Kettlebells, Hiking, and Biking

No picture of the bike ride, though I wish I had my camera for that one - I blew past someone in a full kit from one of our competitors.

No picture of the bike ride, though I wish I had my camera for that one - I blew past someone in a full kit from one of our competitors.

I always say that we have a bunch of different cycles in our programs, most of the time everything is reasonable, but sometimes they all line up to give you a difficult week or day.

Everything lined up this weekend to be difficult - I pulled a PR deadlift on Friday (yay!), went on a long ride on Saturday (my first since the boys were born), and then a long hike near the divide (>10k ft altitude) with Illy in the backpack on Sunday.

I should have been destroyed by the weight and the volume of work I did, but I felt great. I was most surprised by my performance on the bike.

I haven’t done a real ride for at lest 5 years, probably more. I go out with the boys, but that’s easy stuff (for now) at their speed. I had a chance to go for a long ride by myself on Saturday - and even found a neighbor to join me as I was leaving. He was a real cyclist and what surprised me was that I was able to mostly keep up with him on the trail. More importantly, when we got back from the ride, I felt perfect.

I haven’t done any real endurance work ever. The most I do are 10 minutes of A+A swings, or sometimes a 20 minute A+A snatch set (5 snatches on the minute, so the work:rest ratio is actually really low)

I know academically that the Alactic plus Aerobic work (a form of Anti-glycolytic training) is exactly what we should be doing. It makes sense, I’ve written articles on why it’s the right way to train. I know that working for 10 minutes a day can actually train your real world long-distance endurance. But it still doesn’t feel real until you experience it yourself.

It’s another example of the WTF-effect with kettlebells. You don’t need to train long work, you don’t need to constantly tap into the glycolytic pathway in training. You will get better for real life by doing simple easy work.

I even had lots in the tank when I needed to tap into the glycolytic work to cruise up a rocky technical section too! Mountain biking is lots of alternating between exploding and enduring. I never felt out of my depth. Even after years off of the bike!

Oh, and my strength was so much better that balance was trivial too - I’m not an extraordinary technical rider, but I did much harder trails that I typically did in the past too. Balance is an expression of strength!

You bikers in Boulder better be reading this - don’t be beating yourself up with glycolytic-acid-bath-HIIT workouts, silly balance ball nonsense, and generally wasting your time. Get in here, do our A+A strength program and you’ll magically get better at your sport.

…and I didn’t even get a chance to talk about the metabolic efficiency that AGT give you. When you have lots of mitochondria that can metabolize fat in parallel, you don’t notice the altitude nearly as much anymore.

Michael Deskevich