Training & Nutrition - Gaining back some leg size
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06-27-06, 02:47 PM
Since I started riding a lot over a year ago I have stopped lifting and obviously lost a LOT of muscle size all over my body. I've decided I'm a little too skinny for what I want (I went from 190 to 150 over the year) so I'm back to lifting again. I want to put some size back on my legs so I'm going to be squatting 2 days a week mostly high rep squats (20-30) and not to failure. I'm a little worried though if this is going to be overdoing it since I'm also riding about 100-150 miles a week. Is squatting like this going to be counterproductive? I should say that I also just ride for fun, I don't race or anything like that so it's not that big of a concern just something I thought of.
06-27-06, 06:54 PM
I think that level is fine, especially if you are not doing any high intensity cycling such as sprinting. If you are casually doing your rides, your probably are ok. As far as the squatting, if you are just starting again, I would make sure you start slowly with low weight, as you probably know from lifting before. You might even consider doing leg presses to adapt your body a bit. Form is really important as well, so just doing squats with the bar to make sure your form is correct first might even be worth a week before you start adding the weight.
But doing strength work is a great idea and will do nothing but help your cycling if done correctly and patiently. Good luck!
06-27-06, 07:28 PM
If you want size you need to lift heavier. Also one day a week in enought, two days, along with all that riding is overtraining. Alot of bodybuilders do legs only once every ten days.
Squats are always a good idea, they're a great all-body workout (provided you're doing them correctly). I recently started introducing leg training back into my routine. I've depended almost exclusively on riding/hiking/tennis for leg training for the last 4 or 5 years. I'm doing knee extensions, leg curls, machine presses/squats, and calf raises primarily for knee health and strength (not so much for size). I prefer the way my legs look and feel as a rider compared to the days when I was squatting 650+ pounds, however, moderate resistance training will always benefit your other activities so I recommend it.
Sounds like your plan shouldn't be too taxing on your legs but remember that legs are your biggest muscle group and demand a lot of energy and recovery time whether it's high reps/low weight or high weight/low reps. I never work legs more than once every 7 days.
06-28-06, 10:29 AM
Lifting heavy to gain size is somewhat of a myth. However, doing sets of 20-30 reps isnt really ideal either. Ideally, you should do about 4 sets of squats. I go light(12reps), heavy(6reps), heavy(4-6reps), light(12reps). This seems to work really well for me.
Also, if you went from 190-150 in the year, you mostly lost fat. Basically, I think what this shows is that you went from overweight, to slightly underweight. But you didnt list your height, so I cant tell. Im gonna guess you are about 5'10" or 5'11". Ideally, you should weigh around 160 at those heights.
Also, to put on size, you need to EAT.. a LOT of food. Up your calories gradually, you cant put on size without eating more calories than you burn. Its a fine balance between putting on muscle weight, and not getting fat though.
Also, even better than squats is leg press. Leg press will put on more size than squats. I would also reccommend not cycling on the days you lift with your legs, and make sure you are getting enough sleep, and eat some protein before bed.
when you do squat try holding the bar up front and going all the way down... it's easy on the knees and harder on the quads than back squat...
make sure you do all your other lifts too.
06-28-06, 09:40 PM
I am 5'10'' and I was lifting a lot when I was up to 190, so a good amount of it was muscle. I have a naturally small frame so yes I started to put on a little fat but nothing that noticeable, mostly around the stomach. The thing is now I have a LOT more definition and I like the way I look and feel now a lot better. I do think I could manage to add about 10 pounds though...but I don't want to lose the definition. I eat very clean all the time now so I'm not worried about adding fat.
Also, when I was squatting 20+ reps earlier I had a somewhat easy time adding size to my legs....it was probably the body part that added muscle easiest. So we'll see what happens...I"m not going to lift too heavy because like I said I'm still riding a lot.
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