Ever since the lockdown and specifically after the extension, I’ve been getting a lot of messages asking me for options for exercise other than cycling.
I wondered why? Because there are hordes of exercises that one can do apart from cycling. And ever since the lockdown there have also been many home based workouts spreading across the internet and social media. The answer was just a very few probing questions away.
The riders who reached out to me were people who did not like any other form of exercise. For various reasons.
Squats are too intense
Push ups are scary
Mountain climbers are disorienting
Planks are too boring
I LOVE CYCLING!
<If you want to skip straight to the workout format, skip to the bottom and read in reverse.>
The grand conclusion that I arrived at was that most people picked cycling as a form of exercise, because it was simple or less complicated and of course there is that magnificent added benefit of experiencing the great outdoors. And out of this familiarity, these riders had tried and rejected all these other home workouts that was being bombarded out there.
It was now my responsibility to address this concern. I myself find joy in all forms of exercise except for weight training. I use some weights and resistance bands, but weight “lifting” isn’t my thing! I’d rather be working on shadow boxing and on moves that enhance my mobility and flexibility. And yet, I still do miss the joy of cycling. Cycling for me, isn’t just a form of exercise and yet I understand that cycling isn’t a wholesome form of exercise.
If you follow me, you may know that the mooners ride to the top of Nandi on every first Saturday, we had to skip that in April and I personally substituted for it by climbing 100 floors. I had warned in that article that, climbing stairs is going to be addictive and it did become one and that helped me formulate this workout for people who don’t want exercise other than get on their cycles.
This workout involves some amount of mathematics.
You will need,
-1 flight of stairs,
-sufficient space to do push ups either at the top or bottom of one floor.
I work on the philosophy of constant improvement done outside of your comfort zone and I have strong reasons to believe that cyclists do not like doing push ups.
And that is why we start this workout by understanding what is our maximum non stop limit for push ups.
Once you have achieved your maximum number of push ups. Make a note of that number. Now double it! That’s the number of floors that you are going to climb.
But hey, the workout isn’t over here!
You are also going to do decreasing number of push ups until you reach zero before you finish your floors.
Max non stop push ups= 10 (N)
Number of floors you will climb= 20
Here’s the advantage in this format. You get twice the number of floors to finish the allotted number of push ups.
Just climbing stairs can be boring unless you get into the trance like meditative state. If you can’t get into that state, then having to do the push ups will help you keep your mind alert through out the workout.
It is very important to keep a paper and pen handy to note down your reps as you do the workout, it can get confusing. Just note down every rep of floors climbed or push ups done as you finish them. Strava cannot help you out by a lot during this workout and neither can speed and cadence sensors nor a HRM. And this workout is exactly for people who like to keep it simple.
Want to take it up a notch higher?
Once you finish all the allotted number of stairs, do it again. This time with ascending number of push ups till you reach your maximum limit again.
You still get twice the number of stairs to finish your ascending set of push ups.
Warning: Ensure that you are landing your feet flat on each step. Tip toeing activates a muscle group that connects the soleus with the Achilles tendon and this isn’t particularly active or strong in cyclists, but is something that should be strong in runners.