(make sure you watch in HD 720p for the good audio)
Core and upper body strength is fundamental for cyclist. Don’t argue. Done properly, core and upper body conditioning will not bulk you up, but will make your overall body system stronger as a bike racer. Example: when your body is exhausted, your strong upper body will not drain precious energy away from your legs. If your arms and core give out in the middle of a long climb or TT, then your legs will suffer. A body is a whole. Not parts. And, most importantly, injury prevention is the name of the game.
A lot of my knowledge/inspiration comes from Mark Twight’s website (thanks Adrian…): gymjones.com. Twight is an athletic elitist. You kinda have to be if you’re gunna be the best. Read his “knowledge” section and prepare to get more savage.
This is a typical core workout I do Monday, Wednesday and Friday, which are my rest days where I also ride easy 1-3hours. On Tuesday and Thursday I fly to the velodrome for track specific workouts usually consisting of team pursuit technique and high power efforts (flying 500s, standing start 1ks, etc). Saturday is a filler day. If I feel good then I’ll bang out a 3-4hour ride. If I’m wrecked then: DO NOTHING. Every Sunday the team either does a 6hour-ish endurance ride, or a short ride in the morning consisting of maximum intensity up 20-25% graded climbs each lasting 20sec-1min—full recovery in-between every hill—followed by an easy 3-4hour ride in the afternoon.
For this core workout I repeat the circuit 4x and allow complete recovery in-between each set to permit my body to be able to perform maximally—with good technique—for the next set. If you think this CORE workout looks hard, well, so did I when I first started. We all start somewhere, so set your expectations high and make the necessary individual steps to get there. All limits are self-constructed belief patterns. Destroy them viciously.
After I’m all warmed up from a bike ride, I usually take 1-1.5 hours to do 4 circuits of:
-15-20 Inverted half-burpees
-10 Happy-Clappy push-ups
-1-3min Handstand held until fatigue (aka can’t hold anymore, just don’t fall on yer noggin’!)
-20-30 Yoga ball arches (push up with your butt, not your hands/shoulders)
-5-10—as many I can until fatigue—Headstand leg lifts (NOTE: most of your weight should be in yer shoulders and arms, NOT your neck.)
-Then, plenty of gumby stretches to make sure your body is loosy goosy.
-I recommend playing absurdly loud music the whole time for extra motivating power juice energy in the air.
P.S. Speaking of… If you’re curious ‘bout what kids listen to these days, then listen to the song on the Hard-CORE video. It’s a track by the English group, 16 bit. The song’s genre is loosely labeled dubstep. But 16 bit—as well as a bunch of other producers—have recently taken dubstep to a whole new not-yet-label-able level combining grime (English rap) with hardcore, with heavy electro, with distorted punk/industrial, with the nastiest beats you could ever conceive. If you don’t understand this music, well, you’re just not living in THE FUTURE!!!
More on music in posts to come…