Plyometrics For Cycling – Bridging the Gap Between Speed and Strength

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images by Elizabeth Kreutz

By now most of you have seen the pictures of Lance looking ripped on his come back trail.  Compare this to 3 years ago when he was skin, bones and LEGS.

images by Elizabeth Kreutz

Lance is doing a form of exercise called Plyometrics.   Plyometrics for cycling you ask?  It’s a specific type of training designed to produce fast, powerful movements and improve the functions of the nervous system.   Plyometric movements are performed by loading up a muscle and then contracting in rapid sequence.  It’s used to increase the speed and force (i.e. power) of the muscle contractions without increasing maximal strength (sounds good for cyclists).  By looking at Lance’s comeback photos, it apparently works!

images by Elizabeth Kreutz

We all know that the pre-cancer Lance was a larger, more classic variety of cyclist.  His transformation to a Tour rider was largely attributed to his change in physique by losing a lot of muscle mass during his cancer treamtents.  We’ll see in the coming year what this extra upper body muscle does for his climbing.   Who knows….Lance revolutionized the fast cadence technique, maybe he’s onto something here as well.

images by Elizabeth Kreutz

What plyometrics exercises can you do for cycling?

Muscular power is determined by how long it takes for strength to be converted into speed.  In terms of cycling, this is great for attacking, sprinting and accelerating out of corners.  Power training such as plyometrics bridges the gap between strength and speed.  Here are some great links for exercises that will help you increase power on and off the bike.  I’ve included a few upper body workouts to help you look like Lance for the beach this summer.   I know I’ll be trying them!

What do you think?  Is the new bulked up Lance gonna go alright at the TdU this year?

Upper Body Plyometrics Workouts

Lower Body Plyometrics Workouts