What do you do to be well rounded? My body can't subsist as a keyboard jockey punctuated by interval training

I’m a programmer so I’m at my desk at least 8 hours a day. Alternating between desk work and cycling doesn’t do a lot for my back or pretty much anything that isn’t spinning pedals.

In an ideal world, I’d get everything I need exercise wise from riding my bike. In my mid 40s it seems like a foolish proposition. I’m in shape but I’m prone to a minor back injury now and then. Its happened a couple of times - muscles tense and pinch a nerve and I’m in terrible pain for a bit. Then it goes away for quite a while. The point is - while it hasn’t happen in some time, I’d prefer that it never happens again.

A number of years ago I worked with a friend who does functional movement therapy which worked really well for me - really just making sure you’re well balanced and muscles are utilized correctly. My aches and pains on the bike went away and my endurance improved. It would be nice to find something thats a bit less commitment (running?) although its nice to know something worked in the past.

That’s one way of building a more well rounded body - how have others dealt with this? I think its an under addressed issue in cycling.


Almost 40 years as a desk jockey. Spent the last 4 years trying stuff, barbells, dumbbells, body weight, etc. For my win - kettlebell swings and a few other things.


Physical work. Pick and shovel. Tote that bale.


Maybe add a sport that requires a wide range of movement for upper and lower body, eg racquet sport or basketball.


Kettlebells for the win here too. Can fit a good enough workout in 30 minutes, hell I’ve been happy enough with just 15 mins of emom swings.

A couple of bells are cheaper than a gym membership and there’s plenty of beginner workout sets on YouTube.


Anything weight bearing that will stress your bones will provide a benefit. Running, weights, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking (assuming you’re a roadie), backpacking, etc.

A weight lifting routine will give the most bang for your buck. It will have a positive effect on most anything else you do.

After cycling and a weight bearing activity, I’d add yoga or stretching for better mobility.


The core advantage - Tom Danielson.

It takes only 15 minutes a day to rebalance the body and get rid of maladaptations, and it‘s not even hard to do! Makes you so much more comfortable on the bike too, as a bonus!


Pick something unrelated to a sport. That’s a dare. (As an example, I’m a shitty gardener.)


Rock climbing and running.


Animal husbandry is definitely a great workout. I miss my horse.


Is becoming an adult film star out of the question?


Here in order of my time devoted:

  • Heavy Lifting (Squat, Deadlift, OHP)
  • Uphill Skinning
  • Yoga, Pull-ups/Dips
  • Trail Running
  • Long Hikes up to 12-14k peaks.

Stretching, balance board work, asymmetrical/lateral movements, dumbell workouts, working in the yard. Come up with a plan now and be prepared to tweak it. There will likely be lots of challenges as you age, even if you’re cycling fit. I had lots of lower back issues (that turned out to be lower front (hip flexor) issues after years of stretching the wrong stuff), and then as I got more bike focused ended up really out of balance and spent a couple months going to a PT to get the supporting musculature and work lateral and assymetrical strength…would have been a lot cheaper to just pay a gym membership for 10x as long.


I think minute-for-minute the best exercise is weight lifting.


Every time I see this term I assume it means marrying a horse :joy:


Take up climbing, even if only at indoor wall. You’ll push, pull, balance, twist, turn etc etc. Soon start to put you right. Plus don’t forget to get a walk in when you can, assuming you don’t run.


I went for a slowish 20 minute run yesterday. I’m sure I’m like a lot of cyclists - its very easy to overdo it and be sore for the better part of a week. Today, my back is feeling pretty darn good. Lots of ‘good soreness’ feelings.

I think I’ll try adding these fairly casual runs in 2-3x a week and see where it gets me.

Keep the ideas coming though, its always good to have a few in case I need to change it up.


Opens pants….looks down….closes pants……


I like this topic because I’m also a desk jockey. I pulled my head out of yet another proposal a few weeks ago and realized I only do two things all winter: sit at my desk for 10+ hours a day and ride my trainer. Sometimes I go wander around Target. That’s pretty much it and it’s not a particularly rich, high quality life despite putting in a lot of time on the bike. Time to diversify my hobby portfolio.


I have had issues with pain in my hips that would get aggravated by cycling. It was causing me to ride less and less, then not at all, because I couldn’t sleep much when laying down for hours caused me a lot of pain.

I was trying all sorts of things to address the hip pain. Trying every stretch and strengthening exercise that my research said would help. I was doing mobility work for my tight hamstrings too. Nothing was working.

When the pain started lasting all day I was at my breaking point. I had depression as a teen and could tell I was depressed again. I finally said no more and went to physical therapy, paid out of pocket until I could get into my regular doc for a referral.

The physical therapist found that the problem wasn’t my hips, it was my back. Mid and lower back muscles were weak and tight, compressing the nerves that are connected to my hips. That was very strange to me because I haven’t had back pain much and never injured it. But all nerves travel through the spine.

Now I’m doing back (and glute) exercises to strengthen the back as well as learning to use my other muscles better (hip hinge) to avoid over over-working the back.

So I suggest that it’s generally a good idea to take care of all your muscles. Tracking down the source of your current or future pain may be tricky. And injury can happen at anytime with weakness and imbalance. It’s much easier to fix a weakness than rehab an injury. Plus compound movements with dumbbells and kettlebells can hit a lot of muscles efficiently. You don’t need to hit 20 machines at the gym.