Month: May 2015

Treadmill Safety Tips

Treadmill Safety Tips

Treadmill Safety Tips Description

A recent high profile treadmill accident resulted in death. At the time of this writing, it’s unclear what exactly happened, and we might never know. In either case, it seems like a good time to share some of my own treadmill safety tips that I’ve developed from several years of riding one. I get in about 300 miles per year on a treadmill, in addition to the 1200 or so outside miles for my own training.

First of all, do not become distracted. If you are going to be reading or watching TV, please put it somewhere within peripheral vision of your feet and the belt. You should be able to see clearly where you are stepping in your peripheral vision. You also don’t want to be checking out the hotties or whatever else. Plan on not chatting, texting, or calling with your phone. If you’re using it for music, put it on the floor behind you with a playlist.

That brings me to the next of my treadmill safety tips. Wear Bluetooth headphones if you can. Don’t let your cords trail all over the place, possibly getting wrapped up in your feet, or around the handles of the treadmill.

Treadmill Safety Tips Video


Next, be sure you do not overcome, or circumvent the safety switch. There will assuredly be a quick release safety switch. It should attach to your belt or waist band at one end. On the other should be a magnet or sliding clip. If you fasten it to you on the one end, and the treadmill at the other, it will stop the belt quickly should you fall off the back. It shouldn’t allow you to stand on the rear roller.

Treadmill Safety Tips: Getting on and off

To get on and off, you should use the hand rails to support your weight fully and completely as you step on and off the belt. Watch the video for details, including slow motion. To get on, stand with your feet on the platform to either side of the belt. Be careful not to step on the belt or you could cause it to suddenly stop, throwing you off the back forcefully.

Raise yourself up with much of your weight supported on your hands on the rail. Step gently, already in motion, onto the belt. As your feet come up to speed and you feel confident that you are on track, lower your weight onto the feet. When your weight is fully on your feet, lift your hands off the rails into the walking or running position.

To get off the belt, reverse the process. Take your weight onto your hands on the rail and lift your center of gravity until your feet are barely taking any of your weight. Step one foot to the side of the belt on the platform. In the same step lift the other foot to beside the belt onto the platform.

Practice this at slow speeds first until you get the hang of it. Then you can progress slowly until you can do it quickly and immediately without conscious thought.

Treadmill Safety Tips Bonus

Do not do Tabata style treadmill training unless you’re an expert at all of the above. Even then, it’s quite dangerous to be hopping on and off a moving treadmill at maximum speeds in 20 second and 10 second interval bursts until fully fatigued. Do not do it. Please.

I posted this on Facebook as well: HERE

Strength Training for Cyclists

The research done to date on the effects of strength training for cyclists has brought mixed results. The study done by Ben Hurley at the University of Maryland had 10 sound men begin several exercises. They did chest presses, hip flexors, knee extensions, leg curls, push-ups, leg presses, lat pull-downs, biceps curls, standard squats, and bent-knee sit-ups for 12 weeks. Eight other healthy men served as controls. Following 12 weeks, the strength trained men had enhanced their endurance cycling at a force of 75% V02max by 33% with increased lactate threshold of 12%.

These men were untrained before the study and did not complete consistent cycling workouts during the study. The pertinence of this study on strength training for cyclists to genuine competitors is faulty at best.

Strength Training for Cyclists can cause a significant performance improvement with intelligent protocols
Strength Training for Cyclists can cause a significant performance improvement with intelligent protocols

Strength training for cyclists – Study #2

The study did by R. C. Hickson and his partners at the University of Illinois at Chicago was significantly more applicable. In that examination of strength training for cyclists, eight accomplished cyclists included three days every week of quality strength training to their training schedules over a 10-week period. The strength training was fairly basic. It concentrated on parallel squats (5 sets x 5 reps every workout), leg extensions (3 sets x 5 reps), leg curls (3 x 5), and calf raises (3 x 25), all with a fair amount of resistance. The only variable allowed in the study was to increase resistance as strength increased.

The strength training for cyclists regimen had a significantly positive effect on cycling performance. Following the 10 week program, the cyclists enhanced their ‘short-term endurance’ (their capacity to working at a high intensity for short time periods) by around 11%, and they additionally extended the measure of time they could pedal at a force of 80% V02 max from 71 to 85 minutes, about a 20% increase.

Strength training for cyclists – Study #3

On the negative side, we have research on strength training for cyclists, completed by James Home and his associates at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Seven endurance cyclists were studied. They had an average of around 200 kilometers of cycling every week. They introduced three strength training sessions into their ordinary training schedule. The training program was moderately simple. They did three sets of up to eight repetitions of leg curls, leg presses, and leg extensions. They used fairly heavy resistance.

Following six weeks, the training had created rather amazing increases (on average more than 20%). Though actual cycling performance was not enhanced. On the contrary, they were worse than before the strength training for cyclists study. 40-K race times increased from 59 to 62 minutes The study cyclists complained of feeling drained after their workouts.

Why did Hickson’s study reveal clear increases connected with strength training for cyclists, while Home’s work uncovered the converse?

Nobody knows for certain. This leaves it open to interpretation. It appears to be likely that the training completed by Hickson’s subjects enhanced endurance fibers in their muscles. This allowed them to persevere longer both amid high-force tests of perseverance and delayed endeavors at a submaximal (80% V02max) power. Its conceivable that Home’s protocols sent his competitors into the overtrained state. The perception of fatigue began not long after the start of training. The competitors demonstrated they were essentially doing an excessive amount of work.

Home’s cyclists were averaging 124 miles per week riding when they began their exercise study. Hickson’s competitors were logging significantly fewer miles. One might recommend that strength training for cyclists can deliver real advantages for low-mileage cyclists. It does a great deal less for experienced, higher mileage contenders who have developed impressive performance gains solely by riding. It likely wasn’t the strength training alone which hindered the cyclists. The aggregate sum of work they used in their weekly protocol might be to blame.

Another issue that was not kept controlled in the studies was diet and supplementation. This likewise would have a real effect. It is my own conclusion that strength training for cyclists gives favorable results when done correctly and matched with the right diet, supplements, recovery protocols, and when the load is adjusted to suit the competition and riding schedule appropriately.

A very low impact Band Strength Training Program you can do anywhere anytime

Article courtesy of guest blogging, edited to suit this format