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The only 4 cycling workouts you really need

There are as many ways to train as there are coaches, plans, online articles and books.

Even seasoned riders can get lost in the sea of intensity zones, HIIT workouts, mobility moves, plyometrics, strength work and core training.

That’s because coaching and training advice trickles down from the professional tiers, where you need meticulously monitored training plans to squeeze out every potential watt for even the smallest marginal gains.

But for the average rider who just wants to get fit and pick up some speed and stamina to hang with (or hammer with) their usual riding crew, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.

The first step, of course, is to ride your bike! That lays your foundation.

Then build on it by hitting the following training high notes to develop strength, speed, mobility, and stability.

1. Burpees

Cycling by itself doesn’t do much to develop core strength – in fact, core strength often suffers in cyclists. But that doesn’t mean your core isn’t critical to cycling.

Research shows that when the core fatigues, pedalling mechanics break down, paving the way for poor performance and injuries.

Cycling also doesn’t do much to build your bones. One seven-year study of competitive master cyclists found they actually had lower bone density than their non-athletic peers. So resistance training and/or some impact exercise are important.

One word here: Burpees. This multi-faceted move that combines push-ups, squats and jumps can bolster your core, strengthen key cycling muscles and help you build bone density.

As if that weren’t enough, a study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism showed that active women who performed just one set of 8 x 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest between 20-second reps) of a single whole-body aerobic–resistance training exercises like burpees four days a week not only improved their aerobic fitness as much as their peers who ran on treadmills for 30 minutes four days a week, but also significantly improved their muscular endurance, a huge benefit for long, hilly rides.

Do it: Perform 10 to 15 reps, two to three sets, two to three times a week.

Stand straight arms at sides.
Squat down, placing hands on floor, shoulder width apart.
Jump legs back into high plank, pushup position.
Perform pushup.
Jump legs toward hands, back into the squat position.
Extend legs and jump up, swinging arms overhead and repeat.


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