Tips on Improving Cycling Fitness

Tips on Improving Cycling Fitness
Power is a critical element when it comes to cycling. No matter how updated your bicycle is or how good you are at maneuvering, if your body doesn't have the power to pedal fast and strong, then you won't hit your cycling goals.

However, cycling fitness isn't just about beefing up your muscles. The wrong workout routine, cycling habits, and everyday lifestyle can gravely affect your body. This is why cyclists like you need to know how to improve your cycling fitness based on your capacity and goals.


Before You Boost Your Physical Fitness

There are lots of ways to improve your physical fitness. However, not all techniques may suit your body.

You must listen to your body when changing your diet, sleeping habits, and workout routine. This way, you can ensure that you're not downgrading your habits or over-exerting yourself.

If you're practicing a new workout routine, you must watch out for the body strains, pains, and numbness patterns you may experience. You should slow down on an exercise routine by over-exerting your body. 

Aside from this, tracking your heart rate, exhaustion level, and your body's capacity to hit your goals with your new physical activities is also best. You could consult a professional like your training coach or doctor to check your new lifestyle habits.


Improving Cycling Fitness

Here are some of the cyclists' most common routines when trying to improve their power. While they may work for most cyclists, remember to always listen to your body when improving your cycling fitness.

1. Boost Your Weight-to-Power Ratio

One of the most common ways to increase your pedal power is to lose some weight. This way, your body doesn't have to bear that much weight when riding. 

But this doesn't mean you have to be thin! For optimal riding experience, you must maintain the ideal athlete's BMI. So, don't cut fat entirely off your diet, but stick with unsaturated fat.

2. Get Bigger Gears

Most of the time, riding in larger gears at the same cadence results in consistently higher power output. You can put this advice into practice by gradually spending more time in a higher gear throughout a regular ride. 

You can try changing your gearing to 34 x 17 for three minutes, for instance, if you typically ride a nearby three-mile hill in a gear combination of 34 x 19 (this assumes you're using a bike with a 50/34 crank and an 11/28 cassette).

3. Improve Your Protein Intake

Protein is your muscle's best friend when it comes to increasing your pedaling power. Aside from this, it can also help your muscles recover faster from your cycling rides.

Keeping your protein intake around 22g a day is the most ideal. However, your body can't absorb all of these through meat. It's best to drink protein shakes or eat protein bars regularly to ensure optimal protein intake.

4. Practice Going Uphill

Riding uphill is the toughest power challenge for any cyclist. That being said, you should do it more often!

Muscular endurance is the capacity to pedal for an extended amount of time in a reasonably large gear at a moderate cadence. Riding uphill is a wonderful technique to build this. Start with uphill rides with 1,100 feet of ascent, and gradually increase the distance until you can climb 3,100 feet in a single session. 

Sprinting up steep slopes in short, high-intensity bursts is another exercise that can improve power. These sprints ought to go for 50 to 80 seconds. Simply sprint upward, recuperate, and then cycle downhill. In a single session, increase the number of sprint intervals to 11 or 13.

5. Decrease Your Sugar Intake

Sugar can increase your weight which can reduce your power. Aside from this, it can also affect your immunity and endurance, which are all essential for cyclists.

If possible, cut out sweets entirely. But if you have a sweet tooth, it's best to remove refined sugar from your diet and replace it with natural sweeteners such as syrup and honey. 

6. Prepare Yourself Mentally

Increasing your cycling power isn't just about physical fitness; you should also prepare yourself mentally. Sometimes, your endurance is significantly affected by your mindset. Depending on your mindset, you can get tired quickly or go through any trails smoothly.

Whenever you feel exhausted on your ride, try to focus on the environment instead of your ride. While doing this, you should also ensure that your breathing is in tune with your pedaling. 

Your recovery routine is also essential. Make sure your mind and body rest well on every ride. While cycling can get pretty addictive, getting your mind off it every once in a while can alleviate pressure and stress over your cycling routine.

7. Practice Block Cycling 

Last but not least is block training. This involves two or three days of intense exercise followed by an equal period of recovery (days off or very easy workouts). 

Block training is a very efficient approach to speed up the physiological adaptation process and significantly increase your power due to the extreme stress exerted on your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.

For instance, for a five-day training block, you can do a hill ride on Day 1, a sprint ride on Day 2, a cooldown on Day 3, a light recovery ride on Day 4, and another sprint ride on Day 5. For people who have work on weekdays, you can do a terrain or uphill ride on Saturdays, and light leisure rides on Sundays. During the weekdays, it's best to do light workouts. 



Like any other sport, your cycling fitness is essential to ensure efficient and fun rides. While boosting your pedaling power may be your ultimate goal, remember that you can only do such a thing if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet, regular training, and mental preparation are as important as riding techniques.

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