Now Everyone Can Train Like A Pro
With the increased interest in physical fitness in recent years has come an increased interest in cycling. This, coupled with the success of American riders like Lance Armstrong, has also produced in increased interest in how to better train specifically for this sport. A number of cycling specific training camps now exist, but none with quite the esteemed list of coaching and training personnel as AthletiCamps in Northern California.
Actually based in Sacramento, with the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills in their backyard, AthletiCamps, are for cyclists and triathletes who want to take their cycling skills to the next level. Riders of all levels can sign up for scheduled group and custom camps, which include personalized coaching, physiological and biomechanical testing by Dr. Massimo Testa and Dr. Eric Heiden of the UC Davis Sports Performance Program, and of course great training rides. Most of you will remember Eric Heiden as a former Olympic speed skater turned 7-Eleven pro cyclist, and you should know Dr. Testa as the official team Mapei doctor, whose list of “patients” has included Johan Museuuw, Andrea Tafi, Steve Bauer and even Lance himself.
Bruce Hendler, the owner of AthletiCamps, whose involvement as a long-time cyclist and amateur racer has rewarded him with a list of friends and colleagues that include such established cyclists as 4-time Olympian Harvey Nitz, current Master’s National Road Champion Mike Carter, and Terry Tupper, a long-time coach and former professional cyclist. It’s also through cycling that he met Dr. Massimo (Max) Testa. When Hendler was laid-off from his job as a project manager, he consulted with Max to discuss career alternatives involving cycling. The combination of Max’s extensive experience with some of the world’s best cyclists, Hendler’s network of accomplished cyclists turned coaches, and his experience as a project manager, inspired Hendler to start AthletiCamps cycling training camps.
A camp coach incorporates physiological test results into a personalized training program, taking into consideration the goals of the cyclist. Says Hendler, “We take pride in giving as much individual attention as possible with every client, so we limit the size of groups we coach at any one time.” All participants also receive one month of free coaching starting immediately after completing the camp. The continued communication with the coach allows for fine-tuning of the training program, and it’s a nice perk to have the individualized coaching experience.
Each participant receives physiological testing that provides individual information such as max VO2, wattage per kilogram of body weight, and heart rate training zones, items that Hendler says “are essential for improvement”. Dr. Testa provides a comprehensive, easy to understand analysis of all test results, and explains how to apply the results to a training program.
In addition to the coaching and physiological aspects of a training program, AthletiCamps also offers psychology and technical seminars. Since its inception, Hendler has added to his AthletiCamps staff, Dr. Kim Cusimano, a sports psychologist. Dr. Cusimano works with cyclists on the mental aspect of the sport. Other features at camp sessions include presentations by Ellen Karpay about the nutritional needs of an athlete, and bicycle maintenance clinics and tech support by a Shimano technician.
The next scheduled group camp is the Transition Camp from October 29 through November 3. This will provide an opportunity for the client, whether an avid cyclist or a racer, to review his or her cycling season and with the staff’s help, plan for next year. For instance, what are riders’ strengths, what are the weaknesses, and what can be done this off season to accomplish their goals for next year. According to Hendler, this is one of the best times of year to ride in Northern California.
With every camp, Hendler’s goal is to create a team atmosphere and help the cyclist become a better rider while having fun and making new friends. For more information about Athleticamps, visit the Web site:www.athleticamps.com, or call 866-370-6516.