Strength training and endurance training are often at odds with each other, but any cyclist can benefit from improvements in functional strength. And what I mean by functional strength is anything that reinforces your position on the bike or helps you better transfer power to the pedals. Some body weight exercises I’d recommend our spiderman push-ups, side planks, and pistol squats. With regards to the spiderman push-ups, we’re trying to reinforce core strength or trunk strength, so basically everything between the hips and the shoulders gain some benefit. And then on top of that we pull the knee up to the elbow which adds an element of hip flexibility to the mix. Pistol squats are basically about cultivating single leg strength and hip stability, and the movement is quite simply a single leg squat where the floating leg is projected out in front of the body and then the supporting leg descends all the way down until your butt is resting on your heel. Then of course you have to come all the way back up without any assistance from that other leg. It’s pretty common for athletes to not be able to perform a complete single leg squat all the way down to the ground so we take this in a more progressive nature just like we do with all forms of training. Initially you might simply squat toward a stack of weight plates on a bench or even onto a chair and then over time you just grow that range as long as it’s safe and manageable. So the side plank position is resting on your elbow and balancing on your feet and then lifting your hips into a floating position simply sustaining it is the basic side plank Another variation that I’m really fond of is holding a weight in the non-supporting hand, reaching under the body and then returning to that extended position again. As far as strength exercises that actually involve weights I prefer deadlifts and planking rows, which are also called renegade rows. The benefits of a deadlift are basically hip strength and posterior chain strength so basically anything along the back side of the body benefits from a properly executed deadlift. The movement is quite simple. It’s a soft bend in the knees and all the movement takes place by hinging at the hips so your back stays in a fixed position throughout the entire lift and basically picking a barbell up off the floor coming into a fully extended position and then returning the barbell to the floor. Planking rows are rows done from a push-up position. So you assume that prone position where you have a dumbbell on one side of the body so one hand supports and one hand pulls. So you try not to break that plank position as you pull your elbow past the body and bring the dumbbell in contact with your abdomen and then return it to the floor. Strength training has to take place on a year-round basis but the type of training you do at different times of year will vary. Primarily you’ll do most of your strength training during the base phase where your training loads are lighter and you can get away with inflicting this sort of stress on your body. Then when you move into the build and specialty phase strength training kind of takes a backseat to the focus on cycling and you move into more of a maintenance phase. When it comes to integrating these strength exercises into your TrainerRoad training plan it’s best to space them out as much as possible. So if you do your TrainerRoad workout in the morning, do your strength training in the evening, and vice versa.