We all want to be stronger on the bike, right? But what does that strictly mean? In this video, Chris and Emma give you three sessions that will help improve your strength on the bike.
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Well, the technical definition of strength is the ability to carry out work against a resistance. Strength is the maximal force you can apply against a load. In our case, pedals. We can train to improve muscle strength by increasing the resistance against which you work. But how would this help us on the bike? it’s about increasing your ability to cope with riding situations that require increased strength, like short steep climbs, sprints, or even at its most basic, accelerating away from junctions. With this in mind, we need to focus primarily on exerting force against the pedals. More force than we would normally require over a ride, but for shorter durations. Intervals it is, then!
You’ll need a good 10-15 minute warm up and some big gears. A flat road or an uphill drag, but definitely no downhill. And you will need around 30 seconds worth of clear road ahead of you. Then you need to start the efforts. Sit down, or stand up, it actually doesn’t matter too much for this session. All that matters is that you start slow and give it everything. Aim to start just a little faster than walking pace and in a very big gear. This really is a 10/10 on the ‘Perceived Exertion’ scale, so you will really have to go for it. The sprint effort should never feel comfortable and after 20-30 seconds the quality will really start to drop off, so at this point, you can stop. You will need a good recovery period from here, around 10 minutes for a close to full recovery, but if you are pushed for time, around 4-6 minutes will also work ok. 6 of these efforts is certainly enough for one session, after all, you want the quality in these efforts to build the strength.
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