Strength Training Without Additional Body Mass – 2

I often hear that cyclists skip strength training because they are afraid they will gain additional body weight. In this series I will try to explain how cyclists can strength train without gaining extra body weight. You can read the rest of this series here:
1. Why additional body weight should be avoided
2. Nutritional tips to avoid hypertrophy
3. Training tips to avoid hypertrophy
4. Tips about strength training

2. Nutritional tips to avoid hypertrophy

It takes time to build big muscles. Before a muscle would start to grow it needs regular training sessions and plenty of the right calories served at the right time. The keyword is consistency.

You will need more calories than normal because building is muscles not essential for your body to survive. Thus, if you don’t get enough calories, your muscles will not begin to grow.

When a muscle increases its square diameter we call it hypertrophy. Nutrition plays a big role for hypertrophy and therefore I have included a nutritional article in the series about how to avoid additional body mass. Elite cyclists and other serious riders should normally try to avoid hypertrophy since it slows them down on the hills.

So what should you change when you start strength training?
Nothing! The biggest mistake is actually to make big changes when you start to strength train. (I suppose that you already eat a healthy diet with the proper amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fat, whole grains, vitamins etc. If not, change your diet immediately! )

Avoid hidden calories
Avoid those hidden calories in juice and soft drinks. These calories accumulate and don’t provide value to your diet, but they provide simple fuel which makes it easier for your muscles to grow. You should also avoid products like cake, candy, ice cream etc. Ok, you are a serious athlete I know, so sorry for reminding you about so obvious things…

Focus on quality food
Thus, if you stick to your current diet, you will have enough fuel to train hard and recover from the training. You don’t need extra proteins, protein bars, amino acid supplements or anything like this. Save your money – Instead spend them on quality food.

Remember that your strength training focuses on a small volume. Thus, there will only be a slightly degree of extra protein degradation. If you eat a healthy diet there will already be enough proteins ready for your recovery period. I will talk more about protein degradation in the next part of this series.

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