Monday, May 24, 2010

Rant: Lemmings


There is a standing joke among strength and conditioning coaches… if you want to improve your fitness see what everyone else is doing and do the opposite.

Most well intentioned fitness enthusiasts do something like this:
-Guys: Jump on the scale fully clothed to see if they gained any weight.
-Guys: 1000 calorie energy drink combine with caffeine and ephedrine
-Guys: Steel toed boots, duck taped wrists, 4 litre milk jug with water and latest body building magazine
-Do some light stretching before warming up, and a little ballistic stretching for no apparent reason.
- Walk on a treadmill for 10 minutes at an 18 m/m
-Guys: straight to upper body and ladies to core
- 3 sets of 10 reps on a machine based circuit or a bodybuilding based workout where they split body parts up, pick 2-5 exercises to “hit the muscle from different angles” and do 3 sets of 8-12 reps of each exercise
- Guys: Lift the heaviest weigh they can find by swinging, jerking, grunting, yelling and swearing the weight into submission… then looking to see who is watching… then pitching the weight to the floor
-Ladies: Lifting the lightest weight (to avoid “bulking up”) and stretching in-between sets to elongate” their muscles (seriously)
-Ladies: fix/apply makeup before and during workout (not joking)
- 30-60 minutes of watching t.v. or ‘reading’ a magazine on the elliptical trainer
- Guys: 1000 calories protein shake after workout

Like the lemmings in the gym I think that we can all agree on a few things the majority of the mountain biking world assumes is true:

- Lighter is always better, but heavier rubber is ok because you are not as likely to flat
- A stiffer bb/crank is faster
- A lighter, stiffer, newer, sexier bike will make you faster
- Strength training is optional and probably not very effective for mountain/road/cross racing
- More gears are better (8à9à10à11?)
- Riding a road bike most of the time is a good way to train for mountain biking
- You don’t “need” skills/fitness/training coaching
- A fully rigid 29er single speed is just as good as or better then…
- The more you ride the better you’ll be, or your problem is you just don’t ride enough, or riding more = being faster

Don't be a lemming my friends!

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