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  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Gym V. Bike for fitness.

    After saying to Long John (D.G.) that I was out for a ride tonight- I wimped out- Raining hard and floods on some of the trails meant that I went to the Gym instead. First time in 6 months.

    The reason I have not been to the Gym is that we have lights on the Tandem and have been Night riding in the week. My main concern was that Pure Cycling would not give me as good a workout as a mixture of Gym and Riding. Last winter (2004/5) only got out on the bike on Sundays so had to supplement my fitness traing with the Gym.

    Well tonight I went to the Gym and Biking Rules. I have my stats from last year and took it steady initially, but that did not last long. After a 10 minute warmup I went to the levels I was at last May on the various machines that I use. I was up to last years level on all the machines so finished up with a ten minute session on the cross trainer to see how hard I could go. I am fit. Then I went to the weights room and I have lost a little in the Arm and shoulders, but sitting on the back of the tandem I would have expected this, so was not too disapointed. On the legs though- they are there.

    If any of you are wondering if "Extra" training is necessary for Biking- Then my experience is that it is not. Just ride as often as you can.All I have to do now is get a Sauna installed somewhere- because that is the one thing I relished tonight after a hard workout
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Gald that's working for you. I too find that my cardio is great with just the bike riding. However, I can ride longer and stronger when I include a mix of resistance training. I bought some stuff to use at home that gives me a good upper body and core strength building workout. I don't overdo it... three times a week for 20 - 30 minutes. It keeps my lower back and shoulders from getting tired on rides over three hours in length. I'm also a bit concerned about bone loss with aging. So, I do a fair amount of walking, with the dog of course.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  3. #3
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    You're probably right about the cardio, but there's more to fitness than that. I hate to lift, have since high school, but at 61 I find that if I don't do it pretty regularly (two or three times a week except during summer, when I enjoy riding too much to take the time), I really lose upper body strength fast. I'm pretty active in summer, working on an old house, kayaking and tending a large yard, but even then, resistance training makes a very noticeable difference in how well I can do things other than cycling.
    No matter what, though, I can't do much cardio work in the gym. I'd rather have a colonoscopy than run on a treadmill. I don't know how people stand it.

  4. #4
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    I started back into the gym and mt. biking about 5 years ago. At 55, the gym has changed my weight starting from 190 and now at 218, but slimmer waist. I really need the gym time (weights, resistance, some cardio, stretching) to keep me hard. It has really helped with my upper body strength which is really needed when mtbiking. Now that I am spending almost all of my time road riding (on my new Bianchi Eros), I am glad I put in lots (4 times week) of gym time to help give me the strength to ride those 30-40 milers without much discomfort. My goal this May/June is to complete my first century.

  5. #5
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    I like a gym for the weights, but I seldom do the cardio equipment any more, because I commute by bicycle. About the only time I'll use the cardio equipment is if I'm out of town.
    Jim
    Make a BOLD Statement While Cycling!

  6. #6
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I bought a beater bike for $25 to ride to the gym and not worry about having it stolen, my LBS convinced me (happily) to convert it to a singlespeed. I do ride it now and then (and I worry about having it stolen!). That said, I've only been to the gym once since I got the bike. As much as I'd like to do some resistance training, I hate gyms. I maintain the annual membership for $99 because I keep thinking one of these days I'll get religion (beg pardon, Pastor Bob) about the gym. Hasn't happened yet. Not crossing my fingers, either!

    I wish I believed that the Total Gym was a better product than it probably is. I'd bring home one of those and use it 3x a week. But it's probably just a piece of junk.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  7. #7
    loves rail-trails bikingbets's Avatar
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    My husband says that his Total Gym is the best piece of home equipment that you can buy. But he hasn't used it enough to put his "muscle where his mouth is;" it's just gathering dust in the corner.

    I like the gym a lot, especially in the winter. The resistance training is the best benefit, and step classes, etc. are a great place for social cardio. It's also a nice alternative when there's not enough time for a bike ride. Today (since it's raining and too muddy on the rail trail) I'm going for a spin class.
    Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
    2009 Kona Sutra, 2010 Kona Dew Plus, 2008 Raleigh Companion Tandem

  8. #8
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Stapfam has previously expressed his lack of enthusiasm for gyms. I have noticed that many "real" mtn bikers have well developed upper bodies due to the kind of riding they do, and I would think that Stapfam likely has received the same benefit from his intensive mtn biking. His mtn biking exploits are truly amazing.

    However, for some of us who do not mtn bike at all or in the way that Stapfam does, a gym can provide an additional dimension to our workout, physical development and training. I certainly find that to be the case, whether it is my home gym or the one to which I belong.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  9. #9
    Roadie
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    I force myself to circuit train at home with free weights and an elliptical/jumprope at least twice a week. While it does not seem to significantly improve my cycling, there are other benefits such as improved upper body strength and better balance in muscle usage.

    Currently I'm at 3x8 pull ups, 3x70 crunches, 3x15x30lb curls, 3x30 pushups - somewhat of an improvement from 2 months ago.

    By the way, what's a cross trainer?

  10. #10
    Roadie
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    Sorry -just looked it up, cross trainer=elliptical

  11. #11
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    Currently I'm at 3x8 pull ups, 3x70 crunches, 3x15x30lb curls, 3x30 pushups - somewhat of an improvement from 2 months ago.
    Very Nice!!

    I'm duly impressed. Very, very few folks about 55 could do the same things.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 03-09-06 at 07:39 AM.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Stapfam has previously expressed his lack of enthusiasm for gyms. I have noticed that many "real" mtn bikers have well developed upper bodies due to the kind of riding they do, and I would think that Stapfam likely has received the same benefit from his intensive mtn biking. His mtn biking exploits are truly amazing.

    However, for some of us who do not mtn bike at all or in the way that Stapfam does, a gym can provide an additional dimension to our workout, physical development and training. I certainly find that to be the case, whether it is my home gym or the one to which I belong.
    I do not enjoy gyms but do recognise that if I need extra fitness, then I need extra exercise. My trip last night was because it is too near my big ride- only 10 weeks now- to be able to miss out on training.

    What surprised me- besides the fact that I have proved to myself that extra midweek rides have been benificial- is the fact that I did not ache today. No tired legs, back was supple, arms not dead, and that was after a good workout

    Of course I would rather have been out on the bike but the weather was too foul and the trails were flooded. When you consider that this would also have been a night ride- it was worth being a bit cautious.

    For any of you that do not mountain bike, you ought to try it some time- if only to see how fit you really are. Imagine those 1 mile 15% climbs up a washing board with the oddbit at 20% thrown in, the downhills across a track that is like a ploughed field, the flat bits through woods where the wheel suddenly gets a lot of resistance because it has just sunk into 6" of sticky mud, and then the best bit of trying to control a bike that is bucking about everywhere. It does have an effect of improving the body, and upper arm strength and shoulders build up very quickly. Then there's the legs, and the lungs. If you do manage the ride without too many problems- wait until the next morning.

    I do the occasional road ride and I must admit that some of them are enjoyable- I even did one on a road bike and surprised myself at how fast I did that ride. However road riding is not my thing so still do them but on the mountain bike. Then there is the problem of road riding- How do you manage to eat all those pies at Irma's with the bike and yourself in pristine condition. At least when we stop off for a break The waitresses serve us up the big portions of pie because they can see we have earned it.
    Last edited by stapfam; 03-09-06 at 12:23 PM.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    What surprised me- besides the fact that I have proved to myself that extra midweek rides have been benificial- is the fact that I did not ache today. No tired legs, back was supple, arms not dead, and that was after a good workout
    Me and my big mouth. Proudly saying that I didn't ache yesterday-- I hurt today. The hamstrings are tight and they hurt. May be that I have been digging the foundations for the new bike shed, but I doubt it.

    Looked at a few old photo's today and it confirms one thing that I noticed at the gym. I have leg muscles. The attachment is of me preparing for my night ride last October and this was before I pumped the muscles up with a warm up. I used the treadmill that was in front of a mirror on wednesday, and looking down the line at all the other muscles going at 19 to the dozen, well at least the ones that I could see through the speed blur of some of them, and I had the best set of leg muscles out of all of them. Perhaps I was the only one that bikes but I found something to make me feel proud of when compared to all the fit youngsters. I know I am getting older-Hair disappearing and what is left is grey, the beer belly is something that I cannot get rid of and on top of that it should not be there because I rarely drink and never over eat. But to keep those muscles proves that whatever I am doing- Is right. Anyone else want to join me on a gentle 30 mile offroad Sunday because the way my hamstrings are, that's all it will be.(With a breakfast of course)
    Last edited by stapfam; 03-09-08 at 03:30 PM.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    I bought a beater bike for $25 to ride to the gym and not worry about having it stolen, my LBS convinced me (happily) to convert it to a singlespeed. I do ride it now and then (and I worry about having it stolen!). That said, I've only been to the gym once since I got the bike. As much as I'd like to do some resistance training, I hate gyms. I maintain the annual membership for $99 because I keep thinking one of these days I'll get religion (beg pardon, Pastor Bob) about the gym. Hasn't happened yet. Not crossing my fingers, either!

    I wish I believed that the Total Gym was a better product than it probably is. I'd bring home one of those and use it 3x a week. But it's probably just a piece of junk.
    You can get a decent weight bench for around $100 if you keep your eyes open, and just use dumbell free weights for everything else. I'll be getting a Dorsi bar to hook up from the garage rafters to do lat work. That Dorsi bar can really stretch my back out without hurting it, and make it feel great.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

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