Last weekend the SDBC category 4/5 team got together for a dryland training session with Pat Jak from FitnessQuest10. Some of San Diego's best professional athletes, including LaDainian Tomlinson, train at this facility.
From my perspective, it was definitely a learning experience and time well spent. Pat's philosophy on dryland training is somewhat different to what I've been doing with the Cyclists Training Bible for the past few years. The exercises aren't necessarily so much different, the big difference is the approach. The Training Bible is more focused on power lifting, whereas Pat would probably term his approach as more of cycling training.
For example, the Training Bible is all about working up to big weights with squats, lunges, leg presses, etc. During any session you do squats, then you move on to something upper body, then you do some core work, then you do some leg specialization. Pat's approach is to do squats, upper body, core work as well, but rotate through the exercises. Pat's exercises are also a lot more core/balance focused. He has you doing squats, but he also has you doing a lot of ball work, jumping, and off balance activity.
Saturday during our session we did some exercise and a lot of watching as one of our teammates played the role of the guinea pig. Even though we only did a fraction of the exercises, those that we did really challenged my left leg to work as well as my right. This is something that is challenging from a number of perspectives; first I'm never too sure just how far my left leg can go, second I can definitely feel my range of motion / bound up tissue being pushed with Pat's balance focused exercises. Afterwords I had the pain/relief feeling that only those who've had to regain lost range of motion can understand; tissue that is being pulled apart and hurts a bit, yet feels better for it. I'm optimistic that a couple months of Pat's exercises will provide a giant benefit to me by directly addressing some of the weaknesses I have in my left leg.
Saturday afternoon when I went for a long endurance ride I could feel the benefits of Pat's exercises immediately. My left leg definitely felt like it was playing more of a contributing role in my pedaling. As a result, I'm going to get away from the Training Bible weight program for a bit and give Pat's approach a try. As with most people, I naturally have a hard time letting go of things that I know well, even though the new approach appears to provide such an overwhelming reason for change. I'm still wrestling with myself a bit as far as the change in direction goes. I'm going to try to do Pat's exercises 2 times a week in the mornings before work and see what effect they have on my cycling performance.