So I am not alone when bemoaning being shut in when we have been spoiled by frequent rides, and the only thing (I) complained about was wind. Oh yes, and the hills, and being left behind, and falling, and cramping, and tearing up other people’s bicycles—other than that (and really a few other things) I was a happy cycler.
I know two of the above commentators have trainers so while maybe “booooring” at least they are keeping in somewhat good physical shape. What about the rest of us? I have tried the gym thing—too much work. I have tried yoga and I am like the wire rimmed tire—un-pliable. I bought a CD on Pilates. One of these days I will take the wrapper off.
So I have settled for the next best way to keep in shape. But for some to understand my logic, I must provide some background. Have you ever wondered (what else is there to do in the winter?) how a black bear can hibernate for 5-to-7 months in the winter and wake up with “fight or flight” capacity and without taking energy bars, gel, supplements, electrolyte hydration drinks, recovery drinks, or even some of Randy’s nutrition tips not to mention base miles, interval training, or hill repeats?
Scientists, who had nothing better to do during the winter months either, found that bears lose about 22% of their muscle strength while hibernating for about 120 days and humans couch-ridden for about the same time (comparable winter down time) lost 80%. So how do they do it? Instead of saying, “Uh dunno,” read on.
The scientists found that the black bear was essentially doing two things during hibernation to maintain muscle tone. Using their findings, I am in the process of developing off-season exercises for cyclists to maintain our in-season fitness level—whatever it might be. (The good news is that you can freely use my routine until I have written the book and copyrighted the material. ) Now...the scientists discovered that the black bear essentially did two things: shiver and isometric contractions.
Shiver routine: First, “allow” your wife to turn down the heat in the house. Don’t have a wife? Turn it down yourself and that is an extra bonus in muscle tone. Don’t put on extra layers of clothes—in other words don’t dress warmly—and you will obtain hours of exercise without leaving your house. As an extra benefit, try emptying the trash early in the morning. That will start your day’s exercise off to a good chilly start.
Isometric contractions: I am still developing my routine so that is why you get to use it without buying my book.
Not all people are adept at keyboarding, but I have found that I maintain my handle bar grip muscles by typing (as we used to call it). And you do not have to type brilliant things to maintain fitness, just keep those fingers moving as fast as you can.
I used to “never” watch TV except for Monk and 24. Both are off the air now so I must force myself to sit in front of the TV in the name of fitness and health. As you start to sit in the lounge chair, slowly, ever so slowly lower yourself into the chair. Feel those thigh muscles contract? You are on your way to muscle tone.
Commercial break: Slowly lean forward—good for the abs and core. With your hands on each arm rest, slowly press down and count to fifteen before raising yourself out of the chair. Feel the arm and chest muscles work? Burn baby burn. Since commercial breaks are at least every fifteen minutes; that is enough recovery time between each set of reps of one. Watch at least four hours of TV and you will get in 16 sets of exercise per evening.
All that is lacking so far is to work the leg muscles more since they do a lot of the work during our biking. So as an extra bonus, put a foot stool in between the lounge chair and the refrigerator. Step up with the left foot first as if you are climbing a staircase. Do at least 5 reps and then switch to the right foot and do 10 reps. Why? It has been found that right leg dominate people pedal mostly with their right leg so that leg needs more exercise than the slacker left.
The above have been some do-it-yourself exercises that I am in the process of perfecting. I am not in a great hurry to write my book as my only competition at this time is some other scientists. They have taken the black bear lessons and are working on applying it to bed-ridden or coma folks. But their idea is to “stimulate a kind of nerve-firing to specific muscle areas and do it in such a pattern that you keep muscles active even when a person is lying in bed…” Now if you have become sleepy reading this long dissertation, that means using some sort of electrical shock to stimulate the muscles. So which would you rather do? Watch TV under my system, or lie in bed and get shocked using the intellectual system? If you are like me, (Editor’s note: Thank goodness most people are not like him) you will choose the “Roy’s Off-Season Cyclist Kinetics System” (ROCKS) [Editor’s note: or “Roy’s All-season Total System” (RATS) or “Roy’s Off-season Total System” (ROTS).]
Let me prove the superiority of my system another way. During the Christmas break, two friends of mine took a trip to Illinois and took their bikes with them. Note: The lead picture was on their trip. To do this, you already know, you have to be…Hard Core Cyclists. And if you have your bikes with you, what is there to do except use them? No watching TV for them!!
A side note: During my attempts at winter riding I have found that I wear cool weather gear. Ty and Christine took their COLD weather gear.
Ty and Christine reported the temperature was Brrrrr degrees.
I remarked that the hill behind them must have been pretty tough going on those roads. From Ty I got a, "It was just a small hill." From Christine, no comment.
Hey you Texans, watch this!!
The nose tells it all.
The eyes tells it all. Take me back to Texas. From now on I will use Roy's ROCK system.