Written by: Lance Watson
Lifesport coach Lance Watson provides new thoughts on how to increase strength and power output on the bike.
To increase your strength and power output on the bike, get yourself a high-quality stationary trainer that will give you enough resistance to put maximum force into the pedals at a low cadence on a very hard gear.
In this series, I will present three bike trainer progressions in the spring to ensure that you are climbing and time trialing faster than ever this summer:
Have you ever stood on the pedals, climbing a hill for 20 minutes straight without sitting? Most of you probably have not. Standing while climbing isolates the quadriceps much more than seated climbing, which you can practice best on a trainer.
Standing on the stationary bike forces you to drive the pedals straight down, as the bike is held upright in place. Start with Level 1 and repeat the exercises in each level for two to three workouts before progressing to the next level. With all the workouts, make sure you do a very good warm-up and cool-down of 15 to 30 minutes.
Holding a cadence of 60 to 65 rpm, stand for five to eight repeats of three to five minutes, for a total of 15 to 30 minutes of interval time. Recover between intervals for one to two minutes at 90 rpm. Your heart rate (HR) for the intervals should be 10 to 15 beats per minute below your 25-mile bike time trial heart rate, or lactate threshold (LT).
Stand for repeats of two to three sets of 10 to 15 minutes each for a total of 20 to 45 minutes of interval time. Staying on the same gear (i.e. 53 x 14 or 53 x 16), ride the first third of the interval at 55 to 60 rpm with your heart rate at 10 to 15 beats below LT, the middle third at 60 to 65 rpm with HR at eight to 12 beats below LT, and the last third at 65 to 70rpm with HR at six to 10 beats below LT. Recover between intervals for five minutes at 90 rpm.
At level 3 you are ready for sustained standing and pedaling. Consider doing 2 x 20-minute climbs, or even a 30- to 45–minute, non-stop standing climb. Ride the first two thirds at a cadence of 60 to 65 rpm and then accelerate to 70 to 75 rpm while standing for the final third. HR can build to eight to 12 beats below LT. Recover between intervals for five minutes at 90 rpm.
Check back in the next few days for parts three and four on specific trainer workouts designed to increase strength and power output on the bike.