Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Time to get back in the gym!

For some of you, the gym is about as foreign as an ice skating rink.  (Well, at least for me an ice skating rink is foreign)  For me,  the gym has been a part of my life since I was in 8th grade- playing sports.  Regardless of which camp you're currently in/from...if you're a cyclist, you can only benefit from spending time in a gym- especially this time of year.  If you don't already know, I'm a HUGE advocate of weight/resistance training for cyclists.  It's not that I believe that resistance training will necessarily make you a stronger/faster cyclist..but what I do believe is that it will make you a healthier cyclist.

BTW, I do think that weight/resistance training can make you a stronger cyclist...especially if you're getting up there in years like me (the over 50 crowd).  Research has shown that most people lose at least 1% muscle mass per year after the age of 40- that is, if you lead a relatively sedentary life.  There is new medical evidence that seems to indicate that if cycling is the only athletic activity in your life, you might be wasting the foundation of your body and turning into a broken hip waiting to happen.

A recent study published in an issue of Osteoporosis International reports severe bone loss in 27 male racers ages 40 to 60 who'd trained an average of 12.2 hours a week for 20 years. At an average age of 51.2 (when a typical man has no bone loss at all) the cyclists' average hip and bone densities were 10 percent lower than those of a control group of moderately active, non-cycling men of similar age.

"Clinically, 10 percent thinning is significant-not good-almost frightening," says the study's author, Jeanne Nichols, Ph.D., a San Diego State University professor of exercise and nutrition. "Ten percent bone loss today will lead to a much higher than normal fracture risk with age." Translation: The debilitating bone fractures normal men become susceptible to in their 70s and 8Os may happen to these superfit guys in the next few years.
If/when you do get back into the gym, why not take your smart phone with you.  Not only should you have some (upbeat) downloaded songs (on your phone) to help you get through some hard workouts, you should have your workouts downloaded as well.  If you have a Crackberry, like me, there is a cool FREE App called GymTechnik that keeps track of your exercises/workouts.  Check it out online: http://www.gymtechnik.com/  I haven't downloaded it yet, but I will.  I'm hoping I can track my body weight, FTP, workouts, etc.
If you want some advice on weight/resistance training workouts for cyclists..send me an email: mullerrj@gmail.com  There ARE specific workouts for cylists that will not only develop your legs but will also help develop your core.  But, you have to do them correctly or you may end up hurting yourself. 
Power ON!  Coach Rob

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