This is truly and awesome post for cyclists, new and old. I can’t possibly agree with all ten items more. It is excellent.
This is essentially my 10th year of what I’d call “serious cycling.” In 2004 I was riding a Trek 400 steel frame road bike and not getting much faster. It was a tremendous accomplishment to average more than 18 mph for a 30 mile ride on that bike. It simple wasn’t set up to generate that much speed.
Yet the foundations for successful riding were being built even on that bike. Some of those foundations have been ignored to my detriment. Here they are, with an explanation of how they can help you become a better rider.
#1. Try new things in terms of distance and types of riding
When you start out in cycling, everything is new. As you grow in ability, you need to seek out new things in…
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Dieting is an Industry. So is exercise. Period, end of story. Hell, minimalist living is an industry too. Disagree? After all, how could living on beans and tree bark, with no electricity, showering with pond water and dabbing on patchouli to cover your BO be an industry? How many books did you buy to research how somebody else did it? How many cookbooks did you buy to make that tree bark taste like something other than tree bark? Dieting and minimalist living are just as much an industry as cycling, running and triathlon. It’s all about people trying to make a buck by parting you from a few of yours.
I was reading one of my normal favorite blogs that I follow this morning, Fit for 365. John, posed the question “Should I Go Primal” and in that post added a nice little info-guide that showed the basic path to doing just that. It’s a neat post, check it out. The info-guide got me to thinking…
Of course, it’s only a partial primal. Going primal would actually entail living in a cave through the winter months as well. You ever try to live outdoors in the winter? How about late fall? It takes a ton of energy to do it. I’ve done it through several hunting seasons and I can tell you, you burn through calories like it’s going out of style just to stay warm. Collecting firewood, hunting, cooking – you burn through twice the calories because your body has to work to stay warm too. Back to the info-guide though, it calls for several exercises that seem to me are indeed, not primal: Lifting heavy things and sprinting to name a couple. Did you know that a few human beings can run down a deer? It’s true, but little of that involves sprinting. A human can’t come close to out-sprinting a deer. We can, however, outlast a deer over the long haul – and that’s the point. Primal is long, steady distance, not sprinting. Lifting heavy things? Ladies and gentlemen, the wheel was invented for a reason.
The point is this: The reason a diet works, any diet, is that you burn more calories in a day than you consume. Period. End of story. Exercise works to aid in weight loss two ways: It builds muscle which needs energy (calories) to maintain and grow and the exercise itself burns more. That’s it, no rocket science, no muss, no fuss. Now, are there different variations? Sure, and most of them are good for one reason or another – but the main thing to keep in mind here is this:
The most important diet and exercise regimen is the one we stick with.
Following my logic here, if you take a couple of people who are already relatively fit (like John and I): John is pumped to try his new Primal Diet and Exercise regimen. I, on the other hand, just got a brand spankin’ new mountain bike – and I’m equally stoked about getting that thing on the trail and getting it dirty… It’s likely we’ll end up in exactly the same place – happy and even more fit. The only difference is John did it through diet and I did it (well technically my wife did because she bought the bike) by supporting “the big cycling industry”.
I read a post somewhere several years ago that had one of the funniest, most prescient quotes I’ve read in some time: The one thing you can be sure of is this: A person who mentions “sustainability”, in any context, has absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. The same holds for anyone who tells you this diet is “better than” that diet or this form of exercise is “better than” that form: There’s a 98% chance they have no idea what they’re talking about; a few years down the road, studies will come out showing the diet or form of exercise wasn’t all that special after all.
The “best” form of exercise and the “best” diet are the one’s you’ll stick with.
For instance, circuit training in the gym is really popular lately. It’s touted as “the best” way to exercise if you want to lose weight. It’s not the best though because I’d sooner rub butter on my ass and have you call me Mary than go to the gym to do circuit workouts. While butter is definitely yummy, I’d have a problem with being called Mary.
SO, by all means, get excited! Do the Paleo thing, do the Primal thing, ride a bike, go for a run or a walk or a hike – do whatever gets that pulse to jump at the thought of doing it… Tell your friends, share it with the world! Just do us all a favor, please? Don’t ever be silly enough to believe your choice is “the best”… Lest someone smears butter on your ass and calls you Mary (or Dilbert or something). Oh, and one other thing, please don’t be such a pampas ass as to believe anyone else should change who they are to do exactly as you choose to do. The last thing this world needs is another @$$#0!e.
By the way, nothing in the post that I linked to had anything to do with the direction I took this post. John simply isn’t that way and this post is certainly not about his post – his post simply got me to thinking.