Effective Cycling Exercise Program

cyclingPrograms for cycling are divided into phases. Since it is an endurance sport, patience is crucial. Going through these phases takes time and attention. Even if you’re riding just for recreation and not planning to join any event, knowledge of the basics of any cycling program will be of use one way or another. Let’s have a quick look at the phases of a cycling program.

Phases of training:

Base level. Building a solid foundation in any sport is crucial. Your progress and performance in high end workouts depend tremendously on how you establish your base. This is also called the aerobic level because in this level, you’re trying to improve the aerobic system of the body for it to become accustomed to long hours of riding. The main aim is to improve fitness and skills specific to your goal. The base level riding involves minimal effort, but do not confuse an aerobic ride with a recovery ride. Breathing is steady and can carry on a conversation. The point is to train within your limits and try not to bite off more than you can chew. Base training also teaches your body to burn its fat stores instead of glycogen stores in the muscles; pretty much what a person needs for weight loss.

Tempo level. This level isn’t as steady as the base pace and not as intensive as sprinting. It is around 75-85% of your MHR (Maximal Heart Rate) and breathing is quicker than base pace. This is still an aerobic training and considered as the highest intensity that you can sustain for a long time.

Threshold. A level below Max. This is 85-95% of your MHR. Quick breathing and your legs will feel like burning.

Max. It’s an all-out level!

Now that you have a basic concept of how a cycling program is conducted, let’s look on how we can prepare the body to be more strong and powerful for your cycling activities.


Since your goals are different from others in the weight room, let’s also classify your weight training into phases.

  1. Transitional Phase. Adjusting to new and different kind of stress. Resistance is low with 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Focus on primary lifts such as squats, leg presses and hamstring curls.
  2. Hypertrophy Phase. The muscle building phase. Increase resistance by 20-30% with 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  3. Strength Phase. Heavier weight, less reps and fewer sets. 70-100% of your maximum lifting weight with 4-5 sets of 3-6 reps.
  4. Power phase. The same weight used in the hypertrophy phase but using explosive movements. The focus will be on speed to maximize strength gain and improve overall power.

Exercises to include in your routine:

  1. Squats. For the glutes and quads.
  2. Deadlift. For the hamstrings and the lower back.
  3. Step up/Lunges. For the glutes and quads.
  4. Crunches and side bends. For the abdominals.
  5. Hyperextensions or Superman. For the lumbar spine.
  6. Calf raises. For the calves.
  7. Push-ups and presses. For the chest and upper arms
  8. Planks. For the postural muscles of the trunk and core strength.