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Cycling Tip: Vary Your Workout with Cross Training
Robert Panzera

The best way to improve in a specific sport is to practice the sport—this is the idea of specificity. Cross training involves training the same elements you would in your chosen sport, but through non-sport-related activities. For example, in cycling you’re mainly training your leg muscles and aerobic capacity. Cross training can help improve strength, cardio, power, endurance and overall cycling fitness.

Improve your cycling fitness with these cross-training exercises:

Swimming – This low-impact activity can help build aerobic fitness
Lunges/Squats – These non-weight-bearing exercises can help build overall leg strength

Hiking – Build both thigh strength and aerobic fitness with easy hiking up hills

Crunches and Leg Raises – These core exercises improve power transfer

Pushups – Add these to your routine to build arm endurance for long days in the saddle

Implementing these exercises in your training a few times a week can help you focus on one aspect of your cycling fitness and give your mind and body a short break from cycling. Cross training should not take up more than 10 to 20% of your cycling time during the week, and should be done in the early stages of training for a target event. As the target event nears, decrease cross training.

Robert Panzera is a Level 2 USA Cycling Coach and owner and operator of Cycling San Diego (CCSD). CCSD is designed to provide a venue of warm weather training miles in the off-season for serious touring and elite racing cyclists. For more information about Robert Panzera and CCSD, visit or contact him at

This tip was originally published in the Adventure Travel Group (ATG) monthly newsletter. For more information on ATG, visit or contact
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