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winston endall 01-31-2005 06:37 PM

Hi folks,

Crossfit is amazing. It's refreshing to see that there are people who actually understand athletes aren't bodybuilders. I've been using many of the principals here without even knowing it.

Applying the Tabata protocol to squats and other exercises is brilliant. I've been using on the bike for years but it never occured to me to apply it to resistance training. This kind of sideways thinking is what moves us to discover new techniques and continue to improve.

I race road bikes and didn't like the results I got cross training with the usual weight training workouts, so I worked out a functional strength-endurance program using a mix of bodyweight exercises, rings, ropes, plyometrics, sandbag lifting and weighted clubs as cross training during the winter. I set things up so they were done with little or no rest between exercises. Many of the same exercises but without the power and olympic lifts. It built lots of muscular endurance and it really helped the on bike endurance.

I used to the bodybuilding style weight training but didn't find it helped on the bike, where as full body movements and plyometric leg work really helped to make me faster and have less support muscle fatigue during long rides and races. My system was a every other day split with bike training 3-5 times a week in the offseason. In season, the strength conditioning was cut to twice a week with less emphasis on the legs. I even gave it cool name, Cycle Blast.

I own a bike shop with a race team so I started to have the team come in for this type of training during the winter and all of them started the season in much better shape than they had in previous years. We've now had another winter of suffering and the improvements in overall fitness both on and off the bike are outstanding.

Are there any other competitive cyclists on the board who've applied crossfit to their program?

How did you do it and what results did you see?

Thanks for such a great resource and different way of thinking about fitness.

Butch White 02-01-2005 08:13 AM

Welcome Winston! I no longer compete but I used to do some sport mt. bike racing, triathlons and cat 4 cycling. After discovering the CF Journal and site about four months ago, I am now in my best overall condition ever. The demands of family/work now limit the time I can commit to training but CrossFit has provided more results in less daily training time than any other routine I've tried... while actually improving my endurance capability.

There are quite a few CF/endurance athletes that post on the boards, so you'll find plenty of company.

For the record, I miss competitive cycling but I now spend most of my recreational time doing the things my kids want to do versus making them always do what I want to do... or leaving them out all together... [i]but time might need to be made try a cyclocross event.[/i]

Butch White 02-01-2005 08:16 AM

One more thing, your personal quote is a good one, Winston.

"Suffering in training makes the rest of life more enjoyable."

winston endall 02-01-2005 02:37 PM


my quote is my civilian take on "whoever sweats the most in training, bleeds the least in war." And besides, the endorphin rush is worth the pain. After a while you associate lactic acid with happiness.

I've done a few cross races and it is a kind of suffering that people can imagine if they haven't done it. Balls to the wall for an hour plus a lap with jumping off and carrying your bike over barriers is very crossfit. I averaged 180 bpm for my last cross race and my max is only 194. Road racing is almost easy by comparison.

Butch White 02-01-2005 08:43 PM

My brother-in-law in Portland (a cat 2/3) has told me that nothing compares to the "fun" suffering of cyclocross. It reminds me of the CF T-shirt that proclaims "it doesn't have to be fun to be fun." BTW, in addition to the free CF Journal #2 (What is fitness?), get the "What is Crossfit?" back issue which I believe is CF Journal #19. The way I think and pursue fitness will never be the same.

Eugene R. Allen 02-04-2005 06:49 PM

Winston - I am a triathlete and my training has rarely focused on intensity but rather longer, slower training along the general understanding I had of Phil Maffetone's training methods. I would do some higher intensity work but I was absolutely convinced that if my HR got too high in the base season I would sabotage my entire racing season. Wrong.

After a just a few months of CrossFit last year I had the best racing season ever. I have had the same general experience as you Winston in that my biking has improved, but I noticed it more in my running for some reason. The cross over benefits of CrossFit are huge. Having undertaken the CrossFit way I find that I am better at everything I do.

winston endall 02-05-2005 04:08 PM

I think that for the long distance athlete, once you've developed an aerobic base over a few years, it doesn't take a lot to maintain it. The key is to not take a big layoff each year. This way your aerobic engine continues to grow season to season. I make a point of 1 long ride per week with the rest of the time working on speed, intensity or recovery.

As the tabata study proved high intensity will increase aerobic performance. By working at varying intesities and with different interval patterns you can continue to improve as the seaons go by

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