Cyclists can gain when they exchange grams for pounds.

The tires on a racing bicycle weigh less than 200 grams. The tires T.J. Sider is rolling up Carnarvon Street weighs almost 300 pounds. The two don’t have much in common. But Byron Dela the fitness manager at Strong Side Conditioning says they should.

Strong Side is one of the community sponsors for the upcoming New West Grand Prix bike race.

At first the connection between a gym where burly men and strong women hoist iron and lithe bike racers who count every gram on their bike and their physiques seems distant at best. The race does go past Strong Side’s front window. But Dela says bike racers could benefit from some time in the weight room.

“What it does do for an athlete is it does round them out a bit more,” Dela says. “It can make them ore resistant to injury, especially when they’re off the bike.”

For most cyclists, training is all about putting miles into their legs. Dela says the human body needs more to maintain a balance.

“We’re generalized creatures, you repeat the same things over and over again,” Dela says. But overdeveloping one muscle group can mean another is neglected. Than can lead to injury.

“Balance makes you much more injury resistant,” Dela says.

Coupled with the cyclist’s unnatural body position when they’re on the bike, they’re a chiropractor or physiotherapist appointment waiting to happen, Dela says.

That’s why cyclists need to work on areas like core strength, or developing their back and neck muscles, to counter the strain that comes from sitting leaned over the bike for hours at a time.

But what about bulk? The last thing a cyclist needs is the added heft that can come from working out regularly.

Staff at Strong Side Conditioning can design off-season workouts specifically geared to cyclists.

Dela says it’s all about building a training regime that emphasizes muscle development rather than getting buff.

“You’ve got to build muscles where you’ve been lacking,” Dela says. “You’re teaching the brain to use muscles differently. You’re being more efficient.”

Dela says the off-season is the perfect time to begin a generalized workout program, then start gearing towards sport-specific exercises as the new riding season approaches.

“When you’re main season ends, that’s the time to get rid of things that have been bothering you,” Dela says.

Strong Side Conditioning is located at 739 Carnarvon St. For the duration of the New West Grand Prix, the climb up Eighth Street is being called Strong Side Hill.

Strong Side will be holding an open house during the race, from 5 – 9 p.m. You can get some free fitness guidance, enjoy refreshments and watch some of the key moves of the race as riders attack at the top of Strong Side Hill.

BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest professional road cycling series and features more than $135,000 in prize money with nine races over ten days. BC Superweek runs from July 7 – 16 this summer and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 7 – 9), New West Grand Prix (July 11), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 12), Giro di Burnaby presented by Appia Development (July 13), PoCo Grand Prix presented by Dominion Lending Centres (July 14), and Steve Nash Fitness World presents Tour de White Rock (July 15 – 16).​

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