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Old 03-27-12, 11:06 AM   #1
BikeWNC
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Lifting Before Riding

Often my schedule works out such that I go to the gym in the morning and ride later that afternoon or evening. On those days I can tell my rides feel more labored with tired legs. I'm not doing intervals yet, other than longer climbing efforts at Z3-4, but climbing is not easy after the gym. Obviously when I start doing structured intervals at Z4 and above it won't be on gym days but I still need to ride those other days. It is difficult for me to schedule days solely for the gym and weather plays into that too. For those that do both the gym and ride how do you work it out?

I'm still in base/build so being tired on rides isn't such a big deal. I'm thinking down the road when the intensity increases how it will all fit together.
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Old 03-27-12, 11:45 AM   #2
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I always do my rides first. It isn't a deliberate training choice. Rather, if something happens and I can only get one of the two in, I want it to be the ride. There are days when the weight routine is harder than other, because I've pushed it on the ride. But I seem to get through those workouts much better than when I'm feeling fried on the road. I do have one advantage in that my weight routine is done at home. We invested in the proper equipment several years ago after we did the math of the memberships and travel to and from. In three years we've more than made up the difference in money spent.
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Old 03-27-12, 11:51 AM   #3
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Just my opinion but I think you need to structure your schedule so that your gym days are your "lite" days on the bike. What NOS88 says makes a lot of sense. You can ride first. You will probably then find you are having a harder time with the lifts. Lighten the weights accordingly.
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Old 03-27-12, 12:04 PM   #4
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In what appears to be the start of a Sunday routine for me, I've been running then lifting first thing in the morning, followed by a 2-3 hour break (lately filled with yard work), then an afternoon ride. The first week I did this, my legs (quads, mainly) actually felt a little sore at the start of the ride, then felt better until near the end when they pooped out a couple of miles from home. The second time I did it, I felt much better, to the point where I doubt that I'd have noticed a difference had I foregone the weights or running beforehand. It's not much - 2.5 mile flat runs, a single circuit of 13 machines with 12 reps at about 60-70% of my total (one-time) lift capacity, and about 25 mile rides, but as the weeks go on, the runs and rides will get longer/tougher. Now I just need to map out the rest of the week with time for individual runs, rides and swims, plus squeeze in another lifting session. My wife will probably wonder why she bothered to marry me.
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Old 03-27-12, 12:17 PM   #5
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My core/resistance work is usually 4 days a week. I am semi-retired working Tue - Thur. On Mon and Fri my rides are usually easy spin days and I have done the resistance work first. My hard riding days are Tue, Wed and Thur and I will do resistance work after two of those rides. For me the lingering fatigue in the core muscles from doing the resistance training first would compromise the riding workout goals. I do the core/resistance work at home in the basement pain cave. I usually turn on a TV in the family room and watch during the two to three minute recoveries between tasks.
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Old 03-27-12, 01:27 PM   #6
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Ideally I would ride before lifting but my schedule just doesn't seem to work out that way. I do try to do relatively easier rides on those days but I can tell that I've been to the gym. Weight training is an important part of my overall training. I just don't seem to build muscle very well on the bike. The added gym workouts eventually make hill climbing better but at this point in my training it is hard to tell the benefits from the fatigue. I'll be starting intervals soon so I will be careful to work those sessions around the gym so I can get the best of my time on the bike.
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Old 03-27-12, 01:36 PM   #7
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I have done it both ways. The Belarus ("Russian") approach for the Russian pros and the rest of us was to do a gym torture circuit at the cycling gym designed to build the pedal stroke. Our bikes would be ready on the trainer and we would segue way as fast as possible from the gym to the bike. We would do low cadence intervals. The first interval was supposed to be hard with no warmup. It felt like total crap. I did that twice per week with 3 other times outside or on the trainer. The theory was to make sure that strength developed in the torture circuit was converted to the pedal stroke. In other words, we did not want to be better at the leg press and did not want to build neuro pathways that diminished the pedal stroke. We were told to expect to be a lot slower outside and we were. We shut down weight training at the beginning of the year and began climbing. That was followed by speed work, motor pacing and racing.

I have carried that over to my training and try to do weight work right before cycling and not have a lot of expectation for cycling performance. However, once there is an expectation of producing top end power or racing, the weight training stops or is very light.

It is a pretty fine line to increase strength via weight training and then turn it into more power. Also, increasing body weight due to strength training was not desired. Track sprinters had a different routine.

I have not seen any research that supports the circuit followed by cycling theory but the training routine turned out some very strong cyclists and the Russian pros do it. And since you are not a Russian pro rider, you may fair better doing something else. The benefits of weight training for road cycling is highly debated and I doubt that it will ever be proven one way of the other. YMMV
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Old 03-27-12, 01:49 PM   #8
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My weight training is targeted to total body toning. I use it to gain comfort on the bike and to help burn the candle at both ends for weight loss. Most of my routine is low weight high reps. I do add a few higher weight lower rep work to my lower body but that is seldom and more of a change of pace to shake things up. My former coach used to mix leg speed work on the bike while I was in the gym. So high cadence intervals under low resistance with the idea it would increase foot speed and counter the work done in the gym. Guess I should be doing those as I just remembered about them and when they were used.
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Old 03-27-12, 02:39 PM   #9
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I spent a lot of time in the gym but I blew my legs up training with the track sprinters doing jumps and standing starts. At your weight and height, you should be able to get some great leverage on the pedals and I suspect you could do a 1200 watt plus standing start and it will build the entire pedal stroke and definitely "tone" everything.

If anyone reading this post wants to try full power standing starts, do not. Start with something a lot easier in a lower gear and work up to full power. To do a full power standing start in a big gear requires technique and a really strong core to protect your lower back. Here is Chris Hoy, who has some of the biggest legs and the best in the business at the standing start. I suspect Chris hits 3000 watts on this start.

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Old 03-27-12, 05:57 PM   #10
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Yes, I've seen 1200w when doing jumps from a near stop. Not sure I can do that right now but it's in the area of possibility. My coach and I used to go the track with our fixies and work on standing starts. They wore me out! And 3000w is not human. They need to test Chris for alien DNA.
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Old 03-27-12, 11:59 PM   #11
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All of this talk about high wattage is just making me feel depressed. No pushing weights with legs for me on ride days.... no can do. (Translation: I'm not strong enough I guess.)
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Old 03-28-12, 01:11 PM   #12
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maybe lift after cycling instead of before. I think I read some advice like that referring to running, never lift before running, always after. I imagine a several hour respit w/timed nutrition would be well advised too. I remember days where I swam in am; ran at lunch & weight trained at night. other days I would swim in am & weight train at lunch. I always did something at lunch and often did something in morning. I often did something after work but not always. the key with cross training was recovery & timed nutrition. I found I could run; bike and swim on consecutive days but strictly observed a 48 recovery for weight training. when I was bike commuting regularly I always broke up the week with morning swims a couple days of the week. I also drove to work a couple days to facilitate the swimming, on those days I ran at lunch and did weight training at night. when I bike commuted I was usually done for the day with just the biking with a 1 hr walk at lunch. oh and I never used leg machines on cycling days.
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Old 03-30-12, 11:24 AM   #13
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It really depends on what your goal is. For building muscle through weight training I have always seen it recomended that you should lift first and then do your cardio if you are doing them at the same time or on the same day. I prefer doing the opposite and am willing to sacrifice some lifting energy to maximize my ride performance.
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Old 03-30-12, 11:30 AM   #14
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On days with power intervals and cycling at the same time will not max out on the reps. Rest is the name of the game with all that stress on the legs. As long as it is incremental 5% per week and then back down by the 4th, then change routine on the 6th week.

Usually will do a all out one day gym and bike but making sure I have enough rest the next day (if anything a light jog, long fast pace walk). I lean toward power lifting for explosiveness that cover the core and hips.

I follow the 5 by 5 powerlifting routines, and cycling on those same days. If you feel tired during cycling that is good as long as it is not burned out tired, it helps to mentally get stronger and to keep going. One of the rules is to never ever max out at the gym, always leave a few extra reps.

Or simply dont do anything, watch some Netflix and then go cycling, it works for "others"

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Old 03-30-12, 11:50 AM   #15
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Old 03-30-12, 11:58 AM   #16
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Well I lifted this morning pretty hard but I'm not riding this afternoon. I have a tough ride tomorrow morning and again Sunday. I've noticed that my legs are starting to be able to use the weight training on the bike. It doesn't help as much during anaerobic efforts as it does pushing against resistance on a climb. Since I haven't done much anaerobic work I don't expect much at this time. But I have noticed a difference in my ability to climb just this last week. Hopefully it will continue to get better. I'm sure my legs will feel the gym effort on the ride tomorrow but it will all be good as the pace is not going to be anything but to get the ride done. 62 miles and near 7000' of climbing will test them I'm sure.
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Old 04-02-12, 06:18 AM   #17
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As long as you increase (add stress) in small percentages (like stated usually 5% and then back off every 4th week) there should be improvement.
Monitor your morning heart rate, your overall mood, appetite, etc for any signs of over-training.
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