How to Increase Power Output in Your Legs for Longer Bike Rides
Cycling has always been a fun and exciting sport for many the adrenaline rush and euphoria you get from cycling at maximum speed and power is second to none.
However, the truth is, training to improve your sprint and power output for longer bicycle rides is challenging as your body tries to break through a new plateau and get to the next level. While having consistency in your training routine is important, the training method you perform is also critical to your success as a recreational or professional cyclist.
In this article, we will look at the top 6 ways to help you increase power output in your legs and thrive on longer bicycle rides:
Post Talking Points
3 minute read
- Energy Drinks
- The Caffeine Alternative
- Bodyweight Exercises
- Uphill Rides
1: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
The first type of training to incorporate into your program is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Plenty of research done over the past 5 years has indicated that HIIT can help to increase your power output as well as boost considerably longer rides.
The idea behind HIIT is that you alternate between short periods of high-intensity and low-intensity. During the periods of high-intensity (45 seconds to 1 minute), push yourself to your athletic limits with a quick burst of energy, while during the periods of low-intensity (1 minute), catch your breath by cycling at a moderate pace. Build up to 15-20 sprint intervals in a single workout.
These power bursts are a great way to increase your leg strength and muscular endurance. As always, begin by warming up before proceeding to the vigorous demands of HIIT.
2: Consume Energy Drinks
Drinking an energy drink with carbs instead of just mineral water from the beginning of your long ride may help to preserve your muscle tissue glycogen stores by 50% in the very first hour alone. This has been proven by a survey released in the Journal of Medication & Scientific research in Sports & Physical exercise.
Also, certain high-quality energy drinks may also help to delay the onset of muscular fatigue, giving you a longer-lasting workout at consistent energy levels to help improve athletic performance.
3: Consume Caffeine as an Alternative
If you dislike an energy drink with carbs, you can go with caffeine as an alternative.
Caffeine will make you more energetic and alert as research has shown that the intake of caffeine can enhance endurance and anaerobic capabilities during a workout and can be useful for athletes. If you are also looking to lose weight, studies have also shown that caffeine intake can increase your body’s metabolism and aid in weight loss.
So, get yourself some black coffee before getting on the bike!
4: Ensure Right Positioning on The Bike
You will be able to pedal more efficiently by positioning the bar, cleats, and saddle properly as the correct posture and optimal position can help boost power and efficiency.
Once you have your bike set up correctly, invest some time daily to gradually bolster your range of motion so you can adapt to a variety of positions and have improved mobility. Other activities such as yoga or dynamic stretching can also help to enhance your joint mobility.
5: Perform Bodyweight Exercises
Utilise bodyweight training to build strength, endurance, and power. Another benefit of bodyweight exercises is you can do it at home or in the gym. To increase power output in cycling, we will focus on bodyweight exercises that target the legs, core, and arms (training the arms also assist in riding longer).
Perform each exercise in a circuit 30 seconds continuously. After you complete a circuit, rest 1-2 minutes before going again. Repeat this circuit for 8-10 times.
6: Ride Uphill
Lastly, riding uphill is a great way to increase muscular endurance and power as you pedal at a moderate cadence for an extended period.
One of the effective ways to skyrocket your power output is to progressively overload climbing distance. For instance, start by doing hilly rides with 800 feet of climbing and slowly add distance until you can complete 2,500 feet of climbing in one go.
One of the best measures of athletic performance is power output during exercise. The more bike power you have, the faster you can ride over a given distance.
So, go ahead and implement the tips above and you will experience gradual progression over time.
Over to You
Let us know in the comments below your thoughts the ways to increase power outputs in your legs?