I’d like to just share my experience as a general biker. I attend some races, but don’t live to race. I enjoy XC and all-mountain riding on my Giant Anthem SX. I’ve had the bike a year now and it feels super still (old bike was a Kona Cinder Cone). This January, my family and I joined a gym. It wasn’t riding weather yet, and I drank a lot of beer it appears, so something had to be done. My workout consists of swimming, core, upper body, stationary bike (long grinds) and recently we started working our legs.
I am no health enthusiast or professional, but my biking skills have improved dramatically with the addition of additional exercises. I’ve been amazed at how much faster I am early in the season and how much lower my heart rate is at the top of long hill climbs. I have a long way to go, but at 40, I’m enjoying my bike even more and can’t wait for sunny weather and beers at the top!
This is to encourage others to try new methods to get even better.
Gym work outs are a great way to supplement your training and improve your overall fitness. My problem is I hate going to the gym. However I have recently discovered a new training method that really works. I bought my wife a pedal assist electric bike. Holy crap am I getting a workout trying to keep up with her. It’s a fat bike too so I can chase her year round on the road or trails. I was a little leary about having an electric mountain bike in my garage. Up till now I was always on the ” hell no – I don’t want no stinkin’ E-bikes on my trails” -side of the fence. We live in a very mountainous area and all our singletrack trails have lots of climbing and the wife doesn’t get out as much as me because of all the time she spends with her stupid horse. ( I’d like to keep those things off my local trails). Anyway she was getting frustrated with all the climbing and not being able to keep up. Turns out the e-bike is a win win situation for us. She is enjoying riding again ( positively giddy when she blows by me in level 4 assist mode) and I get a better work out. The bike does way less damage to the trails than I do on my full susser, at least the way she rides it. And maybe she’ll spend less time on the stupid horse which really does a number on the trails. I guess you can tell I’m not a horse person. Not saying this is a great idea for everyone but if you actually like spending time with your significant other and she is intimidated by all the climbing and staying home because of it, well maybe it’s not the worst idea.
weight training is fantastic, especially lower body. dead lifts, squats, leg press, lunges, and planks to name a few will help you drive faster/harder and with better rhythm. the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn = less negative side effects from said top-of-hill brew
I completely agree! I realized this winter that I had to start hitting the gym again. Went out for my first ride of the season today and was climbing in harder gears than normal, powered through tough sections I normally can’t clear, and wasn’t gassed at the top of those long climbs! It’s crazy how much of a difference working out can make in your riding. Keep up the good work!
Improved physical condition always helps and just with riding faster. Tech skills also waver when your body (and mind) is struggling so being in better physical shape also helps you pick a better line, balance an obstacle better, land a drop cleaner, etc.
I go to the gym to play racquetball. When I increase my frequency of one sport, I always do better in the other sport. When I start to slack off with either, I feel it, almost immediately.
My problem is on the eating side. While most of the time I eat (relatively) healthy, I just enjoy a little too much of the wrong food, a bit too often.
Instead of hitting the gym or putting on winter weight, fatbiking all winter has improved my leg strength and balance, which should pay dividends when I get the skinny out – and I am pleasantly surprised that instead of getting a bit sick of biking the same trails year-round, it has made me even more excited for spring. Happy trails…
“My problem is on the eating side. While most of the time I eat (relatively) healthy, I just enjoy a little too much of the wrong food, a bit too often.”
Ditto. I made an excel sheet to track my weight loss goal progress… I noticed after every weekend I am at least two pounds heavier again. I started at 240 and got down to 234 in just two weeks by eating right and better portion control but damn it if I didn’t eat 100 tacos on my birthday and shot back up to 240 again.
On the weight training front I have started to do non weighted squats and lunges( the lunges are killing me) but I have not been able to ride lately to see any results. Its only been about a month now so its probably a little early to see any real results anyway.
what are everyone’s favorite lower body workouts? (I always hated leg workouts even when I was an avid gym rat in my early 20’s.)