The only gym workout you need to be bike fit

Inspired by the Tour de France? This gym workout by Fitness First personal trainer and former elite cyclist Mathias Witt will make you fitter and stronger for the saddle.

This workout is for people who are starting to use their bike for fitness, who are riding longer distances and planning to enter their first big rides or to go on a cycling holiday.

The exercises here will strengthen you as a rider, targeting not just your legs but your full body, using movements that are relevant to cycling. This workout isn’t focused on developing endurance, but by reducing your resting period (especially between the bodyweight exercises) it will still build on your endurance.

The workout is broken into two sessions which can be done either in succession on the same day, or on separate days if your on-the-bike cycling training is very time consuming and intense.

Exercises A1-A4 should be performed on their own, while the six bodyweight exercises can be done as a circuit, aiming for 3 rounds with little (20-30 sec) rest between exercises, and a minute maximum between rounds to also develop aerobic capacity.

While cycling primarily requires strong legs and glutes, core and upper body strength are essential to varying degrees, depending on the discipline, bike and terrain you ride on. The trick is developing strength without packing extra muscle in the upper body. Having great biceps and shoulders might look good, but they’re also extra bulk you’ll have to carry with you. Talk to your trainer to find the exact weights for you to develop strength without bulking.