Starting Fitness Programme

As mentioned in a previous article, it is recommended get your ready for an intense exercise regime. For this, we have written the following programme which focuses on strength and flexibility. Following this for around 3-5 weeks will see you develop a lot of strength and give you a lot more energy in the mornings.

Remember, a huge portion of the improvements come from the kitchen rather than the gym. Read more about the nutrition for training here.

Before we get into the programme a couple of quick caveats:

  • If this is your first time taking on a strength training programme, please pay attention to your form during all these movements. It is more important to lift a lower weight with perfect form than to risk injury tackling a weight that is too heavy! Here is a good reference database.
  • For a detailed walkthrough for each of these exercises please see the links attached to them.
  • The strength programme was written under the assumption that you have access to a gym. Lifting weights is the best way to get stronger as things like calisthenics / isometrics develop lot more joint and directional dependent strength. If you do not have access to a gym see here for information on a bodyweight plan.
  • I am not a flexibility trainer or yoga instructor. I recommend looking online for a yoga tutorial – there is a ton of brilliant material on there for yoga designed to help cyclists!
  • Always start a strength session with a warm up and finish with a cool down stretch. (yes, on top of the specific flexibility training!)

Strength training

The strength training programmes below should take around an hour each, including a warm up. Try to use a weight that you find hard, but can still perform with perfect form. This weight should increase roughly 2.5kg per week for the first few weeks. Each week you should alternate sets A-B-A then B-A-B to allow for even development and adequate rest.

Set A

Set B

Flexibility

The 20-minute light sessions should start with dynamic stretching and finish with more static stretches once the body is warm.

Stretching is direction and joint dependent i.e. you only get more flexible in the muscles you stretch. To make sure you don’t miss any joint, I find it a lot easier to systematically work from head to toe, stretching as you descend the body.

A quick introductory flexibility programme is found here, but once you’re more confident you can add in what ever you feel needs to be done more. Or equally you can follow a yoga programme on YouTube.

Cardio

The run should be slow as it just to keep moving and should be done after your strength session and the ride should be nothing more than your weekend ride. Try not to think of these sessions as training, just get out and remember why you enjoy riding!

Timetable

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Strength Set A Set B Set A
Flexibility 20- minute light 20-minute light Yoga Yoga
Cardio Run 5km – slow Ride – 1-2 hours.

 

While the above plan may appear to be quite a lot of work, it is at most an hour and a half each day, with a lot of stretching and light recovery work. Remember the aim at this point is to get the body used to a high demand, without overloading it.