Posts tagged fitness

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Winter Training Exercises

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If you’re like me, you hate to see the warm weather go. Cold temperatures force us back to the trainers or Indoor Spinning classes from great rides like Moab’s Slick rock, the Alpine Loop, and endurance races like Ranatad, Lotoja, and Salt to Saint. Consequently, this can be a good opportunity to focus on the fundamentals of cycling for both the road bike and the mountain bike. Winter is also the perfect time to rejuvenate your body with a periodization schedule.

At the end of the season I go back to a base building period that involves keeping my heart rate in an aerobic zone. I do this for 2 ½ months then I add strength zone which takes heart rate up about 10%. This is followed by adding in intervals at 92% Heart Rate (HR). This base building has many rewards including fully recovering from the stresses of intense exercise and competition, and gaining a larger cardiovascular base. Many athletes believe that the path to increasing fitness, power, and speed is to keep a high intensity or volume of training without interruption. Although it is easy to feel that any break in this kind of training will result in setback, the truth is that the real gains in fitness and strength come in the rest and regeneration periods between hard workouts or training cycles.

You’ll enjoy these other numerous benefits from aerobic training:
Increased fat metabolism: the body prefers fat for fuel at this rate.
Better performance: improves VO2 max (oxygen use during exercise).
Stronger immune system: increases number of macrophage and T-cells (our fighter cells).
Increased resistance to fatigue: The more effective the heart is as a pump, the better it efficiently provides more oxygen to the body.
Lower risk of heart disease.
Increased general stamina: We build more capillaries thereby creating less work for the heart over time for the same cardiac output.

I suggest finding a good spinning instructor who knows how to train for endurance, strength, and competition. I train my students at the Orem Fitness Center. We have just started our Periodization program so we’ll be more fit; ready to compete and enjoy staying with the pack on group rides and centuries. Come indoors and spend some time training with me until you can get reacquainted with your good friend, the road bike. I have taught Spinning for over 8 years. I do endurance races and triathlons for Fezzari Bicycles. Let’s build a stronger body together. Here is a good aerobic workout that I tried out in my class for you who prefer the trainers.

 

Objective: increase leg strength in aerobic zone
10 min. warm-up
3 min. small hill climb (elevate HR to 75% or level 5)
2 min. mod. Hill climb ( HR to 80% or level 6)
1 min. heavy hill climb ( maintain HR. focus on relaxation and breathing)
1 min. on flat road. Repeat

 

Rolling Hills: In the saddle
Add gear every 20 sec. 3 gears ( try and hold same cadence) off 3 gears
Add gear every 15 sec. 4 gears ( know your limits) off 4 gears
Add gear every 10 sec. 5 gears (put your ego aside and slow cadence) off 5 ( I take 30 sec. In between each set to recover)

Add gear every 30 sec. 6 gears ( last gear out of saddle for 15 sec.) off 5
Add gear every 20 sec. 5 gears (last gear out of saddle for 15 sec.) off 4
Add gear every 15 sec. 4 gears (last gear out of saddle for 15 sec.) off 3
Add gear every 10 sec. 3 gears (stay seated) off 3
(take 1-2 min. to recover)

 

Flat road. Cadence 100 rpm. Add 3 gears without slowing cadence. Hold for 30 sec. Slow down to about 80rpm. Add 3 gears w/o slowing down. Hold for 20 sec.

Slow down to 60 rpm. Add 3 gears w/o slowing down. Hold for 10 sec. Recover 1 min. Repeat.

Finish off with light resistance – hold for 2 min. then add tempo bursts until HR leaves zone (maybe 10-20 sec.) slow down and wait for HR drop.
Repeat. See how many you can do in 5 min.
Cool Down 10 min. Easy pedal.

 

For information about Orem Fitness Center Spinning classes: visit http://rec.orem.org

Written by: Audra Jeske

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Fitness: Pilates – The Silver Bullet for Cyclists

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All of us have heard the name “Pilates” from celebrity fitness gurus and sub-urban moms, but you may be wondering, what is Pilates, and how can it make you better at cycling?

What Is Pilates?

Pilates is a fitness and strengthening system developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. The system focuses on building strength and flexibility mainly in the abdomen, chest, arms, back and buttocks, which typically are the weakest muscles on a road or mountain bikers physique.

Pilates Guide Marguerite Ogle made this observation while watching the Tour de France.

“As with most sports, in bicycling there are common pitfalls like repetitive stress on certain muscle groups and the accompanying uneven development of the musculature.”
In other words, we as cyclists tend to have highly-developed legs, but frequently without the same sort of muscular conditioning of the upper body.

In order to strengthen the commonly underdeveloped muscles try these three Pilates exercises:

Front Support/Plank Exercise: Works Arms, Core, Butt and Legs.

Position your body on all fours with either your hands flat on the floor or your upper body resting on your forearms. Pull your tummy in and straighten your legs one at a time so your body creates a straight line. Be conscious that you do not sag through your shoulder blades or hips. If your arms are straight, keep your elbows soft; not locked. Hold for two sets of five slow breaths. Increase the number of breaths as you gain in strength.

Pilates Push Up: Works Arms, Core, butt and Legs.

Assume regular push-up position with hands shoulder width, arms and feet directly behind you. While keeping your head and spine in-line, lift one leg up off the ground eight inches.

Do 6-10 push-ups or until failure in this tripod position while tightening core to your hold leg steady off the ground, and rest on knees for 30-60 seconds. Again while tightening core and keeping feet the same distance apart, lift leg off ground and complete your set with 6-10 push-ups or until failure.

Pilates Swimming: Works Lower Back, Butt, Core and Shoulders.

Lie flat on stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you, with legs outstretched behind you.

Before you begin squeeze inner thighs and heels together. When ready, tighten core and flex butt, slowly lifting chest off mat with arms extended away from you and about 6 inches off ground in a superman position. Without straining lower back, lift legs off the mat. Begin alternating arms and legs up and down in an even rhythm of swimming. Think of elongating your body and stretching your arms as far away as possible, pointing hands and feet. Make sure not to rock your core back and forth, keep as steady as possible on the ground while keeping tension out of neck.

Swim for 24 beats or six full breaths to complete one set.

If Swimming strains back or muscles to much try the modified swimming movement. Get on all fours and with the same idea, switch arms and legs in an alternating rhythm, stretching one arm and leg at a time. Make sure to not drop hips or arch back, engage abdominal to maintain tightened back angle. Swim for 24 beats to complete one set.

Athletes of all sports recognize the importance of cross training, more importantly weak-point training. Pilates being a program that is tailored to cyclists, should be utilized by all who wish to take their fitness to the next level.  Be sure to check out the Top 5 Weight Lifting Exercises for Cyclists for additional cross training tips.

Also, If you are looking to improve your fitness further, Take a look at the Cycling Computers we offer for accurate exercise tracking and statistics.

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