Meat Motor Answers When Can Competitive Cyclists Stop Strength Training Before a Race
April 18, 2023 at 17:10
Fort Worth, Texas -
Recent study suggests that cyclists can focus on endurance training leading up to competition without losing the benefits of strength training.
Meat Motor, a leading source of endurance training insights and information, today released a new article by Jordan Fowler, exploring the retention of strength gains in competitive cyclists after stopping strength training. The article, titled "How long before an A-Race can you stop strength training and not lose strength gains?" highlights a recent exploratory study that sheds light on the optimal balance between strength and endurance training leading up to competitive cycling events.
The study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, investigated the effects of resistance training cessation on cycling performance in nine well-trained competitive male cyclists over 14 weeks. The cyclists combined periodized resistance training for their legs and core with their normal endurance cycling training for eight weeks, and then stopped resistance training, focusing only on endurance training for the subsequent six weeks leading up to their competitive season.
According to the research findings, after the initial eight weeks of combined training, the cyclists improved leg extension power by 12%, maximal strength of leg extensions (measured as maximal voluntary contraction or MVC) by 15%, and rate of force development (RFD) by 17%. Additionally, they improved their mean power output over 5 minutes of maximal cycling by 7%. Even after stopping resistance training for six weeks, the cyclists retained their gains in MVC and 5-minute maximal cycling power.
These findings have significant practical implications for time-limited cyclists preparing for competitive events. Instead of continuing strength training for the legs and lower body in the final six weeks before an A-race, cyclists can focus on increasing their available cycling time, while ensuring they have a well-planned periodized training program in place, including a proper taper period before the race.
Meat Motor's Jordan Fowler concludes that competitive cyclists can gain considerable performance and strength benefits from concurrent resistance and endurance training during the off-season. They can then maintain the majority of these gains for at least 6 weeks after stopping targeted resistance training by focusing on cycling training alone leading into and during competition.
To read the full article and learn more about the study and its implications, click [here].
About Meat Motor:
Meat Motor is a trusted source for endurance training insights and information, providing athletes with the latest research and practical advice to help them optimize their training and achieve their performance goals.
Source: Effects of Resistance Training Cessation on Cycling Performance in Well-Trained Cyclists: An Exploratory Study. J Strength Cond Res 36(3): 796–804, 2022.
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