Joe Friel’s well-respected book, The Cyclist’s Training Bible, is sub-titled The Best-selling Book for Serious Cyclists. As Joe Friel expresses it: … as a serious athlete, you probably already have a “training is life, everything else is just the details” way of seeing the world. Mmm … I guess that should have been a clue that it might be more than what a self-proclaimed Average Joe Cyclist would need.
I bought the book anyway – and I’m not sorry. Even though it may take me years to get through it.
Joe Friel warns in his introduction that The Cyclist’s Training Bible is mainly meant for cyclists who have been training and racing for some time. Again, that should have been a clue for me – I never have raced, and I am pretty certain that I never will. However, I do try to train, and I thought this book might just have something for me.
It did. In fact, I would go so far as to say that The Cyclist’s Training Bible has something for almost any adult who likes to cycle, and would like to cycle better and faster. And if you would also like to compete and WIN, then this is the best book for you – there simply isn’t a better one out there.
What’s Inside the Covers of Joel Friel’s Cyclist’s Training Bible
First of all, it’s almost as long and comprehensive as the original Bible. It covers cycling training, strength training, periodization, racing, nutrition, supplements, injuries and overtraining. All the usual suspects, plus a bunch of extras.
Appendices include useful extras like an Annual Training Plan Template and a Training Diary Template. The only thing I found conspicuously missing was any advice on losing weight by cycling – but I think that the primary target market for this book doesn’t need to lose weight (imagine that!).
All This, and Motivation Too!
I work out, and I cycle – a lot. Maggie warns me that I’m too excessive. But the reality is, I ain’t got nothing on the Joe Friels of the world. I have weeks when I slow down, or don’t see the inside of a gym. Then I start to feel guilty. And then I need the kind of motivation I find in this book. Like the stories of people over 50 vastly improving their fitness.
Also motivating are Joe Friel’s 10 Commandments of Training. One of these days, when I’m motivated enough, I’m going to type them out and stick them to my fridge. They’re mostly obvious, but they’re powerful and cut to the chase. They include “Train Moderately,” “Train Consistently” “Get Adequate Rest” “Listen to your Body” and “Commit to Goals.”
Thanks to Joel Friel’s Cyclist’s Training Bible, I Finally Get what the Heck Power Meters are for
Apart from motivation, there is a depth here that will make Joe Friel’s Cyclist’s Training Bible a resource I will keep dipping into for years to come (wish I’d got a hard cover!) For example, thanks to this book, for the first time I understand what the heck Power Meters are for, and how they can be used with Heart Rate Monitors to accurately measure progress. I still don’t think I need one, but hey – the day may come, and then at least I’ll know what to do, and why.
The book also made it crystal clear to me that I could not train even half seriously without a heart rate monitor, so I finally bought one. Here is my review of a really excellent heart rate monitor for training with.
Bottom Line: The Cyclist’s Training Bible is not just for Serious Athletes. It is also suitable for the Average Cyclist who wants to go from Average Cyclist to Serious Cyclist – or even Great Cyclist. And it’s also for the cyclist of average fitness who has the dedication to follow a stringent year round program of training and become super fit. If any of these are you – buy this book!
I conclude with my favorite quote in the whole of Joel Friel’s Cyclist’s Training Bible. Eddy Merckx, when asked how to train, replied:
Hey, I can do that! So can you!
Update: The latest edition of The Cyclist’s Training Bible includes all of the latest advances in training and technology.
If your top priority is weight loss, you might want to look at the best book for that, Ride Your Way Lean.
And of course there are many more great books available from my favorite affiliate, Amazon. Notice that Friel has published several other books, including a book aimed at cyclists over 50.
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