Friday, February 19, 2010

Strength Training Q&A

I got the following question in my in box tonight...

"Dean, where are you getting the training program from? I'm about to build a little strength program for [my daughter] over the next 2 months. Could use some tips!"

And my reply...

I am a Level II USA Cycling coach, I write my programs myself. If you are looking for a qualified coach to lean, on I would check with Harvey Newton

All the rules of periodization apply to strength training...I rely heavily on Tudor Bompa, Joe Friel, Greg LeMond/Cyrille Guimard, Hunter Allen, Andy Coggan, Arthur Lydiard, Harvey Newton, and Mark Rippetoe.

The key is having constant dialog and hands on training with the coach. The program must be written specifically for the athlete's goals, as well as addressing her strengths and weaknesses. Finding a good balance between strength and endurance takes great communication, patience, and flexibility within the day to day application where the well being of the athlete is the highest priority. There is no excuse, but plenty of opportunities, for a bike racer to get injured in the gym.

I subscribe to the theory that bike racers need to spend time on the bike, therefore, my goal is to get in and out of the gym in about an hour, 2-3 times per week. High repetitions of single joint exercises with light weights is a waste of precious time...we already do that on the bike! We, as bike racers, need to do multi-joint exercises with heavy weights (relative to the individual of course) in the 5-8 repetitions range, followed up with explosive moves when we get close to our peak racing season. I'm talking about squats, dead-lifts, push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches...followed by simple plyometric type exercises, like box jumps, when it's time to sharpen up for racing.

Lastly, the athlete MUST build up to this over several months under the guidance and care of a qualified coach. DO NOT BLINDLY FOLLOW A COOKIE CUTTER PROGRAM THAT IS THE NEWEST, HIPPEST PROGRAM OF THE STARS!!! I know of several athletes who have lost several months of training because of poorly written programs, improper technique, and a lack of patience.

I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes and please feel free to contact me if you require more ranting.