Hey BikeForums -
I'm thinking of starting a new website focused on a singular goal: to help cyclists look great in bike shorts.
I'm an experienced cyclist, personal trainer, crossfit coach, and see a lot of the same questions pop up on the training and nutrition forums from time to time. Thought I might take a stab at helping folks out. I've written my first article... It's not online yet so I'll post here. It's more strategic than tactical -- the actual training plans will come soon. Would love any feedback. Will post a blog link once it's live.
Look Great in Bike Shorts: The Foundation
There’s one big problem with everything that’s written about biking. There’s all kinds of great articles about nutrition, hydration, post-ride recovery, tapering, and more. And there’s training plans for everything under the sun: century rides, multi tours, racing, strength, triathlons, charity rides, and so on ad nauseum.
But let’s be honest. No one’s talking about what we all want: to look great in bike shorts.
That’s right. Every cyclists wants to look incredible while wearing extremely tight, expensive, brightly colored spandex clothes.
But no one is telling us how to do it.
So let’s dispense with all pretensions to the contrary, admit that we want to look sexy when we don a tight pair of lycra bike shorts that leave nothing to the imagination, and talk about how to do it.
First, stop searching for random tactics. We’re all overwhelmed with media. If you’re like me, you can’t resist clicking links that say, “The four foods cyclists need to eat!” or “The one addition to your training that will melt the weight off!” The problem here, though, is that these are all tactics with no sense for a greater plan or strategy. This constant barrage of information makes us frazzled, unfocused, and anxious. Instead, we need to be calm, cool and collected, with a confident assurance that we’re following the right path. We need long-strategy and a foundation upon which to build.
And of course, the strategy and foundation must be laser focused on our goal: To make you look great in bike shorts.
So what’s the plan? Our strategy has the following six pillars, listed in order of importance:
1. Cultivate a winning mental attitude
That’s right, our most important strategic pillar has nothing to do with biking. Instead, you’ll succeed only with a winning mental attitude. This starts with a positive mindset that allows you to envision success, but it goes much deeper. You need to let go all fears of failure, and commit to taking action. Together, we’ll explore behavioral change, how to create powerful new habits, and the intricacies of motivation over the long term.
2. Eat right
We’re going to start simple with a basic set of nutritional guidelines, so as not to sidetrack or overwhelm you. When the time comes, we’ll dive into the juicy pieces that I know you love, like on-the-bike fueling and what to eat before and after rides.
3. Bike consistently
But you knew this, of course. You’ll need to bike consistently to look great in those shorts. 3 times a week is ideal, but once or twice is better than not at all. And of course, I’ll have a specific prescription of how much and what type of riding to do.
4. Strength train
I debated putting this on the same level as biking, because when your goals is to look great in bike shorts, strength training is just as important as turning the pedals. I’ll lay out a specific, measurable plan for you to follow with minimal equipment. We’re going to shoot for strength training twice a week, but once is better than not at all. I’ll also provide a number of no-equipment workouts so you can continue to train even when you’re travelling.
If strength training is new for you, don’t worry. We’ll work through it together.
5. Recover from workouts
You’re going to be doing quite a bit of work as you progress, and proper recovery is key to continued gains and motivation. You’ll want at least 8 hours of sleep a night, and we’ll build in a few total rest days each week.
The last piece is hydration, both on and off the bike. We’ll simplify all the noise that’s out there about hydration, and you’ll know exactly what you need to do to keep your fluids and electrolytes where they need to be.
That’s our strategy. Six key pillars. Ignore all the rest.
#1: How to cultivate a winning mental attitude
Our first pillar might cause you to stop and take pause. I bet you expected me to tell you that you’re going to have to eat right, bike consistently, and strength train. Everyone tells you that, and you already know that. What’s the missing link? If you know that, why don’t you already look great in those lycra booty shorts?
Because all you read is tactic after tactic. Workout plan after workout plan. Recipe after recipe. Diet book after diet book.
All of that is fine. And trust me, I’m going to give you the juicy, fun stuff, like workout plans, on-the-bike fueling strategies, and strength training tips, and it’s all going to be more effective than everyone else’s stuff. It’s going to be laser-focused to your goal of looking sexy in spandex. But all of that is secondary to you having the proper mindself that will allow you to take action, form new healthy habits, persevere through hard times and succeed through adversity.
That mindset requires several things:
Take action now:
- The acknowledgement that this will be a long-term process
- A dedication to taking action (rather than just reading about it)
- A commitment to building new, consistent habits as part of a greater strategy
Let’s start now with three quick action items that will help you cultivate a winning mental attitude.
Read this post
from Leo Babutua, author of ZenHabits, about how to turn inspiration into action.
Commit to stop tactic-searching. Stop scrolling through Facebook or Bicycling.com clicking on all the tactical links with titles like, “Eat these foods,” or “Add this exercise,” or “4 steps to biking long and strong!” These links overwhelm your mind, and while well-intentioned, only erode your confidence. Media outlets make money by putting out content every day, regardless of the quality. Each topical article briefly activates the reward center in your brain like a drug, but because the feeling is so fleeting, you feel like you need to find more articles and links. Simultaneously, reading all of these pages about biking and weight loss makes you feel like you’ve actually accomplished something, while in reality, you’re still sitting at your computer and not taking action.
In the next few posts, I’m going to lay out a plan that follows a strategy. Until then, take a deep breath, and resist the temptation to read everything you’re barraged with. Trust me. Unless it causes you to take immediate but sustainable action, it does more harm than good.
Go ride your bike. For fun. As long as you want.
Wait, what? That’s it? I’m going to title this post, “Look Great in Bike Shorts,” but not give you a training plan?
That’s right. If you’ve gotten this far, let me drive the point home one more time: We’re not about random tactics here. We’re about putting a strategy in place, taking action on that strategy, and ignoring all the rest. This is going to take time, but our goal is perhaps the noblest of all possible goals: to make spandex look flattering on you. We’ll get there, don’t worry. But first, we need to build a foundation, and that starts with you having the proper mental attitude.
So read this post
from Leo, and think about how you can turn your inspiration to look sexy into action.
In the next post, we’ll dive into deeper. I’ll see you there.