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Train like an Olympian: Put yourself through Jason Kenny’s one-hour strength workout

Joseph Delves
10 Aug 2021

Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny has designed a routine to help build some of the strength necessary to be a champion sprinter

While some cyclists have the luxury of undertaking most of their training on the bike, to get the tyrannosaur-sized legs of a track sprinter you’ll need to hit the weights.

Ahead of the buildup to a delayed Tokyo 2020 campaign that would eventually see him claim a seventh Olympic gold in the men's keirin last weekend, multiple Olympic medallist Jason Kenny ran us through the workout he’s designed to whip himself into shape.

Challenging yet still achievable by less than Olympic standard gym-goers, regardless of your style of riding it’ll help build strength and explosive power.

Obviously you’ll want to adjust the weights involved to match your own ability, start small and work your way up, and get advice where needed. This article is a guide only and should be used as such.

This workout was timed for the launch of Wiggle's online shop stocking the leading gymwear brands. You can see more at: wiggle.com/gym-and-fitness

Stretch and warm-up

Jason warms up with a series of stretches including a cobra pose type stretch to the back and spine, along with a supine twist to further activate the same areas.

Lying on his back, Kenny does a series of leg raises and twists. He follows this up with side planks to get his core muscles ready to work.

Power cleans, 4x3 reps around 110kg

The circuit starts with a series of power cleans. A complicated move, it’s an explosive full-body exercise which works the core, quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

Form and safety are very important. Kenny uses a relatively low weight.

Single leg press, 3x6 reps around 200kg

Strangely, Kenny explains, employing a single leg most people can lift more than half of what they’d be able to with both.

Using each leg individually doesn’t just give you a better workout, it can also be useful for correcting imbalances in power between the two.

Squats, 4x5 reps around 160kg

Squats make a great exercise for cyclists. Building the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, they can be achieved without recourse to gym equipment.

To make this more challenging Kenny holds an additional weight, forcing his legs to work harder.

Trap bar deadlift, 4x3 reps around 200kg

The odd looking trap bar helps users to deadlift with less stress on the spine. Allowing you to step inside of it rather than behind as you would a conventional bar it’s both safer and more effective.

Power cleans, 4x3 reps around 110kg

Another set of power cleans. Identical in weight and reps to the set that began the circuit.

Squats, 4x8 reps around 140kg limited recovery

Kenny rounds out his routine with another set of squats. This time the weight is reduced, although the recovery between each set is also reduced to provide increase that cardio impact of the drill and provide a challenging end to the workout.

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