The Importance of Having a competent Concierge Physician

If there’s one thing most cyclists can agree on, it’s that sooner or later, no matter how cautious you are, if you’re a competitive athlete you’re going to have some sort of injury.

That may come in the form of a bicycle accident or a training injury ranging from strained muscles to joint issues, but either way you need to have an action plan prepared for how to deal with the potential problem when and if it should arise.

Why Personalized Medicine Makes Sense for Athletes

cycling accidents and injuriesIn my view, one of the best insurance policies you can have isn’t just your standard medical insurance that will let you go to the ER, but a policy that comes in the form of a medical membership.

It’s known as concierge medicine, and the basic philosophy is that you can have a doctor you know and trust available to you on short notice.

That means that you will have access to on demand medical services with a doctor you’ve actually met before, rather than whoever happens to be on call at the time of your incidentr, making you better prepared for the outcomes in the event of an accident or injury.

For SF Bay Area Residents

sf cyclingIf you live in the SF Bay Area, I personally can recommend n1Health, a San Francisco personalized medicine practice with multiple offices across the city and East Bay, as well as in a half dozen other cities across the country.

In my experience, the service is a lot better than having to go see a doctor you’ve never met or even heard of prior to your incident, and taking the time to build the relationship with your physician in advance can even help you to identify potential issues before they and possible prevent those future injuries, reducing your down time from the sport and making you an overall better athlete.

Read more about preparing for cycling injuries here.

How Kettlebell Workouts Can Boost Your Cycling Speed

One of the biggest questions we get from our clientele in the shop is to what extent we think they should weight train while preparing for an endurance cycling event.

We actually wrote a full post on cross training for cyclists a few months ago, but today we wanted to focus on something a little more specific: kettlebell workouts.

What Are Kettlebells?

kettlebells

Before we get into let’s establish what a kettlebell is exactly. They haven’t been common workout tools until recently, so even if you’re a lifelong exercise addict you might not have come across them.

Basically, kettlebells are small cast-iron balls that hace a handle coming out of one end. They come in a variety of sizes and weights, but are typically just a few inches in diameter. This makes them great tools for dynamic exercising and workouts that require you to move the weight quickly, since they’re more versatile than normal dumbbells.

How To Use a Kettlebell

Kettlebell exercises come in all forms. You can use them with almost any weight lifting exercise you would use a dumbbell for, but they’re best used for weight training that requires a larger range of motion.

This makes them particularly good weights to use for things like core exercises, for example if you’re shifting side to side to work on the abdominals. There are tons of exercises available to train just about any muscle or muscle group you could imagine. For cyclists, you might be interested in pass-through leg exercises, which, when combined with squatting and dead lifts, can help to build those calfs and quads.

Checkout kettlebellexercises.co for more training tips.

Why Are They Good For Cyclists?

At the end of the day, the argument for a cyclist using kettlebells is pretty much the same as the argument for lifting weights, with the added benefit of versatility. If you’re not familiar with the benefits of cross training for cyclists, read this post on cross training to learn more, and where we go into the benefits in more detail.

The gist of it is quite simple: weight training can help you focus on different muscle groups, which allows you to workout even when you’re resting your primary cycling muscles (the legs), as well as to help you build endurance, which is absolutely necessary if you’re planning a long ride.

 

3 Tips for Bicycling for Weight Loss

biking weight lossCycling is one of the world’s most popular sports, and with that comes a huge variation in the reasons and motivation for why people get into the sport in the first place.

For some, it’s simply due to the sheer pleasure of riding a bike, while for others it’s an avenue for competition and testing their body to its limits. For still more, biking is a great way to get in shape and lose weight.

If you fall into the latter category, then let’s take a look at a few tips you can use to lose weight from cycling.

1 – Start Slow

The cardinal rule of exercise training for any objective is to always start slow. This is especially true if you don’t already have a base of other physical exercise, since your body will need time to adjust to your new schedule.

As mentioned in this post on how to lose weight on a busy schedule from weightlossexerciseroutine.com, you can be most effective with your weight loss strategy if you take the time to train your metabolism properly.

This is true for any exercise plan, including cycling, since you need to teach your body to become accustomed to a different workout routing.

2 – Allow Warmup and Cooldown Time

Part of training your body correctly means that you don’t give it any unexpected jolts. That applies to your individual workouts as much as it does to your overall weight loss strategy and exercise plan.

To do this, all you need to do is make sure you allow at least 5-10 minutes on each end of your workout to warm up and cool down your body.

Failing to warm up can cause you to workout anaerobically instead of aerobically, and failing to cool down can mean stiff joints and sore muscles later!

3 – Don’t Do Endurance Races

Finally, you ‘re going to want to stay away from endurance races and events if your primary objective is to lose weight.

Have you ever seen someone who is training for a marathon to realize that they’ve gained weight, despite exercise for untold hours each week? The same happens with cyclists.

When you train for long events (over 2 hours) you actually tell your body to start storing more fat, so that you have fuel to consume when you participate in the long rides.

Don’t worry if this has happened to you already, since as soon as you stop the endurance rides, you’ll drop the extra pounds quickly, but it also means that if your goal to begin with is to lose weight, you most certainly won’t be helping your cause!

Hope these tips help you to figure out a plan. You can learn more about creating a training plan to lose weight from biking.com.

Cross Training for Cyclists: Should You Weight Train?

cycling wiehgt trainingIf you’re a serious cyclist preparing for a race and are looking for ways to improve your time, one thing you might consider is to add in a variety of different types of workouts into your training schedule.

This variation is known as cross training, and can go a long way towards improving your endurance and your speed. If you’re thinking about diversifying your workouts, a major issue is whether you should cross train with purely aerobic exercises, like mixing in running and swimming practice into your cycling routines, or if you should include weight training workouts as well.

Here are a few things to consider.

Start Early

If you’re on the final stretch before a big race, it’s probably best not to make any major changes in your routine.

Incorporating weight training into your endurance cycling routine is something that should be done early on in your training, but after you already have a strong cycling base.

That’s because lifting weights can actually negatively impact your endurance in the short run, and is something that needs to be gradually build up to.

Just like you wouldn’t try to race a 100k your first week on the bike, you should go all-in for weight-lifting right out of the gate. Take your time, and gradually build it in to your normal workout routine.

You might want to work with these exercises to start with, courtesy of mensfitness.com, and gradually build from there.

Consider Nutrition and Supplementation

If you do decide to include a weight training plan into your workout schedule, you might also consider looking a incorporating nutritional supplements into your diet as well.

That’s because post-workout nutrition for weight training is very different than endurance aerobic workouts like cycling, and your normal diet might not be enough to get you all of the fuel you really need. You can read more about weight training supplementation stacks from Crossfit Supplements Guide.

Clips from the Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships

richmond uci championshipAs we head into the end of 2015, I thought I’d take a minute to reflect on the biggest cycling event of the year, the UCI Road World Championships, held in Richmond, Virginia in September earlier this year.

This event was a big deal for small-town Richmond, which has no other major sporting events except for Nascar, and is home to no major league teams in any sport: baseball, football, basketball, soccer, hockey, etc.

Whether or not it could pull off the UCI championships was a major question for most of the year, but ultimately the race went off without a hitch.

Click here for the official site.

Here are a few of my favorite clips from the race!

Race Highlights

Here’s a quick highlight reel from the race, with the best moments clipped down to a short 10 minutes!

Final Finish

If you’ve got a bit more time, then you might also want to watch the final 40km, which is roughly the last hour of this 6 hour race!