Turn Strong Into Powerful

Turn Strong Into Powerful

To turn strong muscles into powerful muscles, you must progress into explosive movements; plyometrics. 

By Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching

Over the past 4-6 months, many of us have spent time in the gym, or home gym, strength training. We're making our cycling bodies strong, well rounded, and ready to hammer out a strong and long lasting cycling season. However, no matter how strong you are in the gym, it doesn't necessarily translate into a fast bike rider. In order to make that strength transition to the bike, you need to transition those strong muscles to powerful and quick muscles. 

To turn strong muscles into powerful muscles, you must progress into explosive movements; plyometrics. This will develop elasticity- the storing and releasing of power. Then you will incorporate on bike intervals to effectively transfer the movement to bike specific strength and power. Done together- plyometrics and on-bike sprints- you have a very complete and hard workout. 

To make this workout even more quality, focus on the exertion; making quick, explosive movements with perfect form. Quality over quantity. 

After giving this plyo and on bike sprint workout to our athletes, we see many new peak power numbers being made after only 1-2 weeks of doing these workouts 1-2x week. They are hard. They are quality. They will make you faster. 

Want to give it a try? 

  • Complete your warm-up on the trainer.
  • Get off the bike and sit in the chair, quickly change shoes This should take less than 1 min.
  • Complete set of plyo exercises (3 exercises). 
  • Quickly sit in chair and change into cycling shoes (again 1 min limit here-HUSTLE).
  • Get on bike and spin for 2 min.
  • Complete on bike sprints (3 sprints per set- 2min RBI)
  • Spin for 2 min to recover.
  • Repeat 1-2 times.

Warm-up: 15 min on the trainer. Begin with light spinning for the first 5 min (90+ rpms), gradually increase the resistance to Zone 3 power/HR and hold for 5 min. Easy spin for 5 minutes (90+ rpms)

See YouTube Video for Plyo exercise directions: https://youtu.be/rwj5KexBunc

  • Lunge Jumps
  • Box jump- soft landing
  • Squat Jump

Sprints: Hit your max watts as fast as possible. Doesn’t matter how long you hold- just nail it. Should hit max watts in 6-8 seconds. First sprint- these gears are guidelines- seated 50/16 or 53/17, second sprint- seated or standing 50/14 or 53/15, third sprint- standing 50/12, 53/13.

This is a fast paced workout and very strenuous. Start conservatively with 2 sets and progress to 3 over the next few weeks.

Wondering how to incorporate these workouts into your own training? We have an 8-week training plan that incorporates not only this workout but a second phase of plyometrics and on- bike sprints as well as Threshold building workouts and VO2 max training that will lead you into the race season strong, fit, and powerful.

Happy Training! 



Alison Powers

Alison Powers only recently retired from cycling, finishing her final season on the UnitedHealthcare Women’s Team. Her career has spanned a wide array of wins, including the 2013 USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championship where she won in memorable fashion by soloing after an early breakaway that obliterated the pro women’s peloton. Other standout results during the 33-year-old’s 2013 season include the win at Redlands Bicycle Classic, second at the Tour of Elk Grove, third at the US National Road Championship and the US National Time Trial Championship, and stage wins at Cascade Classic, Tulsa Tough, Tour of the Gila and Redlands Bicycle Classic. Hailing from Fraser, Colorado, Powers has been racing bikes professionally for eight years and is a true athlete with her career beginning as a teenager in mountain bike racing. In her mid 20s, she added in alpine ski racing before switching over to the road. In addition to being the current Criterium National Champion, Powers has two other national championships (Time Trial, Team Pursuit) and 2 NRC titles (2009, 2013).