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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Travel workout


So many of my clients...and myself have been at hotels or condos over the holidays...and some yet to come with some hockey tournaments for their kids...

I did the following workout utilizing just the stairs...and some bodyweight exercises...

Did as many rounds as I could in 20 minutes...of...

Run to 1st floor...10 squats...return to ground

Run to 2nd floor...10 lunges per leg...return to ground

Run to 3rd floor...10 mountain climbers...return to ground

Run to 4th floor...10 jumping jacks...return to ground

Run to 5th floor...10 pushups...return to ground

Run to 6th floor...10 burpees...return to ground

Got an awesome workout in ... included 15 min run warmup

Burned over 500 calories in 35 minutes...20 min of threshold work...felt awesome

Amazing what you can do with a little time...and a set of stairs...

Monday, December 29, 2008

What's Your Routine ???

Having routines is huge.

This idea came to me during a 4hr endurance session on Sunday. I realized that I feel the best when I have my pre-workout routine in place and post-workout routine ready to go the minute I am done.

This makes it so I have barely any chance of slipping into a trance over the biggest bowl of fruit loops ever ... forgetting stretching, forgetting a quality recovery meal, and forgetting the recovery friendly post-workout nap to help get the most benefit from the work just completed.

What your routine isn't the critical part of this idea, in my mind, but having a stretching/nutrition routine for after your workouts (ie. a set routine of stretches you do to address limiters vs. a couple of toe touches before 'vegging') is huge.

Below is a yoga pose/stretch I have been using a lot myself and with clients, basically a sumo squat with a twist to point/look at the sky. Enjoy!

PS. Just installed a new 'Share' link that should appear below links ... this allows for emailing content to friends or posting on social networks like Delicio.us or Face Book. Spread the word!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Workouts of the Week

So To start of 2009 Steve and I thought a workout of the week would be a great addition to our Blog. Some great feedback off our Xmas day post so keep on posting your experience to comments and should be a great learning tool for all!

Feel free to post questions as needed.

So for the first week.

1) Steve's

5 rounds for time of: (post time to comments)
Run 400 meters
10x 1 burpee - 1 pullup - 1 knees to elbows

** the knees to elbows is hanging from a bar...like pullup in straight arm position...and raising your knees up to touch your elbows without swinging...

2) Peter's
(post how you used workout to comments)
4 Rounds of:
- bike 5min at 110-120RPM focus on no bouncing
- 20 Situps
- 15 Reverse Lunges / Leg (lunge backwards to 90 degress at both knees/keep upper body vertical)
- 10 Pushups

* Remember to warmup with at least active flex if not some sort of endurance sport. Either of these could be included during a longer endurance session as well to break up a trainer session.


Saturday, December 27, 2008



Hello Everyone...

Really glad to see all those great burpee times posted! I have been having some fun in Floriday with Bodyweight workouts myself...and I haven't ran this much in a long time...well to be honest last year EXACTLY at this time ...

Thanks to Peter Glassford...associate coach of mine...the ONE and the ONLY for all your hardwork on the site...and everywhere else for that matter

Thanks to everyone who visits the site and makes it worth while to post...think of silly training things to do to people ( oops I mean for people of course :) )

Just wanted to wish everyone a really Happy New Year...and I hope you are all well...and that training is going great !

Speaking of silly training...

How about ... when you have a spare moment ...

5 rounds for time of:

Run 400 metres
10x 1 burpee - 1 pullup - 1 knees to elbows

I did this one in Florida with Gayle and the kids...

the knees to elbows is hanging from a bar...like pullup in straight arm position...and raising your knees up to touch your elbows without swinging...

Have fun...please be safe and healthy...

Keep in touch...

Steve Neal

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas From SNPD

Thank You to all our clients who continue to trust in the two of us. We appreciate your dedication and will continue to work hard and learn more each day to improve each service we offer. Whether that is bike fitting, coaching, technical sessions, personal training or Testing.

Christmas Challenge

Complete 50 Burpees for Time ... Post time to Comments of this Blog Entry. (email pics or video or post your own link in comments)

Burpee Demo

(note be smart if you haven't done burpees/strength go for 20 or exclude pushup)

After your burpees take some time by the fire ... if no fire see below link

Faux Fire made by a close friend of mine ... complete with a soundtrack for the season.

Enjoy your day.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Consults - Top 3 Mistakes We are Seeing

So with all the 2009 schedules coming out there are lots of athletes out there starting to get serious for the new season. New goals, new training strategies and new ideas on anything related to training are likely starting to take shape in your mind, if they haven't already taken shape in a formalized plan.

We have been doing a lot of consults in the last 2 months and I really enjoy the chance to get to meet people, find out where they have been, discuss where they want to go and help them shape a plan for the next few months in that direction. This is a great option for people who really have no desire to work with someone else on their personal fitness or for who finances are just not in place to afford a higher level of coaching.

3 Mistakes we seem to be spending a lot of time talking about include the following:

1) Following a general plan of Base -> build -> Peak ... This is a proven plan but if you are only riding around 8hrs a week and have been cycling for a few seasons its tough to expect this to stress your body. Look at adding some sort of interval training to address a limiter after you get back into training for a few weeks. The variety will help pass any time you are spending on the trainer, and maximize the controlled indoor environment.

2) Nutrition - Eat more veggies and more lean protein (recipe)... less sugar. Whole foods over processed ... it makes a huge difference in energy and recovery, commit to it for a month and you won't go back.

3) Not taking care of nagging injuries - we all procrastinate but that IT Band issue that was nagging all summer needs attention. Spend a bit of money now on some therapy and it will likely save a ton later and also let you race all summer, and achieve your goals!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cx Video

Veloo Media is a great site that provides video of many ontario events. Relive the 2008 race below ... watch for SNPD athlete Cameron Jette (Trek Store Toronto) Winning the Espoir Race and not losing too much time on the Pro Leaders either. One of his best races of the season and his young career, keep it up Cam!



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jeremy Powers Race Bag ... or Christmas list !

A good friend let me know about this article on Velo News. I love stressing preparation prior to races and workouts, whether that is making a list, checking bolts or packing everything needed.

This article provides a bit of insight into what Jeremy travels with to his cross races but would be beneficial for anyone in mtb/road/tri or whatever sport in terms of the care taken.


This may also provide some hints for cyclists on your Christmas List !


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Transrockies Article

It is that time of year where bets and resolutions get made. Doing a race like Trans-rockies is always a popular challenge/bet/etc. I Received this link to an article about 2008 Transrockies, includes a couple of quotes from me but is also a really good overview of the race/experience from several perspectives.

Also the below video captures one of the hardest parts of the race i think, I would love to do the race with this man! About 20min prior to this hike-a-bike Cam and I chased a bull down a 5km downhill ... so the race isn't all about hike-a-bike.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Organized workouts making a difference in the real world...


I just had the email below from a client I work with in England.

Hi Steve,

Most of todays club ride was done at a sustainable pace, with a number of efforts included. After 20min the file shows a large time gap. This is a result of resetting the time on the headset. The 1st lengthy effort was around the 4hr 24min mark with the final hill of a hill that gradually gets steeper. I was pushed hard up the stretch by another rider who I thought was in our group, but turned out to be someone who just caught us up. I did managed to shake him off before the top.

We have a regular sprint near the end around 5hr 33 mark. With these tactics normally come into play and currently being the strongest in the group, there’s an element of ganging up on me. This went well and I did win, but it was a struggle as I’d committed to a too lower gear. Luckily the higher cadence intervals paid off. I managed to do 142 cadence for 929w.


We started up training again for next season about one month ago. In this training are some higher intensity vo2 max intervals as well as some high RPM coordination drills.

It looks like even in a regular club ride the workouts are already showing to be useful.

I am not always quite this lucky to have a workout that athlete is doing show such a perfect example in the real world...but it sure is nice when it happens :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

For Tonights Meal.

This is from a Newsletter I receive weekly ... one of my favorite dishes, a good note going into a great weekend filled with cross-training fun.

If you're a die-hard pasta fan and you think you're going to miss this starchy, grainy food, just wait until you try spaghetti squash in place of pasta.

I think of Sonoma County, California, and I immediately picture gorgeous landscapes, ideal temperatures and a plethora of fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and herbs. Two that stand out for me in particular are sun-dried tomatoes and basil, which prompted me to create the following dish:
  • Cut a spaghetti squash in half; scoop out the seeds and discard them.

  • Place the halves, cut side down, in a baking pan with water and cook for 45 minutes at 425 degrees, or until you can easily pierce the skin with a knife.

  • Remove from the oven and let cool.

  • Using a fork, scrape out the stringy squash (now you'll see how it looks like spaghetti!) into a bowl.

  • Chop some fresh basil and add to the bowl.

  • Dice some sun-dried tomato and add that as well.

  • Finally, finish with a nice addition of cold-pressed olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper.

  • Stir well and serve!
Not only will you love the savory flavors, you'll also like how you feel after eating - satisfied but not full, unlike how you might feel if you'd eaten a large dish of pasta!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

5 Common Cross-Training Mistakes

So with the coming of Snow, Salt and Cold many of us are out enjoying cross training activities like nordic skiing, hiking, snow-shoeing and perhaps some winter riding as well! Several common issues come up when using another sport to train.

1) Going too Hard - while some of us are gifted with a good 'body feeling' a new sport, especially one like xc skiing, is going to be very challenging for the entire body and so we often go to hard. An okay rule of thumb is to allow 5-10% more to your endurance hr range for sports like running and skiing, but as always breathing is also a good indicator. Getting tested in your cross-training sport is always an option as well.

2) Not staying steady - athletes may get out into the forest and take frequent breaks and coast much more than they would if they were out on their bikes. While enjoying the outdoors in winter is important and very fun; it is also important to maintain the desired training effect. Consider a shorter, more focused session if this is an issue.

3) Not drinking - we are spoiled with our bottle cages, so often times we will see athletes go for 3hr and loner sessions without taking a single drink! Plan for this and look into a good bottle holder for around your waste or a nice hydration pack. The belief that cold = not sweating = no need to drink also remains ... it's not true !

4) not eating - again not quite as convenient in the cold, with the big clothes and gloves. Again, just as important, especially in sport you are not efficient at.

5) Not taking lessons - best way to improve is to get some instruction, look at your local ski resorts for ski lessons and you will find your progress, enjoyment and workout quality are much better.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Good Ole Energy Drink

After partaking in a leisurely pre-ride hot chocolate this morning I was catching up on some recent research articles. Found the one below interesting. Really just more reason to stick to those veggies and whole foods!

Safety Issues Associated With Commercially Available Energy Drinks

From Journal of the American Pharmacists AssociationKevin A. Clauson; Kelly M. Shields; Cydney E. McQueen; Nikki Persad


Objective: To describe benefits and adverse effects associated with the consumption of energy drinks.
Data Sources: Searches were conducted using Medline, IPA (International Pharmaceutical Abstracts), EMBASE, and MANTIS; databases such as Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Natural Standard, ALTMEDEX, and AltHealthWatch; and Google (range 1980 to September 2007). Search terms included energy drink, Red Bull, caffeine, glucose, ginseng, guarana, taurine, and bitter orange.
Data Synthesis: Most energy drinks contain natural products such as guarana, ginseng, and taurine. As much as 80 to 300 mg of caffeine and 35 grams of processed sugar per 8-ounce serving are commonly present in energy drinks such as Cocaine, Pimp Juice, Red Bull, and Spike Shooter. No reports were identified of negative effects associated with taurine, ginseng, and guarana used in the amounts found in most energy drinks. Commonly reported adverse effects seen with caffeine in the quantities present in most energy drinks are insomnia, nervousness, headache, and tachycardia. Four documented case reports of caffeine-associated deaths were found, as well as four separate cases of seizures associated with the consumption of energy drinks.
Conclusion: The amounts of guarana, taurine, and ginseng found in popular energy drinks are far below the amounts expected to deliver either therapeutic benefits or adverse events. However, caffeine and sugar are present in amounts known to cause a variety of adverse health effects.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Watching the Numbers

Had a great Personal Session on Tuesday with Sarah Caylor. She came by for some supervised indoor intervals. We worked on using all the metrics she has available to her to maximize her intervals, and time, while riding.

Too often we see clients who are really motivated to train but for whatever reason don't take the extra couple minutes to .make sure they are using their time effectively and working towards the goals they would like to see come about in the next few monts. Things often overlooked include:

1) Decide/Read what to do in a given workout ... ie. is there a certain cadence to maintain or a workload that needs to be kept ??

2) Take an interest in why they are doing something, whether they are programming it or have someone else doing the prescription. Learning why one would decide to do a couple of 20min threshold intervals tends to help motivate.

2) Use the metrics available, including any or all of speed/hr/power/RPE/cadence/Breathing rate, to keep efforts high quality, in target workload and purposeful. Using only HR or only power can lead to efforts that either aren't steady or that are too hard/too easy on a given day, using the data from all those screens helps maximize the time you have to train.

3) Direct their efforts towards a goal, such as improving a physiological limiter or technical limiter. Deciding what to focus on in a given ride is huge. If this is done every day the cumulative effects are much better then many workouts done with 50 or 60% accuracy/adherence.

Sarah and I worked on using her Speed and Cadence to keep some shorter intervals at the intensity we wanted. After her first interval we were able to decide what Effort would produce the desired Heart rate response, by noting what speed and cadence she was riding at. We also had Wattage as backup/confirmation but used the speed/cadence as that is what she has at home.

The result ... 1.5hrs of steady work, some data we can use as a baseline to make sure things are going well and hopefully many more short but effective indoor sessions to bring forth the best results we can for 2009.

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