It’s common to associate strength training with power-based sports (such as rugby, football, or even track sprint cycling), but the link between endurance cycling and strength development is perhaps counterintuitive.
But, in fact, the list of benefits to the endurance rider from strength training is a long one. Read this post for a deeper dive, but briefly, it includes reductions in injury rates (especially in chronic overuse injuries), improvements in efficiency & coordination and higher power outputs regardless of the duration you ride for.
With this in mind, I started Fast Fit Strong, whilst still working at British Cycling, with the intention of helping as many riders as possible, but I very quickly realised that coaching people face-to-face severely limited the number of cyclists I could see.
One of the primary challenges of offering strength training in-person is the difficulty of scheduling sessions. Another challenge is that there is a limit to the amount of time I have available to offer.
Enter the pandemic…
The Covid-19 pandemic, which affected so many areas of our lives, had a huge impact on the fitness and coaching industry. Trainers and coaches like myself were suddenly forced to take their training programs online, drastically altering the way we communicated with our clients and ran our sessions/classes.
And for their part, clients were now forced to give online training a try.
For me, it was the catalyst that I needed to take my training programs fully digital. Taking my training programs online has allowed me to reach many more cyclists outside of my usual geographical area and open up the benefits of strength training to a much more diverse group.
The Benefits of Virtual Training
The obvious advantage that taking my training programs online has provided is the ability to reach a much wider group of cyclists. It no longer matters whether they are located near me or far away – they can now experience the same benefits of strength training as those who take my program in person.
But beyond the geographical, there are a number of other advantages of taking my strength training programs to the virtual environment.
Flexibility and Convenience
The inherent flexibility of online coaching makes it much easier for cyclists to fit strength training into their already-hectic schedules. I have seen an increase in attendance and engagement with my programs due to the flexibility of being able to do the sessions at times that suit your schedule.
More of What You Need
Not being tied to a particular location at particular times allows me to prescribe whatever sessions you need, regardless of their content and duration.
If you are paying for in-person coaching, there is an intrinsic expectation that the sessions must be a certain amount of time and a certain level of difficulty to make them feel worthwhile.
Not so with online sessions. Now I can program 10-minute mobility sessions, hydrotherapy-based recovery sessions and 20-minute pre-competition primers that would otherwise be impractical when done face-to-face.
This has allowed me to have much more meaningful and personalised interactions with each and every client and pushed my programming forward in ways that I would not have been able to do in person.
The cost-efficiency of online training cannot be overstated. By cutting out the time involved with travelling to and from the physical location, along with the ability to be able to reach riders all over the world, I can now offer my training programs at a fraction of the cost of in-person coaching.
This has been especially helpful in reaching cyclists who are on a budget or are unsure about whether strength training will be helpful to them. My Cyclist’s Edge program is only £22 per month.
To be frank, I’ve also found that it’s easier for some people to quit, without the worry of offending me like they think they could when cancelling in person (although, thankfully that’s still reasonably rare!!).
What Programs Do I Offer?
All of my online programs are delivered via an easy-to-use phone app called TrainHeroic.
This app allows me to prescribe the variety of programs that I do and it allows you to follow the written and video descriptions of each exercise, which means you know you’re doing them safely and effectively.
You can message me directly for my feedback, not to mention logging your results and seeing your improvements over time.
Through TrainHeroic I offer three different types of training, which are Programs, Teams and Bespoke.
My strength training programs are designed for those who prefer a straightforward approach.
A good example of this is my Base plan.
My plans boost strength, power, and endurance, helping you ride better. Once you pay the one-time fee, you get access for 12 months and can use the program as often as you want.
- Pros – Training programs offer a one-off fee with no regular commitment. If you have some gym training experience and know the basics and have an understanding of what you want to achieve, these could be the option for you.
- Cons – The plans are pre-written and may not be appropriate for your circumstances. Make sure the plan fits your needs, you have access to the correct equipment before you take this option. If you are unsure, feel free to book a consultation with me and I’ll give you an honest appraisal of whether one of my Programs is right for you.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, if you’re looking to optimise your training and reach your full potential, then my team subscriptions are designed with you in mind.
I update each program on a weekly basis, tailoring the plan to the cycling season and ensuring that you never under or over-train, meaning that they are a flexible and affordable solution.
I offer two options. Team OBS provides all a cyclist needs, including a cycling plan. Sessions progress according to the stage of season and consider early/late pre-season, in-season training and peaking blocks. The strength training complements the type of cycling applicable to that time of year. Recovery weeks are included to prevent overtraining and burnout.
However, if you have a coach or your own cycling plan, Cyclist’s Edge + provides off-bike training without on-bike work.
- Pros – Both my training plans are low-cost options that are designed specifically for cyclists who are interested in long-term development, rather than a quick fix! Programming is updated on your phone weekly and is available to you seven days in advance, so you can plan your training schedule.
- Cons – There aren’t many to be fair, these plans are great value!! If you have specific requirements, such as previous injuries which prevent you from doing certain movements, then you may need some bespoke programming, but I’ve written these plans with alternatives for most exercises so that they are a great fit for most riders!
Bespoke programs are the elite athlete experience and are written specifically for you, taking into account your specific goals, past experience, injury history, and whatever equipment you have available. I’ll make sure to tailor the program to fit your individual needs so that you can get the most out of it.
If you already have a cycling coach, I’m happy to work with them to form a collaborative support team. Otherwise, I’ll create a tailored plan just for you.
How Do I Get Started?
Getting started is as easy as 1-2-3…
- Choose your plan – Decide whether you need regular programming, an individualised approach or a fixed-length plan.
- Sign up and download the app – Once you’ve found the right plan, simply subscribe via whichever payment method you prefer.
- Programs – you’ll gain access straight away.
- Teams – I’ll personally add you to your team.
- Bespoke Coaching – We’ll need to arrange a consultation to discuss your individual needs. Once this is done, I’ll write your program.
- Start Improving – Say goodbye to pesky injuries and get ready to ride harder, longer, and with more confidence than ever before.
Virtual strength training has allowed me to reach a much wider group of cyclists, offering them the same benefits of strength training as those who take my program in person.
The flexibility and convenience of online coaching make it much easier for cyclists to fit strength training into their already-hectic schedules, while the cost-efficiency allows me to offer my training programs at a fraction of the cost of in-person coaching.
My training programs are tailored to fit the individual needs of each cyclist, so they can get the most out of it, so if you’re looking to optimise your training and reach your full potential, I’d highly recommend giving one of my virtual strength training plans a try.
To find out more or sign up for a program, please feel free to contact me.