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Old 08-29-02, 07:33 AM   #1
cyclochica
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Gym Membership

I am thinking of getting a gym membership to supplement my cycling adventures, especially in the winter since the likelihood of me getting on my bike in the cold is slim to none. Should I focus on classes like spinning? What kinds of things should I be doing to stay in shape for cycling? Or should I just toughen up and learn to enjoy the beauty that is winter cycling?:confused:
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Old 08-29-02, 07:53 AM   #2
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Well...I'd recommend staying on the bike in the winter...but if you can't bring yourself to it, that's alright.

I can't tell you about spinning classes, because I've never done them. Quite a few people have here, though, so search the site. You should be able to find a few discussions on them.

With your gym membership, take advantage of the weights. There have also been numerous discussions on winter weight training. Search, and you will find.
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Old 08-29-02, 07:56 AM   #3
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Spinning is a great way to stay in cycling shape - IF you get a good teacher. My gym has good ones and bad ones. So you just figure out which ones are bad and avoid them.

Of course, there is no subsititute for the real thing.

If you are going to use the facilities at the gym (other than just spinning) then definitely join. If not, just buy a trainer and a spinning video and do it in your living room.

have fun!!
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Old 08-29-02, 08:46 AM   #4
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I did the spinning thing at the gym last winter - it was ok. I decided it was easier to create my own workout at home. Found a dumbell full body workout in my mens health mag. I do that full routine every other day - in between sets I run in place for 2 minutes. I get my cardio, plus much more definition. On the odd days I try to get in my sports yoga that I watch thru the vcr.
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Old 08-29-02, 08:49 AM   #5
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Second that notion on good instructors.

I've had my share of them.

I've been told to do things completely opposite of everything I've learned about actually RIDING a bike.

I usually go speak to the instructor before or after a class. I tend to stay away from those that don't actually ride and are glorified aerobics instructors.

It is a good workout though! You can really push yourself and build a good base.

L8R
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Old 08-29-02, 09:31 AM   #6
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I do gym 3-4x a week. I find swimming really good and the water temp is consistent all year.

On the floor, things are different. I usually alternate on weight exercises and try to rotate the primary and secondary muscle groups depending on the machine I use. I usually go for 70/30 split between anaerobic/aerobic workout, but now that I'm getting into the off-road stuff now, I'll probably change that to 60/40 as the aerobic is more important to me with that in mind.

I think it's a question of finding out what is best for you. Spins are and can be fun, but I'm not sure if I'd have the patience to sit static for 45 minutes to an hour. The choice of music is also a bit yuk on occasions.
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Old 08-29-02, 10:37 AM   #7
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You might want to head over to www.fitrex.com It's a site that offers customized workout routines base on periodization. There are sport specific programs (such as cycling) that base all your weights, reps, cardio, etc. on your existing fitness levels. I've been using it for over two years now and am VERY satisfied with the results. By the way, it's free to sign up and use. I don't have any affiliation with the site, etc. I'm just a happy user.
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Old 08-29-02, 11:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by cyclochica
I am thinking of getting a gym membership to supplement my cycling adventures, especially in the winter since the likelihood of me getting on my bike in the cold is slim to none. Should I focus on classes like spinning? What kinds of things should I be doing to stay in shape for cycling? Or should I just toughen up and learn to enjoy the beauty that is winter cycling?:confused:
I joined a gym for specific exersices after a knee operation. I stayed 'cause it's so much fun. I do leg lifts of several kinds, play on the stair stepper, and end up spinning on a stationary bike. It all seems to help cycling.

On the other hand, I see your in Virginia, and it doesn't get cold enough here to stop riding for more than a day here and there. So keep riding and use the gym as added fun.

Joe
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Old 08-29-02, 11:28 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I would love to get a trainer, I think that would solve my problem, but the parental figure I live with has has put a moratorium on sports equipment in the house (she is also trying get me into a 12 step program for sports addicts, but that is another discussion )

I am going to try to toughen up and ride at lunch and take a spinning class 1 or 2X a week. I'm going to need a lot of encouragement because I really hate being cold.
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Old 08-29-02, 01:24 PM   #10
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I also live in Virginia (the northern part). I'm shooting to ride almost year around this year. Unless there's serious snow or any ice, then I'm going to do my best to ride. I started this spring and the temps where in the low 30's. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I think if you try it a few times, you'll see that it isn't all that bad. Just get the right kind of gear, clothes-wise, because that makes it bearable. The arm and leg warmers totally make it do-able. I used to try it in just sweat pants and I was miserable... my knees usually froze up in no time. Trust me when I say, invest in some good winter cycling clothes and you might actually enjoy the fall, winter, early spring cycling.

Good luck

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Old 08-29-02, 06:52 PM   #11
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Around here, it's pretty difficult to cycle in the winter, although last winter was unusually mild and snowless. However, most winters are not like that. I'll keep riding for as long as possible,but going to the gym in the winter is a great waqy to stay in shape if you can't cycle and aren't into skiing or other outdoor sports. We had spining classes at our gym and the instructors are all very good- one of them is a former olympian! It really helps you stay strong during the winter months, and weight training is very important too. You can't neglect those upper body muscles! I found that weight training and spinning really helped me when the season started. Of course, spinning class isn't the same as going for a ride, but in Montreal in the middle of January, you don't have many opportunities to get on your bike!
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Old 08-29-02, 07:24 PM   #12
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Where I live, cycling is a year-round activity, but my wife and I do use the weights and machines (mostly upper body and rowing, plus specific knee stabilizing exercises) at the local YMCA.


-- "I once went to a gym where the only dumbbell was the instructor."
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Old 08-29-02, 07:43 PM   #13
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I'd get a set of Hakkapellitta studded tyres for the worst of winter (they cost about $50 each, tho..). as for the gym, I usually concentrate on my upper body there, figuring that my legs are getting enough of a workout already.
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