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In-season strength: Do more with less

Ahhhh, behold, my brethren!

The Tour has commenced!

Come, let us recover ourselves on our sofas while watching mere mortals pedal themselves into cycling lore!

I don't know about you, but every July I find my motivation to ride multiplies two to four times as I watch the pros tackle everything: from Aple d'Huez, to (this year) cyclocross…err, sorry, gravel.

While the race is a turbopack for my riding, my strength training tends to be left with very little time, and let's be honest, even less motivation…

So how do we keep up our strength work while allowing ourselves to improve our longevity and vitality? It comes down to training smarter, not harder by intelligently building your program around one or two "anchors" that check the boxes for your personal needs and your riding demands.

Here are three keys to better strength and movement for in-season strength training.

  • Understand how to move well. By having a shorter, more focused strength program, we are better able to focus on performing the exercise right. This allows us to better tap into how we're moving, which in turn helps us ride better.

  • Be consistent. In shorter workouts it is more important to hit all our weaker points, or areas that help us most. For many this means a breathing exercise, two to three dynamic movements, and one to two "main" strength exercises with resistance.

  • Intensity is not the goal, but rather moving well. In-season strength is often neglected due to many not understanding that the point of the strength sessions is to support and enhance our riding through improved movement, recovery, and breathing. . . not lifting heavy.

Making the shift in our mentality and approaches to strength training may seem challenging, but in fact it's fairly simple: we need to look to use movements and resistance in a way that helps build us up.

Below is one simple looking exercise that will help you improve mobility, control, recruit more core, turn on those neglected back and shoulder muscles, and have you practicing a little explosiveness:

Front foot elevated 3-second reverse lunge with overhead reach

This workout can be done as your first exercise after a breathing and dynamic warmup. Two sets of 3-5 repetitions each side are plenty, as the focus is intent and quality. You should not need more than 3-6 pounds in your hands for this one to get the best and most results. Click here for a video demonstration.

If you've fallen off the strength training wagon the last few months since BaseCamp but want to get back on it to improve your results in the second half of the season, I am offering BaseCampers a special 60-day program (workouts twice a week with an additional optional movement day) designed to help you get targets but powerful strength sessions in. Email me at for the details and to get started!


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