Strength Training for Cycling Prep-Base Advanced (11weeks)

Average Weekly Training Hours 02:01
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 02:01
Training Load By Week

This plan was designed by Joe Friel for the serious cyclist who wants to improve strength in the Prep and Base periods of the season. This training plan also includes strength training images which demonstrate each exercise within the strength routines.

This weight-lifting program is based on the model described in The Cyclist's Training Bible. It is only for advanced cyclists who are experienced with weight training having lifted weights seriously before.

This program may be blended in with a Joe Friel Base period cycling training program.

Purpose: Build greater muscular strength for later conversion to power for cycling. One of the challenges in lifting weights is that it tends to decrease your capacity for higher cadences, especially on the bike. Note that after each strength session the instructions suggest you spin on a bike for 5-10 minutes. The purpose here is to “remind” the neuromuscular system of how to make quick and smooth pedal strokes.

Progression: There are four phases in this strength program. Each of the first three builds on the previous phase to create greater strength. The last phase is a maintenance phase to be followed throughout the Build and Peak periods (once each week). Here are the phases with an overview of each:

Anatomical Adaptation (AA)
The purpose is adaptation of general body muscles and tendons to the stresses of strength training in preparation for the greater loading of the Maximum Strength (MS) phase to follow. This phase will last 2 weeks. On completing 5 sessions you will move on to the next phase.

Maximum Transition (MT)
This phase will provide for transition from the light loads and high reps of the AA phase to the heavy loads and low reps of the MS phase. Complete 6 of these sessions before progressing to MS.

Maximum Strength (MS)
The MS phase is the final stage of strength development before beginning to convert strength cycling force with sport-specific training. This phase will improve your strength reserve and develop the maximum force capabilities of muscles and tendons by improving neuromuscular recruitment patterns. In later training this will be converted to muscular endurance and power. You will complete 15 of these sessions.

Strength Maintenance (SM)
The purpose this phase is to maintain muscular strength throughout the season. It is typically only done once each week in the Build and Peak periods, but may be done twice weekly in the later Base periods.

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
(AA) Anatomical Adaptation for Road Cycling

Strength: Purpose: Adapt general body muscles and tendons to the stresses of strength training in preparation for the greater loading of the Maximum Strength (MS) phase to follow.

Warm-Up & Cool Down: Warm-up aerobically (rowing, stationary bike/trainer or by running easily) for 5-10 minutes. Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance.

Load/Resistance: 40-60% of 1RM or the greatest load possible for 20-30 reps per set.

Sets: 3
Reps: 20-30
Recovery between sets: 60-90 seconds.

Progression: Complete one set of each exercise in order (1, 2, 3, etc) before starting second set. This can be done quite effectively as a circuit training workout using machines. If pressed for time, or weight room is too busy for a circuit, you can complete all sets of one exercise before going to the next. The first set every workout is the lightest. When you can complete 3 sets of 30 reps, increase load.

Important: During recoveries gently stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

1. Hip extension: Squats
2. Seated row
3. Hip extension: Step ups
4. Push-ups
5. Leg Press
6. Seated lat pull to chest
7. Hamstring curl
8. Crunches/abdominals ( choice of exercise)

Phase Length: 2-4 weeks.

Sample Day 5
1:00:00
(AA) Anatomical Adaptation for Road Cycling

Purpose: Adapt general body muscles and tendons to the stresses of strength training in preparation for the greater loading of the Maximum Strength (MS) phase to follow.

Warm-Up & Cool Down: Warm-up aerobically (rowing, stationary bike/trainer or by running easily) for 5-10 minutes. Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance.

Load/Resistance: 40-60% of 1RM or the greatest load possible for 20-30 reps per set.

Sets: 3
Reps: 20-30
Recovery between sets: 60-90 seconds.

Progression: Complete one set of each exercise in order (1, 2, 3, etc) before starting second set. This can be done quite effectively as a circuit training workout using machines. If pressed for time, or weight room is too busy for a circuit, you can complete all sets of one exercise before going to the next. The first set every workout is the lightest. When you can complete 3 sets of 30 reps, increase load.

Important: During recoveries gently stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

1. Hip extension: Squats
2. Seated row
3. Hip extension: Step ups
4. Push-ups
5. Leg Press
6. Seated lat pull to chest
7. Hamstring curl
8. Crunches/abdominals ( choice of exercise)

Phase Length: 2-4 weeks.

Sample Day 8
1:00:00
(AA) Anatomical Adaptation for Road Cycling

Purpose: Adapt general body muscles and tendons to the stresses of strength training in preparation for the greater loading of the Maximum Strength (MS) phase to follow.

Warm-Up & Cool Down: Warm-up aerobically (rowing, stationary bike/trainer or by running easily) for 5-10 minutes. Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance.

Load/Resistance: 40-60% of 1RM or the greatest load possible for 20-30 reps per set.

Sets: 3
Reps: 20-30
Recovery between sets: 60-90 seconds.

Progression: Complete one set of each exercise in order (1, 2, 3, etc) before starting second set. This can be done quite effectively as a circuit training workout using machines. If pressed for time, or weight room is too busy for a circuit, you can complete all sets of one exercise before going to the next. The first set every workout is the lightest. When you can complete 3 sets of 30 reps, increase load.

Important: During recoveries gently stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

1. Hip extension: Squats
2. Seated row
3. Hip extension: Step ups
4. Push-ups
5. Leg Press
6. Seated lat pull to chest
7. Hamstring curl
8. Crunches/abdominals ( choice of exercise)

Phase Length: 2-4 weeks.

Sample Day 10
1:00:00
(AA) Anatomical Adaptation for Road Cycling

Purpose: Adapt general body muscles and tendons to the stresses of strength training in preparation for the greater loading of the Maximum Strength (MS) phase to follow.

Warm-Up & Cool Down: Warm-up aerobically (rowing, stationary bike/trainer or by running easily) for 5-10 minutes. Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance.

Load/Resistance: 40-60% of 1RM or the greatest load possible for 20-30 reps per set.

Sets: 3
Reps: 20-30
Recovery between sets: 60-90 seconds.

Progression: Complete one set of each exercise in order (1, 2, 3, etc) before starting second set. This can be done quite effectively as a circuit training workout using machines. If pressed for time, or weight room is too busy for a circuit, you can complete all sets of one exercise before going to the next. The first set every workout is the lightest. When you can complete 3 sets of 30 reps, increase load.

Important: During recoveries gently stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

1. Hip extension: Squats
2. Seated row
3. Hip extension: Step ups
4. Push-ups
5. Leg Press
6. Seated lat pull to chest
7. Hamstring curl
8. Crunches/abdominals ( choice of exercise)

Phase Length: 2-4 weeks.

Sample Day 12
1:00:00
(AA) Anatomical Adaptation for Road Cycling

Purpose: Adapt general body muscles and tendons to the stresses of strength training in preparation for the greater loading of the Maximum Strength (MS) phase to follow.

Warm-Up & Cool Down: Warm-up aerobically (rowing, stationary bike/trainer or by running easily) for 5-10 minutes. Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance.

Load/Resistance: 40-60% of 1RM or the greatest load possible for 20-30 reps per set.

Sets: 3
Reps: 20-30
Recovery between sets: 60-90 seconds.

Progression: Complete one set of each exercise in order (1, 2, 3, etc) before starting second set. This can be done quite effectively as a circuit training workout using machines. If pressed for time, or weight room is too busy for a circuit, you can complete all sets of one exercise before going to the next. The first set every workout is the lightest. When you can complete 3 sets of 30 reps, increase load.

Important: During recoveries gently stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.

1. Hip extension: Squats
2. Seated row
3. Hip extension: Step ups
4. Push-ups
5. Leg Press
6. Seated lat pull to chest
7. Hamstring curl
8. Crunches/abdominals ( choice of exercise)

Phase Length: 2-4 weeks.

Sample Day 15
0:45:00
(MT) Maximum Strength Transition Phase

Strength Training for Road Racing
Maximum Strength Transition (MT) Phase
©Joe Friel

Purpose: Transition from light loads and high reps of the AA phase to the heavy loads and low reps of the MS phase.

Frequency: 2-3 times per week. Phase Length: 2 weeks.

Equipment: Either free weights or machines. Free weights are preferable.

Load/Resistance: Use loads that allow only 10-15 reps. Increase resistance cautiously each week.

Sets: 3 Reps: 10-15 Recovery between sets: 1.5-3 minutes.

Speed: Slow to moderate emphasizing form.

Progression: Complete all sets of each exercise before starting second exercise. The first set of each exercise is the lightest.

Warm-Up: Warm-up aerobically such as on a stationary bike/trainer or jumping rope easily for 5-10 minutes.

Important: During recoveries gently stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.
Exercises: In order of completion:
1. Hip extension (squat, step-up, or leg press)
2. Seated row
3. Personal weakness (knee extension or hamstring curl—20-30 reps with light load as in AA phase. Can do both of these exercises.)
4. Lat pull down
5. Core (your choice of exercise; repetitions up to you).

Phase Length: 2-4 weeks (4- 6 sessions).

Cool Down: Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance.

Sample Day 17
0:45:00
(MT) Maximum Strength Transition Phase

Strength Training for Road Racing
Maximum Strength Transition (MT) Phase
©Joe Friel

Purpose: Transition from light loads and high reps of the AA phase to the heavy loads and low reps of the MS phase.

Frequency: 2-3 times per week. Phase Length: 2 weeks.

Equipment: Either free weights or machines. Free weights are preferable.

Load/Resistance: Use loads that allow only 10-15 reps. Increase resistance cautiously each week.

Sets: 3 Reps: 10-15 Recovery between sets: 1.5-3 minutes.

Speed: Slow to moderate emphasizing form.

Progression: Complete all sets of each exercise before starting second exercise. The first set of each exercise is the lightest.

Warm-Up: Warm-up aerobically such as on a stationary bike/trainer or jumping rope easily for 5-10 minutes.

Important: During recoveries gently stretch muscle group just worked before starting next exercise.
Exercises: In order of completion:
1. Hip extension (squat, step-up, or leg press)
2. Seated row
3. Personal weakness (knee extension or hamstring curl—20-30 reps with light load as in AA phase. Can do both of these exercises.)
4. Lat pull down
5. Core (your choice of exercise; repetitions up to you).

Phase Length: 2-4 weeks (4- 6 sessions).

Cool Down: Cool down for 5-10 minutes spinning at 90+ rpm in light gear/resistance.

Joe Friel
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Joe Friel Coaching

An endurance coach since 1980, Joe Friel has worked with triathletes and cyclists from all over the world helping them achieve their race goals. He also trains coaches around the world and has consulted with national federations and national Olympic team coaches. Coach Friel offers personal camps, and seminars for clubs and teams, and consults with professional athletes. He is currently not accepting one-on-one coaching clients.