3

Research suggests that strength training can increase endurance. This should be combined with endurance work for maximum impact

increase maximum strength to a point that the specific load being lifted during repeated actions is less than 40% of the individuals' 1RM. Subsequent training should then focus on maintaining maximal strength levels and improving local muscular endurance in the specific task.

Source

I posted a related question on our sister site for bicycles without a definitive answer, but did receive some helpful suggestions.

What exercises can I do that will allow me to work to about 3 times of the load of bicycling?

7

Your main muscles for cycling are going to be the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal and calf muscles. I would recommend the following exercises for these:

  1. Barbell squat - This is basically king exercise for the lower body. Hits quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. If you have functional impediments that prevent squats, hip sleds and similar machines can be substituted.
  2. Deadlift - Hits the hamstrings, glutes and the erector spinae (Lower back). This will also help with the posture and fatigue that comes with long saddle time.
  3. Calf raises - Do these both standing and seated. Seated emphasizes the soleus muscle, and the standing emphasizes the gastrocnemius (Which is the larger, two headed heart shaped muscle you see when you look at the calf).

Those three exercises are the minimum that I would recommend to hit all the major lower body muscles that are involved with the pedaling motion. There are also smaller, ancillary muscles that are worked with these exercises, but those won't matter as much as they will/should be adequately worked by the cycling itself.

Note - This is not a substitute for regular riding, but intended to address the question raised by the study.

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