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The science of ageless strength

As we get into the summer riding season, many cyclists drop their strength training to do more of what they want to do (ride their bikes more).

But if we want to improve fitness and to look, feel, move, and ride our best for many years to come, strength training is a nonnegotiable. Below is an excerpt from my second internationally best-selling book, Lift Heavy Sh*t, to explain some of the science behind the reasons we should do strength training year round.

The Science of Ageless Strength: Unpacking the physiological benefits of intelligent strength training and its impact on longevity

The human body is an intricate system, with various interconnected parts working together to sustain life. When looking at how to improve performance or health, these intricate systems boil down to four foundational systems that work together to allow us to be healthy and function well as a human being to create what performance coach Joel Jamieson describes as "biological power" in his book Ultimate MMA Conditioning:

  • Hormonal (endocrine) system

  • Cardiovascular system

  • Neuromuscular system

  • Metabolic system

Should one of these four pillars be neglected or not kept up to par, our fitness and health will begin to suffer. Or, as Joel explains:

"The greater the biological power you are capable of, the higher your level of work capacity will be as a whole and the more training you are able to adapt positively to. The reason for this is because it takes a lot of energy to adapt to the high level of physical and mental stress that your body goes through as a result of training. After each training session, your body must go through the difficult job of repair and recovery of many different tissues. Sugar stores have to be replenished, hormonal levels have to be restored to normal, muscle tissue needs to be repaired, etc."

In essence, the more biological power we are able to produce, the faster we will recover and adapt to a given training stress. However, this is where many masters cyclists go off track with their training programs; they only perform strength training during the winter or base period, leaving their biological power greatly lacking from the neuromuscular standpoint. This lack of regular, consistent training from a strength standpoint has a trickle-down effect on the metabolic and endocrine systems, which slows our recovery and adaptation even more.

It is this very fact (hat most masters cyclists leave strength training to be performed only for a small piece of their training year) that leads to the age slowdown that makes us think, I'm getting older, so getting slower is just part of that process.

The difference between seeing faster times and having the same power feel easier to produce comes almost exclusively from how well we develop each of the four systems to work together.

If you’d like to learn more about these four pillars and how they interplay to help us achieve our best fitness ever, watch the video below on this topic.

If you've dropped off strength training since BaseCamp ended and want to get back into it in an intelligent, careful approach that best serves you and your unique situation, email me at, and we'll get you back on track to your best, strongest, most powerful, and most enjoyable season yet.


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