day free trial of the app, after which it’s $12.99 a month or $99 a year for unlimited streaming or offline access to a library of structured cycling workouts, 30 yoga for cyclists videos, a 10-week mental toughness program, and the strength training for cyclists program, all of which are integrated into our library of 100+ training plans for road, tri, cyclocross, and xc mtb. Let me know if you have any question.s

    • Hi Jay, I have exact the opposite experience with this app. The plans are very organized, easy to follow and have returned very good improvements for the time I invested in them. The strength training may not directly make you faster however it will definitely make you more confortable on the bike and reduce the likelyhood of injury which will enable you to work harder and longer subsequently improving in all the areas that will make you faster.

  3. Not that I don’t agree with strength training for cycling, it’s even my job. But bodyweight training is not strength training. It’s goes into the condititionning idea. According to the litterature, to get real and transferable benefits of strength training you need to add charge and use weights to get a high intensity of movement.

    • I see you made 2 versions of this comment, but am still confused by your statements about how you need to “add charge” and “need to use actual charge” in order to make gainz. What is “charge”?

      I agree that for many more experienced strength trained people, body weight isn’t sufficient, but surely it depends on how many reps you can bust out with just bodyweight, no? For example, if a novice finds that just body weight equals a 5 rep max for a single leg squat, or if they have an 8 rep max for pushups, then they are working within a normal rep range, and it doesn’t matter if their own weight or if iron weights are the source of the resistance. As they get stronger, and their bodyweight max creeps up out of the target rep range, then they can hold a water vessel of varying sizes for the squats, and elevate their feet for the pushups.

  4. Jay,
    Dylan from The Sufferfest here (he of the “flexing mustache”). Sorry if you found the website confusing. We offer a 7-day free trial, after which subscriptions are $12.99 a month or $99 a year. You get unlimited streaming or offline access to a library of structured workouts (powered by our 4DP platform that maps targets to your complete power profile instead of just FTP), 30 yoga for cyclists videos, a 10-week mental toughness program, and the strength training program, all of which are integrated into our library of 100+ training plans for road, tri, cyclocross, and xc mtb. Holler if you have any questions.

  5. I wish there was less of a “Here is the monthly plan of your workouts and when you need to do them” and more of a “I’m free now for x amount of time, please tell me the best option in what I should do based on what I’ve done (both from that you previously told me and other rides” I realize following a strict schedule will help you improve more but knowing when you’re free can be hard.

  6. Seems like strength training like this could be good to have as a morning routine. (especially if you normally shower in the morning) After waking up do the strength training. But that requires making sure there is a cap in the time this takes so its short. Yes, keeping it short could make it less effective, but making it easy to always do is better then something you skip cause you don’t have time for the less dedicated.

    Maybe also have a “Things you can do at your desk during the day” for office workers. (Well, if there is anything useful that can be done)

    • You can get a good bodybuilding workout done in 30min. And that’s obviously not the goal here. The overall strength, type of strength and especially muscle mass goals of a rider are light years different than your average gym rat. I was a gym rate for years before I got into MTB. I can confirm that having big muscles, being able to move very heavy weights, etc is not very well suited to MTB. After 3yrs of MTB I’ve managed to knock down about 15lb of muscle mass and I’m still “too big” to be truly fast. 6′, 190lb, 10% body fat, 52″ chest, 29″ waist, 18″ arms, 24.5″ thighs. I would be much better off at 160lb. But having muscles is fun too. And I just ride for fun:-) There is no reason that someone couldn’t train for 10min a day maybe 4 days a week and not see significant improvement. I imagine that 99% of the people on this board would see a lot of benefit from some sort of program like this. My 130-160lb fast rider friends all have shoulder and back issues. Horrible posture and are always complaining about upper body fatigue. That’s what happens when you’re built like T-Rex 🙂

      • My point was that the main goal shouldn’t be to have an effective workout and get the person doing the workout to find the ability to implement it. The main goal is to fit the workout in a limited time span (10 minutes or less?) and known time span (no, “I have to do what today? I don’t have time so I’ll skip) to be able to do between waking up and showering for work. So there is very little changing around your routine and wake up time to fit it in.

        Would this be the best thing for racers? No. But I’m sure there are more people who just want to improve but don’t have the time to do the best workout possible as they care more about leaving for work on time and getting as much sleep as they can

  7. Everyone, make sure you submit your questions about body weight training and we’ll get them to The Sufferfest for them to answer directly. Whether you think it works or not, they’ve hired well trained and well-respected coaches to develop their plans, so it’ll be interesting to hear their take! Personally, I’ve seen some very fast people who use almost all body weight training alongside their cycling.

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