Monday, November 29, 2010

Weight Training for Cyclist: Part 4

Here's my plan to integrate maximal strength training (MST) and plyometrics into my off-season:

Weekly MST and Plyo Plan
Day 1:
4 x 4 sqaut
4 x 4 deadlift
3 x 10 one legged box step-ups
abs

Day 2
3x20 box jumps (interspersed with steady efforts on the trainer)
Jump rope: various durations
Upper body nonsense
abs

Repeat as often as the body is able.

Problems:

(1) Infrequency: in the Danish study, cyclists performed MST three times a week. I find this astonishing, since I feel muscle soreness for at least three days after heavy lifting. I can't imagine doing MST more than twice a week; however, it's what they did in the study. It's possible I won't see the full benefits of MST because I won't do it frequently enough. On the other hand, I'm too old to crush my body that often.

(2) Lack of specialization: the body responds to stress by becoming stronger (sometimes) quickly, then progress becomes harder. This is why training for every sport involves phases and a regular change of focus. If I simply repeat the same exercises between now and March, I probably will see my initial improvements level off, and I'll stagnate.

I'll probably take a week or two off from this in February. I'll also probably switch exercises, doing leg presses instead of squatting, doing reverse lunges or stiff-legged dead lifts instead. I'll also probably switch up my double-legged box jumps with single legged jumps, which are really hard.

This may sound like a lot, but I hope to actually cut down on my training time. Instead of putzing around all day doing endurance training, I'll get in a quick sixty box jumps and call it a day.

One more note: I've been doing MST for about a month now, and I've seen my power go up by about 10%, which is significant. Whether this means I'm peaking now (which would not be good) or that I'm simply getting stronger (without doing any intervals or intensity on the bike), I don't know. It's all unknown, since this will be the first Winter I've been able to regularly train more than one hour a week.

Again, the principles are simple: lift heavy weights regularly; do plyometrics. That's it.

2 comments:

Grant said...

Where did you get the box, or did you make it yourself? Would love to add plyo this winter.

Calvini said...

Last year I used a piano bench and almost killed myself several times.

This year I'm at a gym, and they've got an adjustable platform with a rubber surface, which is great.

I know of people who have made boxes from 2x4s and plywood. I like the option of adjustable height, because it allows not only to vary your efforts, to add more height as you get stronger, but to switch from 1-legged to 2-legged jumping.