Ever thought about riding your bike around the globe?

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No?


Me neither.


​So how do I always end up stuck on the top of some giant mountain with only Eric and my bike keeping me company?
I thought you might find this story inspiring, or nuts.


You decide.


A few years ago, Eric and I we’re completing another personal training session. We worked through major back issues. He didn’t have a bulged disk, something far worse: 2 shattered discs! Eric experienced chronic back pain for over 20 years. Luckily, I had a plan for his back pain. Three issues I saw immediately: little to no flexibility, weak core and glutes. If he stuck with the program, we would see incredible results. The results blew my mind, his back pain became a distant memory.

 
 

Eric felt as strong as a bull. The strongest 57 y/o around. He asked me a question that changed my life.

“Would you ride your bike from San Francisco to Irvine?”


What?

 

I obviously thought he was joking.


I replied, like any normal person. “Sure, no big deal. Let’s keep working, three more reps.” And I thought, that was it.The next session, Eric showed up with a map and possible dates.I pooped my pants. This guy is serious? I didn’t think it was possible, but I reluctantly agreed.

PictureOur first long training ride went … in one word, awful.

My butt cried, and every hill destroyed us. We would find ourselves resting on the side of the road just to try and make it home.I looked at Eric and I just didn’t think it was possible. I would have a tough time, and I knew it would be even harder for him. I had doubts, big doubts.But we had a secret weapon, we each possessed a Bigger Burn. A powerful Bigger Burn.

 

Eric was a cancer survivor. He beat the odds, coming back from near-death made him almost invincible. He wasn’t supposed to do any of this, not anymore. I had a starkly different experience with cancer. My friend Amadu fought bravely against the horrid disease. Sadly, cancer won.Picture

 

We knew what we needed to do. We would make the mission bigger than us. We would bike to raise money for the fight against cancer.

Our first ride was incredibly challenging. We experienced everything from getting lost, chronic fatigue and a horrific bike crash. But despite all the obstacles, we persevered.

Armed with the right motivation, anything is possible.

​We recently completed our 7th bike trip. The bike trek from Oregon to San Francisco. Eric performed like a machine. He isn’t slowing down one bit. He pushes me to work harder. And honestly, I need to. I need to be ready for whatever crazy adventure pops in his head. 

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Free Speed.

Wheeeeee!!

We all enjoy the thrill of speed. Speed makes biking fun (and easier.) Whether you’re cruising along the beach or racing up mountain tops. Bicycling is one of the finest ways to enjoy nature’s beauty. So exhilarating, you forget it’s even exercise. Well, until you climb a hill…

Here are 3 quick tips to add free speed to your bike:

  1. Tire Pressure

  2. Clean Chain

  3. Seat Height


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Before your next bike ride, first take out your pump and fill up your tires. Pumping the tires will make your bike ride faster by making the pedaling much easier. In physics terms, the more your tire contacts the ground, the more friction opposes it. I know, nerd-talk. In simpler terms, flatter-tires ride slower. The correct tire pressure depends on the tire. Correct pressure is usually sneakily marked on the side of the tire. It’s a number followed by PSI (ex. 100 PSI.) Pump your tire up to at least that number.

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The next quick, although admittedly sometimes gross tip, is to clean your bike’s chain. The chain is supposed to look like metal, clean metal. If it looks like a black, dirty mess, it’s slowing you down. A dirt covered chain provides more friction. Again, making it harder to pedal and thus slowing you down. If you have a bike chain degreaser, use that. Or you can wipe the dirt down with water and soap. The cleaner the better, but even less blackish is a drastic improvement.  Make sure to re-lube the bike chain once it’s clean. The lubrication makes the pedaling easier and … faster.

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Experiencing pain in your knees? Your seat is probably too low. Your knee should be at a slight bend at the bottom of your pedal stroke. You can usually move the seat up, down, forward and back. If you’re serious, get a professional bike fit. If you just want to ride faster today, make sure it’s comfortable and pain free.

And Remember the faster you get on your bike, the faster you can use these tips. See you on the road 🙂

Running? Elliptical? Spinning? Or could it be swimming? The debate rages on. Last week, I was having an argument… I mean, conversation with my girlfriend discussing which cardio burns the most calories.

No matter what I said, I was wrong.

That’s normal for our conservations. But I asked her to give me a chance to explain my point. (After all, I do this for a living.) She teaches spin, and group classes, and insists her workouts burn way more calories than my workouts.

“Cool story, bro.”

​That’s what she actually said. The faster our heart can pump this oxygen-rich blood, the more calories we burn. The way to burn the most calories is to increase the intensity of the cardio you choose.

“So, I win.”

​​“Not so fast,” I told her, “any cardio.”

​Burning more calories requires more effort, little effort burns less calories than more effort. Walking burns calories, walking uphill burns more calories, speed-walking uphill carrying 8 grocery bags while chewing gum and texting burns the most calories.You get the point.The harder it feels, the harder you’re working, thus the more calories your burning, regardless of the type.Everyone wins. Score one for the home team.

But, which cardio burns the most calories?

That’s easy, the cardio you actually do, and do hard.

In my experience, people don’t struggle deciding between cardio burning strategies. They usually struggle between the couch and cardio.

Make it easy, pick what you like and do that.

At NASM and TBP we recommend the FITTE Principle

F: Frequency (Times per week)

I: Intensity (Effort level)

T: Time (Duration)

T: Type (Kind)

E: Enjoyment (Do you like it?)

​Start with something you like, and do that consistently. To burn more calories make it harder: up the intensity, do intervals, change the incline, vary the speed, less breaks, more reps. It doesn’t take much thought to make your workout harder.

Keep it simple: Harder Cardio = More Calories Burned

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She scratched her head. “Makes sense.”I should’ve kept my mouth shut. But no, I added, “I’ve ridden my bike from Canada to Mexico, your spin class would probably be pretty chill for me.”She gave me the look, you know the look. It’s about to go down.Next thing I know, I was in her spin class with my legs strapped to propeller. My legs spun ridiculously fast, my body drenched in sweat, my heart screamed, and my mouth gasped for air.

She smiled and said, “I win!”

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