Friday, January 04, 2008

A One-Trick Pony

I made the decision early last winter to hit the weights as a part of my off-season cycling training. I'd lifted before, primarily upper body stuff, and it had made a big improvement in my swimming ability when I was doing triathlon. I'm not a mesomorph - the kind of guy who can lift a cup of coffee and have his biceps grow two inches. I get stronger very quickly early in a lifting program, but don't gain much mass. So I thought squats, leg extensions, leg curls, step-ups, etc. would benefit my cycling.

I did make lots of cycling improvement last winter, and it seemed that the squats were a good idea at the time; but in retrospect I think almost all of my cycling improvement was aerobic and due primarily to longer winter rides and more riding in general.

This year I've eschewed the weights and used that time to ride hard instead. I've added sprint intervals and some low-cadence work into mid-week workouts to replace the anaerobic work I was doing in the weight room. There is no doubt in my mind that eliminating weights was a good call.

Like Dr. Coggan says, "Specificity, specificity, specificity" and "It's an aerobic sport, damn it!" So if you want to be better at riding your bike, then ride your bike. Ride Lots. Be a one-trick pony.