How to train for more power

Pro cycling team Novo Nordisk offers us tips on training to gain more power

Get more power from your training

A combination of training elements can boost your overall power, as the crew from Team Novo Nordisk will testify…


1. Power points

“Be specific about where you want to gain power,” says Team Novo Nordisk rider David Lozano.

“For example, in a sprint or on a climb. I’m always looking for ways to gain power on climbs, so I typically do a low cadence (50-55rpm) ride with the big gear up a climb and push myself around Zone 3 [75-82 percent of max heart rate].”

2. Big build

“Mountain training with uphill intervals, recovery rides and speed training contribute to greater power output,” says Novo Nordisk general manager Vassili Davidenko.

The key to many power-focused sessions is riding in bigger gears. Even on steady rides, introduce power training by increasing gearing for sessions within that ride — shift to a bigger gear for one section then next ride do it again, for longer.

3. Max power

On gradual slopes slow down to a virtual stop, select a big gear then push at your maximum power for 10 seconds.

Repeat after a couple of minutes of steady pedalling with a view to fitting six to eight 10-second power intervals into your ride. It’ll improve your sprint power.

4. Gear change

“Maintaining a high cadence in the saddle — up to 100rpm — as you raise your gearing ratio in small increments will make your power training especially effective,” says Lozano.

Set aside tempo sessions to do this and, if you can, look to do Block Training — focused tough sessions over two/three consecutive days followed by as many recovery days.

5. Jump off

Even off the bike you can contribute to power building sessions by doing exercises that engage the power muscles in your legs and the fast-twitch fibres in your glutes, hips and hamstrings.

“Warm up, then do plyometric drills including squat jumps and box jumps. Get advice from a coach if needed,” says Davidenko.


Thanks to Novo Nordisk — the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team.