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Make Big Gains During ‘Off Season’

By Dana Williams | In Optimal Performance | on October 23, 2013

I’m reading more and more on the benefits of resistance/weight training during the off-season for cyclists. Well that’s a good thing, because the first of four phases that Achieve cycling athletes complete takes place in the gym. I know it can be painful for those who are used to hoping on their bike come November 1st and logging as many miles as possible. Don’t get me wrong, we believe in turning your pedals a lot. But it’s important to first have solid muscular development. I use the analogy of a tree with a solid root system. It will last far longer than one without this. The same goes for a cyclist. Therefore, be sure to incorporate some resistance training during the off season. There’s more and more proof that this will results in improved fitness for the upcoming race season.

Another important aspect of being fitter and stronger at the beginning of the next season is your relationship with your coach. One aspect of coaching that I really enjoy is gaining the trust of an athlete so they feel comfortable sharing not just their successes, but also their challenges. Once this occurs then I believe the coach/athlete relationship reaches a high level.

The following is an exert from an Achieve athletes post activity comment. One responsibility of each Achieve athlete is to provide a short note after each workout through their TrainingPeaks account. It does a good job of illustrating both points mentioned above.

“Woke up wih a bit of a headache, possibly from the 2 small glasses of wine I allowed myself last night at a family dinner party. Either way, shake in, a little coffee, a banana, ionix, all the usual, plus a dose of excedrin fought it off very quickly. Felt really good in the gym actually. Maybe from the sweet hip hop album I discovered/listened to on my walk there? Deadlifts first like on Thursday…Squats felt super solid….All around everything seems to be getting a little easier now that my body is used to this type of weight. To be honest though, I think a few more weeks in the gym and then I’m going to be mentally over it. Sometimes it’s just a bit too claustrophobic and dark for me. Luckily the past few days in SF have been cold and foggy so it’s been a bit easier to be inside. There is a small part of me that’s starting to itch really badly for more riding though. I guess it’s coming up soon. All in all though, I can’t believe the results of the gym. I feel amazingly fit and strong and feel like I’m adding a ton of good muscle that will help me later. THAT I’m stoked about. Just gotta keep thinking along those lines to get through it. Just thought I should mention it all.”

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