Hanging in/around gyms for most of my adult life, and as a kid through HS and College, I thought I knew it all when it came to exercise & weight training programs. Most importantly that every exercise program should be "sports" specific..and if you wanted to get stronger and improve in that particular sport...you better be training with sports-specific type exercises. For example, when I was on the Track/Field team at Penn State..most of my exercises (I threw the javelin) in the weight room were designed around isolating particular muscle groups..mainly my throwing arm. However, if you know ANYTHING about throwing the javelin (and I thought I knew a lot at the time) you would know that it's NOT just the arm that is involved in the throwing action- it's the arms, hips, back and legs. In fact, the hips/back/legs combined probably have an equal contribution to the arms in throwing for maximum distance. Did I concentrate on developing these OTHER important MAJOR muscle groups? No. Why? Stupid I guess. Well, maybe not stupid..lets just say "uninformed".
So, what does this example have to do with cycling- you're probably thinking? Well, did you ever think of the muscle groups involved in cycling OTHER than the primary muscles- such as the Quadriceps? How about your hamstrings, glutes, upper/lower back, abdomen muscles? If you're neglecting these OTHER MAJOR muscle groups you're probably not cycling to your fullest potential. (And, you may be even leaving yourself open to injury.) Not only is it important that you develop these OTHER muscles but to develop them TOGETHER..after all, don't you use them all together when cycling? That's what "Functional Exercise" is all about. It's an exercise program designed to involve ALL the muscles involved in a particular activity/sport. Here's a good link from Wikipedia that explains in detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_training
Now, you may be thinking..where do I get more information on "Functional Exercise Training Programs" specific to cycling? Well, my friends, if you live near Doylestown, PA you're lucky because we have a Functional Exercise Studio right around the corner. It's called "Fusion Fitness Studio". The owner/operator/founder/trainer- all around super guy- is Fernando Paredes. I've recently had the opportunity to not only meet Fernando but to be evaluated by him during one session and to workout with him- one-on-one...during another private session. And, let me tell you...it was one helluva TOTAL BODY workout. I could write pages on my positive experience but instead..I'll give you the link to his Fitness Studio and you can read all about it: http://www.fusionfitnessstudio.net/ including testimonials from other athletes. Better yet, if you live local, go up and visit Fernando yourself. His Studio is next to the Roman Delight Restaurant in Fountainville (corner of Rt 313 and Swamp Rd). If you go, tell him I sent you.. you will NOT be disappointed.