How quickly you can cycle on a bike depends on your cardiovascular endurance, as well as the strength and power in your legs. The force produced by your leg muscles, specifically your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, drive the pedals and thus make the wheels on your bike move faster. Improving your average cycling speed can be accomplished by incorporating weight training and plyometrics into your workout regimen.
Complete a weight training and plyometric workout twice per week, with at least 72 hours of rest in between each session.
Complete weight training and plyometric exercises that develop the lower body muscles involved in cycling. Do weight training exercises such as squats, lunges, step-ups and deadlifts. Perform plyometric exercises such as squat jumps, box jumps, cone hops and depth jumps.
Superset the weight training with the plyometric exercises during each session. Complete a set of squats. Perform a set of squat jumps. Alternate between the two exercises until all of the assigned sets are completed. Do superset lunges with box jumps, step-ups with cone hops and deadlifts with depth jumps. Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise, except for deadlifts, which should be completed at three sets of six repetitions.
Choose weights that are appropriate for each exercise. Use dumbbells so that each weight-training exercise overloads your muscles to stimulate development. You should be struggling to finish the final three repetitions in each set. Use only your body weight while completing the plyometric exercises. As your power improves, add dumbbells to squat jumps and step-ups.
Incorporate a bike ride with hills once per week. Ride at an incline to help transfer the strength and power that you built during the weight training and plyometric workouts to your bike rides.
Get adequate rest. Take at least one day off from training per week. Perform cycle workouts on flat surfaces when not riding hills.
Complete weight training exercises at a slow and controlled pace, focusing primarily on achieving the full range of motion. Perform plyometric exercises explosively, in order to increase the power in your legs. On squat jumps, lower down into the squat position slowly, then come up as explosively as possible so that you leave the floor and achieve your maximum height.
Do not complete the weight training and plyometric workout more than twice per week in an attempt to maximize results; allow your muscles to heal and adapt during this recovery period. Adjust the workout schedule so that it doesn’t interfere with your biking workouts. Stop the workout a couple days in advance if you’re planning an upcoming intense or long ride.