If there's one guy on Jukebox Cycling who truly loves strength training and lifting heavy things, it's track cyclist and gravel racer Ashton Lambie. As he's shifted focus from track to gravel, he's tailored his gym work to meet the needs of riding loooooong miles on the bike. The best gravel racers balance core strength with a blend of lower body work and a smattering of upper body to help their arms deal with the vibrations of the bike. Here, Ashton is leading us through a strength routine that anyone can do. If you have gym access, obviously things like a single leg press will be easier to do, but if you're working out at home, we've included a few easy swaps!
This is a quick once-a-week gym session for any gravel or base season. The focus is generally on posterior chain strength, as well as unilateral leg pressing, and functional core strength. Focus on form, be safe, and have fun!
Take some good time warming up to the deadlift working sets, and think of the first 2 sets as an extended warm up to hit a heavy double at the end.
Single leg press is great to keep on top of imbalances, and increase leg strength for those low cadence bursts. (No gym? Try pistol squats instead)
Seated good mornings and dead bugs are some of my all-time favorite core exercises! With the good mornings, really emphasize the breath as you begin the eccentric phase; fill your stomach up, brace, lower, and push your knees out to come back up. (Tutorial here)
You can use your hand for dead bugs; if it's too easy, add dumbbells, a med ball, or a plate overhead, while dropping it to the side opposite of the leg you're lowering. (Tutorial here.)
The 2 upper body exercises are really full body exercises, and a good bang for your buck to keep the intensity, get some upper body training stimulus, without adding too much fatigue to a likely heaving training week.
If you can't get 6 in a row, either pause and bang out a couple to finish the set, or finish the last few reps by stepping up to the top position, and only do a controlled eccentric lowering. (Here's a great article on Bicycling magazine about perfecting a pull-up)