Yo-k Maggots! Time to prepare for your annual New Year's goal of working out and beefing up. Per RacerX advice on cyclical yearly resting to prevent over training, I make my 6 week or so layoff from weights around TG and Xmas(how convienient is that, it's also very busy and hard to focus anyways, and besides that it's fun to eat yum food). This gives my bod a good rest and time to repair thoroughly and also you don't really lose horrifically much in 6 weeks. So...in prep for my next 5 months of hitting it hard, each night before I go to bed for the last few weeks of this year I've been doing some body weight exercises: 3 sets of 12 full squats(unweighted) ALL the way down, 3 sets of 12 pushups, and 3 sets of reverse crunches(these get the lower abs as well as the hips--2fer)to loosen me up so I don't hit the new year cold turkey.
Article about the importance of resthttp://www.racerxvt.com/virtual_trainer/overtraining.html
list of lots of great articles for you to read on your Christmas vacation and to get you riled up to hit the new yearhttp://www.racerxvt.com/virtual_trainer/Archive_Quick_list.html
If you have been good at keeping up with the gym, don't feel guilty about giving your bod a thorough rest in these next few weeks! Also, go buy yourself a notebook so you can keep track of some stats, it will encourage you and you can see definate progress and make a plan and no foul using the guilt of blank days to motivate!
K, while you're sucking down the nog, heres some reading to help hatch your plan. I can't bible thump enough on how any work you do to strengthen your muscles and boost your cardio endurance will pay off fast and big on the bike. The first advice you usually hear when someone asks "how do I ride better" is tons of seat time on the bike. Most of us dont' live in a perfect world where we can put in hordes of seat time(tho we would dearly love to). Working out with a plan with weights and cardio will have you in shape so when you get on the bike you can focus on technique, instead of catching up on conditioning.
Get more strength and get your cardio more efficient and gunk cleaned out and you will be shocked n awed at the magic pill you just got to your ability and grr.