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The Importance of Strength Training for Cycling

The Importance of Strength Training for Cycling

In order to make our bodies more athletic, and more durable, we need to add strength training.

by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching 

As cyclists, we like to ride our bike. We like to be outside, we like the endorphins that come with pushing our bodies for minutes to hours at a time. We like the freedom that bikes provide us.

For many cyclists, the thought of doing a strength workout is less than desirable. This feeling of dislike is amplified when the strength workout takes the place of a bike ride for the day. Add to this, many cyclists don’t know what to do when it comes to a “strength” workout. Thus, strength workouts get pushed to the side and forgotten.

Why should cyclists strength train? Will my squats in January pay off at my “A” race in July?

Have you ever noticed that the better you get, as a cyclist, the worse you get at everything else? Bike riders are very good at riding bikes, but take them off a bike and onto the soccer field, test their vertical jump, or have a bone density scan, all of a sudden the “athletic” bike rider doesn’t seem so athletic.

In order to make our cycling bodies more athletic, and more durable, we need to add strength training.

The benefits of strength training for cyclists include: 

Alison Powers doing squats - ALP Cycles Coaching
  • Improves muscle imbalances and injury prevention.
  • Improves body mechanics and stabilization.
  • Improves bone density.
  • Increases muscle mass.
  • Improves joint flexibility.
  • Gives us options for when the weather isn't conductive to riding bikes.
  • Keeps us mentally fresh and strong.

A stronger body will translate to the bike. A more balanced and coordinated body will translate to the bike. All of these benefits will translate to the bike and your “A” race.

When it comes to specific exercises for our strength training, I’m a fan of the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid. Squats, lunges, planks, push ups, pull ups, dead lifts, etc. Our YouTube channel has 9 full follow along workouts. We have have 17 how-to videos with workouts and exercise ideas. All for cyclists!

While strength training might not be a cyclists most favorite form of training, it will make it so you can continue to ride your bike well into retirement.


Check out our training plans. All include strength training complete with written and video instructions.


Alison Powers

Now retired from racing, Alison Powers is the only person, in history, to win all three road discipline National Championships in one year (Road, Criterium and Time Trial - 2014). These go along with two previous national championships (Time Trial 2008, Team Pursuit 2008), two National Racing Calendar titles, and a 2nd place at the Leadville 100 mountain bike race (2013, 7:26hrs). Today she is the owner of ALP Cycles Coaching where she teaches road, cyclocross, and mountain bike clinics, and high performance race preparation and tactics. Alison is also team director for ALP Cycles Racing, a professional women's road and cyclocross team based in Boulder, Colorado.

ALP Cycles Coaching

Colorado-based ALP Cycles Coaching has over 25 years of professional sports experience. Each coach brings specific strengths and personal experiences to coaching sessions while collaborating to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Learn more at

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