I'VE GOT YER FECKIN' CROSS-TRAINING RIGHT HERE!

I'VE GOT YER FECKIN' CROSS-TRAINING RIGHT HERE!

Cross-Training

by / / 99 posts

Cross-training: words that strikes fear and boredom into my heart. My cycling library is contaminated with training books I’ve collected over the years. Each one is purchased knowing, yes, this is the one. Each one has a chapter on off-the-bike training. I recently bought Tom Danielson’s cross-training book, read some of it, have not done any of it. I’ve looked on Craig’s List for weights to set up a squatting station, none have met my strict requirements for some reason. I don’t run, period. I mostly hate walking and hiking. That’s why I ride a bike, FFS. Zumba, line-dancing, tai-chi…shoot me in the face, I’d rather develop a proper drug habit.

When I lived in a university town, despite their half-assed football program, they had a big stadium. Running those stadium steps was as close to enjoying cross-training as I will ever get. A full on boogie up to the top of the stadium, lope back down to the bottom, repeat until nauseous, repeat more. The top third of the steps were steeper, just to make it fun. It mimicked the mindless suffering and exhaustion us cyclists savor. It was intense enough that each session was over in under an hour. One would leave the stadium totally blown out and relaxed, again, like one would feel after a proper ride.

I used to go in the gym during the cold, unridable winter and do some horrid step treadmill and lift weights. Oh right, that was called youth and an over abundance of hormones. Now, that is just not going to happen. Shouldn’t living in Hawaii mean you never have to enter a gym again? Yes it does. I like to think my ineptitude in water-sports and the resultant near-drownings should provide some cross-training: elevated heart rate, thrashing of arms, seeing the all-embracing light at the end of the tunnel.

I could actually join CrossFit™. No, that would be unwise. Running seems to be an integral part of the regime, tattoos might be required and all that tractor tire wrestling would either ruin my back or bulk me up.

Aren’t we slighty proud of our chicken-chested scrawny upper bodies? Too much CrossFit could ruin a lifetime of chicken-chest development. And if we get good at running and swimming we might get crazy ideas.

Obviously, these are the complaints of a lazy cyclist who likes to ride his bike, end of discussion. There are no Rules to be quoted for off season cross-training except Rule #5. It is a universal Rule. There is no off season for Rule #5, but now it’s March, Milano-Sanremo looms. The off-season is off. I can safely put away my Tommy D book for another year.

// Rantings from the V-Bunker

  1. @Ccos

    @Teocalli

    >@Ccos

    , @Ken Ho is wrong on the science. Yes cycling lowers bone density,

    This is classic – compared to what? Bad science is full of such statements that are not connected to a control population. Compared to astronauts cycling wins, compared to sitting in an armchair cycling wins. I’d have thought strenuous cycling would put some skeletal strain that would be at least good as walking (I’d actually hedge on betting better). However any picture should not be limited to such a sweeping single statement. For instance you have the impact wear and tear of say running on the joints that you don’t have in cycling and as for the effect of heavy weights on joints and cartilage.

    Cyclists have lower bone density than sedentary people. It’s well established and the only mark against our beloved sport. The order of bone density goes: jumping sports (running, etc) > weight lifters sedentary >= sedentary people > master level cyclists. So no, sitting in a chair is better than cycling in reference to bone density.

    Well put it that way I would still say that “master level cyclists” is a far leap to saying cycling is bad for your bone density. There are lies, damn lies and statistics. So lets offset slightly lowered bone density (assuming we are anywhere near a master level cyclist – which I am certainly not) vs all the other health benefits of cycling. It’s almost like saying that eating causes obesity so eating is bad for you so you should stop or more people die in bed than anywhere else so beds are dangerous.

  2. @ChrisO

    @Ccos

    @Teocalli

    >@Ccos

    , @Ken Ho is wrong on the science. Yes cycling lowers bone density,

    This is classic – compared to what? Bad science is full of such statements that are not connected to a control population. Compared to astronauts cycling wins, compared to sitting in an armchair cycling wins. I’d have thought strenuous cycling would put some skeletal strain that would be at least good as walking (I’d actually hedge on betting better). However any picture should not be limited to such a sweeping single statement. For instance you have the impact wear and tear of say running on the joints that you don’t have in cycling and as for the effect of heavy weights on joints and cartilage.

    Cyclists have lower bone density than sedentary people. It’s well established and the only mark against our beloved sport. The order of bone density goes: jumping sports (running, etc) > weight lifters sedentary >= sedentary people > master level cyclists. So no, sitting in a chair is better than cycling in reference to bone density.

    Well in light of recent events I did have cause to question my bone density, given that hip fractures generally only happen to elderly people with osteoporosis.

    Secretly I was hoping my orthopaedic consultant might agree it was in my long term interests to promote more bone density and the internet had told me that testosterone was a good way to do that. So win-win as far as I was concerned – legal doping and less chance of fucking up my hip in future.

    Sadly he dismissed it out of hand and said, I quote, that I had “lovely bones”. I guess he sees quite a few in various states so he’s probably a decent judge.

    So if an orthopaedic consultant isn’t the slightest bit concerned about the bone density of a 48 year old cyclist who’s just fractured his hip and fully intends to carry on cycling, I really don’t think there is a lot for any of us to worry about.

    …….and that’s without his comment about drilling through it!

  3. @Teocalli

    @Ccos

    @Teocalli

    >@Ccos

    , @Ken Ho is wrong on the science. Yes cycling lowers bone density,

    This is classic – compared to what? Bad science is full of such statements that are not connected to a control population. Compared to astronauts cycling wins, compared to sitting in an armchair cycling wins. I’d have thought strenuous cycling would put some skeletal strain that would be at least good as walking (I’d actually hedge on betting better). However any picture should not be limited to such a sweeping single statement. For instance you have the impact wear and tear of say running on the joints that you don’t have in cycling and as for the effect of heavy weights on joints and cartilage.

    Cyclists have lower bone density than sedentary people. It’s well established and the only mark against our beloved sport. The order of bone density goes: jumping sports (running, etc) > weight lifters sedentary >= sedentary people > master level cyclists. So no, sitting in a chair is better than cycling in reference to bone density.

    Well put it that way I would still say that “master level cyclists” is a far leap to saying cycling is bad for your bone density. There are lies, damn lies and statistics. So lets offset slightly lowered bone density (assuming we are anywhere near a master level cyclist – which I am certainly not) vs all the other health benefits of cycling. It’s almost like saying that eating causes obesity so eating is bad for you so you should stop or more people die in bed than anywhere else so beds are dangerous.

    Master’s level is only an age based classification (>35). When the pros have been studied, the results are horrifying.

  4. @Teocalli

    Damn IPhone. Anyway, I’m not saying don’t cycle (Merckx preserve me), I’m saying there’s a real risk of bone loss with competitive cycling. But it can be offset by plyometrics (or any real jumping; no one has determined just how much though). Regardless, as a group we live longer than the sedentary masses and do so looking WAY better in the process.

  5. @Ccos

    @Teocalli

    Damn IPhone. Anyway, I’m not saying don’t cycle (Merckx preserve me), I’m saying there’s a real risk of bone loss with competitive cycling. But it can be offset by plyometrics (or any real jumping; no one has determined just how much though). Regardless, as a group we live longer than the sedentary masses and do so looking WAY better in the process.

    So we should ride gravel more to get the vibro impact equivalent of jumping? Cool. Need to put that to the VMW for n+1……………

    Also with that classification of Masters I’m well past it and should be like a piece of broken pottery……………..

  6. Well, it appears that Mr. Ho is alive and well and still a bit of a twatwaffle. I seem to recall him starting a similar fire around here a year or two ago with a sanctimonious post of his bike lit up like a Christmas tree… with fenders… it was fucking terrible (but I could be wrong… about the poster of the photo, not its hideousness).

    @frank a quick deduction on the issue of flames directed to Mr. Ho ending up going to @Ken it seems that having a _space_ in a handle breaks the auto-link.

    @Sparty save that shit for Tinder/Grinder.

  7. @Teocalli

    …….and that’s without his comment about drilling through it!

    Oh god yes I’d forgotten that – the surgeon who drilled my femur commented the next day about how hard my bone was.

    Sample of one I know but I don’t think we’re talking major risk factors here, even if cyclists as a group have lower density than those who do impact sports. And probably outweighed by other factors – longevity of activity as well life span.

  8. “…tiiiiny bubbles…”

  9. I’m one of the one’s who makes promises of cross training every off season and it never happens. My wife is all too happy to remind me of that. She did, however (let it be known that I’m only sharing this in a good-natured, self-effacing way), convince me to try spinning…it was terrible. It’s not a bike, it’s a bike-shaped torture device. I hated every minute of it. It does provide a substantial workout (as has been reluctantly noted before), but probably with minimal bone-density improvement. Merckx forgive me, I’m trying it again on Saturday…

  10. @the Engine

    Why are you using a picture of my mum to illustrate the article?

    Funny lad. The fresh air obviously does her good.

  11. @RVester

    You could try rowing. It’s hard, it looks good if you’re good at it, it hurts and you need to put in the grind to get something out of it. Also, rowers appreciate history.

    Needless to say, this has lead to a lot off cross pollination http://cyclingtips.com.au/2011/11/why-rowers-are-exceptional-cyclists/

    Also, rowers regard paddling the same way cyclists regard running. With utter disdain and thinly veiled contempt.

    Beautiful, yes, we do share a lot with rowers. It’s mostly legs and cardio/VO2 for both. I was actually on my bike when a car pulled up and invited me to join a rowing club, just because I was a dedicated cyclist.

    And I do appreciate other sports with long glorious histories and their thinly veiled contempt for all other sports.

  12. A few years back after a considerable period of constant back pain and sciatica, I visited a physiotherapist who informed me that my back and abs were like jelly from too much cycling. Admittedly that was all I did, ride, race, get a battering and ride and race more.

    Since 2007 I’ve cross trained, rode an mtb/ CX, yoga/ pilates, a gym session of lightish weights and high reps, run once a week and in the winter my club turbo sessions end with ‘5 minute abs’ and the other with a short plyometric jumping about session. No more back pain and all round fitness feels way better. I like to think it helps my cycling despite the enforced reduction in hours in the saddle.

    I’ve also done my best to maintain the classic cyclist skinny arms and chest despite all this extra activity. I suppose if I lived in Hawaii I’d prefer to be out riding all the time but in Scotland? Not so much.

  13. Last winter I decided to help out a friend by going for a few weeks of personal training with the VMH so he could complete a course. While V & V V were observed, I missed the competition more than anything.

    That, and the feeling that the muscles not even tickled during cycling more closely resembled shredded paper than fibres afterwards is not my favourite….

  14. @frank

    @Ken Ho

    How are you doing with the self-awareness, there, Kenny. Lovely how you start off by calling us pathetic (good job catching on to the piss-take) and tie off indicating you are hoping to be noticed by younger women.

    You are a fucking creep.

    I thought Ken Ho was simply Australian.

  15. @Ken Ho

    Cycling causes osteopososis. Calcium loss through sweating destroys bones,

    Dunno about anything else you are saying, but this is entirely and absolutely false.

    I can knock out a set of 20 push-ups any time without blowing a gasket.

    Wait… that’s something you are boasting about?

    Oh, I get it – you are trolling.

  16. @Nate

    @frank

    @Ken Ho

    How are you doing with the self-awareness, there, Kenny. Lovely how you start off by calling us pathetic (good job catching on to the piss-take) and tie off indicating you are hoping to be noticed by younger women.

    You are a fucking creep.

    I thought Ken Ho was simply Australian.

    Easy now…from what I see on the VMW’s “reality” TV shows that you lot export over here, there are some ‘interesting’ units in the Estados Unidos!

  17. @Mikael Liddy

    @Nate

    @frank

    @Ken Ho

    How are you doing with the self-awareness, there, Kenny. Lovely how you start off by calling us pathetic (good job catching on to the piss-take) and tie off indicating you are hoping to be noticed by younger women.

    You are a fucking creep.

    I thought Ken Ho was simply Australian.

    Easy now…from what I see on the VMW’s “reality” TV shows that you lot export over here, there are some ‘interesting’ units in the Estados Unidos!

    We have our fair share of idiots, no doubt.

  18. @Gianni

    @the Engine

    Why are you using a picture of my mum to illustrate the article?

    Funny lad. The fresh air obviously does her good.

    This explains something about @engine. His old homeroom teacher got fired.

  19. @Gianni

    @Gianni

    @the Engine

    Why are you using a picture of my mum to illustrate the article?

    Funny lad. The fresh air obviously does her good.

    This explains something about @engine. His old homeroom teacher got fired.

    Best lack of fitness line ever-

    “”Every time I shag your mum (substitute wife or girlfriend as necessary -ed.), she makes me a sandwich – that’s why I’m fat.”

  20. @Gianni

    @Gianni

    @Gianni

    @the Engine

    Why are you using a picture of my mum to illustrate the article?

    Funny lad. The fresh air obviously does her good.

    This explains something about @engine. His old homeroom teacher got fired.

    Best lack of fitness line ever-

    “”Every time I shag your mum (substitute wife or girlfriend as necessary -ed.), she makes me a sandwich – that’s why I’m fat.”

    Yeah it’s a well known sledge from international cricket (though no doubt had been used prior as well), see #7

    http://www.citehr.com/121101-top-ten-most-hilarious-sledging-incident.html

  21. @Mikael Liddy

    I find this depressing that I’m as old as I am and it has taken this long to hear that line. Now to work it into casual conversations when riding with friends. Now I can’t wait for one of them to call me fat.

  22. @Gianni

    @Mikael Liddy

    I find this depressing that I’m as old as I am and it has taken this long to hear that line. Now to work it into casual conversations when riding with friends. Now I can’t wait for one of them to call me fat.

    I use the same line to describe why Im slower on climbs than my fellow riders. i.e. ” Im too tired to climb as hard as you cause last night I @$#@# your Wife/girlfriend/mother”

    Us Aussies may not be the sharpest tools in the shed but we’ve got the sarcasm gene nailed.

  23. @Gianni

    @Gianni

    @Gianni

    @the Engine

    Why are you using a picture of my mum to illustrate the article?

    Funny lad. The fresh air obviously does her good.

    This explains something about @engine. His old homeroom teacher got fired.

    Best lack of fitness line ever-

    “”Every time I shag your mum (substitute wife or girlfriend as necessary -ed.), she makes me a sandwich – that’s why I’m fat.”

    Welcome to Scotland…

  24. @Gianni

    Can understand how you might have missed an education in sledging, it’s what happens when you come from a country where the inhabitants don’t settle every argument with gunfire.

  25. @Gianni

    and just for shits & giggles, an Aussie view on US gun control

  26. @Mikael Liddy

    a country where the inhabitants don’t settle every argument with gunfire.

    If that were actually true of the USofAFuckYeah, there would be very few Republicans left among us, and we would have more of the amenities that you civilized folk elsewhere have.

  27. This is a great article, between a full time job, a full time riding addiction, a full time family and a tendency to drink too much beer, there really isn’t time for cross training – other than my Pilates classes twice a week which of course are made easier by being the only male in a class of lycra clad, flexible females. Does that make me a creep? Or just Australian?

    @Gianni, I also have a shelf full of “training” books we should do a swap sometime – I’m looking for just the right one to stop the table wobbling.

  28. @Mikael Liddy

    @Gianni

    @Gianni

    @Gianni

    @the Engine

    Why are you using a picture of my mum to illustrate the article?

    Funny lad. The fresh air obviously does her good.

    This explains something about @engine. His old homeroom teacher got fired.

    Best lack of fitness line ever-

    “”Every time I shag your mum (substitute wife or girlfriend as necessary -ed.), she makes me a sandwich – that’s why I’m fat.”

    Yeah it’s a well known sledge from international cricket (though no doubt had been used prior as well), see #7

    http://www.citehr.com/121101-top-ten-most-hilarious-sledging-incident.html

    Yes, it was said to Glenn McGrath. Bit close to the bone.

    My favourite is Botham’s line to Rodney Marsh.

    Botham. What a legend.

  29. @ChrisO

    Well in light of recent events I did have cause to question my bone density, given that hip fractures generally only happen to elderly people with osteoporosis

    They generally happen only to that population because the general population doesn’t generally slip from your height-on-a-bike and speed-on-a-bike, and statistically speaking the elderly fall a lot more and catch themselves a lot worse than younger folks. If the average stumble involved a direct impact to a hip that fell from ~150cm at considerable speed, we’d see a lot more hip fractures.

  30. @tessar

    @ChrisO

    Well in light of recent events I did have cause to question my bone density, given that hip fractures generally only happen to elderly people with osteoporosis

    They generally happen only to that population because the general population doesn’t generally slip from your height-on-a-bike and speed-on-a-bike, and statistically speaking the elderly fall a lot more and catch themselves a lot worse than younger folks. If the average stumble involved a direct impact to a hip that fell from ~150cm at considerable speed, we’d see a lot more hip fractures.

    If we’d been going at @ChrisO‘s normal speed he’d have made it into the hedge and mud and missed the tarmac……………

  31. Wait,

    Do you mean to suggest that cross training is something besides doing hill repeats one day, and flat intervals on the next? I suppose it could also be construed as mixing mountain biking in from time to time. What is all this talk of walking/running/lifting?

  32. I thought Bella was only interested in me. Jeez, what a bummer.

    Sorry if I’ve missed it, but there is a “see all/load all comments” capability still? This article has taken off, would like to read through the comments all at once. Used to be able to do that before the big meltdown.

  33. @Mikael Liddy

    That was hilarious, and now I’m late for my tea. I thought that Murican 2nd amendment was something to do with removing arm warmers on a sunny day.

  34. @Gianni

    Paragraph one, I thought I was reading my autobiography…

  35. @Giles

    This is a great article, between a full time job, a full time riding addiction, a full time family and a tendency to drink too much beer, there really isn’t time for cross training – other than my Pilates classes twice a week which of course are made easier by being the only male in a class of lycra clad, flexible females. Does that make me a creep? Or just Australian?

    @Gianni, I also have a shelf full of “training” books we should do a swap sometime – I’m looking for just the right one to stop the table wobbling.

    I’ve heard from more than one cyclist that pilates is an excellent cross-training regime, and by doing it twice a week I’d say you are covered. As far as being a creep or Aussie, neither, you are just a normal male. Maybe we are all creeps but that is the way we are.

  36. @gianni

    Great read. I do love my Tom Danielson book but like most I struggle to do it consistently. Part of the problem could be my left knee which doesn’t really like folding up anymore. I can’t get it to do half the warms ups for one session let alone the actual exercises.

    I’d go to pilates but the only option locally is run by a friends wife and is attended by lots of my other mates wives. That wouldn’t be right.

    I find that spending a good chunk of my turbo and roller time in the drops helps to get the core engaged so my back (my lower back is a bit fucked form years or rugby) is as well prepared for the road as my legs.

  37. @RobSandy

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Gianni

    @Gianni

    @Gianni

    @the Engine

    Why are you using a picture of my mum to illustrate the article?

    Funny lad. The fresh air obviously does her good.

    This explains something about @engine. His old homeroom teacher got fired.

    Best lack of fitness line ever-

    “”Every time I shag your mum (substitute wife or girlfriend as necessary -ed.), she makes me a sandwich – that’s why I’m fat.”

    Yeah it’s a well known sledge from international cricket (though no doubt had been used prior as well), see #7

    http://www.citehr.com/121101-top-ten-most-hilarious-sledging-incident.html

    Yes, it was said to Glenn McGrath. Bit close to the bone.

    My favourite is Botham’s line to Rodney Marsh.

    Botham. What a legend.

    Pretty sure it was prior to her getting sick, otherwise the story would probably involve him responding like he does in #3.

  38. @Chris

    my lower back is a bit fucked from years of rugby

    Funny, I’d have figured after years of playing about with other public school boys your issues might be a little lower than your back…

  39. @Mikael Liddy

    @Chris

    my lower back is a bit fucked from years of rugby

    Funny, I’d have figured after years of playing about with other public school boys your issues might be a little lower than your back…

    Union, mate, not league. Non of that shagging the ground whilst your opposite number lies on top and has a go that you antipodeans go in for.

  40. @Chris

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Chris

    my lower back is a bit fucked from years of rugby

    Funny, I’d have figured after years of playing about with other public school boys your issues might be a little lower than your back…

    Union, mate, not league. Non of that shagging the ground whilst your opposite number lies on top and has a go that you antipodeans go in for.

    It’s generally only the ex-convicts in NSW & QLD that go in for that kind of thing, in the more civilised states we tend to steer clear of those ridiculous sports all together.

  41. @Mikael Liddy

    @Chris

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Chris

    my lower back is a bit fucked from years of rugby

    Funny, I’d have figured after years of playing about with other public school boys your issues might be a little lower than your back…

    Union, mate, not league. Non of that shagging the ground whilst your opposite number lies on top and has a go that you antipodeans go in for.

    It’s generally only the ex-convicts in NSW & QLD that go in for that kind of thing, in the more civilised states we tend to steer clear of those ridiculous sports all together.

    Civilised states? Where the main feature of the most popular sport is the bloke from the local pie shop waving his flag and doing a dance every time some kicks the ball between the posts? Posts that don’t even have a cross bar that your’e required to get the ball over? And if you happen to be so shit that you miss, there a second set of outer posts for loser consolation points? And how is that sport not completely fucking ridiculous?

  42. @Chris

    cos it’s fucking awesome

  43. As an American who can no longer stomach American football (NFL is just a corporate sham to sell people Lite beer, trucks, and cell phones; college is horribly corrupt and NOT amateur), Aussies rules look pretty damn cool. Didn’t watch too much when I was in Brisbane for a semester in college, but a nice video there.

    Also, the guys look like athletes. American football players either look like a) bodybuilders on HGH or b) pre diabetic Jabba the Hutts. Those guys are in shape, but don’t look like fitness models or fat fuck baseball players.

    Any sport that includes the Donkey Kick Distraction Move, seen at the 7:15 mark, is aokay with me. That was great!

  44. Aren’t we slighty proud of our chicken-chested scrawny upper bodies?

    Yep – I searched hard and long to find a sport/exercise that would allow me to fit right in based on this personal attrribute

  45. @Mikael Liddy

    @Chris

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Chris

    my lower back is a bit fucked from years of rugby

    Funny, I’d have figured after years of playing about with other public school boys your issues might be a little lower than your back…

    Union, mate, not league. Non of that shagging the ground whilst your opposite number lies on top and has a go that you antipodeans go in for.

    It’s generally only the ex-convicts in NSW & QLD that go in for that kind of thing, in the more civilised states we tend to steer clear of those ridiculous sports all together.

    When you say NSW and QLD, you mean the states with any people in them? Not the states that are 99.9% fucking desert with a highly improbable city placed in the most inaccesible place possible?

  46. @Mikael Liddy

    @Chris

    cos it’s fucking awesome

    The games only last for five hours and involves a completely impenetrable amount of fuck knows what going on. It’s the Australian version of American Football, no doubt, and it’s main purpose is to sell 4 wheel drives and insurance to boofheads.

  47. I lift year round and find it helps with the type of riding I’m doing. The change in weight isn’t an issue, (I, like a lot of you, am a fat fucker by pro cycling standards – so why bother with that comparison) and I’m a lot stronger on the bike and can hold a much better position. Sometimes lifting is more interesting than riding, sometimes it’s the other way round, but doing something entertaining off the bike generally helps break up the horrendous monotony of road cycling with a bunch of 35 kilo pre-pubescant 20 year olds with high whiny voices and no arm hair. It’s also quite satisfying to confound expectations occasionally and crush the runts on a climb. I may need 3 weeks to recover, and be straight OTA on the rest of the ride, but whatever.

    Asking cyclists about lifting is generally like asking a virgin how to please a man/woman.

  48. @Mikael Liddy

    @Chris

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Chris

    my lower back is a bit fucked from years of rugby

    Funny, I’d have figured after years of playing about with other public school boys your issues might be a little lower than your back…

    Union, mate, not league. Non of that shagging the ground whilst your opposite number lies on top and has a go that you antipodeans go in for.

    It’s generally only the ex-convicts in NSW & QLD that go in for that kind of thing, in the more civilised states we tend to steer clear of those ridiculous sports all together.

    Civilised? In South Australia that’s defined as burying the body afterwards.

  49. And as for you @Chris, at least in League it’s only ONE guy who shags the one on the ground.

  50. I’ve recently taken up rowing and weights as a way to improve overall fitness and to recover from a bike crash related beck injury. I haven’t seen the benefits on the bike but my body feels better than it has in years. Unlike @minion I am a fat fucker by anyone’s standard so anything for fitness works.

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