28.9.16

#InspiredBy How to Get Legs Like a Track Cyclist


If you saw an Olympic track cyclist stand on the podium earlier this year and wished you had their legs as much as you had their medal, this guide to building a world-class pair of cycling legs is for you.

Aside from having exceptional stamina, a fierce competitive streak and a quality bike, riding to victory requires strong, toned and reactive leg muscle groups but they can only be built with a solid, on and off-bike training regime.

On-Bike Training: Road Cycling
Track cycling requires particular skills suited to the smooth, sloping, circular terrain of the velodrome, but those skills are built out on the open road where cardiovascular endurance and leg strength are developed.

City biking is good for practicing sprint starts and tight corners. Endurance and muscular strength can be achieved by taking to a variety of on and off-road terrains while turbo rollers at home can help develop balance.

Of course, maintaining a well-rounded road bike training regimen requires a bicycle that can comfortably handle all kinds of environments and for that, something like the Specialized Hybrid Bike is ideal.

Depending on your current fitness levels, you should aim to complete 4-7 hours road cycling per week that includes a variety of short, intense rides of 10-30 minutes and duration rides over flats and hills.

Photo Credit: my buddy Anneleen

Track Cycling 
As already mentioned, track cycling requires particular handling and acceleration skills and the only way to develop them is to head to your nearest velodrome.

There’s a choice of indoor and outdoor venues across the UK and most of them offer training sessions, club membership and track accreditation courses. If you’re serious about track cycling, it’s worth taking advantage of these services.

If you can, aim to spend 1-2 hours of your overall weekly cycling hours at the track.


Off-Bike Training: 
Olympic cyclists like Chris Hoy don’t develop “colossal 27in thighs” through cycling alone and neither can you.

Gym Training 
Squats: They’re one of the easiest ways to build muscle in the thighs, hamstrings and glutes but you don’t need to do hundreds of them. Try 2-3 set of ten reps but do them slowly. Plant your heels, keep your back straight and focus on activating and controlling muscle groups on the way down and on the way up for the best results.

Deadlifts: Lifting weights will challenge your legs to work harder causing the muscular hypertrophy responsible for cellular growth, but while powerful thighs are the aim, remember that bulk and power should be complemented with flexibility. Do 5-8 sets of 3-5 reps with a rest period of 1 minute between them, once or twice a week.

Sit-Ups, press-ups and pull-ups: Track cycling requires great balance and that can only be achieved with a strong core and upper body so vary your gym time to incorporate exercises that work all the muscle groups.

Swimming 
Because it’s low-impact, swimming helps you build cardiovascular strength and adopt good breathing technique while developing joint and muscle tone and flexibility without putting any stress on them. Swim once or twice a week and vary your stroke, distance and speed to maximise the benefits.

Rest and Recovery 
Obtaining the best results from any kind of training regime means balancing exercise with rest days, quality sleep and good nutrition.

Rest and Recovery: Taking one or two days a week off from exercise is advisable but it doesn’t mean being completely inactive. Go for a walk, do some yoga or get a deep tissue sports massage. Giving your muscles time to recover will help achieve maximum power from them in your next training session.

Nutrition: Strong, responsive and healthy muscles require the right kind of fuel so take care to eat a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins and complex carbohydrates.

Whether you want to invest in a hybrid bike, turbo trainer and new cycling accessories or just get quality advice on the right biking equipment for you, contact the experts at Formby Cycles.

Have you tried track cycling before?! 

Elle :) 

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p.s this is a collaborative post with Formby Cycles, but you know me, all views and opinions are always my own ;)

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