A mate messaged me saying he’s struggling for motivation to ride in crap weather, so he’s going to join the gym and do I have any pointers.
Well I sure do.
While, as you may know, I’m a big advocate of riding in any and ALL conditions…the winter can be a good time to either join the gym, or increase your gym hours.
Well, here’s some simple tips to follow when you are putting together a programme for yourself :
1. Have a plan
Make sure you have a set-by-set plan with what exercises you are doing, how many reps and sets and how much rest etc. You don’t want to go in the gym wandering aimlessly. You need a plan that’s written down.
2. Work every muscle.
When you write your plan, check it works every muscle over the week.
For every pressing exercise is there a pull?
For every quad exercise is there a hamstring/glute exercise?
For every upper body exercise is there a leg exercise?
A big mistake a lot of people make is not having a balanced plan. Make sure all your muscles are getting worked evenly
3. Technique before weight
When you hit the gym the urge is to lift as heavy weight as you can manage. This is good… but not if it’s at the expense of technique. Your technique needs to be good on every exercise, with full range of motion. If you are struggling to keep technique or your technique is faltering… then consider going one lighter weight
4. Work each leg and arm separately
A unilateral exercise is one that works one limb separate from the other.
A regular squat would be bi-lateral. You are working both legs at the same time, and both are sharing the same load.
A step up (for example) is unilateral. You work one leg, and then the other.
Try to make a percentage of your plan unilateral exercises and you’ll find you can iron out any imbalances between weaker legs and arms (that you will probably have from riding)
If all your exercises are bilateral then your stronger arm or leg will probably do more of the work than the weaker one.
5. Lift heavy
When your technique is nailed and you have been training for
a few weeks/months then you want to be lifting heavy and
focusing on building strength for the majority of your plan.
This will give you the biggest benefits for the bike as you
will be building useable strength.
These are only scratching the surface but if you do decide
to hit the gym (and I really recommend you do) then these
tips will help