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Sirens and Titans Fitness founder Jacques DeVore and accomplished endurance athlete and fitness writer Roy Wallack are the authors of a fascinating new book entitled Maximum Overload for Cyclists. While this book may be geared toward cyclists, the lessons and tips shared can be applied by anyone looking to improve their athletic performance.
DeVore and Wallack explain that weight lifting is so valuable for endurance athletes because they seek to add muscle size or recruit muscle that they already have. For cyclists especially, it is important to maintain a small size, so lower reps at a heavy weight will help to increase power.
The importance of the mini set is also discussed. This involves doing fewer reps in each set, yet the body is exerting close to its maximum with each rep. By doing this, the body recruits more and more muscle power to accommodate the max jumps, which leads to bigger overloads and more time training at maximum power. DeVore and Wallack also warn against skipping the self-assessment. It’s important to establish a starting point to avoid injury.
Many cyclists are concerned about managing their body weight. One way to do this is by adding more lean body muscle, because you will burn more calories throughout the day. The efficiency of the muscle is also important to consider, as the increase of power could be more than the increase in body weight. Athletes don’t realize how much of their muscle is really being used, as there is quite a bit of inactive muscle that can help take the load off of other muscles.