Does Strength Training Make You Faster?

Dr. Stephen Cheung reviews recent research that addresses the question of whether strength training can make you faster on the bike.

There is abundant research suggesting that weight training can reduce the effects of aging, improve bone health, and perhaps even improve “durability” as an endurance athlete. But can it improve performance?

In this workshop, Dr. Stephen Cheung focuses on that specific question: Will strength training actually make you faster on the bike?

The studies he reviews aren’t addressing core work, flexibility, or plyometrics. Rather, the research looks at strength training of large muscles and multi-joint movements such as squats.

The results are intriguing, especially for those who have a hard time finding time to get to the gym, lack the proper equipment, or simply have an aversion to the weight room.

Furthermore, beyond the performance improvements, potential health benefits are addressed.

References

  • Rønnestad, B. R., Hansen, J., Hollan, I., & Ellefsen, S. (2015). Strength training improves performance and pedaling characteristics in elite cyclists. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 25(1), e89–e98. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12257​
  • Valenzuela, P. L., Gil-Cabrera, J., Talavera, E., Alejo, L. B., Montalvo-Pérez, A., Rincón-Castanedo, C., Rodríguez-Hernández, I., Lucia, A., & Barranco-Gil, D. (2021). On- Versus Off-Bike Power Training in Professional Cyclists: A Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2020-0305

More by