Core and upper body strength are as important as lower body strength for cycling especially for endurance and multi-day cycling events. Without good core strength, you will suffer.

As a cyclist, I know the legs are the major source of power during a ride, but I also know that the muscles in the core are the foundation that holds all of this together. Wkithout a strong core foundation holding everything togetehr the rest of your body will suffer, especially on longer rides.

Building upper body strength will help you suffer less. Strength training exercises on your arms and shoulders will help support your head and upper body. You will also find it will help when you hit the longer/steeper hills where you are pulling on the bars to get the power down. I find I start to suffer in the neck and shoulders after 60 miles. This drops to around 30 miles when my fitness levels drop.

So with building my core and upper body strength in mind I’ve have decided to hit the gym again, there are a few reasons for this,

  1. I have been ill over Christmas and ate and drank too much due to not training. Dam you manflu!
  2. My core and upper body strength are not as strong as I would like it to be. Generally, I find my shoulders give out and cause me issues on longer endurance rides.
  3. TWWB 2020 is fast approaching I need to get my training plan sorted now rather than later.

I joined Holbrook Health Club as I have been a member previously and I am working towards getting my core and upper body strength where I need them to help me sit in the saddle for the long hours I need to get myself ready for 2020. It’s not going to be easy but the training will pay off.

I am taking the approach for TWWB 2020 the same as I did back for TWWB 2013. Train and train and then train some more. Also, somehow I need to lose around 3lbs of extra weight I gained over the festive period, not sure where its hiding on the 6ft 4″ lanky frame!?

Please note I am NOT a qualified trainer or coach but use a workout that suits me and one I find that works. I always change and adapt my train plans as and when I need to and also try and make my workouts “fun” as there is no point in not enjoying a trip to the gym.

The workout plan below was put together by Nathan at Holbrook Health Club.

Warm Up

Cross Trainer / Bikebring heart rate up slowly5 minutes


EquipmentLevel / WeightTempoProgram
CrosstrainerRepeat as many times as possibleIntervalsSprint for 10 seconds
Rest for 20 seconds
Make sure heart rate is around 130bpm
Leg Press80kg increase as required5 sets of 5


EquipmentLevel / WeightReps x Sets
Press ups6 x 3
Scapula Press5
Floor Angel6
Lat pull down90kg8 x 3
Hanging Knee rise30 second hold
4 reps 3 second holding
leg one out at a time
Curl to press extension75kg5 x 3

Core Exercise

ExerciseReps X SetsEquipment
Dead Bug Pullover5 x 3 hold for 3 seconds5kg dumbell

Cool down

Cross Trainer / Bikebring heart down5 minutes