Lance Armstrong’s Diet and Fitness Workouts

Lance Armstrongs Diet and Fitness WorkoutsLance Armstrong won the Tour de France a record-breaking seven consecutive years, from 1999 to 2005, and is the only cyclist ever to win seven times. What is most inspiring is that he overcame cancer, and then trained to levels that were previously unheard of to attain his amazing physical fitness, and the mental mindset required for long distance road racing.

Armstrong has some great athletic features that give him a competitive edge. He has a VO2 Max aerobic capacity of 83.8 ml/kg/min, which is higher than the average person’s 45. He has a resting heart rate of 32-34 beats per minute (bpm) with a maximum heart rate of 201 bpm. Many people’s resting heartbeat is over 60 bpm.


Armstrong does not just cycle, in 2006 he ran the New York Marathon, finishing in 2h 59m, and then in 2008 he ran the Boston Marathon in 2h 50m, finishing in the top 500.

Lance Armstrong’s Diet

Careful diet is essential, as carrying just 2 extra pounds can cost you a victory, and with such intensive training, good nutrition is essential. Cyclists aim to lose weight before the cycling events to ensure that they are as light as possible, but carry more weight during training to ensure that their muscles are getting enough nutrients to grow.

  • Fish or sushi – lots of good protein.
  • Lots of pasta during the racing season, but less carbs during the training season.

Breakfast:

  • Eggs – two scrambled eggs.
  • Fruit and fruit juice.

Lance Armstrong’s Cycling Workouts

During the height of his cycling career he adopted a 3 month training program based on a 4 week month (assume extra days at the end of each month are rest days). Full details are no longer available.

Lance Armstrong Workout – Month 1

First Week

  • 3 x per-week weight training – hang cleans, box step ups with heavy dumbbells, side lunges carrying heavy disc, dumbbell rows
  • 4 x per-week fix gear riding for 1 1/2-2 hours with 145 HR ceiling
  • 2 x per-week road ride on normal bike for 2-21/2 hours with 145 HR ceiling
  • high pedal speed, 95+ rpms

Second Week

  • 3 x per-week weight training
  • 4 x per-week fix gear riding for 1 1/2-2 hours with 145 HR ceiling
  • 2 x per-week road ride on normal bike for 2-3 hours with 145 HR ceiling
  • high pedal speed, 95+ rpms

Third Week

  • 3 x per-week weight training
  • 4 x per-week fix gear riding for 1 1/2-2 hours with 145 HR ceiling
  • 2 x per-week road ride on normal bike for 3-31/2 hours with 145 HR ceiling
  • high pedal speed, 95+ rpms

Fourth Week

  • 3 x per-week weight training
  • 4 x per-week fix gear riding for 1 1/2-2 hours with 145 HR ceiling
  • 2 x per-week road ride on normal bike for 3 1/2-4 hours with 145 HR
  • ceiling
  • high pedal speed, 95+ rpms with 3 short flat sprints of 8 seconds each
  • full recovery between sprints

Lance Armstrong Workout – Month 2

The training objectives for the second month are to build a solid aerobic foundation to prepare for the endurance requirements, and also to develop strength training to build stronger functional muscles that can work harder and receive increased quantities of oxygen. Training takes Heart Rate to the 145bpm ceiling.

First and Second Weeks

  • 3 x per-week weight training
  • 2 x per-week fix gear riding for 1.5-2 hours with 145 HR ceiling
  • 2 x per-week road ride on regular bike for 3-3.5 hours with 145 HR ceiling
  • High pedal speed, 90+ rpms

Third and Fourth Weeks

  • 3 x per-week weight training
  • 2 x per-week fix gear riding for 1.5-2 hours with 145 HR ceiling
  • 2 x per-week road ride on regular bike for 3-3.5 hours with 4-6 PowerStart’s per-ride
  • Full recovery between efforts

Lance Armstrong Workout – Month 3

First Week

US Postal Service Team Training Camp (details not known).

Remaining Weeks

During the last 3 weeks focus is on building on strength training, with emphasis on CTS STOMP intervals – which is simply hard cycling in a high gear to build functional leg strength and endurance – i.e. putting all the training together in preparation for racing. Training takes Heart Rate to the 150bpm ceiling.

  • 3 x per-week weight training with 1 hour of riding after each workout.
  • 2 x per-week riding for 2-2.5 hours with 150 HR ceiling, with CTS STOMP Intervals.
  • 3 x per-week road ride on normal bike for 3 hours with 150 HR ceiling, high pedal speed, 95+ rpm’s, climbing in the saddle only.
  • 1 x per-week on normal bike for 4 hours with 150 HR ceiling, high pedal speed, 95+ rpm’s, climbing in the saddle only.
  • 1 x per-week rest day. No riding, full rest. Massage, baths, sleep.

References and further reading:

 

 

 

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  6 comments for “Lance Armstrong’s Diet and Fitness Workouts

  1. August 14, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I think Lance’s diet is amazing. He won 7 tour de france and a cancer survivor. If it works for him then it is good. Thanks for posting it here.

  2. ryanbohler
    December 22, 2009 at 3:24 am

    Lance thank you for the writing these books. Im an ex college football player and have been cyling all my life.,You have inspired me to train for cyling, not just heavy weight training.

  3. Elaine
    April 19, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Lance Armstrong why do you not swim? I am presently training for another marathon and not just running this time. This time I am mixing swimming, biking, and running and strength training, as well as meditation, and foot reflexology.

  4. Chris
    November 15, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Truely inspirational. Thats what you call an extreme diet.

  5. Angelo
    April 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I remember seeing Lance for the first time and his tour wins and boy he is very inspiring, he is my idol, love this guy. Thank you Lance, now I’m a cyling enthusiast.

  6. MotleyHealth
    July 23, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Bradley Wiggins wins to Tour de France! Well done Bradley, all of Britain is proud of you.

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