Stay consistent and remember: progressive resistance is your friend
The best general plan for an all-around strength training routine is to adhere to the progressive resistance principle: As your body adapts to a training load, you must increase resistance to continue improving. When you can do a set of 10 to 12 repetitions of an exercise comfortably, you need to then increase the amount of weight, the number of reps, or the number of sets.
Here's a basic layout you can follow throughout the year that'll help you advance. (This strength-training routine was adapted from Jason Sumner's Complete Book of Road Cycling Skills).
Don't think you have time to strength-train? Check out these tips below from our American sister title Bicycling for how best to squeeze in a workout:
Strengthening Phase: November through March
Two or three times per week (but not on consecutive days), do one to three sets in each of these five areas.
- Upper-body pushing exercise, such as pushups, bench presses, or dips
- Upper-body pulling exercise, such as pullups, bent rows, or upright rows
- Abdominal core exercise, such as crunches
- Lower-back exercise, such as back extensions
- Leg exercise, such as stepups, lunges, or light squats
Maintenance Phase: April through October
Two times per week (preferably after an easy ride), do one set in each of these four areas.
- Upper-body pushing, such as pushups, bench presses, or dips
- Upper-body pulling, such as pullups, bent rows, or upright rows
- Abdominal exercises, such as crunches
- Lower-back exercises, such as back extensions