Exercise

4 Steps To Picking The Right Program

What you want is pure confidence that the program you’re sacrificing for is the perfect fit for you.  There are ways to ensure you have taken every step necessary before jumping in, but let me first rule out one trait of those who find success: blind faith.  Those who complete 100% of a program that is a good fit will get great results.  Those who complete only 80% of a great fitting program will only get good results.  Keep that truth in mind while considering these other variables.

Timeline

Every program should have an end date attached.  This should line up with an event that you would like peak for(race or ride) or a arbitrary cut off to step back and access your results. You will never be “done” with your training, but knowing there is a temporary end in sight will help you stay motivated and get you excited for what’s next.  *Dialed Health programs all have recommended lengths, but can be varied by a few weeks in each phase.  Contact me(Derek Teel) with any questions concerning your specific timeline.

Equipment

What access do you have for equipment?  This is a real question to take into consideration.  I’d be lying if I told you that you can achieve equal long term results on a body weight program vs. using equipment.  It has it’s place, but just cannot provide the variety we need to be at our best.  Full gym access is ideal and would be mandatory for a pro athlete, but having select pieces of equipment to rely on and modify with can yield awesome rewards. Only having dumbbells for example, means that you may miss some max strength benefits but if they keep you consistent because they’re in the garage, I’d argue you may be better off(considering the rule of consistency in the top paragraph).

Session Duration & Frequency

Time can be pressing when you factor in your real life schedule; work, family, friends, chores, and general interests are all real factors in reducing your ability to train.  If this is you, I recommend sticking with a 2 day per week program.  You may also consider using the No Equipment Program for 1 day per week to sneak in a 30 minute session anywhere(mixing two programs for your convenience).  Most programs here are a “minimalist” approach to make sure that you not only can get all the work done within a week, but also to not negatively affect your riding due to unnecessary fatigue.  Training in the gym more than two days a week should be to focus on additional muscle growth(like the General Functional Fitness Program), or to supplement for a low volume of riding.  If you need to shave off time in a session to complete it, try dropping the weight and taking no more than a 30 second rest between workouts.

Specific Goal

There is not one program by Dialed Health that will take you away from the focus of on the bike performance.  Although some details are changed to maximize the potential in your discipline, you will not wake up looking like a bodybuilder or powerlifter after your workouts.  Changes happen over time, so be patient with your program and slow to make changes. Don’t let a “new” feeling of soreness or one day of fatigue make you question your entire plan.  With that being said, I would recommend choosing the program that lines up with your discipline.  *Roadies, choose the XC plan.  Downhillers, choose the Mid Season Enduro Plan and contact me for a recommended 3rdday of training.

Start Moving Forward…

and discover your path is becoming a Dialed Health Mantra of sorts. It means to take action now and let those experiences guide you to the next step.  That’s what executing a program will do for you…take you to the next step!

Balancing Riding & Strength Training

The ultimate balancing act of your long term training plan will be to stay consistent with your riding and strength training.  What does consistency mean for the two?  Before I give you the answer, lets look at the facts.  Super Compensation is the term I break out for people who don’t believe my “opinion.” This image represents how your body responds to a training stimulus.  

Check out the Super Compensation Curve below. The length of this line represents 1 week.

As you can see, immediately after a training session your performance will drop due to fatigue. Once you begin to recover, your body will adapt to the type of training you did and progress.  Your performance level will surpass that of the initial session after about 3 days to its peak on the 4thor 5thday. That’s when you want to hit your next session.  If you wait until the 6thday, your body is already going back to its starting point.  On the 7thday, you’re back to square one, in full maintenance mode not really gaining or losing.

What does it mean?  To progress at anything physically, you need to do it at least 2 days per week.  For cyclists, that means we will hit this quota in the gym and try not to do much more so we can expend more energy on the bike, while still making progress with our strength.  It’s ok to hit your next session before you are fully recovered.  In fact, it’s necessary if you want your legs to get really proficient at pedaling(AKA hella fast).  Two days per week of pedaling(consistently over the long haul) will keep most fit for riding, but to get to a higher level you’ll definitely need more.  That’s because as our body gets used to the stimulus, the recovery becomes more and more incremental.  You can also recover faster, which means that shorter time between rides is required making 3, 4, or 5+ days on the bike purposeful.

Last question…Don’t these two support each other?  What if I ride on Monday and then strength train on Thursday.  Does that apply to Super Compensation?  You guessed it, the short answer is no.  Well, maybe a little…technically.  The stimulus of riding will help your body distribute lactic acid making your strength sessions more efficient, while the added strength and stability from the gym will give you extra power and control on the bike, but you use such drastically different energy systems, that it’s kind of apples to oranges.  The real combo you want is progress in both areas, so 2 days minimum per week of each. 

Welcome to your new bar of consistency.  Start moving forward!