5 Essential Gym Exercises For Weedy Road Cyclists

– This might be the only
gym video on YouTube that’s not about getting buff,
ripped, shredded and hench. Instead, it’s about getting stronger. Hopefully. (smooth music) (energetic techno music) – Cyclists are not renowned as being a particularly
muscled and buff crowd, even if you wouldn’t get that impression from the two you see before you now. There is a good reason for cyclists to have such slender upper
bodies, and that is because arms don’t really make you go any faster. In fact, these rippling, bulging biceps would just be slowing Ollie down. – Yeah, that’s why I’m so slow. – Exactly. However, there are times where even we have to
admit that being weedy is something of a
hindrance even on the bike, and you can also get
strong without adding bulk. – One thousand and one, one thousand and two. So, coming up are five essential exercises that will hopefully make
you stronger on the bike. Instructing us today is Carl
Constanza of Stanza Fitness. Carl understands the needs of cyclists, as before he became a fitness coach, Carl raced as a top level
downhill mountain biker, racing nationally and abroad. We’ll give you example repetitions, and sets for each
exercise, but before we do, it’s important to stress that to provide maximum
benefit and avoid injury, the key thing is correct technique, and getting the movement right. Only go up in load or weight when you can perform an exercise
confidently and correctly. (smooth music) – First of all, what we’re going to do is start off with a Bulgarian split squat. – Okay. – The reason we’re going to
do that is it’s good exercise. It works your legs unilaterally, and also is good for your
balance and stability. What I would like you to do is step out into the
middle of the platform. – Yep. – Put one leg up onto
the box, or the bench, raise your left arm up
into the air, lock it out. – Okay. – Then, travel down, keeping
your weight on the heel, and the middle of your foot,
and then drive straight up. Lovely.
– Okay. How’s that? – That’s not bad. Let’s get five reps. – Five?
– Yeah, five. – What’s that dumbbell, like 20 kilos? – I’m pretty sure it’s one. – Okay. – Good, one more. Excellent, and rest. Lovely. Okay? Not bad. Good?
– Yeah. Oh, it’s five. It’s five kilos. (smooth music) – So, the next exercise is a step up, and what that’s predominately
working is your quads, your hamstrings, and your glutes. So, what I’d like you to do is if you’d just take
yourself in front of the box. There we go. Okay. Put your leg up onto the
box, your leading leg. That’s correct. Lean into it ever so slightly
to load up your front leg, keep your chest up, and
then drive off the center to the the heel of your foot. Okay, touch your foot down, which will help with your balance, tip forwards ever so slightly
to load up the front leg, and then slowly down. Okay, if you’d go slower,
it’ll help with your stability. Just falling down into it as well will jar the right leg that’s coming down, so lean into it, put
the weight on the heel, and the middle of your
foot, pick your chest up, which will also help
give you a neutral spine. Okay, and then drive up off the front leg. That’s better. Touch the right leg down. Again, keep the chest up,
slowly down, find the floor. That’s better, much better control. Lean into it, load up. Good, and then slowly back down. Excellent. (smooth music) Next exercise we’re going to do
is going to be a dumbbell row. This is predominately
working your upper body. We’re going to be aiming for your lats, also it’s going to work
part of your biceps, and then also your core,
which is from there to there, all the way around 360. – Okay. – What I need you to do is
you’re just going to take up a parallel stance with the bench. – Yep. – Hinge forward, put your
hand down, pick your chest up, and maintain a neutral spine. So, if you could just
do that for me first. – All right. – Once you’re in this
position, that’s correct, what you want to do is pick your chest up. That will then allow you to
get a nice neutral spine, okay? You don’t want to have a
curvature in your back, so if you then hold your chest up, and then now what you want to do is put a slight bend in your
knees, drop down a little bit. That’s right. Then, holding on to the dumbbell, what you’ll do is grab
the dumbbell for me, have it slightly out in front of you, and then lead with your
elbow up to your hip. So, five reps for me. Good, slowly down, not too fast. Excellent. If you sort of sat down quite
a lot in sedentary positions, whether that’s for a job, or even when you’re sitting
down a lot with cycling, there’s not any kind of resistance there. So, by doing this, it’s
creating resistance, which will then build up
muscles in those areas, but it’s only as good as how
good you’re doing the exercise. You want to do it with
efficient movement patterns, and perfect execution. And rest. Cool, good. (smooth music) Next exercise. So, we’re going to do an inverted row, which is predominately
working your upper body, your back and also your grip strength. So, what I would like you to
do is go underneath the bar with your feet facing out
this way, slowly down. Watch your head. So, what you need to aim for
is bringing your body down, and your chest in line with the bar. Okay? Hold on to the bar, shoulder width apart, and you can look for the
smooth part and the rough part, and that typically will be
where the rough part is. The grip that I want you to
do is reverse grip, okay? So, that’s it. Just underhand, underhand. Good, okay. Now, we want to go vertically up, so pull your chest directly
up towards the bar, and then look to squeeze your
shoulder blades together. Good, very nice. Go slowly down, that’s
it, and then back up. Three. Four. Good, one more. Excellent, good, and
then rest on the bottom. So, when you’re doing it, it’s important to come down
nice and steadily as well, because then the muscle is under tension. If you come down too quickly, the muscle isn’t under
tension for long enough, so just up, nice and explosively, and then slowly on the way down. All right? (energetic music) Next exercise is going
to be the walking lunges. What we’ll do is we’ll use a kettlebell, unilaterally on one side of your body, just to challenge your
stability and balance. The areas this is working is your glutes, your hamstrings and your quads. – Okay. – Then, also your core as well, as you’ve got the kettlebell, which is going to be offset for stability. – Okay. – Lovely. So, kettlebell just up to the top, keep your elbow up, and the
kettlebell close to your body. That’s correct. Chest up as always with
the other exercises, and then steadily forwards. That’s good. Excellent. One more step. Then, just change arms, and to make it a bit
more difficult for you, ’cause you look like
you’ve got control of that, what I want you to do is opposed to going
foot together, like so, I just want you to step into
the next step, all right? So, you just go straight forward like so. That’s it, and then straight
up into the next one. You can still move fairly slowly with it, so you’ve got control. That’s right, and big drive
up off that front leg, nice and explosive. Good, one more. I think that was probably cheating. (chuckling) – So, there you have it. Five essential exercises
to help weedy cyclists become slightly less weedy, and improve that strength on the bike. – Thanks, Carl.
– Absolutely, yeah. Not a problem at all. Definitely those exercises will help with your performance on the bike, and also, hopefully avoid injury. – If you found this video
useful, and you’ve enjoyed it, then please give it a thumbs up, and for more cycling fitness content, you can click on my guns. (laughing)


  1. Do you pump iron to help you ride faster? Which exercises do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below 🏋️‍♂️

  2. Enjoyed the video, simple, easy to execute exercises and I feel like I may finally have the confidence to supplement my riding with some gym workouts.

  3. I noticed Si came in some sort of running shoe. Did Ollie forget his at home as those are causal looking adidas?

  4. Hilarious

  5. Genuinely is that vest from gym lost property?

  6. Thinking a dumbbell press is for ur arms🤣 true cyclists

  7. Unsubscribed


  8. Thought that was cotton hanging off the bottom of ollys shorts, turns out it’s his legs

  9. I thought your knee wasn't supposed to go in front of your toe when squatting.

  10. No wonder Ollie prefers electric bike all the time. He needs to build some 💪

  11. Anyone else noticed that Ollie has tan lines from wearing long cycling socks😂

  12. Kettlebells exercises such as the swing, clean, snatch, Turkish get ups are great exercises for transferring across to the bike.

  13. Body shape is a result of adaptation to a certain activity. If you ride like 50 km every day and climb like crazy, there is no chance in hell you will be bulky.

    Well, of course there are always exceptions…like a certain Mr. Sagan

    P.S. Dumbel rowing is ok but for cyclists rowing machine would be better, rest of the exercises are spot on

  14. Okay serious question… Did Si do ballet when he was younger? The position his hand took under stress at 2:41 looked strikingly similar to that that of a ballet dancer doing barre work…

  15. If you did burpees as Warm-up you would add some upperbody pushing so the workout would be more rounded.

    Just my 2 Cents.

  16. Really useful video! Thanks a lot :-))

  17. I've never seen Ollie look as serious as when he was doing those pull ups 🙂

  18. whoa, si looks super tall… low ceiling?

  19. Great video! this "muscles on cyclists are bad" diatribe needs to die. The name of the game is recomp. Replace fat with muscle and you're the same weight. Resistance exercises strengthen our bones so we age more gracefully. Also, there is evidence that our bodies adapt to cardio very quickly and there is only a finite amount of cardio you can do. Muscle is metabolically expensive, the more you have, the more calories you need to maintain. Love the suggested exercises! Unilateral exercises are wonderful for fixing imbalances, I think most of us have one stronger leg. Traditionally, rollers are used to address this but I'd rather not :p Compound exercises build your core. Stronger arms and core crate stability on the bike and help you spend more time in the saddle.

  20. So proud of Ollie for wearing proper socks in the gym.

  21. Perfect heading into the off-season. More like this!

  22. "Tilt forward ever so slightly". Ollie bends in half. "Now come down slowly". Ollie drops down faster than Froomey pedalling whilst sitting on the top tube.

  23. Si! Not telling anybody what to shave or not but… not shaving the axels but the legs is like icing without cake. 🙂

  24. I would like to see another video but concentrating only on upper body and stomach/core. Thanks

  25. Please advise on these exercises for seniors (age 60-80+ years)

  26. The first two were way too advanced for newbies, I'd advise starting much simpler with lunges and lower step ups, single leg half squats and calf raises. Where was the core routine, absolutely critical to cyclists?

  27. Lol gas vid…. 👍

  28. Maybe I don’t love cycling 🚴🏼 after all. Can’t sacrifice my muscles 💪 for this discipline. Love hate relationship.

  29. Deadlifts FTW. Works that entire posterior chain (that is weak is nearly all cyclists).

  30. …I will only say that GCN should have opted to use "stunt doubles" with a bit of actual upper body mass instead of Ollie and Si… Would have kept me from looking for the eye bleach…

  31. if upper body strength doesnt make you faster, then why are track racers such absolute units?

  32. Mwah. This is a waist of time.

  33. Thanks for the tips.
    Would've been great to see a similar video about gym exercises which can improve cycling performance.

  34. Holy crap. Ollie looks like caption America before he goes through the transformation. "Skinny Steve"!

  35. Leg day, all day everyday

  36. @simon Richards , I must say ,this is more like the content I expected when I clicked on it this time. Nice one.

  37. A video on running for cyclists? And NOW a video on… pumping iron? It's almost as if GCN is interested in us viewers getting fit!

  38. Warming up core excersices
    1. Plank 3×40 sec
    2. Hoover+side steps 3×40 sec
    3. Plate woodchoppers 4×15 each side
    4. Reverse woodchoppers 4×15 each side

    1. back squats and/or front squats
    2. Deadlift and/or sumo deadlifts
    3. Kettlebell swings
    4. Barbell hang clean and press
    5. Walking lunges
    6. Bent over row
    7. Barbell push press
    All excersices 3×8 rest 1 minute.

    This is one of the many examples I can give. Little bit of advanced excersices but with all these explosive excersices you gain so much strength (no bulk).

  39. C’mon Olly. Mismatched socks?

  40. If I was a tinpot dictator I'd make split squats a form of torture in my prison camps. My prisoners would all have quads of steel but they'd tell me anything I wanted to know.

  41. So why is Ollie wearing two different socks?

  42. being buff on a bike has its advantages… the added air resistance created from deploying ones rippling biceps as air brakes when hurtling down a steep hill ensures the speed limit is observed at all times officer

  43. So Instead of paying a gym membership I just need some dumbbells and a kettle bell and I can do this at home 👍

  44. More of this. I love the sytrical feel of this video

  45. Should have said “carol understanza’s the need of cyclists”

  46. Steep hills are great cases for upper body strength. If you can resist the sideways wagging caused by your monster torque, you'll be more efficient, last longer, win glories, marry models etc etc.

  47. Não entendi nem uma palavraais gostei do vídeo

  48. And here was me thinking my 10 mile a day cycle commute would save me from going to the gym…… 🙁

  49. 🤣😂😆

  50. The trainer looks like Dan Lloyd

  51. exercises while incarcerated ,no equipment, gym membership etc required. Marking time (marching in one spot) Soccer kicks (stationary) Telemarking (stationary)

  52. 0:42 Those guns! Those perfectly sculpted tan lines! Amazing!

  53. Would have liked to see some KB swings or deadlifts instead of the walking lunges.

  54. love it very educational

  55. more like this please🙌🏻

  56. Thanks guys! Great video demonstrating how to teach your grandmother how to lift weights! 😂😉

  57. Prefer running, interval training on hills and stretch exercises; not a fan of weights or gym. Good video though.

  58. Amazing video fellas! Thanks

  59. Those Arms!LOL!!!!

  60. I have very good stamina and it helps in the gym. I'm ready for my next set in like 10 seconds… plus I can take in more air on big pushes than most people can, maximizing my power more. Good stamina helps strengthen be more effective and sustainable.

  61. The presenters sitting in a restaurant drinking beer and talking about an upcoming grand tour = dream job. But after watching this video, I'm not so sure if I should apply for a job at GCN….

  62. I decided to go to gym , that cooool

  63. Excellent GCN! Please more of this kind of videos! Which help us cyclist be better

  64. Every day is leg day! That's all the gym advice you need.

  65. Just do high bar squat, front squat, box jumps if you want to be a faster cyclist. If all you want is that. No bullshit. Gonna look weird though with larger quads and skinny everything else

  66. I can just imagine the producer coming into the studio a few weeks ago and asking everybody to take off their shirt, then picking the two with the skinniest arms and saying, "OK, Si and Ollie, here's a video we want you to do. Oh yeah, and this is Carlo."

  67. Please extend the gym exercises into a series

  68. Olllies gym shoes look knackered

  69. Deadlift is the best exercise for cycling should have been in this

  70. I was like: "Hey, that's me !", But I guess weedy doesn't mean what initially thought

  71. Ollie rocking the Adidas Samba nicely in the gym there!

  72. reaches for huge kettle bell, cuts to Si holding tiny kettle bell. perfection

  73. Not a bad choice of exercises. Common people or amateur riders (even professional) shouldn't be afraid to gain some muscles and it doesn't matter whether you use some equipment or just bodyweight exercises. You get better posture, you are not so prone to injuries, in case of a fall the body is firmer so you might not break something, etc. Lots of benefits, not a single disadvantage.

  74. Perfect, erm, sock length.

  75. Hehe spaghetti guys…still comical though!

    I wonder if anybody actually compared decently strong gym goers with their usual exercises, doing some kind of bike race/test, with bike riders training in a gym their exercises…would normal guys beat bike guys in terms of power, speed etc on a fixed length race and various conditions, when we exclude pure endurance due to bike race length? So, short events, like 30 minutes max.
    Like, who would be better at 1000m climb of 10%, or 100m flat sprint etc…

  76. Other gym users were clearly intimidated by Si and Ollie's physiques and stature, and chose to stay away, well away. What other plausible explanation could there be?

  77. Control the weight guys – don’t let the weight control you.

  78. I'd recommend all those serious about their weight lifting/training to check out Jeff Cavaliere and his Athlean-X ; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe0TLA0EsQbE-MjuHXevj2A

  79. Within 24 hours of Dan 'modelling' the GCN pink under vest this video is released. Coincidence or not?

  80. 30 day challenge with this — ACCEPTED, thanks GCN

  81. And here I thought I was skinny,GEEZ

  82. Guys, thank you for this video, I finally feel buff!
    …and I'm a quite slender female XD
    …this also probably explains why I'm not that fast on the bike 😀

  83. You need to add in RDL for proper hamstring development

  84. nice wifi password

  85. @GCN I get this video might have been done for promotional purposes but it adds the variety we are all screaming for.
    Keep it up. Don't be afraid to do things that don't involve them on their bikes as long as its related to road cycling. Cheers.

  86. I do mainly weighted calisthenics such as pull-ups, push ups, squats etc.

  87. I didn't know Ollie had such skinny arms. I always thought he was a much beefier lad given his looks and frame. Of course, the most ripped GCN presenter or should I say ex-presenter IMHO, was Matt Stephens. Matt is well toned and has good muscle definition. I really miss his laughter.

  88. That Simon! What a muss of mascles!

  89. Three best reasons to lift: 1) at the age of 40, you lose 1% of muscle mass a year. Need to stay ahead of that by adding muscle . 2) weight training adds mass to your bones as well, so it helps with regard to preventing injury 3) muscles burn calories. Fat doesn't.

  90. Awesome to have Si back doing serious videos!! Love ya mate!! 😍🤪🤗

  91. Si: is your name Calvin Klein?
    Ollie: no, why?
    So: Cause it’s written all over your underwear….

  92. 2:21 – left arm?

  93. Ollie's poker face makes me chuckle =)))))

  94. As an older guy my cycling has definitely benefitted from regular core, cardio and upper body strength gym routines. Nice video, keep it up guys and let’s see regular updates on your progress 😁👍🏻

  95. Weak training. Benchpress, Squat,Deadlift, Military press and rowing + some small accesories.

  96. crazy:))0

  97. Really great workout..practise it for some years…good for wattage bazooka

  98. Stanza’s a Bristol beye innem

  99. The plank. That exercise is excellent for core fitness. 6 reps of 45 seconds. Form over time.

  100. In Down Under we say noodles arms. Thumbs up for you guys.

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