Reasons why all cyclists should perform strength training
More and more cyclists are discovering that improving not only requires pedaling, but that cycling training must be complemented by other aspects. One of them is undoubtedly strength training.
Why it is important to train strength in cycling
Cadence technique and bike control are aspects that can only be trained on the bike. However, many other aspects are practiced off the bike. Even professional cyclists push themselves in the gym. And their main goal, usually, is strength training in cycling.
Until a few years ago, by the way, this type of training was overlooked. Even many elite teams and many professional cyclists overlooked these variations in exercise that can help you perform a more specific strength activity to later exploit it on the bike.
5 reasons for strength training as a cyclist
It is obvious that riding a bike, there are muscle groups that train worse than using a specific gym machine for it. That's why strength training is important, and here are 5 reasons why.
Because it takes care of your mind
That's right. It is the most surprising argument to those who do not know it, but scientific studies have corroborated that strength training also helps to reduce the natural rate of cognitive decline. That is, practicing this type of exercise will make your nervous system is better preserved and not only helps you memorize better but also avoids that in the face of your aging, you are more likely to develop degenerative diseases of the nervous system, such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
Because you will have better coordination and balance
Coordination and balance, what are they good for on the bike? A lot of things. Coordination will make your cadence is optimal and your control of the bike, changes of gear and track changes, improve significantly. Balance, on the other hand, is fundamental because it is precisely about riding the bike, that is to say, it avoids crashes and also makes you distribute your weights better. Strength training involves exercises that enhance these two factors, coordination and balance, and thus improve them for when you get on the bike.
Because you will retain muscle mass
Muscle is easily lost naturally. With age, as is obvious, activity is reduced and muscle degenerates faster. Both factors make the muscle mass loss curve exponential. And strength training slows that trend, so that even though you are a fairly mature cyclist, you retain much of your muscle mass, improving your potential on the bike.
Because it doesn't make you faster, but it does make you more reactive
No one would be so bold as to claim that strength training will make you faster on the bike. There are so many factors involved in the concept of speed that training strength does not make you faster. In fact, muscle weighs more than any other tissue or body mass, so, in fact, there is a drop in the curve when you do strength training for cycling because, circumstantially and temporarily, you can gain weight.
However, let's say that it will make you faster in the long term. Because it will make you more reactive. This means that having more mass but above all more toned will make your nervous and motor reaction more direct. Therefore, initially you will be more reactive and, in the long run, when you find the balance between mass and weight, you will most likely be faster.
Because it makes you a more versatile cyclist
We have become accustomed to versatile rider profiles. Until the last few years, a rider had the profile that he or she had. You can still be more of a climber or more of a road racer, but the complete cyclists are the ones who end up winning the big races, so the profiles have changed.
And to enliven this versatility, strength training for cycling is essential. You can study your anatomy and define the cyclist you want to become, and then do strength training to acquire the strength you need. Strength makes you more versatile, because you can use it as you please once you control it.