Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Weight/Resistance Training

Ok, I lied.  I said I wasn't going to give you Weight Training exercises on this coaches blog and that you should get them off the internet.  There are a bunch of em so what I'll do is give you what I believe are the best. The best part is- you can do them at home with just a few pieces of equipment.

Remember, what I'm suggesting here are just a few of my favorite exercises that are cycling specific that you can do at home.  After all, there is a ton of articles on the internet on Weight/Resistance Training specifically for Cyclists.  Plus, there's a good book from VeloPress by Ken Doyle and Eric Schmitz, "Weight Training for Cyclists", 2nd ed. 

The first thing you want to do is go to your local Sporting Goods store and buy three pieces of equipment: 1) Adjustable dumbbells ranging from 5-50 lbs (buy 2).  Shop around because they range in price from $150-$500.  I bought mine years ago from Walmart.  Here they are: http://www.bigdesign.com/webfolio/smartfitweights/products/hornetnest.htm   2) Swiss Ball or Stability Ball.  Buy one to fit your size.  Big guy, big ball.  3) Resistance Bands. I like GoFit.Nets resistance bands. http://www.gofit.net/pro-gym.php   In fact, if you want a great kit buy the Pro Gym in a Bag.  It comes with everything you'll need including an instructional DVD.  The best part is that you can throw it in a suitcase when you travel away from home- which I do a lot.

Ok, now that you got your stuff..what's next?  Lets start with the dumbbells.  No, you're not going to be doing bicep curls with the dumbbells and training to look like Popeye.  (Although some of you might want to do some upper body exercises with them so your wife or gf doesn't have to take the trash out for you..I'm not kidding.)  The dumbbells will be used during squats and lunges to develop your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes.  The Swiss Ball (or Stability Ball) will be used to develop your core which includes the abs and the lower back.  It's also good for stretching.  The Resistance Bands (aka Power Bands, Thera-Bands, etc.) will be used to work the smaller abductor/adductor (inner thigh) muscles as well as the glutes and hamstrings.  Additionally, the resistance bands are great for stretching muscles..especially sore/tired muscles.

Here are my favorite cycling specific exercises w/ the equipment you just bought.  I've included a link to a U-Tube video on how to do the exercise correctly.  Lets start with my favorite dumbbell exercises working the legs:
a. Side Lunge- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUX6Pz8vV0s&feature=channel  Hold one dumbbell in front of you when you do them rather than holding dumbbells to your side.
b. Forward/Front Lunge- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2n58m2i4jg&playnext=1&list=PLCCF8057781504D11&index=24
c. Rear Lunge- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK-O_aS3GdY&feature=channel 
d. Calf Raiseshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwLzBJYoWlI&feature=channel
e. Single-leg Squat- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlTojfaAXBo  Instead of the Smith Machine you're going to use your dumbbells.  Start with low weight because you will have problems with balance at first.

Here are two of my favorite Resistance Band exercises working the legs:
a. Abductor/Adductor- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvnR8CDb4BU  Abductor exercise shown.  Just put your ankle strap on and tie the other end to the bottom of the couch, door or some other heavy object.  To work the Adductor, just turn around.
b. Hamstring Curl- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygy6sipH-BM  Sorry guys, no good looking girl on this demo..ha

Lastly, here are a couple Swiss Ball (aka Stability Ball) exercises to work the abs and lower back:
a. Core- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOv2TDLv8wU 

These exercises will get you started.  Now, here's some workout tips:
1. Lift on opposite days that you ride/spin.  I like M-W-F because I spin/ride on T-Th and the weekend.
2. Start out with 3 sets of 10-12 reps of each exercise (for each leg) using relatively light weight.  Later on in the year, you can (and want to) reduce the reps and increase the weight. 
3. Plan your workout for one hour.  I don't workout any more than an hour.  You can get a lot done in an hour working the legs and the core.  Any more is not necessary.
4. Rest no more than 90-180s between sets.  That's enough recovery time.
5. I like to work my legs independently.  Not only does it better mimic the cycling movement, it will identify any leg strength imbalance.  You'll notice that one leg may be stronger than the other for different exercises.
6. Pay attention to form when you're doing the exercises.  You want to isolate the muscle you're working on.
7. Don't put any unnecessary strain on your back when lifting dumbbells.  Maintain strict form.  The last thing you want to do is hurt your back...or your knees.
8. If you feel any knee pain when doing the leg exercises..STOP immediately.  Resume another day.  Don't try to exercise through the pain.
9. Work the larger leg muscles first. i.e quads and the smaller ones last. i.e abductor/adductor.
10. Have FUN!

Power ON! Coach Rob

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