Fall Resistance Training | By Tom Zirbel

Oh, glorious off-season – I bask in your generous indulgences. A time when the couch pleads with me to stay put and the beer and ice cream flow freely! But, alas, your time is fleeting for the next season is right around the corner and those ‘zygotes’ born in the 90s who’ve never heard of Tear for Fears, Airwolf, or Molly Ringwald are surely already training 30 hrs/wk in Tucson or some such place. So, it’s back to the grind of training and strict diet (my teammates will have a good laugh at my use of the word ‘strict’ but it’s all relative!).

Is it fear of the up-and-comers that gets me going again for the next season? Maybe a little. I think a little fear of failure can be a healthy motivator. But it’s also just so incredibly pleasant in Boulder in the Fall that I have a hard time sitting around anyway! This Fall, I’m experimenting with different types of Resistance Training. It’s been challenging but a lot of fun! Almost every time I hike or bike, I am towing/hauling extra weight in order to build up my strength endurance. This will serve to strengthen not only my legs but my core by having to support those extra lbs. The first time I hiked with a 25 lb backpack a few weeks ago, my legs were literally shaking from fatigue by the end of the descent. As an added bonus, I get an exaggerated feel for what’s it’s like being over ‘race-weight.’ Holy cow, biking up a hill towing 35 extra lbs is tough! Sure, being 2 lbs over weight isn’t nearly as bad but it definitely makes a measurable difference when you’re racing all out. I’m hoping that when this phase of training is over and it’s just me and my bike, I will feel so fast and nimble as to be unstoppable!

In addition to the aerobic training, I’ve been doing a little unstructured weight work as well. It’s similar to kettle bell workouts in that I will toss a weight up in the air and catch it again in order to increase my explosiveness and to also strengthen my core. It seems to be making a difference as well. I’m a little worried about gaining bulk in my arms because I am using this weight training often more than I anticipated, but hopefully it will all come off as the hours on the bike build up. That’s what team camp is for!

So anyway, I just wanted to share my unique approach to early season training this Fall. I’m thinking of writing a book expanding on these advanced Resistance Training methods but that’s still in the early phases. I’ve attached photos showing my new training techniques to help those interested get a better understanding of how it’s done. Hopefully it works and I become ‘Great Success’ in 2015. Time will tell!

Thanks for reading,

Tom

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