Vancouver Personal Training | Powering Up Hills

Monday, 11 June 2012


~ By Vancouver personal trainer and Momentum Fitness Co-owner Barry Duncan. To learn more about Barry check out his bio.

Like many children, I was read bed time stories of a wide variety. There was Dr Suess with his eclectic group of characters that children love, Curious George a mischievous monkey that every boy can relate to and of course Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends teaching all of us how to treat others better and to just get along. However none of these tales with their important messages and meanings that help to shape our children come to mind when I am struggling up Cypress Mountain on my bike. No for this I need to dig in and get inspiration from The Little Engine That Could. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, is repeated in my head slowly after each pedal stroke and as I reach the top of this iconic Vancouver mountain ride I can declare I thought I could and I was victorious. Photo Courtesy of Team Traveller

I must admit that a part of me wants to believe that anyone anywhere at any time can accomplish anything. However the Vancouver personal trainer in me knows that training, hard work and practice is needed to achieve such goals. When training for the type of power and stamina it takes to get up any of the three peaks on the North Shore of Vancouver people should get into the gym and do some strength training along with those hill repeats they do on the bike.

Some Great Cycling Exercises for Hills:

  1. TRX Pull ups – The TRX is a great tool for training anywhere, when doing pull ups with the TRX you need to place your feet under the anchor point and then adjust the straps to the desired length. The longer the strap the harder the exercise will be.
  2. Single Leg Squats – Lift one foot out in front of your body and slowly lower into a squat, like sitting in a chair. Keep the extended foot off the ground as you squat, for assistance you can use a ball or even the TRX by holding the handles as you squat.
  3. TRX Push ups – Same starting position as the pull up feet need to be under the anchor point of the strap and you adjust the length to set the difficulty for the push up. Unlike a regular push up as you lower your shoulders need to work hard to stabilize the strap.
  4. Ball Single leg Hamstring curls – Lying on a mat with one foot centered on top of the ball and the other leg held in the air above the ball. Start by lifting your hips high in the air and then curl the ball towards your hips. Keep the one leg elevated and straight during the exercise.
  5. Planks or for the tri-athlete plank to press is good for the aero bar transitions – Everyone knows the plank, on your elbows, hips, shoulders and ankles are held in a straight line and you hold for as long as you can. Add a press from this position by reaching out with one hand and pushing your shoulders higher so your arms are straight, it is like doing one arm push ups from your elbows. Then lower back to the plank position and repeat with the opposite hand.

Not sure how to do the above exercises or would like to know the set and rep counts come on into Momentum and have a session or two with one of our Vancouver personal trainers and get into the best hill climbing shape of your life. Of course all of this training still does not prevent me from doing my little chant as I climb up those hills. Perhaps even the Vancouver personal trainer in me knows that a good mantra will assist in achieving phenomenal success.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can……

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