I might be on the rarer side of “consistency” meaning I have been extremely active since I was a kid, non-stop sports activities. But, a big but. I am also a person that has many periods of reduced activity.
I am 57, since the age of 10 I would say 43 of years I have involved in some type of training. Meaning I only have maybe 4 years, I did close to nothing. But probably 10 of those 43 years have involved 3-6 months of minimal to no “training.” So I have probably trained consistently for 65-75% of my life. Many winters have suffered.
I realized now is the time to solve this problem. Since having twins 9 years ago, TrainerDay and a similarly large other disruption, my life became more difficult to manage. Now things seem to be getting much easier again.
I have always been more intermittent at strength training not fully appreciating the importance. I would say most longevity experts these days are starting to advocate the importance of strength training, putting in on a higher level of importance than endurance training for longevity (health span).
After a period of 2 years of consistency, I got strong once in my life (400kg leg press slowly 10 times). But other than that I have been mostly intermittent.
So how do we stay incredibly consistent, ideally including strength training? Arguably, the key to long term health. I am starting to believe more important than diet, other than maybe in extreme cases. I can provide a bunch of “proof” but having reasonable muscle mass can fix many of the metabolic issues as much as being a healthy weight as well as solving other problems. Muscles help with Insulin sensitivity for example.
I have a group of what I consider interesting thinkers and science guys discussing this stuff and it brought me to some interesting observations.
One of these “thinkers” is super strong, low body fat and fast cyclist and been consistent at strength training for 30 years. He was telling me how he does it and my conclusion was that he is so different than me, his tricks would never work. I thought he was just genetically created for consistency. But the more I dug into it I realized maybe I was wrong and maybe he is not that different and his ideas might work for me too. Then I saw the following article.
Elaine LaLaine, the now 97 year old wife of Jack LaLaine, he being one of the greatest fitness guys of all time. At 97 she trains 7 days a week. She has a core message “Always stay positive!!!”
Here is ChatGPT summary since that might be paywalled
At 97, Elaine LaLanne, the “First Lady of Fitness,” continues to shape the fitness industry and is a model for aging well. She was the wife and business partner of Jack LaLanne, renowned as the father of modern fitness. While Jack was the face of the fitness movement, Elaine preferred to work behind the scenes.
Elaine has also published books and is working on film projects about their life and contributions to fitness, with Mark Wahlberg attached to play Jack. She remains active in fitness circles, providing counsel to industry professionals and continuing her fitness routines, which she says have not only kept her physically active but also mentally sharp.
Despite facing personal tragedies, including the loss of her daughter, Elaine maintains a positive outlook and remains a testament to the benefits of a lifetime of exercise, positive thinking, and healthy living. She continues to inspire many by showing the value of maintaining an active lifestyle and the impact of exercise on aging, emphasizing the importance of movement: “If you don’t move, you become immovable.”
Can I do it?
So I am learning some tricks, and first indication is I feel they might work. I will keep sharing those tricks here. So this discussion is mostly about consistency and strength training. I really want to get into sharing the importance of strength training for cyclists. Many cyclists don’t like strength training. I am not going to try to argue that it is critical to short or medium term performance, as that is fairly unproven. I still do think it is very important even in very small amounts. Could be as little as 15 minutes a week.
My New Primary Tricks
Positivity from myself and everyone in my life about training “you look sexy.” No negative statements and full support for partners and family about exercise. My wife agrees but still struggles not to disrupt me
Do what ever it takes to get motivated, even if that means eating something that does not fully align with your diet
Realize strength training is the most important thing in MY life. There is likely nothing you can do to improve your health span more, and you can spend minimal amounts of time so it’s not going to disrupt your life. Nothing should ever come before this other than extreme emergencies and illnesses. It can be 15 minutes twice a week. Make it happen!!!
This does not need to be an argument about the importance of strength training. It’s more just my current mindset. If you believe in the benefit of strength training than Zone 2 is the perfect compliment of strength training. Too many hard efforts on the bike can disrupt your strength training.
Again we are a cycling platform. I think cycling is absolutely great and not trying to down play the importance of aerobic exercise. I am just trying to get people to consider having more of a balance and put health first which Andrea and I both believe will bring maximum performance at any level of cyclist.