Functional Strength Training Program - 8 weeks
Tim Cusick - Coach of World and National ChampionsAll plans by this Coach
8-Week Functional Strength Training Program
written by Tim Cusick, TrainingPeaks WKO4 Product Leader and master coach with Velocious Cycling Adventures
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.
1. Dumbbells and/or kettlebells
2. Physio or stability ball
3. Medicine ball
4. Exercise mat
5. Pull-up bar
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.
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.
Click here to view a list of frequently asked questions about our training plans. If you don't find your answer there, please email Coach Kathy Watts.
How it Works
Training Plan Sample Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
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- This plan includes a Free Basic TrainingPeaks Account.
- Access your training plan anywhere on the TrainingPeaks mobile and desktop apps.
- Track your performance with robust data tracking and detailed graphs.
- Plan for your event in the TrainingPeaks calendar.
- Track your weight, sleep, hours, fatigue and stress while you train.
- Syncs daily with other popular apps like Garmin and MyFitnessPal.
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.Still have questions about this plan?