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Benefits of Strength Training in Your Program

Often athletes can shy away from strength training due to the fear of increasing fatigue excessively. But could this be a pivotal aspect to your training program that’s missing?

The Science:

It is considered by current literature that strength training can increase endurance performance. One study conducted by Rønnestad et al (2013) suggested the improved endurance performance causes a delayed activation of less type II muscle fibers. Signifying, a better efficiency and conversion of fast-twitch fibers to more fatigue-resistant fibers. Conclusively, Rønnestad et al (2013) also determined power output at VO2max increases.

Furthermore, Hickson et al (1988) address the physiological mechanisms and justifies the above by stating strength training three times a week increases time till exhaustion, while also affirming short term, endurance is similarly benefited.


Joe Friel recommends in ‘The Cyclists Training Bible’ reps to percentage of 1 Rep Max (1RM) ratio, which follows the below pattern:

Reps - Factor (% of 1RM)

  • 4 - .900

  • 5 - .875

  • 6 - .850

  • 7 - .825

  • 8 - .800

  • 9 - .775

  • 10 - .750

Furthermore, when planning your exercises, you should consider two main types of contraction, hypertrophy and explosive movements. Hypertrophy is typically more suited to building muscle mass, stability and getting used to movements. Plus, hypertrophy training has a speed of contraction of 3 seconds concentric contraction and 3 eccentric contraction. Whereas explosive contractions are generally with a higher weight load but lower in reps, and best for building strength and activation. Along with, a speed of contraction of 2 seconds concentric contraction and 1 eccentric contraction.


During winter strength training can be as high as 3 times a week, while during the season its typically best to keep to 1-2 times a week. Below is an example of a gym workout BCA gives to their athletes.

WO: - Plank ------------------------ 35 s x 4 - Goblin Squat ------------- 6 r x 4 - E - Bulgarian squats ------- 10 r x 4 - H

- Leg Lifts -------------------- 12 r x 3 - H - Mountain Climbers ------ 30 s x 3 - E - Press Ups ------------------- 10 r x 3 - H


BCA is excited to lunch its new YouTube Channel with helpful training tips and exercises. Check out the link below to see how you can do strength training at home.

(Coming Soon)


Hickson, R., Dvorak, B., Gorostiaga, E., Kurowski, T. and Foster, C. (1988). Potential for strength and endurance training to amplify endurance performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 65(5), pp.2285-2290.

Rønnestad, B. and Mujika, I. (2013). Optimizing strength training for running and cycling endurance performance: A review. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 24(4), pp.603-612.

Friel, J. (2018). The Cyclist's Training Bible. 5th ed. Boulder: Velopress.

YouTube. (2019). How to: climbing strength exercises for cyclists. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Aug. 2019].


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