My Recent “Bike Diet”

I Fucking Love Fitness

Throwback from last summer.

This week, I got on my bike for the first time since the end of November.

Cycling is awesome for your mind, body and soul but I went on a “bike diet” only because I knew I was going to do it for at least 9 months out of the year so I wanted to focus on other forms of cardio and lifting heavy ass weights at the gym. So for a month and a half,  I’ve been lifting more heavy weights, less circuit training and less cardio, although I’ve been occasionally hitting up my good old elliptical with a lot of high intensity interval training. I didn’t touch my road bike at all while the air pressure on my tires slowly dropped and I tried to resist the spin bikes at the gym (although I think I caved twice but I swear they were only really short HIIT sessions).

Most importantly, I’ve been more committed to recovery.

I’ve always stretched but I stretch and foamroll for even longer after every workout. I lie painfully on golf balls or foam-roll while watching TV at home. I get into all these weird positions and stretch while working on my computer (hip flexors, glutes, ITB, calves, back, shoulders, arms, you name it). I get a painfully wonderfully massage once a week. I started seeing the chiropractor again and I’m also trying to commit to wearing my custom orthotics (got them for my flat feet last year but never wore them regularly).

The results from my bike rides this week?

I remember my last couple rides at the end of 2013 were brutal— the hills I use to rock made me tired, it was hard breathing in the cold air and I felt a little discouraged. The first couple rides of this year was completely at the other end of the spectrum! I’ve been feeling less tired on the hills and I feel like I can ride for longer, even while breathing in this frigid winter air. I think my body was definitely over-trained but this much-needed bike diet put me back on track. It definitely feels great to be riding again!


    Change Your Mindset

    “I exercise because I fucking love fitness and it makes me feel

    #vainmirrorpic alert.

    I cycle for the freedom, not to lose weight.

    I run to improve my race time, not to lose weight.

    I lift for gains, not to lose weight.

    I do yoga because it’s meditative, not to lose weight.

    I exercise because it gives me more energy, not to lose weight.

    I exercise to be fit and healthy, not to lose weight.

    If you want to succeed in fitness and in life, you must change your mindset.


      How Often Should You Workout?

      I workout 4-6 times a week, depending on how I feel and I like to take at least one day off where I do absolutely nothing. Non-fitness people are shocked to hear how much I workout but workout frequency doesn’t really mean anything. It’s all about the quality of your workouts based on type, volume and intensity.

      Friend #1 can tell you they workout 6x/week but all the workout consists of running for an hour on the treadmill and maybe some light yoga, whereas Friend #2 works out 3x/week but incorporates heavy lifting and HIIT cardio. Who do you think will be more successful in the long run?

      Investing in health will produce enormous benefits.

      Notes on Training Frequency:

      • There is no right or wrong answer to how often you should workout a week because it depends on one’s fitness goals and schedule.
      • If your goal is to lose weight, which is 80% diet, spending too much time at the gym maybe counter-productive (especially if most of that is doing steady-state cardio). Most people trying to lose weight, exercise too much while often over-restricting calories which means not properly fueling their bodies and letting it recover with proper diet and nutrition. This will damage your metabolism and make your body hang onto fat.
      • If you want to get stronger and fitter, do it more often.
      • If you simply love working out and do it for both health AND leisure, there’s nothing wrong with spending more time exercising. Just remember to take proper rest days and have variety in type and intensities.
      • Short and intense workouts are generally better than long and less-intense ones for fat loss (eg. HIIT vs steady-state).
      • Some of my best workouts are the short ones when I’m on a time crunch. Having exactly an hour at the gym, including time in the changeroom, will force your brain to focus like never before. It’s an amazing feeling and you will get an amazing workout!
      • It’s beneficial to your body and mind to have active rest days. Take time off from the usual intense stuff and go for a walk or take a relaxing yoga class.
      • The real key is to move everyday.
      • It’s really okay to train the same muscle 2 days in a row. Those who train a little bit more intelligently can train more frequently.
      • Maintain a constant variety of training load (reps, sets, rest time, exercise selection/order, etc) as well as intensity.
      • The most important thing: listen to your body.

      How often do you workout?