At first glance a weight room has little to do with cycling. After all, aren’t I supposed to be skinny with an arms that can hardly hold a toddler with quads twice the size of a human head? The answer to that question is yes. However there is no way my quads are going to get that big without getting under a stack of steel plates.
This is the time for logging miles and miles. Those seemingly endless long slow rides build the foundation for the speed I’ll need to win at the line. These are the miles that really count. More than the intervals that leave you dizzy and wondering if that last gel you choked down will come back up. But the weight room is the over looked part of the slow season.
I had a great coach at the time I quit climbing and returned to cycling, he kicked me out of the weight room. I have the type of body that loves to stack on the weight (sadly both fat and muscle) and since I needed to cut some pounds I had to leave. It’s been over a year since I spent time in a room filled with the olympic bars, rubber floors and heavy disks. Last week I returned.
The weight room isn’t as therapeutic as a long ride. The duration isn’t long enough and the breaks are multitude. One can get lost in the moment while squatting, but after the prescribed number of reps you’re sitting and waiting for the next set to start.
Still the weight room is where I first learned that hard work and dedication do pay off. It’s where I first learned to suffer hard as I tried to pull through a circuit of squats chased with a sprints on a rower, or 10x dead lifts followed by 25 box jumps. The strength I need now is different, but getting under that stack of plates is still important. And at a point where I’m not riding as much as I would like I need it to maintain some kind of equilibrium.