6 Benefits Of Strength Training For New Cyclists Over 60

As a new cyclist, you may be wondering if it would be beneficial to add strength training to your fitness routine.

The answer is yes—including strength training for new cyclists can improve your performance, lower your risk of injury, and even keep you motivated to ride.

This doesn’t mean that you need to join an expensive gym and start throwing around heavy weights for an hour or two a day.

Strength training can be as simple as a 20–30-minute bodyweight or resistance band workout in your basement or garage.  It can even be a yoga program a few days a week.

In this post, we’ll look at why incorporating a strength training program into your cycling routine can have lasting benefits and keep you pedaling strong for many more years.

What Is Strength Training?

Strength training is a form of physical activity that involves using resistance to increase muscle size and strength. It also helps with mental focus.  It usually includes performing repetitive sets of exercises. 

As we age, we start to lose muscle mass and strength.  And let’s be honest the mind isn’t what it used to be. 

So, incorporating a strength training program into your workout routine as a cyclist can help you become stronger and more focused. 

A few good strength training exercises that are especially beneficial for cyclists are planks, lunges, deadlifts, squats, push-ups and pull ups. 

You can do all of these exercises with or without weights and still get a great strength training workout. 

As you progress you can start using exercise (resistance) bands or free weights for added resistance.  Free weights can include dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells and/or medicine balls. 

It’s important to work both upper and lower body muscles as well as your core during your strength training.  This will help you become stronger, faster, and work towards becoming an overall better rider.

Benefits Of Strength Training for New Cyclists

1.  Reduced Accident Risk

Strength training doesn’t just help you become a stronger cyclist – it can also reduce the likelihood of getting into an accident or causing an injury.

This is probably my top reason for doing routine strength training.

It’s just a fact that as we age, we lose muscle strength, and our reflexes tend to slow down.

By strengthening your leg muscles and your core, you will be able to produce more effective braking power and have quicker reactions on your bike.

Strong arm muscles mean that you’ll be able to shift positions on your bike more quickly and efficiently. This can ease strain on your back and other joints which could lead to fatigue over long rides.

Strength training increases your ability to handle unexpected obstacles or situations on the road, which is important for all cyclist whether you’re an amateur or professional – young or old.

Ultimately, this makes you safer on the roads, which can help keep you out of harm’s way.

2.  Improved Core Strength And Stability

Strength training is especially beneficial for cyclists because it can help to improve your core strength and stability.

A strong core means that you can transfer more power from your legs to the pedals and generate more speed with each pedal stroke.

Strengthening the muscles that power your pedal strokes is so important for increased cycling performance.

When you know how to activate and engage your core muscles during your rides, especially hill climbs or sprints you will be able to deliver more power with less effort.

You will also be able to produce a smoother and more efficient pedal stroke which will mean more speed with less energy used long-term.

It also improves your balance, making it easier to navigate sharp turns and unpredictable terrain when out on the road.

3.  Increased Endurance

Adding strength training to your cycling routine can help you improve your overall muscle strength and endurance capacity.

This will lead to improved performance on your bike at both a recreational and/or a competitive level if you’re riding in a group.

Strengthening the muscles and improving your cardiovascular fitness, allows you to push yourself further with less effort.

Result – Increased muscular development = greater explosiveness.

Cycling often relies on bursts of speed in order to kick butt on a big hill or ride faster on an incline.

Strength training can assist with this by helping to build lean muscle mass and increase your explosiveness when shifting gears.

A strong core and powerful glutes are just a couple of the muscles that you’ll want to focus on if you want increased strength and power while cycling.

Not only will this allow you to climb more efficiently, but it can also help you avoid injury due to muscle tear or fatigue.

As a result, cyclists that engage in strength training have been shown to perform better over longer distances than those who don’t.

4.  Increased Bone Density

Another “fun fact” as we age, we begin to lose bone density which leads to osteoporosis.

One of the great benefits of strength training for cyclists is that it helps to build stronger bones by increasing bone density.

Weight-bearing exercises stimulate bone growth and help to improve overall bone health.

As cycling itself is a low impact exercise, adding strength exercises can improve your bones’ response to daily stressors. Partnerships between strength and endurance exercises can make weight-bearing exercise more efficient.

It can help protect your bones from age-related wear and tear.

Adding strength training workouts into your regular cycling routine can help you enjoy many more years on two wheels!

5.  Makes You More Focused

For strength training to be beneficial it takes focus and concentration.  This is referred to as the mind muscle connection

Mind muscle connection is when you are focused on how your muscles are functioning.  Concentrating on the movements you’re making, and how effective your workouts are.

Are you just going through the motion of the exercise and letting the weights bounce around wildly, or are you focused on which muscle you are working and controlling the movement, speed and position of the exercise?

You will achieve more gains when you practice mind muscle connection. 

It also helps you to stay on you game when it comes to focusing.  We all know how important it is to stay focused while riding.  This is the best way to avoid accidents or injury. 

6.   Improved Cycling Performance

Incorporating strength training into your cycling routine will help you to produce more power and reach your peak performance.

Strength training specifically targets the muscles and tendons used in cycling, enabling them to become stronger and increase their force production over time. This increases your power output on the bike, allowing you to take on longer rides with greater ease.

Finally, when combined with aerobic training, strength exercises can increase explosive power output essential for concurring that big hill or sprinting away from the pack.

Therefore, whether you’re racing or leisurely cruising around town, it’s clear that doing strength training increases your pedal efficiency while also boosting your speed and performance on the bike.

So, if you’re looking for ways to boost your cycling performance, implementing a strength training program could be just what you need!

In Conclusion

All these factors demonstrate that strength training has positive benefits for cyclists and should be part of any cyclist’s regular routine.

So, why not give strength training a try.  I bet you will see lasting results as you continue to ride.


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