There are specific exercises that cyclists perform but that require a high knowledge of the basis. One of these exercise is the training for increasing strength that all modern athletes perform regularly during their training week.

Following closely Davide Martinelli we noticed an interesting detail that is also visible in this video. The Quick Step athlete in fact performs the specific exercise dividing it into 2 parts, a first part standing and a second sitting.

Is there a correct way to do these exercises?

“It depends on the type of work we are doing. Personally I do the repetitions of 40-20 (40 “of effort followed by 20” rest) where in the first part I’m standing, this because when I start the exercise I have to start from a state of absolute rest and push up to 95% of the maximal effort. By relaunching the seated action I would arrive at the required wattage intensity in much longer time and this would mean that I would not take full advantage of the 40 “session.

In summary: “I perform the exercise on a 5-6% climb. As speed is very low I stand on the pedals, then in the second part I sit down and use the muscles that push me uphill

There is no fixed rule to carry out the exercise, what matter is its effectiveness. “A lot depends on the characteristics of the cyclist. There are those who do not get up almost never and those who do 30 “raise and 10” sitting. It all depends on personal characteristics and how you can make the gesture “.

It is a high level physical practice so it is important to have the right concentration.

“If you’re out of shape you do not have to do it … forget it. We are talking about a workout that requires a great psychophysical commitment and everything must be aligned in the best possible way “.

The last test done with Sport Plus Health has calculated your threshold power in 420 watts. How many watts do you reach when train on pyramid intervals?
“Starting from 420 watt I have to reach higher values such as 500 or 550 watt. The average watts for all the training should be 420 watt because we have to train for 40″ then rest for 20″.

A very important parameter to take care of is that the training program must be calibrated on the current physical condition (this is why David performs a test every 20 days with Sport Plus Health ).

“For example in June, I ran in the Italian Championship, I reach my top condition as I did some jobs even at 550 watts for 40″. Instead in January and February I stopped at 480 – 500. When I resumed in December I reached 450. In practice there are 100 watts of difference“.

What are the best moments to train in this way?

“First of all, you did not have to work hard the day before the 40-20 session. In the first day of work, doublets or triplets are usually programmed when the leg is still full. Or they should be included in a day where a regular cross-country 5-hour saddle job is planned. If you do the work of strength, the next day you should not do explosive work, because the muscle remains poisoned“.

As anticipated also the psychological aspect is important. “You must be mentally charged. You make 3 sets of 8-10′ depending on the condition. When looking for the maximum 10′, instead if it is from maintenance or looking for condition 8 minutes “.

Important to keep in mind these statements by Martinelli:

“When you do the first sprint, you seem to feel good. For 3-4 minutes everything is ok and you feel strong. After 4 minutes you start to struggle a lot and finally the 8 to 10′ phase is very tiring”.

In order to better manage this important phase of qualitative work, experience plays a considerable role. “Sensations are fundamental. To work well, you must know yourself. For example, in a day when you are not at the top I suggest to reduce the intensity of 20-30 watt and complete the program with the preset minutes. A matter of details but being able to train in the best way produces a difference that may seem minimal, but in reality, in terms of results, it is so great “.

Finally, a fundamental concept that many should keep in mind.

“You have to take care on how you train. It takes 5 days to recover from an important training session. Be careful not to exaggerate in the days before the goal. An extra workout can reduce performance. In the last week, before an important appointment, you can only do damage, better to rest with a full discharge “.