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  1. #1
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    Weight training.. helpful???

    How helpful is weight training for cyclist? I have read some much 2sided information I do not know what to think.

  2. #2
    scofflaw
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    weight training certainly helped my cycling ability. more endurance, no shoulder,
    neck pain, stronger quads.....check out the threads on weight training on the over 50 site.

  3. #3
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    Well, I think in depends what you mean by weight-training. If you mean traditional weight lifting-I say no-it's not helpful for a cyclist. Targeted weight/resistance training, OTOH, is very helpful.

    I do a variety of "pre-hab" excercises that are designed to prevent common cycling injuries and address muscular imbalances cycling can create (the short hip flexor, for example). I also do a lot of core work, which helps a lot for holding yourself up for a long time while riding. It only takes an hour or hour and a half a week, but I really have noticed a difference.

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    Well, I think in depends what you mean by weight-training. If you mean traditional weight lifting-I say no-it's not helpful for a cyclist. Targeted weight/resistance training, OTOH, is very helpful.

    I do a variety of "pre-hab" excercises that are designed to prevent common cycling injuries and address muscular imbalances cycling can create (the short hip flexor, for example). I also do a lot of core work, which helps a lot for holding yourself up for a long time while riding. It only takes an hour or hour and a half a week, but I really have noticed a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sjjone
    I also do a lot of core work, which helps a lot for holding yourself up for a long time while riding.
    Core work makes a huge difference, not just in stamina, but also in power. For example, if you can hold your body steady while climbing, you are rocking and bouncing less, so you are more efficient and you can put more power direcly into the pedals.

  6. #6
    mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lividkoi
    How helpful is weight training for cyclist? I have read some much 2sided information I do not know what to think.
    I found it to be very helpful in crashes back in college. I played football and cycled as part of my cross-training fitness routine. Whenever I would crash - hard I might add - I never broke any bones because my muscle mass would cushion and hold me together. Some of the others would break their collarbones, etc. due to a slim/weak upper body.

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    Would heavy weight leg work help with cycling

  8. #8
    Focus on the future alison_in_oh's Avatar
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    If it's taking time that you would otherwise spend on the bike, then no it isn't helpful.

    If you time it so that you always seem to be in recovery when you go out and can't get a hard ride in, then it isn't helpful.

    And if your absolute priority is being an excellent climber, then every scrap of non-essential muscle mass (whether it's upper body muscle you don't need for climbing, or "bulking" leg muscles that don't actually play an important role) is going to hurt and not help.

    But if you time it right and don't decrease your on-the-bike training, then chances are you could probably gain some power from strength training, as well as giving your skeletal structure the resistance work it needs to grow strong.

    And if it's wintertime/off season and you're not going to be on the bike anyway, then what better time to hit your legs hard and gain some needed muscle?

    So to sum up, training on the bike should take priority if performance on the bike is what you want. But training off the bike has its place as well, if it's something you want to pursue.

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    Pat
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    Well, years back my mother got into personal training and bought me some "lessons". The trainers thought that the weight training would make a dramatic improvement in my cycling. Well, my upper body got quite a bit better toned and I learned all the basic lifts. But, I was already a pretty strong recreational rider and the lifting did not have any noticeable effect. As a comparison, whenever I go and do a tour in the western mountains which typically have a couple of hours of climbing, I come back and notice a difference in my climbing on our local hills.

    I think there are several reasons for this lack of effect. Cycling is primarily aerobic. The strength needed is more high rpm low resistance than low rpm high resistance (most weight work). The area you will see the greatest effect is upper body and that has little influence on cycling performance (sure having a toned upper body helps for muscling up long steep climbs but if you over do it the weight gain negates whatever gains you get by strength).

    Cycling is most effected by training on the bike and doing the traditional sorts of cycling training: intervals, climbing hills, sprints, hard rides, long slow rides, etc. Other things can help but for most of us recreational riders, riding the bike is pretty hard to beat as a training method.

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    I'm a newbie and have noticed the weakest part of my body in terms of cycling is my quads... I feel like I could go twice as far as I do if it weren't for my weak quads... Would doing leg curls and other exercises help, or should I just keep climbing hills

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    I've noticed a big difference in my cycling by leg weight training a couple days a week - but i'm not weight training to bulk up either. However, some people have seen good results while others don't . YMMV.

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    For me, leg work at the gym has definately improved my cycling and running. I mainly work on endurance, doing high reps. Heavy weights will help with power some as long as you don't do too much. I only do legs once a week during the times of the year when i am biking and running alot, and then pretty easy workouts. In the winter i work alot more on building up my power/strength since i'm not biking and running nearly as much.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by watchman
    For me, leg work at the gym has definately improved my cycling and running. I mainly work on endurance, doing high reps. Heavy weights will help with power some as long as you don't do too much. I only do legs once a week during the times of the year when i am biking and running alot, and then pretty easy workouts. In the winter i work alot more on building up my power/strength since i'm not biking and running nearly as much.
    I must agree!! It has definately helped me too. Right now, cycling is my main focus with only some time spent in the gym - mostly doing core.But during the winter I go for strength training with squats lunges and presses.

    Lately I learned how to stretch properly and stayed dedicated to it. This has made a very noticeable difference over just a couple months.

  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I think it all depends on your goal for training. For many of us, our goal is to achieve good or excellent overall fitness. Weight training would be an important, even necessary, component of a program for achieving this goal, of overall fitness, especially for strength, bone and joint health, greater lean mass and physical appearance.

    For those who are training specifically for better cycling performance, some say that they limit weight training, especially during their season, for various reasons. I heard Lance Armstrong in an interview say that upper body muscles are just excess weight that will slow him down.

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    Remember the SAID priniciple (Specific Adaption to Imposed Demands)...in other words, your body will adapt to the stimuli applied to it. if you want to get better on the bike, then the majority of your training time should be spent riding. that being said, weight training can be beneficial as supplementary training (which is what it is for every sport except oly lifting). forget all of the crap that is being peddled by garbage mags and useless, uneducated personal trainers. lifting for performance has nothing to do with how much you can bench or leg press. there are many cyclists who weight train, especially track sprinters. find a trainer who is knowledgeable in sports-performance training, and not in helping some fat housewife lose her cellulite.

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