Strength Training - 8 Week Circuit Format Training Plan for Cyclists and Triathletes

Author

Tim Cusick - Coach of World and National Champions

All plans by this Coach

Length

8 Weeks

Typical Week

2 Strength

Plan Specs

fitness beginner intermediate advanced masters strength base period

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Summary

8-Week Circuit Strength Resistance Training Plan


written by Tim Cusick, TrainingPeaks WKO Product Leader and master coach with Velocious Cycling Adventures

Plan overview
If you want to be a faster cyclist, you need to be a strong cyclist. Strength limitations are performance limiters. They also correlate strongly with bone deficiency and muscle atrophy in the lesser-used, non-cycling muscles. It’s easy to see why strength training should not be neglected by cyclists, though it’s easy to leave it undone because of time restrictions or a fear of “getting big.”

We cyclists tend to be pretty fit in general, and cycling is a healthy activity, but there is a risk of overdoing our endurance training. That’s where strength training comes in. Strength training boosts our general fitness—our work capacity—and keeps us healthy longer. Plus it improves our movement and coordination skills, which can go a long way in helping us avoid injury.

This unique strength training program blends strength resistance work with cycling-specific functional movement strength and stretching in a three-part circuit approach based on supersets. Each phase of the program consists of three circuits that are performed together as one workout, and each workout contains three exercises to be done in rotation with specified rest between. Each workout will take 30-40 minutes to complete, depending on your setup. This program is best completed in a gym, but it can be modified to complete at home.

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 and click here for a comparison chart of his major plans.

Questions?
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.

Tim Cusick

Velocious Endurance Coaching

Tim Cusick is the TrainingPeaks WKO product leader, the owner of Velocious Endurance Coaching, and the leader of BaseCamp. His expertise in training, racing, and data analytics offers a unique approach to training that guides his clients to amazing success. He currently coaches world champion Amber Neben, road pro Emma Grant, Rebecca Rusch, and other pros and racers. Over 100 plans for all cycling disciplines. Need help picking a plan? Fill out our survey: https://goo.gl/forms/bkGSAYA9VzV9tsq22.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

Strength Training Program

We cyclists tend to be pretty fit in general, and cycling is a healthy activity, but there is a risk of overdoing our endurance training. That’s where strength training comes in. Strength training boosts our general fitness—our work capacity—and keeps us healthy longer. Plus it improves our movement and coordination skills, which can go a long way in helping us avoid injury.

Our unique strength training program blends strength resistance work with cycling-specific functional movement strength and stretching in a three-part circuit approach based on supersets. Each phase of the program consists of three circuits that are performed together as one workout, and each workout contains three exercises to be done in rotation with specified rest between. Each workout will take 30-40 minutes to complete, depending on your setup. This program is best completed in a gym, but it can be modified to complete at home.

Here’s an example of a circuit:

Circuit 1: 2 rounds with 60 seconds rest between rounds
- Squat
- Dead Bug
- Quad Stretch

How it’s done:

- Complete squat, then dead bug, then quad stretch
- Rest for 60 seconds
- Complete squat, then dead bug, then quad stretch
- Rest for 60 seconds and go to circuit 2

The strength workouts generally follow the rhythm of three days one week and two days the next week, for eight weeks. The schedule is just a suggestion, however, and you can move the strength workouts to different days as you see fit. The program is divided into three progressive phases—Prep, Strength Endurance, and Power—to ensure best results and protect you from injury. The phases are described in the booklet attached here.

The strength and stretching exercises included in the program are listed below, each with a link to a short demo video. Please make sure you watch each video, because proper form is important, especially for squatting and deadlifting; bad or improper form can result in injury.

Sample Day 1

Download Strength Program

Click the paperclip just above right to download the strength program PDF.

Sample Day 3

Phase 1: Prep - Workout 1

Circuit 1
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Bodyweight Squat - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Dead Bug - 2 sets, 15 reps each leg
** Quad Stretch - 2 sets, 30 sec each leg

Circuit 2
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Bodyweight Lunge - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Plank - 2 x 60-75 seconds
** Hamstring Stretch - 2 sets, 30 sec each leg

Circuit 3
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Deadlift - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Lightweight Seated Row - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Hip Circles - 2 sets, 15 reps each leg

Sample Day 5

Phase 1: Prep - Workout 2

Circuit 1
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Bodyweight Squat - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Dead Bug - 2 sets, 15 reps each leg
** Quad Stretch - 2 sets, 30 sec each leg

Circuit 2
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Bodyweight Lunge - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Plank - 2 x 60-75 seconds
** Hamstring Stretch - 2 sets, 30 sec each leg

Circuit 3
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Deadlift - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Lightweight Seated Row - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Hip Circles - 2 sets, 15 reps each leg

Sample Day 7

Phase 1: Prep - Workout 3

Circuit 1
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Bodyweight Squat - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Dead Bug - 2 sets, 15 reps each leg
** Quad Stretch - 2 sets, 30 sec each leg

Circuit 2
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Bodyweight Lunge - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Plank - 2 x 60-75 seconds
** Hamstring Stretch - 2 sets, 30 sec each leg

Circuit 3
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Deadlift - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Lightweight Seated Row - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Hip Circles - 2 sets, 15 reps each leg

Sample Day 10

Phase 1: Prep - Workout 4

Circuit 1
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Bodyweight Squat - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Dead Bug - 2 sets, 15 reps each leg
** Quad Stretch - 2 sets, 30 sec each leg

Circuit 2
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Bodyweight Lunge - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Plank - 2 x 60-75 seconds
** Hamstring Stretch - 2 sets, 30 sec each leg

Circuit 3
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Deadlift - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Lightweight Seated Row - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Hip Circles - 2 sets, 15 reps each leg

Sample Day 12

Phase 1: Prep - Workout 5

Circuit 1
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Bodyweight Squat - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Dead Bug - 2 sets, 15 reps each leg
** Quad Stretch - 2 sets, 30 sec each leg

Circuit 2
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Bodyweight Lunge - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Plank - 2 x 60-75 seconds
** Hamstring Stretch - 2 sets, 30 sec each leg

Circuit 3
2 rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
** Deadlift - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Lightweight Seated Row - 2 sets, 15 reps
** Hip Circles - 2 sets, 15 reps each leg

Strength Training - 8 Week Circuit Format Training Plan for Cyclists and Triathletes

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