This is my review of Joe Friel’s Cyclist’s Training Bible, after using it for more than twelve years. Joe Friel’s well-respected book about cycling training is called: The Cyclist’s Training Bible: The World’s Most Comprehensive Training Guide. It’s not hyperbole, folks! As Joe Friel puts 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 a bit more than what a self-proclaimed Average Joe Cyclist would need. I bought the book anyway – and I’m not sorry. Even though it is taking me years to get through it.
The Cyclist’s Training Bible Has Something for Everyone who Likes to Ride Bikes
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 finally certain that I never will. However, I do love 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 Joe Friel’s Cyclist’s Training Bible
First of all, this training Bible is almost as long and wide-ranging 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. It goes all the way from training fundamentals to planning your training season. And it includes often overlooked features, such as mental performance. If you click on the Amazon link, the book has the useful “Look Inside” feature. This enables you to assess whether the extensive contents are right for you.
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.”
Joe Friel’s Cyclist’s Training Bible Explains How to Use Gadgets to Train More Efficiently
Apart from motivation, there is a depth here that will make Joe Friel’s Cyclist’s Training Bible a resource that most people will keep dipping into for years to come. I just wish I’d got a hard cover! For example, when I first read this book, many years ago, I finally understood what Power Meters are for, and how they can be used with Heart Rate Monitors to accurately measure progress. 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.
Related Post: 7 Reasons to Do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on Your Bike – and How To Do It
Bottom Line on The Cyclist’s Training Bible
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 Joe 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 this excellent book, 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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