Thursday, September 11, 2008


Four years ago I decided to totally change the way I train for cyclo-cross. I went to Justin Wadsworth, who is now the World Cup coach for the US Nordic Ski Team, and said I want to train in a more modern way. At the time he was the head coach at  the Rebound Performance Lab. He started me on a more intense (lots of intervals) and a regime of strength workouts. I was not sure about the changes, nor was I positive I could actually do all the workouts.
I started  and pretty soon I was enjoying the weights and the intervals as part of my week. My recovery improved (with all the intervals), and I got a lot stronger. After one year I could do 190 pound squats, I could do 7 interval sessions in one week (and race). I was  improving. There were two things that bugged me though. I weighed in the high 160s to low 170s (about 10 pound too heavy) and I still could not do a pull up. I was using this machine at Rebound that is on a ramp so one could work up to regular pull ups. It seemed that after four years (I can now squat 225 pounds) I should be able to do real pull ups,  like I could in Jr High School. I think that was the last time my arm strength to body weight allowed me real pull ups. I became a bike rider after that and good bye to upper body strength.
As you can see in the photo I can do real ups now. I just started a couple of weeks ago. Pretty cool at 57 I can still make real improvements. I also weigh under 160 pounds for the first time since 1988. Wow that was 2o years ago. 
I know that is not like winning a gold medal, or setting some kind of personal best in a race, but for me it is just as good. Years ago I started to really be present in my life. Though I started weights and intervals as a means they quickly turned into their own reward. I like doing both. It is also really great when I can see real progress . I will now have to wait and see if both of these goals translate into being a better cyclo-cross rider. Though the truth is I am now lighter (that feels good) and I am enjoying doing real pull ups. Life is good.

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