Workout of The Week - Week Three

Welcome to our third week of Workouts. This week's routines come from Pro Cyclist Alex Howes and Professional Cycling coach Colby Pierce. Alex offers a unique endurance workout complete with suggested post ride refreshments. Alex's Coach (and former holder of the US Hour Record) Colby Pierce brings us his " Core Routine of Death, Destruction and Victory." Don't let his title scare you, the workout will only hurt a little...

Core Routine of Death, Destruction and Victory

These exercises are engineered to help you stabilize your core during intense exercise. This allows more effective use of the force your limbs can produce.

1. Stir the Pot.

This is a plank exercise done on a balance ball. Put your elbows on the ball, your feet on the floor (on your toes) and keep a straight, stiff spine while you roll the ball in circles which are about 12 inches in diameter. Squeeze your butt to stabilize your torso. As you get stronger, make the circles bigger. Start with feet about shoulder's width apart. 10 one direction and 10 the other. For added challenge, bring your feet closer together. Don't let you spine sag towards the floor and don't shrug your shoulders towards your ears, keep them low and wide apart.

2. Side plank - Left

10 slow breaths. Squeeze your butt to keep your spine from sagging and don't shrug your shoulders (especially the one under you). For added challenge, add 2-5 breaths and lift your top leg off of your bottom one so your feet are about 30cm apart.

3. Superman

Start on your belly, arms overhead, lift legs and arms off floor, but only about 10-18cm. The objective is not to lift everything "up" but to make everything "long" - make the distance between your fingertips and toes as long as possible with a slight upward arc in between. Avoid compression of the lower vertebrae by arching the back too much. Hold this for 5 -10 slow breaths. It will be hard to belly breathe in this position so you will have to breathe "with a strong outer stomach"

4. Side plank Right

10 slow breaths.

5. Heel touches

Using a 4 foot foam roller, lay down so the roller is along your spine. Bring your knees up so your thighs are vertical and your shins are horizontal. Pre load your abs by contracting them so that your spine is flat against the roller, to eliminate the gap which would normally occur between your lumbar spine and the roller. Then lower one leg at a time, slowly, while keeping your lower back flat against the roller. Alternate L and R legs for a set of 50. If you make it to 50 easily, you are probably not being disciplined about keeping your back flat - don't allow any gap! During the reps, your abs are contracted the entire time.

6. Single legged balance

Begin on dyna disk (or just bare foot if you don't have one) for 30 seconds on one leg. then reach down with opposite hand (L hand if you are standing on R leg) and touch the floor with your finger tips about 12 inches in front of your foot. bend mostly at the waist. Slowly come back up to standing. repeat 10 x. then switch legs. By the end all the little stabilizers near your ankle should be burning. To add challenge, do this with your weight on the ball of your foot, keeping your heel about 1cm off the ground. Do not let the knee collapse inward (towards your centerline) when you are bending at the hip.

7. Fitball crunches 

Roll out on it into a plank position (facing down) and do a set of 30 reps of knee to chest. Starting in plank position, bring your knees up to your chest, then return to plank. 10 on center, 10 with knees to L side, 10 to R.

This is one routine of 7 exercises. Start with one set and as you get better, add more sets. Don't add more breaths or reps to each exercise when you get stronger, instead do the whole routine again. For these types of exercises it is better to add more sets rather than one longer continuous set. Each time you do these, concentrate on your form and the intent of the exercise. Don't get sloppy or cheat!

For more info check out Colby's Website 

Professional cyclist Alex Howes offers a fun and unorthodox style workout with a little comedic relief. 

Full Tilt for Tacos 

"My favorite workout is a 3hr ride (road or MTB) with lots of climbing. Nothing too structured just lots of climbing so I can enjoy lots of descending. Then, after 3hrs I’ll roll over to the bike park and rip the summer short track race series. 20min FULL GAS! A few laps to cool down then the whole crew rolls out to grab some tacos and a beer. Best workout ever. Just don’t crash in the short track race. Tacos are best enjoyed with all your skin." - Alex Howes 

- 3 Hour ride with heavy climbing 

- 20 Minute Race-Pace, High-Intensity Effort

- Tacos and Beer!  (Essential for optimizing post-workout physiologic signaling.)

 Follow Alex on instagram at @alex_howes

Follow Alex on instagram at @alex_howes