It's not just the tan lines.
Hitting up the gym is a necessary evil - or, er, fun pastime - for many cyclists. Augmenting your on-the-bike activities with strength training and cross-training offers a load of benefits: it can stave off mental burnout, strengthen muscles that typically go unused when you’re pedalling every day, and help you stay strong and active while recovering from an injury. In short, some gym time can make you a better bike rider.
But unlike the gym rats who regularly hit the weights or the devotees in spin and group classes, the gym just isn’t our natural habitat. Cyclists may stick out just a little bit.
“No way!” you say. “Nobody would ever be able to tell I’m a cyclist when I’m at the gym.” Oh really? Here are 16 telltale signs for spotting a cyclist at the gym. Chances are you’ve got caught yourself in several of these scenarios - not that we’re saying it’s a bad thing.
You rode your bike to the gym
But if you didn’t, you definitely warmed up on a spin or stationary bike (if that wasn’t the whole reason you went to the gym in the first place).
Your treadmill run is more of a belaboured walk-jog
How do triathletes do it? Your knees, shins, and feet are absolutely screaming at the wrongness of what you’re doing. Ten minutes of this counts as a success, for sure.
You spend 15 minutes making sure your spin bike fit is right
Why can’t they just mark the seatposts with centimetre markers??
You're the only one wearing a chamois at spin class
You take crotch comfort very seriously. You’d bring your own saddle to class if you could.
You’re also the only one wearing a heart rate monitor
You’ve got to have some data to send back to your coach (...and Strava), right?
Your spin shoes are covered in mud
Because they’re actually your mountain biking or cyclocross shoes.
The tan lines
Your pasty white shoulders, upper thighs, and well-defined sock line are an instant giveaway that the gym is not your natural habitat. At least you can hide this one with longer shorts, leggings, and shirt sleeves - if you really want to.
You can only lift 15kg - on a good day
You just can't help your natural-born T-Rex physique.
You’re too embarrassed to ask someone to spot you
Because you’re only bench pressing 15kg... but your body is clearly trembling to the point of near-collapse under the weight.
You kick ass in your gym’s core class
Planks all day, every day, baby!
You bring your own water bottle
It may or may not have electrolytes inside.
You get really frustrated when all the leg machines are occupied
What the heck are you supposed to do now?
You max out the leg press machine
Those bodybuilders wish they had quads like yours.
You also max out the gearing on the stationary bike
The stationary bike is alright for your easy post-workout spin, but definitely not for your low cadence, high resistance SFRs.
Rolling out afterward is a must
Once your strength work is done, you make a beeline to the foam rollers, and you don’t leave till your legs are loose like jello.
You have a love-hate relationship with the gym
You love how strong it makes you feel—but you hate how heavy and lethargic it feels once you get back on the bike the next day.