Strength Training for the Track

DazzaBT Posts: 37
edited September 2009 in Track
I started track cycling earlier this year and have really gotten 'into' sprinting. Went to my first Sprint SQT last night and really really enjoyed it. I have my own track bike (Dolan Precursa).

Anyway what I want advice on is the correct way to train for sprinting. I've heard about weight training (squats etc), but I don't have time (with 2 small children) to spend hours in the gym and quite frankly I can't really afford it on top of the money spent using the track once a week.

Are there any suggestions for getting the correct type of strength/fitness training that don't involve using the gym?

I need advice on general fitness: rest, nutrition etc and strength training.

Thanks in advance!


  • You don't need a gym !

    Buy a barbell and a few lose weights,Squats can even be done with a couple of heavy dumb bells All packs away when finished.

    Thats what i use for legs, only cost £ 60 for a set ... %3EGYM.htm

    and instead of watching the box spend 30mins doing some squats, lunges.

    Wikipedia 'The exercise's main emphasis is on the quadriceps and the glutes, but it also involves the hamstrings, the calves, and the lower back. The squat is often called "the king of exercises" by those who believe it capable of inducing more and faster muscle growth than any other exercise'
  • DazzaBT
    DazzaBT Posts: 37
    That sounds like a good alternative! But I keep hearing people referring to having a 'spotter' at the gym when they are doing squats - whats a spotter, and why would someone need one?
  • Eddy S
    Eddy S Posts: 1,013
    I don’t use gyms for my sprint training mainly because I don’t have the time (or much inclination for them) but do use dumbells at home for upper bodystrength/ tone.

    You can do most of your strength training on the bike. Road based sessions such as over geared starts, over geared hill reps, seated accelerations are the sorts of things you can incorporate in to your training but it has to be balanced in to your overall programme along with endurance and speed work..

    BTW, spotters are there for safety – imagine getting in to trouble and stuck under the weights when lifting big numbers.
    I’m a sprinter – I warmed up yesterday.
  • Ste_S
    Ste_S Posts: 1,173
    Riding hills seated on a fixed wheel is great for leg strength. You also get some speed work in too coming down the other side spinning like a loon.
  • Grazy81
    Grazy81 Posts: 196
    To be fair there are safer ways to do it than needing a spot and saying that if you do need one the wife would be albe to spot you. Your spot doesn't need to lift the weight completely as you'd be doing the majority of it.

    You can also do a squat one legged which is a challeng in itself and if you are strong enough you can also hold some bumbells to increase the resistance
  • Blonde
    Blonde Posts: 3,188
    Track cyclists, even sprinters, don't lift really massive weights (not like actual weight lifters) as the riders frontal area when on the bike needs to be kept as small as possible to decrease air resistance, but they do power cleans and dead lifts with a bar bell as well as using a leg press machine at Manchester Velodrome. You can use a broom handle to get the technique right to begin with. Remember to warm up first before any resistance exercise. At the recent sprint master class I attended they showed us a good/hard resistance exercise using a broom handle or bar bell, that was quite good even with no weight attached: Hold a broom handle above your head (wide grip) with legs slightly more than shoulder width apart, head up, squat down till thighs are parallel with floor (do not lift your heels off the floor) then rise slowly still with the broom/bar above your head, and keeping your back completely straight (sticking your bum out). You will feel it in your back and legs even with no weight attached. You can also do jumps onto (but not off) a box/step, but must bend knees on landing. No point in jumping off a box/step onto the floor though, as it risks injury from the "bouncing" movement in the knee and it's not replicating any kind of cycling movement.
  • Dgh
    Dgh Posts: 180
    Weight training can be a waste of time if you don't do it properly - most people don't. To be most effective, it needs to be very hard, very short, and infrequent. Just doing multiple sets of multiple reps without thinking what you're doing and why is a waste of time.

    Squants without a spotter can be problematical, as it probably won;t be safe to lift the sort of weight that would making weight training worthwhile. But you could do lunges, or step-ups.