Step ups = Good.
I've been lifting for my legs (leg press sled, squat, step ups) for 4 weeks now and just yesterday I clearly noticed that the step-up has improved my power output during short steep-ish hill sessions while pedaling in the saddle.
I find that I can maintain a high-ish gear while seated during short climbs and at that cadence the downstroke feels exactly like a step-up. I feel like i've gained some power in these situations by doing the step-up and that I can continue to put out despite lactic acid buildup, which happens near the end of 10-15x each leg sets of step ups.
Try lifting the lead leg
Those step ups are a great tool for gaining strength in the hills. WHY? Glute power. (AKA Butt power)
QUICK TIP: Next time, try lifting the lead leg (leg on the bench) about 1 inch up then drop back down as you lift the drop leg up off the ground. This will further engage the glute, right where it meets the hamstrings. Also, try bringing the drop leg up all the way to 90 degrees in the hips so you also engage the hip flexor and the core with stabilization. This will train bi-lateral control and help you get even more power. You want those glutes and hip flexors balanced.
Let me know how they go.
Lifting weights this winter for first time ever. Been biking 2 years. I try to circut train. Doing twenty reps of each excercise. Leg extension, lat pull down, step up, pushups, seated row, leg lift, standing row and, adobminal with twist on ball. AKA the Joe Friel mountain bike bible regime. This takes about an hour to do three times. My question is. How come I feel like puking by the end of second go round? I don't but I have come close. I usually walk on the track to recover if I feel bad. What is my body doing when I feel this way? Have I used all my muscle glycogen? I always eat something before lifting so its not hunger. My HR is usually in the 150s while lifting. With spikes into 180s while doing excercises. Max is 200. Usually do a 1 hour endurance ride after and feel better after 10 minutes or so. Thanks in advance.
not sure if this is the right place to post this.. but I guess so. I got on the trainer today and after warming up for a "mile" at 85rpm, I came up with a sequence that was interesting enough to pass the time, and seemed to be more difficult than I would have done otherwise...
basically, I warmed up in my cruising gear at 85rpm for a mile, then did 90 for a mile, the 95 for a mile...and continued the pattern up to 110rpm for a mile. Then, I shifted down one in the back, and repeated the sequence, shift down one more time, and repeat. It worked out really well. I wound up on it for 59 minutes and change and had "traveled" 20.0x miles...
note, I'm an "average" rider and my standard cadence is 96... haven't ridden since October until I got the trainer last week... so your results may vary... (probably pretty lame to you serious folks..)
you all still getting some gym time in?
Maybe I could get some help fromyou guys here. I havnt ridden for a few months and for the next 2 months my children are living with me. My workouts are going to be limited to the 1up trainer I have and a gym at my apartment complex. I will only be riding my fixed gear bike since I had to relieve myself of my roadbike, long story. So I'm wondering what you would recommend to me. I'm running a 49 ring gear and I have 17 thru 19 cog for the rear. For the past week I've been pushing myself just hard enough to make it through an hour in the morning to build up a base. Any help would be great. Thanks. Should I be swapping between the 16 and 19 cogs every couple of days?
I'll often get something similar when I start this in the fall. It's not that you've burned your glycogen - that'd probably take 3 hours. And for me at least, it goes away after about a month of lifting 2-3 times/week. So my guess is that what powers this type of lifting is the glycolytic reaction, which is a pure carbo-burning reaction. And the first thing it does is scour out the sugar from your blood, which is then supposed to be replaced from glycogen stores, except your body isn't used to doing that yet, so it does a crappy job of it. So basically, it's low blood sugar. And maybe it's also the waste products from the glycolytic process (lactate) that you aren't used to having in such quantity and need to clear. That's why you feel much better pretty quickly when you rest or switch to aerobic exercise. After a few weeks, my HR will drop down to 100 between lifts and only hit 140 during a squat set, though I'm a lot older than you and have a MHR of 168. And that bad feeling goes away.
Originally Posted by Erin158
Which is another thing you could try: calculate where your zone 1 is, and rest until your HR drops into zone 1 or even 5 beats below the top of zone 1 before you do the next lift. Of course if that takes a long time, don't bother, just keep lifting - it'll get better by itself.
I know - I'm a year late - but maybe someone will be interested.
how many reps are best?
Koffee (or anyone else) here's my question about number of reps:
Here goes: In order to improve my cycling abilities and competitiveness (I am Cat III, 45+) I am lifting weights this winter – both upper body and legs. At this point I am only riding about 6 hours a week, but will increase that next month. As for legs weights I am doing leg press, leg curls, and calf raisers. With all of these I try and do 35 to 40 reps each set, really trying to move past the burn, increase my pain tolerance and build muscle. Well, yesterday at the gym I asked a trainer about this method. He said that at such high repetition levels I was only building lactic acid and that I really should be building muscle mass and therefore only lifting weights were I can do only 10 – 12 repetitions.
What of these two methods do you feel is best and why? Is the trainer correct? What other methods would you recommend?
I did a search specific to this but didn’t find anything, but koffee's quote below - if there is a thread about this can someone post a link?
Thanks and ride on…
Originally Posted by Guest
The first exercise is great for the hip area and upper leg. The second is good for the glutes,
not as good as straight leg deadlifts, but very good, particularly if you work some resistance into it.
The two really wide ones offer a lot of resistance. You can hit most of your body using these.
With all training, there is a necessary balance of intensity, volume, and frequency that you need in order to reach certain goals. Most of the gains from weight training is from neurological gains. You increase neural drive and coordination, which allow you to control and lift heavier weights. The hope is that this significantly transfers to your cycling. The way most people do this is by also including some power lifting and plyometrics.
Originally Posted by HammyHead
How much weight depends on your goals. Lifting for maximal strength entails, you guessed it, lifting progressively heavier weights. Plyometrics use lighter weights at high contraction speeds. Above 15 reps or so, you are not reaping all of the benefits of weight lifting. A concern of masters cyclists is maintaining muscle mass, and staying between 5 and 15 reps is appropriate for this. After lifting progressively heavier loads for some time (just like anything else, you'll see gains from doing anything if you're starting from zero), periodization can be used to enhance the results. Once you're put in your work to build a good strength "base" you seek to apply that to cycling, by making your lifts more specific to cycling. It is similar to the tradition of higher volume early in the season to build an aerobic base, but once the race nears your training mimics the event in many ways. For example, it is fine to balance and build your quads with seated leg extensions, but that motion is entirely absent from cycling.
It isn't an all-or-none proposition with volume/intensity. A popular technique to do pyramids (eg 3 sets: 15, 10, 5 reps) or by doing different numbers of reps on separate days of the week. For example, 5 reps/set one day, 10 another, 15 another. I find this to be less mentally taxing, and there is some research to say periodizing weights is better (not as much evidence as with aerobic activity, though).
Eventually, your lifts should be across the same ranges of motion and at similar speeds of contraction to ones you might use in cycling. Biomechanical research indicates that these conditions must be met for significant transference of skill/strength from the weight room to your activity (in this case, cycling). Slow, deep squats? No, for several reasons. Box jump plyos for sprinting? Yes. Leg extensions? Not necessarily applicable to cycling. Step ups, at a reasonable cadence? Yes, for increasing hip extension (and therefore seating pedaling) force production.
Alas, time and age are catching up with my workouts. As such, I will not be placing in any of the local Cat 3/4 races. As such, I have been working on staying motivated indoors by adding what I can, using challenges with my buddies (like the one below). My strategy is simple, get on the bike as much as possible, crank out as many full body weight exercises as possible, manage portion sizes and strive for consistency. The focus is to eliminate as much gut lard as possible and maximize the strength to weight ratio.
Good stuff for me. I had both hips replaced in 2008 and returned to cycling because I needed c/v exercise and can tolerate exercise again. Any cautions about weight training in my situation.
Check out the transformation guides at BodyBuilding.com. There's a lot of good overview information about weight lifting and you can get some sample plans based on age and body type.
Originally Posted by HammyHead
The trainer is correct. The best ranges for building mass are generally in the 10-12 range with several different exercised per body part. This is the type of routing you'll see in body building magazines. If you're looking for pure strength, trainers usually reccomend in the 4-8 rep range with many sets of the same exercise. That's more what you'll see in powerlifting magazines.
Joe Friel's book has some of this information.
If you're looking for something a bit more scholarly, I reccomend:
Physiology of Sport and Exercise, Fourth Edition
Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers; 4 edition (November 9, 2007)
"Workouts with trainers are pretty much limited to aerobic workouts, forget about endurance unless you want to spend 2-4 hours sitting on a trainer like you would on an endurance ride. If you've got the mental fortitude for that, you may be able to do it. Otherwise, let's focus strictly on aerobic workouts."
It's not quite true, riding an indoor trainer for 1 hour (up to 1.5 hours) can improve your endurance rides considerably. However, you need to know how to ride that hour properly and work at improving your lactate threshold and aerobic capacity. As a rule of thumb, a home indoor training workout is equivalent to approx double that of being on the road (no coasting, stops, downhills etc).
As an analogy, marathon runners don't train running marathons all the time. They do a lot more shorter interval training to improve their endurance ability, following the principles and benefits of interval training programs.
Lifting weights this winter for first time ever. Been biking 2 years. I try to circuit train. Doing twenty reps of each exercise. Leg extension, late pull down, step up, push ups, seated row, leg lift, standing row and, abdominal with twist on ball.
Leg extensions are contraindicated. All else looks good, except that you're not hitting your legs or core enough. Since you're doing leg extensions, you must be using a gym. Add a session on a back machine, leg sled, squats, and maybe a sit-up bench. I like this order: sled, rows, back, squats, push ups or benches, one-legged calf raises, abs, pull-downs. You can mix and match to suit.
Originally Posted by kennyjoyy
The much more complicated question on this thread is how to add weights to your regimen. I'm going to ignore track sprinter training here. That's a very small number of cyclists and a very specialized discipline. For the average rider, racer, TTer, etc., there is no benefit to be found in conventional weight lifting over using the same time to ride. That's been shown by a number of studies, and there are no studies showing the opposite that I know of. My metric here is a reduction in 40k TT times, which roughly translates to increasing power output at LT, which is how you beat your buddy on the weekly hammerfest ride. By conventional weight lifting, I mean the usual 4-12 rep stuff, starting with 12 for hypertrophy, and gradually decreasing to 4-5 reps for maximum strength over a period of weeks. Doing any sort of intervals instead of using that time for lifting always beats lifting all hollow.
It is true that conventional weight lifting increases the amount you can lift, which is a form of strength, and increases muscle mass. However, "strength" on a bicycle is measured differently. You will hear TdF commentators say that the strongest man will win. They don't mean the rider who can squat or deadlift the most. In fact it might even be the inverse of that. Winning stage racers have to shed a lot of protein.
All that said, I think there is a place for weight lifting in one's training regimen. Weight lifting increases resistance to injury. It increases muscle mass, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on the rider. It increases sprinting power, which is often useful. In winter climates inhospitable to cycling, it's something different to do.
The first thing one needs to consider is that no single element of a training program can be considered in isolation. Weight lifting adds a great deal of training stress. It reduces the amount of energy a rider has for cycling. Since we are trying to get better at cycling, not weight lifting, lifting instead of cycling is contraindicated. Since we know intervals increases a cyclist's power more than weight lifting, if we are doing weights instead of intervals, we have hold of the wrong end of the stick. But we don't do intervals all year. Most riders who are training seriously devote the winter to base training, using intervals sparingly and at lower intensities than they will in spring and summer. So this is the period when you want to work on the weights, if you are so inclined.
My rule is that I try not to allow weight training to take time away from bike training. So this has to do with how much time one has available for training, and how fast one recovers. Each person is going to be different. Some will be able to ride in the morning and weight train in the afternoon. Others will only have evenings available, which is my situation. I only lift after I ride because my focus is on improving my riding so I want to ride when I'm fresh. Also, one wins sprints at the end of a ride, not at the beginning, so it makes sense to weight train after the legs are already a little tired from riding. I also want some days off, so I certainly don't want to add training stress by lifting on a day off. I find that my lifting is not greatly compromised by riding first, though it may be until one gets used to it. The two disciplines involve different energy systems and different fiber recruitment.
I find the greatest benefit from doing about 30 reps (for non-body weight exercises) circuit style and from doing them almost to failure. IOW, the last few reps should be very hard. From time to time I will use enough weight to achieve failure, IOW not quite able to do the 30th rep. This must be done judiciously or you will compromise the next few cycling workouts. If you recover well, you should consider doing two or three circuits, all at the same weight, once you can do one circuit and have energy left over. Each circuit should take no more than 20-30 minutes. As your conditioning gets better and your connective tissue gets stronger, you should increase the speed of your reps as much as you can without bouncing the weights. This regimen will increase muscle mass and cycling-specific strength, there's no question.
When you start to add hard interval training in the spring, taper off the weight training, going down to just once/week, then down to fewer reps at the same weight as 30, then stopping the weight training completely. This is the time to shed excess protein that was added by weight lifting, along with that winter fat.
I have been lifting heavy weights over the past 12 weeks and I have gone from doing squats 3 x 8 with 80 kg to 8 x 3 with 185 kg. However, I will no transform this strength into power by doing plyometrics where the focus is on the speed of movement. I have also found out that I climb quite well, despiting being heavier than most of my competitors.
I go to a gym that is computerized and keeps track of your workouts. I have been going for about 2 years and 6 months. I just went over 20 million pounds lifting. I have about 5000 miles on the spin bikes and 450 miles on the treadmills at 10% grade.
My conclusion is that riding helps the gym more that the gym helps riding. Spinning at high cadence has helped up my riding cadence. I don't think high resistance on the spin bike is the place to build strength. My legs are much stronger but I set the age group record on my first strength test so working on strength when you are already strong helps the riding only a little. I do 4 set of 30 on most equipment. I started with low weight and increased slowly but it adds up after a couple of years. I started doing 5 sets on leg press because the weight was high but I'm back up to 420 pounds now. Treadmills and spin bikes are better than nothing but are not even close to the cardio work out of riding a bike.
I use a roller trainer in the Winter months. I read in the roller section of the OP about finding your dead spots in your pedaling. I basically solved this problem using a Biopace crank. And my knees really thank me on the inclines when I'm on the road.;)
I like to do all my workouts on one day 2-3 times a weeks.
When lifting specifically for the function of getting faster/creating more economy while pedaling do you guys tend to focus on single leg exercises like ****** squats/leg press?