Because cycling is primarily a lower body sport, riders can lose muscle volume in their upper body. The solution? Year-round resistance training. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the weight room—as little as 20 minutes twice a week during the cycling season and 30 minutes two or three times a week during the winter will maintain and even increase your upper-body muscle mass.
My personal style of teaching includes a variety of influences – I also teach Booty Barre and have a fitness background, so I like to mix things up. I add in different sequences and exercises from barre and fitness into reformer classes. We use lots of props – I love resistance bands, weighted balls and over balls. I love to throw in jump board intervals. I keep them moving and always emphasize form, form and more FORM! Most importantly, we laugh. They are working hard but smiling and laughing, because its so important to connect your exercise to a feeling of enjoyment and happiness!
Different from a standard treadmill, a curved, non-motorized one only moves when you move, adjusting its speed in real time based on your pace and rhythm. “Because the treadmill is self-powered, you must use more force while running,” says Kups. “The ability to create more force means more calories needed.” Additional benefits: The curved design provides less impact on joints than outdoor running and is especially effective for working glutes and hamstrings.
The best way to burn fat with sprinting: If you’re outside on a track, try sprinting a lap and then jog a lap. Keep repeating this for as long as you can. If you’re on a treadmill, do an all-out sprint for 20-30 seconds, then slow the belt down and jog for a minute or so before repeating. At a stadium or flights of stairs? Run up to the top as fast as you can, then jog or walk down. “It’s never a good idea to run down stairs or bleachers, so use the downward portion for your active rest periods,” says Adams. “Really lift those knees high to get your glutes some great action and build sprinter power in no time.”
You can absolutely achieve weight loss with a regular, effective Pilates practice. More importantly, clients note a loss in inches and a total “re-shaping” of their physiques. Learning to constantly deeply engage the core – and understanding what your core actually IS – is fundamental. Once my clients have established the fundamentals of intentional, coordinated movement, breathing and good body awareness, the REAL fun begins!
A cardio machine that literally ramps up what the average treadmill can do, incline trainers instantly make running more challenging and are a good choice for low-impact power walking, as well. The key to their intensity is the steep incline, simulating hill climbing at more of a slope than what most treadmills offer, which does wonders for raising heart rate, burning calories and toning leg muscles.
Another common mistake is to eat the same or similar every day regardless of the riding you are doing. For example, a big bowl of porridge is brilliant on the morning of a big ride but, if you’re not cycling that day or not doing a session until later in the day, it is not necessary. A less carbohydrate and calorie heavy breakfast, such as an omelette or yoghurt with fruit, would be more appropriate. Conversely, if you are riding hard and the quality of the session is your priority, it is important that you take on sufficient carbohydrates. At the same time as you plan your training, plan your diet so that it is appropriate to the riding you are doing.
Too many cyclists try to lose weight during the season when performance, recovery, and reducing inflammation are critical and require proper nutrition. “The base season, when people don’t care how fast they go, is the time to go to ‘food jail’ and lose your weight,” Goglia says. You might even consider completing your base season a few pounds below race weight so you have room to fully support the nutritional demands of your season.
Research shows that social support—especially having a workout buddy or two—dramatically increases the likelihood that you’ll stick with your routine, and consistency is key to improving your fitness and shedding unwanted weight. Cycling is such a social sport that, like herds of buffalo and flocks of geese, there’s even a special name for a group of us: a peloton. It doesn’t take more than a quick search to find local cycling clubs where you can meet riders of the same fitness and ability levels to pedal with.