Training Basics

New eBook: Strengthening and Stabilization Training for Cyclists

This week, we launch Strengthening and Stabilization Training for the Cyclist, our new 44-page eBook in which my co-author and I clear up the confusion and take the guesswork out of knowing what to do, and how to do it, to implement a strengthening program that will ultimately make you a better cyclist. (Our companion eBook, Stretching and Core Strengthening for the Cyclist, targets effective core-strengthening and stretching exercises specifically geared toward cyclists.) 

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Anti-Aging: How to Slow the Aging Process

People’s health and fitness start to decline irrevocably about age 50, and as they get older their health and fitness decline more rapidly. This is called the geriatric curve ("geriatric" doesn't necessarily mean "old geezer"; in this sense, we're just talking about the process of aging). You can slow down the rate of decline, but you can’t stop it. I’m working on a new eBook tentatively called Anti-Aging about how you can square the geriatric curve. As we age, we lose fitness in five different areas. The book covers the recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine in all five areas:

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How Intensity Helps Repair Effects of Aging on Your Muscle Cells

An interesting new study tested the effects of different training protocols on the cells of younger and older sedentary individuals. The takeaway: High-intensity training produced mitochondrial increases in older participants, but resistance training and lower intensity training did not produce significant changes. Both high-intensity and moderate-intensity training produced similar increases in VO2 max in the older participants. Specificity is important: cycling did not increase leg strength, and resistance training didn’t increase the mitochondrial functioning or VO2 max.

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Year-Round Riding for Greater Fitness and Health

I’m starting an eBook on how to slow down the inevitable aging process and to stay fit as long as possible. I’ve interviewed 10 masters riders ranging in age from 66 to 82. They all share one characteristic – they exercise year-round, primarily riding. No, they don’t live in areas with warm winters! If you want to improve as a cyclist, your #1 resolution should be to exercise consistently. If you want to live a long and healthy life, your #1 resolution should be to exercise consistently. If you want to reduce stress and enjoy life more, your #1 resolution should be to exercise consistently.

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My Favorite Strengthening and Stabilization Exercises, Part 2

Two weeks ago, we launched Strengthening and Stabilization Training for the Cyclist, our new 44-page eBook in which my co-author and I clear up the confusion and take the guesswork out of knowing what to do, and how to do it, to implement a strengthening program that will ultimately make you a better cyclist. One of the great things about the eBook is that you can and should choose your favorite exercises for your personal routine(s). I thought I would share my own personal favorites last week and this week. Last week, I talked about my favorite glutes & lower body exercise, and this week, I'll talk about my favorite upper body exercise.

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My Favorite Strengthening and Stabilization Exercises, Part 1

Last week, we launched Strengthening and Stabilization Training for the Cyclist, our new 44-page eBook in which my co-author and I clear up the confusion and take the guesswork out of knowing what to do, and how to do it, to implement a strengthening program that will ultimately make you a better cyclist. One of the great things about the eBook is that you can and should choose your favorite exercises for your personal routine(s). I thought I would share my own personal favorites today and next week. This week, I'll talk about my favorite glutes & lower body exercise, and next week, I'll talk about my favorite upper body exercise.

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How to Become a Better Cyclist, Part 1: Recreational, Health and Fitness Riders

You want to become a better cyclist? Don't we all? I always strive for improvement. But what does becoming “a better cyclist” mean for you? Do you want to ride more miles than last year? Improve your health and fitness? Have more endurance? Become a better climber? Ride with a faster group on the weekends? Or do you have a more specific goal like finishing your first 100k? Or riding a specific tour? Or climbing Mt. Terrible? Or setting a personal best in your club’s 10-mile time trial? Whatever your goal(s) you want to have more fun, which is definitely part of becoming a better cyclist!

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Three Tips to Make You a Better Cyclist

The March 2017 VeloNews includes an article about Andrew Talansky. Team General Manager Jonathan Vaughters says: “Fundamentally, he’s very perfectionist about every detail. He has to be because he’s not the 95 VO2 max rider. He’s not this massive world-beating physical talent. In the races that he’s won, or has done really well in, he’s been able to optimize every last little detail.” If you’re reading this you’re probably similar to Talansky. You’re not naturally gifted. But, just like Talansky, you, too, can improve by paying attention to the details. Here are three ways:

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Do Miles Matter? Yes and No

Summer is just a couple of weeks away, and roadies in the Northern Hemisphere are understandably excited about riding more! But will racking up more miles this year help you ride better? Yes, and no. Just riding a lot more probably won’t help you to improve as much as you want to improve. While distance is important in some very meaningful ways – it is not the be all and end all for improvement. If you've already got all the benefits in your body that distance has to offer, then you need to add intensity to your riding as well to continue to improve.

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How to Become a Better Cyclist, Part 3: Endurance Riders

Are you an endurance rider who wants to become a better endurance rider? Endurance riders aren’t just century riders! There is no defining distance for what is an endurance ride? An endurance ride is any ride over about an hour at a conversational pace. In these columns I’m describing how Six Success Factors apply to three different kinds of riders: Recreational, Health & Fitness; Performance; and Endurance. You may fit into two or three of these categories. A health and fitness rider who wants to increase your endurance. Or an endurance rider who wants to increase your speed.

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Why Increasing Intensity Is Good for All Roadies

Last week I wrote about the benefits of riding miles at a conversational pace. I also explained that once you’ve built your endurance base in the spring, just riding more miles won’t make you a much better rider. Further, if you’ve been riding for years then just piling on more miles brings little improvement. Every roadie – from health and fitness riders to high performance racers – can benefit from intensity exercise. Intensity exercise doesn’t mean “no pain, no gain." It simply means riding harder than you usually ride.

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