How to Tell if Music Will Help or Hurt Your Workout

Music can boost your workout by distracting you from pain and fatigue, but it’s not a boon to every workout. Depending on your personality and your sport, you may be better off skipping distractions.

Source: How to Tell if Music Will Help or Hurt Your Workout

I’ve spoken before about my distaste for music in particular training.  For cycling, it’s a Darwin Award to me.  There’s the same potential for running, but not as much and it can be more beneficial IMO to have music than while cycling.  I’ve seen setups that allow you to listen to music while swimming.  I come from cycling – group rides usually provide a partner but otherwise are without music so being without never bothered me.

How to Minimize Loose Skin During Weight Loss

There’s nothing worse than working your way through a diet only to end up with skin that hangs like a curtain from a window. Unfortunately, it’s a common byproduct of weight loss. Here’s what you can to minimize the amount of loose skin during weight loss or even improve the issue after you’ve lost weight.

Source: How to Minimize Loose Skin During Weight Loss

Not a topic you often see covered…

Eggs, tuna, lean chicken, navy or black beans, and – of course – protein powder are good ways to get a big dose of protein with a small amount of calories.

Cycling: 8 Ways to Become a Better Climber

Climbing. Some love it, some hate it. More often than not a rider’s attitude towards climbing correlates with their bodyweight. The bottom line is that climbing is generally dictated by watts per kilo. Simply put: to climb faster, you need to put out more power, or weigh less. Or both.

There are a myriad of strategies that can be enacted with coaches, physiologists and nutritionists until you’re light and strong enough to leave all your mates behind. But bike races are not raced in a lab.

It’s a curious observation that those who test well in the lab often get smashed by their less-impressive counterparts in real-life racing. Sometimes it’s attitude, sometimes its technique, sometimes it’s pacing. But whatever is letting you down, here are a few tips to help you improve.

Source: 8 ways to become a better climber

Being at the front is a tip I’ve gotten for group rides too.  The rationale is that stronger climbers will pass you, but hopefully you won’t fall to the very back – so you’ll still crest the hill with the majority of the group.

Being in or out of the saddle, all that matters is that you are comfortable.  I was given a “tip” once that if everyone else is out of the saddle – you should be too.  I disregarded the tip, and have since found the following video:

The science says there’s no difference (same as the article), even if the standing test was done so the guy wasn’t standing the entire time.  What really dictates getting out of the saddle is how steep the climb is – you need to get out of the saddle to keep the weight distribution between the front and rear wheel.  Too much in the back, the front lifts and you could end up on the ground.  Too much in the front, and you loose traction in the rear – spin out.  Spinning out isn’t that much of an issue on pavement/asphalt, but when the terrain is loose (gravel, dirt, mud) – it’s a lot more likely, and a lot more obvious.

Listening to the breathing of the people around you is very much a thing.  In a group ride, it’s a courtesy to the person you’re paired with so you know if you should back off the pace.  But as the article points out – in a competitive setting, use that to your advantage.  Which leads into the next point…

As with any competition, knowing your opponent is key.  Know when your opponent is “riding the rivet” so you can push them beyond the breaking point.  I’ve had the experience where people misread me, because I am an unorthodox cyclist – I push big gears, low cadence.  I get a lot of sneers, and it takes a few rides before that goes away.

What to Do Between Your Intervals for the Best Workout

Speedy interval sessions require rest between repetitions–and especially when you’re pushing your limits, the natural instinct may be to stop and put your hands on your knees while you catch your breath. But experience teaches us a counterintuitive lesson: Gentle jogging during those precious snippets of recovery sometimes makes it easier to run fast on the next rep. That’s because jogging keeps more blood flowing through your legs, clearing away the metabolic waste products that build up during hard running and contribute to muscle fatigue.

Source: How to Recover Between Intervals

The information applies to most physical activities.  The article is on a running-centric website, but mentions the study of cyclists.  This should be applicable to swimming… I look forward to updating my training, once my rib heals.