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Functional Strength Training Program - 8 weeks

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Functional Strength Training Program - 8 weeks


Tim Cusick - Coach of World and National Champions

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4.33 (3)


8 Weeks

Plan Description

8-Week Functional Strength Training Program

written by Tim Cusick, TrainingPeaks WKO4 Product Leader and master coach with BaseCamp

Why functional strength for cyclists?

In the traditional definition, functional strength training is the practice of motion against resistance, with the objective of improving our ability to perform a specific athletic activity through our load joints (shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles) through a full range of motion without pain, stiffness, or restriction.

To explain it further, functional strength training is a range of total-body activities that build strength, balance, and coordination for general fitness and improve our ability to perform general, day-to-day activities. Although functional strength training is commonly perceived as a form of core training, core training could be considered a subset of functional strength training.

We cyclists and triathletes can get stuck in a box of doing the same motions over and over again, no longer spontaneously stimulated by our training to improve our functional strength. The movements of functional training require us to coordinate balance and control, and timing the muscle contractions forces us out of our box to focus on correcting the muscular imbalance developed in cycling-specific workouts. The major adjustments our bodies must make to improve functional performance include coordination, range of motion, type of contraction, and speed of movement. Traditional strength training is not as effective to improve these areas, which is why we turn to functional training.

Equipment needed

1. Dumbbells and/or kettlebells
2. Physio or stability ball
3. Medicine ball
4. Exercise mat
5. Pull-up bar

The workouts

There are 10-11 exercises in each workout. The first six or seven exercises focus on the functional aspect of balancing specific muscle groups, and the last four focus on plyometric strength. Start by doing the exercises with just your bodyweight or a weight that is comfortable for you. If you can complete the reps and the sets easily, start adding some weights. Upon completion of a workout, you should be tired but not exhausted. The goal is not increasing weight but balancing your muscles. The time between sets should be short (30 seconds to 2 minutes).

A downloadable eBook is included (attached to the first day of the plan) that contains the entire training program and links to descriptions of the prescribed workouts.

We've got more plans!

Tim Cusick has written dozens of training plans for many different areas of cycling: road, gravel, time trial, mountain bike, cyclocross, indoor training, and more. Click here for a full list of his current plans by sport type.

In addition to his coaching experience, Tim is the TrainingPeaks WKO product leader and the founder of BaseCamp.


Click here to view a list of frequently asked questions about our training plans. If you don't find your answer there, please email us directly.

How it Works

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Strength x3
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
—— ——

Tim Cusick


Tim Cusick is a world-class cycling coach, a leader in data analytics for endurance sports, an educator, and an innovative business leader.

As a coach, he’s compiled an impressive history of success and jerseys. His approach to coaching peak performance focuses on the whole athlete and the components of success for the whole athlete. Tim works with Olympians, world champions, and more, including Amber Neben and Rebecca Rusch.

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Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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