Development race series at the Chicago Velocampus' Velodrome
2x20: May Edition - Newt Cole
This month, 2x20 starts exploring another side of coaching with an interview with Newt Cole, racer and cycling-focused personal trainer. He just picked up his USAC Coaching license and has some things up his sleeve to keep Chicago-area racers from turning into T-Rex while still "inserting wattage". He's opening up Morningbird Studios in Lakeview soon.
Here we go!
You're best known as the bongo player in the Latin band Los Borrachos, but you're also a personal trainer. How did you get started with that?
I played sports all the way into my freshman year in college, so working out was always part of my life. I moved to Los Angeles to follow my young "rockstar" dreams right after college and started touring with a few signed bands, I played in Chicago at the old Avalon, I fell in love with the city and moved here. I continued touring all the way until 1999. One day I'd had enough of the life style and was offered a job where I worked out , managing a 40,000 sq foot gym(Quads Gym) and started waking up at 5am instead of the oposite. A year later I studied for my first personal Training Certification and passed, The rest is history!
When did you start getting involved in cycling?
I always rode my beater bike around town like a maniac and used to play gigs with my good friend George Langford's band Jive Council in the 90's. It just so happened that he was a bike racer and would try and talk me into buying a bike. 6 years later I finally walked into Johnny Sprockets in 2005 and bought a Jamis Nova from Manuel. Later that summer George talked me into going on the xXx team ride, mind you I had never gone further than 28 miles on any ride up to that point, so when we got to Highland Park I was already close to a personal best. George said to me "We're gonna ride just a bit further, C'mon!!" We ended up doing the Cemetery loop, I had no food, no water and was close to bonking the entire ride. The guys on that ride fed me, pushed me up false flats, taught me to draft, basically took care of me, it was incredibly hard, 3 times longer than I'd ever ridden before, it was amazing and I was hooked!
What's your favorite discipline(s)?
It used to be super technical crits, now... cyclocross, hands down.
Do you have any favorite races in the season?
I love our state championships at Montrose when there's a ton of snow and it's cold. It's horrible and beautiful!
Tell us about your best/most memorable race experience ever, and what made it so?
CX masters nationals this past year might be the most memorable because its so fresh in my head. It was one of the hardest cx race I've ever done because of the conditions, devils corduroy, 1.5 inch deep frozen mud ruts. The whole shot was like a bomb going off when we hit those ruts, racers shooting off in every direction, crashing into each other. I was sitting in the top 10 and lost concentration, caught a rut and crashed really hard, ringing my bell. It took me about a minute to get the bike and myself in working order. I was really proud of getting 18th amongst so many fast angry old dudes. I have a bone to pick with that course this year...
What categories do you like to race?
The CCC 3's in CX this past year was a blast, we all got to know each other really well and any one of twelve of us could of won at anytime, very competitive field. But... I'm looking forward to racing my age group this year, insanely fast and experienced field .
Any interest in racing outside of your main disciplines?
Aways been a bit curious about Track, so many of my friends love it.
What draws you do those types of racing?
The tactics and intensity, everyone I know who does track develops better bike handling/pack skills and improves their sprint dramatically.
You've made a bit of a name yourself within the Chicago racing scene with your Engine Building classes, what made you start those sessions?
I had worked with friends who were competitive cyclists on an individual basis and really enjoyed watching them get stronger and healthier. The next step was getting more of my favorite people in one place at one time. It has always been the highlight of my week in the winter time, 8 weeks of periodized good times.
How can these sorts of sessions help someone with their racing?
Most cyclists I start training haven't done anything off the bike for their fitness. Bike racers need to get stronger and healthier OFF the bike so they can get to new places ON the bike.
You've recently acquired your USAC Coaches license, how do you plan on integrating your personal training skills with coaching?
I really think a lot of amateur cyclists miss out on the strength, power, and mobility aspect of off bike training and run into trouble with over training and over use injuries. I want to fuse personal training and cycling specific coaching/programming together in one service for athletes, to get them strong and keep them healthy and happy.
Kristen Meshberg's Pedaling With A Purpose class had an add-on Engine Building option, how did that work out?
It was awesome, starting with Kristen and her challenging program. My goal was to open everybody up after working their arses off for 2+ hours on the trainer. I focused on mobility, core and yoga based active recovery between sets. They didn't need to be flogged, just given a little icing on the cake post PWP.
You're opening up a new gym, Morningbird Studio. What sort of programs do you expect to offer?
Individual personal training, small classes(2-5 people) (early bird, foglifter, etc...all variations on EB101), cycling specific coaching, engine building 101 (winter edition/pre-CX edition)
High on Fire! Matt Pike is allergic to shirts and amazing, Bison BC is a close second.
Push-up contest: Sarah Lu or Newt Cole?
Sarah Lu, hands down. She's a badass!
Final Question: How Low Can You Go?
My eyes are burning out of my head.....owwwww!!
Quad Cities Criterium - a portion of the 4 day Memorial Day Weekend race series in Eastern Iowa/Western, IL
The South Chicago Wheelmen
The South Chicago Wheelmen
Thursday night race series that runs throughout the summer at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook