Can Kettlebells help me become a Better Cyclist?

Tom & Helder on the Tour

Tom & Helder on the Tour

This past weekend, a few of the NTC Tribe Members entered the “Tour de Elizabeth 2013.” It is an annual bike tour that takes place in the historical city of Elizabeth, NJ. We participate in many events both with Natural Training Center and individually. Every race and event is memorable, but the fact that I was born in Elizabeth NJ makes this event quite special for me. This year’s turnout was less than usual due to the heavy rain that occurred that morning and throughout the event. But for us, the rain just made it that much more fun. After all, anyone can ride 15 miles on a nice sunny day but it takes a special kind of crazy to battle the, oil-slick, city streets in a downpour. 🙂

It had been a while since I was on my bike. It was a long, cold winter that has just passed so riding my bike was not really a preferred option until now. We signed up for the event a few months ago and we all know how Time has the ability of passing by quite fast when we aren’t paying attention. Before we knew it, the Event was upon us.

Earlier on in the week I was on the phone with my uncle. He is of the Old School persuasion and when I brought up the Bicycle Tour (which went past his home in Elizabeth, NJ) he asked me if I had been training. This questioned puzzled me. Why?

Coach Helder

Coach Helder

Because I hadn’t trained for the event nor did I give training a second thought. I reflected on my uncle’s question and my reply was, “of course I trained.” This may sound like I was lying to my uncle but let me explain further.

Part of our NTC philosophy is to develop a lifestyle that keeps us Always Prepared. If we continually maintain a general level of preparedness we are ready for whatever event arises. We mean this with both organized as well as unorganized events. Since we integrate kettlebells as a big part of our personal practice, we sometimes take our training for granted; it is just who we are and what we do at Natural Training Center.

When an event such as the Tour de Elizabeth comes up, there is no stress from the fact that we NEED to train or did NOT train enough. There is also the other extreme of people in this demographic who are not prepared but attack the event full force. On a smaller scale event such as this one, many can get away with it on event day. However, what they experience in the days and sometimes weeks following the event tells a different story. It’s not just how we perform during the event but also, how fast and well do we recover post event..

The kettlebell and its seemingly endless magical powers tends to address every issue needed regardless of the skill or sport. In this case, cycling requires endurance, core strength, explosive hip and leg power, great V02 max (cardio), mobility and flexibility. The kettlebell addresses all of those needs and adds even more benefits.

Adriana, Helder and Tom

Adriana, Helder and Tom

Please keep in mind that when these events entail greater distances, we do need to train sport-specific alongside our kettlebell practice. There are mental as well as physical needs to “covering the distance” in order to fare well during longer races and events. Even for our marathon and Ironman Tribe Members, their kettlebell practice greatly enhances their training. Integrating kettlebells into their training not only saves them LOTS of training time but they get benefits that only kettlebell practice can give them.

So when I was asked on a wet Saturday morning by a fellow participant in the Tour de Elizabeth if kettlebells can help him become a better cyclist; my simple answer was yes.

It’s actually quite simple when we think about it… Kettlebells help you move better. So if the thing that you do requires movement and you want to do it better, safer and more often.. then kettlebells are the perfect tool for you.

Thanks for reading!

-Hg

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