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Basic Habits That Create Extraordinary Results

Updated on February 14, 2008

Little Work, Lots of Results!

If your cycling training needs a kick, forget about advanced intervals and 5-year training plans and get back to the basics. You may have forgotten some of these lessons with all the focus on power meter training and whatnot, but the basics still work as good as ever.

Good Night, Sleep Tight

It's recommended to get 8 hours of sleep every night. The average American only gets 6 hours every night, but if you're a cyclist (or any kind of athlete) you probably need more than 8 hours every night!

I've done my share of 4-hours-of-sleep nights and man was I miserable. I couldn't workout very well unless I was hopped up on coffee and energy drinks, and the workouts were probably in vain because I didn't get enough sleep for my body to repair itself (so my body was on a continuous breakdown cycle.)

If you're not getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night, do whatever you can to get it.


Exercise. It's simple.

I'm not talking about crazy sprint workouts or hill intervals, I'm talking about basic exercises that strengthen your entire body. You won't excel at any sport, even cycling, if you don't have full-body strength.

(And if you don't think the pros are doing these off-bike workouts, you're kidding yourself. They've been doing this stuff since before carbon fiber!) ;)

So what do you do?

Push-ups. This all-time favorite of drill sargeants and gym teachers works your arms and chest and even your core a little bit. You can do all kinds of variations, from narrow-grip and wide-grip to explosive clap-your-hands pushups.

Crunches. Do them right and you'll get a great workout for your abs, obliques, and back. Try variations including reverse crunches which really target your lower abs.

Pull-ups. These are hard, but they work more arm muscles and really build your back. Find a pipe or tree limb and do some!

Squats. Squats will build your legs even bigger, and I recommend squat jumps for building explosive power (without weights.) Bend down into the squat position and then jump high into the air. When you land, just come back down and jump again.

Eat Right

While you don't have to give up fast food and ice cream, you should limit it and instead concentrate on getting all your vitamins, minerals, and vital nutrients.

It's actually not that hard. Just consume whole grains, fruits, and a variety of vegetables and you'll get just about everything you need.


References for further research: - training and nutrition advice for cyclists

Cyclo-Core - a more in-depth look at bodyweight exercises


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    • Dianamite profile image


      10 years ago from Carlsbad, CA

      I like the simplicity of this - so true! I also totally second the emphasis on sleeeep. So many people wonder why the training isn't getting them anywhere...


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