"After a week or two in the gym, most riders start to lose their enthusiasm for off-season training," says Tim Pelot, cycling coach and sports performance director of Velocity Sports Performance, in Minneapolis. "That's why I keep workouts short, intense and interesting." Quick circuit training boosts your heart rate and burns more calories than traditional strength training.This session will help you build strength, maintain cardiovascular fitness and, most important, keep a little snap in your legs.
Do the following Monday, Wednesday and Friday, taking off or doing an easy, active recovery Tuesday and Thursday. On Saturday and Sunday, spin your legs for about an hour on the trainer or outside.
Do these exercises at the quickest pace you can while maintaining good form. "You have to train fast to be fast," says Pelot. First, do a warm-up of your choice for five minutes. Then start the circuit. Do 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise, then immediately move to the next one. Repeat the circuit three times.
Push-Up With legs extended, feet hip-width apart, hands directly beneath shoulders, arms extended and back straight, bend elbows and lower chest until upper arms are parallel to the floor. Press back to start.
Squat Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Bend hips and knees, and sit back as though lowering yourself into a chair. Raise arms straight out in front of you for balance. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press back to start.
Body Pull Place a bar on a squat rack at about hip height. Grasp the bar with both hands shoulder-width apart and walk your body under the bar until you're in a reverse push-up position--hanging from the bar, shoulders directly beneath hands with arms and legs extended. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your chest to the bar, keeping back straight. Lower to starting position.
Lunge Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on hips. Take a giant step forward with one leg, bending both knees and lowering hips toward the floor until front thigh is parallel to the floor. Press back to start. Immediately repeat with other leg.
Step-Up Stand in front of a just-below-knee-height step, hands on hips or at your sides. Step up with your right foot, then bring your left foot up onto the step next to the right foot. Return to start, stepping down with the right foot first. Immediately repeat, this time leading with the left foot.