America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pectoral muscles do not propel you forward on a bike

Even so, I'm fighting a war against blubber and lately the enemy has taken positions in the hills of Mantitania. I must flatten those bastards, so I've been doing push-ups, about 4 times a week. I started out with 20 and that was hard. Yesterday, I managed to do a solid 40. Not too shabby.. there was a time when I could do 100 push ups without stopping. Hard to believe, but true. I resolve to harden my upper body this winter primarily with free weights, and this might involve renewing my membership at Bally Total Fitness. What sucks is that the nearest facility is in North Providence. They do have a spin class that's usually very well attended.. and racquetball courts in the East Providence location. Renewing at Bally's for me is about $100 a year- short money. I've also been considering doing the indoor soccer thing again- join a team and play once a week like I did a few winters ago. My ankle sprain of 2006 seems to have healed up because I had no pain down there after last week's MRC race. If I can jump barriers, I should be able to kick a ball again..
I'm registered for Northhampton Saturday only in the 35+ 1/2/3. There are 81 pre-registered in my field and I plan to improve on last weekend's 51st place out of 57 starters at MRC Cyclocross. I don't know what's worse- getting lapped or being at the very bottom of the finishers, but I guess being given credit for "finishing" even when you're one lap down, is pretty cool. I saw that a few guys DNF'ed so there's always something worse than being lapped or DFL.
I was about 5 minutes into my commute this morning and a rider on the bike path passed me head-on. He said "Hi Murat" but my eyes were so glazed from the cold that I couldn't make out who it was or his uniform and it was too cold to stop. I wonder who that was..


gewilli said...

oh yeah... get a massive upper body, that's gonna help your cycling power to weight ratio ;)


see you tomorrow

Murat Altinbasak said...

Where do I say "massive"?
Silly willie, I said "harden" my upper body, not bulk up. Maybe Nega Coach will offer a variation of spinning class and do us a "swing class". We bring our own sledgehammer and car tires and go to town with some kick ass music blasting. That's sure to give us six pack abs.. Or arrested.

solobreak said...

The title of this post was the worst piece of advice you ever got from your old coach.

Workout in the gym to your heart's content in the winter. It will not hurt your cycling, it can only help. At your age, you are not going to gain weight from strength training and general structural fitness work (unless you using 'roids or HGH).

Some routines are better than others though. A sports-based gym will generally offer better advice than a beach-body gym will. Sledgehammers, body weight exercises like pushups, dips, pullups, core work on the floor, workouts with your feet on the floor (as opposed to lying on a machine)are all good things to do if you're designing your own program.

Four times/week is fine but two times is probably enough to accomplish your goals. The other two times would probably be better spent playing soccer or doing something else aerobic.

All of these things will make you a better athlete, and help you maintain or reduce your body fat over the winter. That WILL make you faster on the bike. It will also help you maintain good posture on the bike next year.

Telling a cyclist to avoid strength training might be appropriate advice for a junior who wishes to become a champion climber, but for someone in your position it's bad advice.