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Gear testing and the effects of strength training on performance

Monday, April 01, 2013

Hope everyone had a great Easter!

On the run up to the holiday, I scheduled poorly and was only able to get in a short 17 minutes strength training on Saturday, what is supposed to be my heavy day. Happens, poor scheduling on my part and that's my responsibility and on me.

It was a beautiful day, perfect for riding, but I did not get one in. Chose to get some family time in and we went for a hike at my favorite park. The park has a fitness circuit where you walk around and then they have stations you can do things like body curls, push ups, walking with your hands across parallel bars, balance beams, chin-ups/pull ups, etc. We all got to get some in, and it was nice. Entertained in the evening.

That said, on Easter Sunday, the weather was poorer. Light rain, mid 40s, but I picked up the following bag.

Timbuk2 Swig.

I'm a bit of a bag hound, I like slinging gear, and a technical cycling specific bag was a real draw because of my cycling paradigm. I don't view it one dimensionally, as a fitness/recreation activity. I enjoy being able to use the bicycle for transportation, commuting, for errands (grocery shopping/mail runs/etc.) and I had the opportunity to test this bag out. Has a major reflective stripe, a side pocket that slings your mini U-lock, enough straps to hook your keys and whatnot on to it, and a chest strap that secures the load. I wouldn't be lying when I say it was the most comfortable utility bag I've ever rode with. Small and compact, kept my gear inside dry and was well packed enough that the 2 dozen eggs I went out to get were cradled safely. We'll see how it works in a real downpour.

The leg work I've been doing with the weighted squats, lunges, etc. have made a noticeable and substantial difference in my climbing ability. I can push a higher gear up a steeper grade without having to gear down or increase cadence. Good stuff. The upper body work that I have a tendency to pooh-pooh helped with portaging the weighted rig across railroad tracks, and with carrying the boys around on my shoulders while hiking.

Really going to have to endeavor to not take the easy way and keep up a decent strength training load, especially now that the weather is improving and the temptation will be to just ride.

Hope you're all progressing well towards your personal goals!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi Jun,

    Good to hear you are making progress. Sound like you are really making some good strides in leg strength. Take care not to become a pedal masher!

    I am digging my Fat Bike. I took Beasty on some dry trails. This bike rails on snow and is totally radical on dry dirt. Pulls some serious g's on sharp curves.

    Been running too! But you have inspired me to hit the weights. Leg exercises are good, but don't forget the core! (I keep having to remember that the core is what connects the rider to the bike!)

    Keep up the good work and take-in that family time! You are a really lucky guy.

    1789 days ago
  • BILL60
    I think that 20 one-handed push-ups is adequate pay-back for slacking off. Get on down, my brother!!
    1790 days ago
    I too am a bag "junkie" and have a decent bag for all kinds of gear in any adventure. Nothing like having the right equipment! I'll admit, as soon as the weather turns for good, It seems the weight training gets pushed aside and it just doesn't get the same focus. I need to also keep it in the program. So glad the eggs made it home, and you spent some great family time at the park...ahhh...good times and memories made there! Have a great week!
    1791 days ago
    I've been back to strength training for two weeks since the marathon - maybe 5 sessions total - and I'm already noticing a difference in my body. Love, LOVE the ST!
    1791 days ago
    It always amazes me that serious cyclists don't spend more time pushing the weights in the legs. I admit, I am horrible about working my legs, but that said, I am more just trying to work the cardio and while the added work would help with my climbing, I am trying to shed a lot of weight right now that would make climbing easier period. Nice bag though, and time spent with the family is never bad. I wouldn't be too upset with missing out on some of the strength training.
    1791 days ago
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