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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-06-08, 07:35 AM   #1
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Weights, What a Difference!

So Iíve finally started to get serious about my workouts. Iíve been doing spin classes for the last year (which is what inspired me to get back into road biking), but it never seemed like enough.

I re-dedicated myself to the gym and have put myself on a strict program of five days per week for at least six weeks. In addition, Iíve started to incorporate some weight training and abs work, which Iíve NEVER done in the past. WOW! What a difference it makes! Iím halfway into week three and I can already feel a huge difference in my riding during spin classes. (I should also mention that Iíve given up chips for Lent. That alone should get me 5 lbs in not time. )
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Old 02-06-08, 08:03 AM   #2
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Congratulations Snapper, keep up the good work!
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Old 02-06-08, 10:56 AM   #3
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Weight lifting can be a great thing if done properly for most people, it is just not for everyone.

Good job and keep at it!!!
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Old 02-06-08, 11:20 AM   #4
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Weight lifting can be a great thing if done properly for most people, it is just not for everyone.

Good job and keep at it!!!
Done properly? What do you mean?
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Old 02-06-08, 11:53 AM   #5
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Done properly? What do you mean?
I'm guessing he's referring to proper form and lifting schedule. Overworking any muscle group, or torquing your joints due to poor form will have pretty serious detrimental effects.
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Old 02-06-08, 12:16 PM   #6
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I'm guessing he's referring to proper form and lifting schedule. Overworking any muscle group, or torquing your joints due to poor form will have pretty serious detrimental effects.
DOH! I got it now.
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Old 02-06-08, 12:43 PM   #7
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Done properly? What do you mean?
Using proper lifting techniques that are actually using the proper muscles. As an example too many people will grab too much weight to do a single arm curl and will swing their entire body to get it started, instead of decreasing the weight and lifting the weight through the entire lift. It also depends upon if you are lifting to increase muscle size, or more for endurance. 4-7 high weight lifts will help you build a lot of strength and mass, while 15 lifts of a lower weight will work the endurance of the muscles. I am assuming you are doing 3 sets of lifts with the above examples. For each of these, I am assuming that on the last lift of the set, you are barely able to finish the lift with proper technique.

Keep up the good work!!!!
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Old 02-06-08, 01:05 PM   #8
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An easy way to assure you're using the correct muscles is to s l o w. w a y. d o w n. when lifting. The program that I use to monitor and schedule my lifting has very specific methods spelled out for a "good" lift.

4 seconds 'down'
4 seconds 'up'
2 seconds 'rest'

Now, depending on the lift, 'down' and 'up' are different, but you get the gist of it: 8 seconds for the motion phase of the lift, and 2 seconds of rest between reps.
Initially, you start out with determining your 1 rep max.
Then you back off to 65% and determine your time max. (start a stopwatch, and do 4-4-2 reps until you can't anymore.)
Muscle groups are worked in rotating sequence such that no group is repeated in a single week.
Lift weight is increased 5 pounds each time the group is worked and max time is reached. Fail to reach max time, weight is kept steady for another week.
When weight for reps = 90% of one time max, start the cycle again with re-testing for one time max.
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Old 02-06-08, 01:35 PM   #9
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Very good procedure!!! Where did you learn about this?
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Old 02-06-08, 02:17 PM   #10
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4-7 high weight lifts will help you build a lot of strength and mass, while 15 lifts of a lower weight will work the endurance of the muscles. I am assuming you are doing 3 sets of lifts with the above examples. For each of these, I am assuming that on the last lift of the set, you are barely able to finish the lift with proper technique.

Keep up the good work!!!!
You are correct. And technique is a little easier as I am not using free weights, machines only. I know you can still mess up on machines, but its still a little easier to get it right.
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Old 02-06-08, 02:19 PM   #11
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Muscle groups are worked in rotating sequence such that no group is repeated in a single week.
Well, I'm certainly not doing that right now. I usually do legs one day and arms/back another. But I do have rest days between lifts. And I do abs constantly.

I'm just happy to be lifting at all at this point.
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Old 02-06-08, 02:30 PM   #12
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Very good procedure!!! Where did you learn about this?
It's a computer program called X-Size. Developed by Oliver Wolter, who was a trainer for the Austrian Olympic powerlifting team for a while.
The program actually incorporates quite a bit more than just what's above. It calculates proper nutritional requirements, days you lift on, increases in weight and time, etc., and can accomodate changes in training regimen (addition/subtraction of certain lifts due to limitation/injury). You can set your regimen for strength/mass building or for overall fitness and it changes all the specs appropriately. It's a very effective program for building strength fast.
Most people make the mistake of equating muscle mass to overall strength, but if all you can do is move a massive weight over 1 or 2 reps, what use is that? X-Size gets rid of the traditional concept of "reps" and uses "set time" instead. Let's say you start an exercise at 100 pounds 1x max. You back off to 65 pounds and you can do 50 seconds of 4-4-2 timed reps. The next time back, you're doing 70 pounds for 50 seconds. Then 75#/50s, 80#/50s, 85/50s, 90#/50s. This is a gradual build over the course of 5 weeks minimally; but in that time you've effectively increased your overall strength by nearly 50% for a given time period of exertion.
The mass building portion of the program is enhanced by ultra-long reps. After a build-scale like described above, a period of timed ultra-reps is thrown in. Weight is backed off again to 65% of original max (or lower) and a single lift for each exercise is performed to (near) failure: 30s down, 30s up, 30s rest, repeat for 2 reps. Or the true failure rep: 60s down, 60s up, one rep only.

For cycling, the big thing to watch out with is (fat) weight gain on the nutritional plan it sets forth. Bodybuilding means taking in massive amounts of food. You can't simultaneously build huge mass and lose weight, so the nutrition is based around someone who's going to go on a 'cutter' diet for a couple months to get back to lean competition weight. The fat balance (IMO) is a bit on the high side. Bio-chemically I understand why it's set there for this program, but it's not entirely beneficial for someone who's wanting to remain at a static bodyfat (or lose a few percent.)
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Old 02-06-08, 02:36 PM   #13
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Well, I'm certainly not doing that right now. I usually do legs one day and arms/back another. But I do have rest days between lifts. And I do abs constantly.

I'm just happy to be lifting at all at this point.
3 day a week 'fitness lifting' schedule:

Monday - back and biceps
Wednesday - chest and triceps
Friday - shoulders, abs and legs

That way you're always working isolated groups, never working complementary groups on the same day, and never working the same group more than once a week.
It's OK to do something like crunches every day for ab work, but when I say "working" the group, I mean heavy weights. (You wouldn't do a few sets of push ups the same day that you're doing heavy benching and flys, would you?)
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Old 02-06-08, 02:45 PM   #14
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You are correct. And technique is a little easier as I am not using free weights, machines only. I know you can still mess up on machines, but its still a little easier to get it right.
The things that you need to be careful of with machines vs. free weights:

Sure, free weights allow you to "cheat" by using poor form, but machines lock your joints into a strict position. You also want to use machines that have non-linear arc motion and (if possible) non-progressive resistance on the weights. Many machines have straight linear weight motion:
Straight bar (lever) with a roller which is forced up in a straight line and rolls along the bar as you push it. As you get to the end of your stroke, the effective weight is increased by as much as 15% because the weight is positioned farther from the fulcrum point of your lever. Arc-motion machines compensate for this increase with the use of bent bars to account for leverage-based weight increase, so the effective weight is constant through the entire stroke.
The best machines will have multiple adjustments for seat positions, bar reach, and bar angles. Or will use cables and floating handles to allow for a "free-weight feel" on a machine based stack.
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Old 02-07-08, 08:40 AM   #15
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3 day a week 'fitness lifting' schedule:

Monday - back and biceps
Wednesday - chest and triceps
Friday - shoulders, abs and legs
Now that's a simple schedule I can work with, thanks. BTW, I never do what you'd call "heavy" lifting. I'm not interested in being huge.
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Old 02-07-08, 09:38 AM   #16
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The things that you need to be careful of with machines vs. free weights:

Sure, free weights allow you to "cheat" by using poor form, but machines lock your joints into a strict position. You also want to use machines that have non-linear arc motion and (if possible) non-progressive resistance on the weights. Many machines have straight linear weight motion:
Straight bar (lever) with a roller which is forced up in a straight line and rolls along the bar as you push it. As you get to the end of your stroke, the effective weight is increased by as much as 15% because the weight is positioned farther from the fulcrum point of your lever. Arc-motion machines compensate for this increase with the use of bent bars to account for leverage-based weight increase, so the effective weight is constant through the entire stroke.
The best machines will have multiple adjustments for seat positions, bar reach, and bar angles. Or will use cables and floating handles to allow for a "free-weight feel" on a machine based stack.
A couple of points here. Free weights only allow you to cheat if you are lazy. Using free weights tends to work mor muscles because you are required to balance what you are lifting. Free weights can also help build strength in your weaker arm. By using dumbells for benches instead of a bar one arm can not compensate for the other. Remeber the vast majority of strength trainers use free weights more then machines because they are tougher to use correctly. Do not get me wrong. I have nothing against machine weights. They have their place for some lifts that you can not do with free weights. They also are a great way to start lifting so you can loearn proper technique. There will be a point where you will lift more then they can offer and you need to make the move to free weights. The sooner you can do this the better.

A word about abs. I constantly tell people that doing the same ab work every day is useless. Your abs get used to your body weight fairly fast and need to be challenged. I only do crunches twice a week with 110 lbs of wieght and then do reverse leg lifts my other two days of the week.Doing more then 80 in a day is just a waste and is not doing anything to help you.

Weight lifting is a fantastic addition to your cardio work. Keep it up and search around on the web for some programs by strength trainers. I personally like Charles Poliquin a lot and have started reading stuff by Pavel Tsatsouline. He has some intereting views on training. Look around, read a lot, try some stuff, and then talk with a good personal trainer. One who has done more then a 6 week certification course.
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Old 02-07-08, 09:56 AM   #17
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An easy way to assure you're using the correct muscles is to s l o w. w a y. d o w n. when lifting. The program that I use to monitor and schedule my lifting has very specific methods spelled out for a "good" lift.

4 seconds 'down'
4 seconds 'up'
2 seconds 'rest'

Now, depending on the lift, 'down' and 'up' are different, but you get the gist of it: 8 seconds for the motion phase of the lift, and 2 seconds of rest between reps.
Initially, you start out with determining your 1 rep max.
Then you back off to 65% and determine your time max. (start a stopwatch, and do 4-4-2 reps until you can't anymore.)
Muscle groups are worked in rotating sequence such that no group is repeated in a single week.
Lift weight is increased 5 pounds each time the group is worked and max time is reached. Fail to reach max time, weight is kept steady for another week.
When weight for reps = 90% of one time max, start the cycle again with re-testing for one time max.
This is so 1980's. Slow and superslow training was discredited years ago.

Why train to be slow? The concentric phase should be accelerative; push as hard and as fast as you can go.

Train each muscle group only once per week? More nonsense. Do you think that Lance Armstrong got to be as good as he was by riding only one day per week?
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Old 02-07-08, 09:59 AM   #18
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Weight lifting can be a great thing if done properly for most people, it is just not for everyone.

Good job and keep at it!!!
Who would you consider it not be for? For overall fitness and weight control I think too many people over look resistance or weight training.
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Old 02-07-08, 10:19 AM   #19
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Weight lifting is a fantastic addition to your cardio work. Keep it up and search around on the web for some programs by strength trainers. I personally like Charles Poliquin a lot and have started reading stuff by Pavel Tsatsouline. He has some intereting views on training. Look around, read a lot, try some stuff, and then talk with a good personal trainer. One who has done more then a 6 week certification course.
The best advice on this thread. Charles Poliquin is "The Man" and Pavel Tsatsouline (the Evil Russian) is good too. Go to http://www.t-nation.com/ and read everything you can - there are hundreds of articles by the best trainers in the business.
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Old 02-07-08, 11:07 AM   #20
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This is so 1980's. Slow and superslow training was discredited years ago.

Slow and ultraslow training for distance endurance events was discredited. The idea of "long, slow distance" training makes you able to do just that: Long, slow distance events. You won't get any faster.
I've seen articles on both the pro and con side of slow-rep vs. explosive-rep weight training, and they seem to point in different directions based on what your overall objectives are.

Why train to be slow? The concentric phase should be accelerative; push as hard and as fast as you can go.

We're talking about two different types of weight training, I think. What you're describing will add to a person's maximal strength: Sprint bursts, uphill surges, etc. What I'm talking about will increase overall strength in endurance events (not so much for explosive events.)

Slow-rep weight training isn't training to be slow. The common misconception with slow-rep training is to compare it with the old "long, slow distance" endurance training. Slow distance endurance training doesn't increase the intensity of your training, so you make no strength gains. Slow-rep weight training involves an increase in the intensity of the training as well as an increase in time.
In terms of cycling performance, think about it this way. Which is going to give you a better strength/endurace increase: Riding a long 7% grade three times a week, or riding a short 12% grade every day?

Train each muscle group only once per week? More nonsense.
Physiologically, your muscles require 5-10 days to make a full recovery after a hard session of weight training. As part of a rounded workout routine which includes weight training and cycling, a 3 day/week schedule of weight training allowing for 7 days between working each group gives ample time for full recovery before another round of heavy stress.
The only reason to stress a muscle group before the full recovery cycle is complete is to increase myofibrillar hypertrophic response to muscle trauma. You build bigger mass by piling new muscle tissue on top of damaged fibers. This makes you very big, very fast... at the sacrifice of endurace strength.

Do you think that Lance Armstrong got to be as good as he was by riding only one day per week?

Heck no! He rides every day. He's probably invented an extra day of the week just so he can ride more than everyone else.

Do you think he's pushing his max limit every time he gets on the bike?

I'm not saying that you're wrong. I'm just saying that we're talking about two different aspects of the same sport. (Pros who want to increase explosive and overall strength vary their weightlifting routines between hi-rep, low-rep, hi-weight, low-weight, hi-speed and low-speed.)
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Old 02-07-08, 11:50 AM   #21
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Who would you consider it not be for? For overall fitness and weight control I think too many people over look resistance or weight training.
Children who are not supervised!!!

They tend to not do things properly even after being trained. As long as the children are being supervised and are not lifting heavy weights during their growing periods they should be lifting also. I am more worried about the children, because I have seen them do stupid things in the weight room that could cause serious injury to themselves and others. Adults usually do not do the same things.

I am sure there are other people that shouldn't be lifting, or at least not doing some lifts or stressing their bodies, but mostly unsupervised children.
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Old 02-07-08, 11:52 AM   #22
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Children who are not supervised!!!
Unsupervised children + Universal machine = natural selection at work.
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Old 02-07-08, 12:07 PM   #23
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The best advice on this thread. Charles Poliquin is "The Man" and Pavel Tsatsouline (the Evil Russian) is good too. Go to http://www.t-nation.com/ and read everything you can - there are hundreds of articles by the best trainers in the business.
Have you read any of Poliquin's books? I have been working out with his German Boday Comp book and I am really starting to see some results from it. His method of lifting takes a little bit to get used to but once you do it is not to bad. I ran into some stuff by Pavel yesterday and I thought I would check him out.
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Old 02-07-08, 12:40 PM   #24
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Children who are not supervised!!!

They tend to not do things properly even after being trained. As long as the children are being supervised and are not lifting heavy weights during their growing periods they should be lifting also. I am more worried about the children, because I have seen them do stupid things in the weight room that could cause serious injury to themselves and others. Adults usually do not do the same things.

I am sure there are other people that shouldn't be lifting, or at least not doing some lifts or stressing their bodies, but mostly unsupervised children.
Point taken. I was thinking adults only and was assuming proper technique. Under those guidelines I'm a firm believer that all adults can benefit from weight training, particularly woman and older adults.
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Old 02-07-08, 12:46 PM   #25
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CliftonGK1: I was specifically referring to your weight-training advice, in particular the

4 seconds 'down'
4 seconds 'up'
2 seconds 'rest'

recommendation. This may be fine for a beginner learning proper form or someone with a joint injury, but is not going to help an experienced lifter.

I have been training with weights for over 20 years and I don't use weights for endurance training; I use them for stength training. However, my endurance is better with the weight training than without. The missing factor in most people's weight-training program is the Central Nervous System (CNS) response. When you train slow you stay slow because you don't train the CNS to "fire" faster. The "right" way to lift a weight is to always attempt to accelerate it, even if you can't. Lower it slowly enough to avoid the "stretch-shortening" cycle (i.e.: bouncing) and accelerate again. When you can't do this with proper form, that's the end of the set. I never use a spotter because they will encourage me to do "one more" when the only way I can do it is to break form.

Recovery depends on the intensity. Powerlifters may need 5-10 days to recover, but most of us do not work out with that intensity. Other studies show that 48 hours is plenty. Of course Lance does not do intervals every day - the point was that he cycles a lot more than once per week; he doesn't need 5-10 days to recover from each ride and neither does anyone else.

"Pros who want to increase explosive and overall strength vary their weightlifting routines between hi-rep, low-rep, hi-weight, low-weight, hi-speed and low-speed."

Everyone should do this, not just pros. As a cyclist, I want some of everything: speed, lots of endurance, and the ability to climb fast. Even the best weight-training routine is only good for about 3-4 weeks, by then the body adapts to it and you need to change the routine.

(BTW: I did not get "huge" by lifting weights; heck, I'm not even big. But I'd hate to see how pathetic I'd be if I didn't.)
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