As a business owner and father of four, I have had needed to keep a pretty set routine over the last three years. I have tried to create a better home-life balance and have not been maintaining my personal functional training with the consistency I once did. This caught up with me. I have felt a gradual decline in my overall athleticism and core stability. Aches and pains have been inching in and I attribute it to decreasing overall core strength and stability. So starting on Oct 1st, I have done a 40 minute range of motion, stability based, strength class twice a week here at VQ Highland Park. Angie, from Illinois Bone and Joint Institute is our class leader. I have been doing this class pretty consistently for last 6 weeks and I have noticed a huge difference in the way I feel both on and off the bike.
The cold weather usually makes me feel a bit more lethargic on the bike and I tend to get a little off which from switching from my road to my cross bike. The workouts are also shorter and more intense with a bigger focus on upper body engagement when riding. It’s not uncommon for the body to feel out of balance until returning to the road bike in April. Since I have started a consistent strength training routine I have felt more balanced and stronger then I have in years.
My diet, training hours, training intensity, bike and set up, sleep, and work hours have not changed much over the last 5 years. The only change I have made has been FT class with the VQ crew on Monday and Wednesday from 6:50-7:30 a.m.
This is not an over the top, hard core, pump fest, but rather a balanced based well rounded workout with a focus on range of motion, stability and rotational movements. We do simple squats, pushups, balance exercises, coordination drills (brain busters is what Kelli Richter calls them). These things are all done at a tolerable intensity that leaves you tired but not blown to smithereens.
I think for the first time I have found a program that does not take too much time and really makes a difference in how I feel. Here is an example of how I feel better:
1. I always have to see a chiropractor or physiotherapist when I start riding longer or harder on my cross bike since my hips tend to get off kilter and I end up pedaling with one leg way more then the other, I have not had to see the chiro once this fall/ winter. My body feels perfectly balanced and my legs put out equal power.
2. Another example is when I do my VQ performance test for athletes I often have to demonstrate a walking hamstring stretch for the athletes. I am always strong on my right leg, but terrible on my left leg. Since the strength training work I can perform the stretch better on both sides and there is no difference in my ROI or my balance on either leg.
3. The last thing I will tell you is that my power on my cross bike has been the highest I have seen it in 4 years. Both my short and long range power is mid summer levels and my volume has been cut in half over these last 12 weeks.
Keep in mind, these are issues I have been dealing with for 5 years and now they are gone. I am excited about this program and think that everyone should give it a try.