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  1. #1
    Junior Member Jutlin's Avatar
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    Winter resistance workout schedule, appropriate?

    So my GF picked me up a copy of "Performance Cycling" by David Morris

    In it, he describes the following workout, with varying degrees of volume and resistance:

    10-20 mins cardio (to warmup, loosen muscles)

    10 mins stretching

    Free squats
    Stiff legged dead lifts
    Inclined dumbbell press (chest)
    Inclined leg press (machine)
    Lat pulldowns
    Hammy curls

    (as an aside, he also does recommend and list some ab/mid section workouts that I intend to do on the easy/off cardio days)

    basically, you do this particular workout 2-4 times a week, with varying degrees of resistance, depending on your max, and with varying degrees of volume, depending on the resistance, for about 8 weeks total, then you get into a very serious cycling training program focused on what races you want to compete in.

    Two questions:
    First, for a total novice (having done one biathlon), but someone who's totally interested in racing and training, is this an appropriate schedule? is it too focused? too easy? too much? would you add/subtract anything? (k that's a multiquestion first question, sue me).
    Second, I understand that you do not want too much upper body mass, but isn't this a little too light on the upper body?
    I've heard about some other training schedules, i forget the name, something like Fiel or feil or something, but even people on these forums claimed they were insanely strict. I'd love any input.
    Jut

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutlin
    So my GF picked me up a copy of "Performance Cycling" by David Morris

    In it, he describes the following workout, with varying degrees of volume and resistance:

    10-20 mins cardio (to warmup, loosen muscles)

    10 mins stretching

    Free squats
    Stiff legged dead lifts
    Inclined dumbbell press (chest)
    Inclined leg press (machine)
    Lat pulldowns
    Hammy curls

    (as an aside, he also does recommend and list some ab/mid section workouts that I intend to do on the easy/off cardio days)

    basically, you do this particular workout 2-4 times a week, with varying degrees of resistance, depending on your max, and with varying degrees of volume, depending on the resistance, for about 8 weeks total, then you get into a very serious cycling training program focused on what races you want to compete in.

    Two questions:
    First, for a total novice (having done one biathlon), but someone who's totally interested in racing and training, is this an appropriate schedule? is it too focused? too easy? too much? would you add/subtract anything? (k that's a multiquestion first question, sue me).
    Second, I understand that you do not want too much upper body mass, but isn't this a little too light on the upper body?
    I've heard about some other training schedules, i forget the name, something like Fiel or feil or something, but even people on these forums claimed they were insanely strict. I'd love any input.
    Jut
    Jutlin, just my own personal opinion, but I'm not very impressed with this weight training program at all -- and I think that you're already ahead of the game for questioning it yourself.

    As a cyclist, there's really not too great a concern for adding on large amounts of body weight by lifting. It takes years of heavy training to build solid muscle. Anyone who thinks that they will begin weight training in the winter, and wind up with 10 extra pounds of muscle in the spring is in for a rude awakening. Adding on 2.5 pounds of muscle throughout the body for one solid year of training would be considered a good year indeed for most -- and that's focusing entirely on heavy weight training/bodybuilding. Anyone who is packing on more than that is either lying about it, or water-bloated on one of the many creatine-type products out there.

    I strongly believe in weight training supplementing cycling. I'd suggest that you get yourself a good weight training book, rather than a cycling book giving weight training advice.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Jutlin's Avatar
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    thanks crank.

    One interesting theory from his book though, block training. Where a schedule I have from a non-cycling builder gives at least two days rest between workouts on a particular area, Morris says that training a particular area two days in a row, one heavy, one light, and then giving a couple days rest improves strength building.

    So I'm tempted, at a minimum, to reduce some upper body workouts, and institute a twice a week leg workout that's pretty intense.

    Any thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutlin
    Morris says that training a particular area two days in a row, one heavy, one light, and then giving a couple days rest improves strength building.

    Any thoughts?
    Yeah . . . this guy is a real piece of work.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Actually the goal's to build up muscle-strength, not mass or weight. It's actually possible to double your muscle strength over the winter with 8-10 weeks of weight-training without gaining much weight at all. Although that might be balanced out with a 2-5lb loss in fat as well.

    Due to the rigors of racing and muscle-catabolism for energy, you lose strength as the season progresses. By the end in late Aug.-Sept. it's not uncommon to have only 60-75% of the strength you had when you started. Depends upon the weight-loss you have, most racers end up losing about 2-5lbs of muscle during the course of a season. Especially if you do a lot of stage-racing or road-races in the 100-mile+ range. It's not that noticable because you don't utilize max-strength often, but the percentage of max determines the efficiency. At the beginning of the season, you may only be using 30-40% of max-strength during most of the race. By the end of the season, to maintain that kind of speed, you have to use 50-60% of max-strength. This won't be as efficient and will consume more oxygen for the same power-output and muscle fatigue will set in faster as well.

    Then during the winter, most racers will do some weight/strength training to build up those muscles again. Armstrong's and Carmichael's book is also pretty good with a weight-training programme geared towards cyclists.

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    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    oldcrank - I'm sure that you know much more than me about overall fitness but I have a question. Do you not think that people such as Morris, Friel, and Carmichael would know what they are talking about when it comes to cycling specific training? I'm not trying to be a smartass but I'm just curious why it seems that you think that the people that have trained some of the best cyclists in the world are wrong?

    Personally I have a coach that bases his coaching methods on Joe Friel. He was coached by Joe Friel and went on to race on the pro circuit in places such as Denmark. He has also coached quite a few people with amazing results, one of which is a friend of mine that has worked his way up to Cat 1 in less than four years.

    Right now I am in the process of starting up base 3. I hate this part, the ME (muscular endurance) phase. I have to do two sets of each of my weight exercises and 40 - 60 reps each set. I am doing knee extensions, hamstring curls, hip abductors, leg presses, seated rows, bench presses, tricep pulldowns, fly's, and calf raise. I am also doing my core exercises (lower back and abs).
    Last edited by LowCel; 12-28-05 at 06:14 AM.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutlin
    thanks crank.

    One interesting theory from his book though, block training. Where a schedule I have from a non-cycling builder gives at least two days rest between workouts on a particular area, Morris says that training a particular area two days in a row, one heavy, one light, and then giving a couple days rest improves strength building.

    So I'm tempted, at a minimum, to reduce some upper body workouts, and institute a twice a week leg workout that's pretty intense.

    Any thoughts?
    All strength training involves tearing down muscle tissue from overstretching (over work) and then allowing recovery time of 24 - 48 hours. During this period, the injured fibers repair and get stronger than they previously were. You can cause the initial damage by very intense workouts of one day duration. Then you wait one or two days before repeating the process. Or you can do as Morris suggests with one heavy and a second lighter one. In both cases, the objective it stretching the muscles fibers to the point where they need repair. It appears that Morris seeks a milder method to avoid serious injury.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Jutlin's Avatar
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    One thing I think I gather from all these posts, which I really appreciate, is that I should not be afraid to make a hybrid of a resistance program, but use these theories as the base for my underlying concept and goals.

    First, I would focus -- obviously -- on my legs, and look to build mass in that area. Second, I would do upper body workouts, but would not focus on mass building, but rather keeping them in shape for endurance and posture.
    And Lastly, that I would expect this program to be between 8-12 weeks long, before I start focusing on intervals, MSPO, SMSPO, etc.

    Friel is the name i was looking for, thanks whoever posted it.

  9. #9
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good idea Jutlin. Everyone responds to different exercises differently. Experiment and find what works for you.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    oldcrank - I'm sure that you know much more than me about overall fitness but I have a question. Do you not think that people such as Morris, Friel, and Carmichael would know what they are talking about when it comes to cycling specific training? I'm not trying to be a smartass but I'm just curious why it seems that you think that the people that have trained some of the best cyclists in the world are wrong?
    I appreciate the question and do not take it as being a smartass at all. To clarify:

    My reply was specific relative to Morris -- and centered around the weight training regimen only. Providing that the sets and frequency posted are indeed representative of what is recommended. In other words, my comments were specific to this particular regimen, not generalized to include the ability to train cyclists.

    Everything evolves. The emergence of sport-specific weight training is no different. The "interpretation" of this aspect of training is still very much in its infancy. As with all interpretations, language gets mixed up in the conversion, yet is still taken for gospel by those within the sport that it is being applied to. I am not alone in this criticism.

    With that being said, this debate will certainly continue (not ours here -- but within the fields themselves). I will stand by my opinion -- with all due respect to Morris -- that if the *weight training* regimen posted here is what was/is truly recommended, it is based on information that has been long superceeded.

    I'm going to make a prediction here. Remember how I mentioned above that everything evolves? This book will obviously not be the last and final book on training for cycling. You can bet your last dollar that the next generation of books published will come more in-line with proper weight-training protocol. And the books that follow will be better still.

    Now, I will also be man enough to consider the possibility that Morris is onto something. In fact, there are areas where I do believe that to be true. But I don't believe that it is dialed-in correctly -- placing deadlifts into the same workout as squats is one example (per the regimen originally published). Don't be surprised if -- by this time -- Morris may not be reconsidering a few things differently as well.

    Lastly, muscles aren't the only part of the body that gets hit hard with weight training. The central nervous system takes just as much a hit (which is why I question deads/squats, since they are such complete compound movements integrating ALL of the major muscle groups at one time). This is why training one day heavy and one day light before rest has been superceeded.

    I'll admit that it's difficult being a "poster" on a forum and disagreeing with a trainer and author. That's a given, and I do appreciate you questioning my reasoning. By not having you question, that is how so much incorrect information gets "out there" to begin with. But in closing I would suggest that readers here also take time to get familiar with weight training on it's own -- not for weight training or bodybuilding as a primary form of training -- but to seek out what information translates between weight training and cycling.

    If you do this, you'll have a much better chance of having weight training work for you in cycling, while the literature has a chance to catch up. Hopefully, you'll say to yourself "I'll be darned" when you start to see some of the same errors that I saw when I first read this post.

    20 years ago, the literature published at the time said that any weight training at all was BAD for cycling performance. At least give some consideration to the possibility that some incorrect information can still be out there -- and will continue to be out there for some time to come.

  11. #11
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    oldcrank - WOW!! I love it when I receive an intelligent reply and not someone becoming defensive thinking that they are being attacked.

    Honestly I do not agree with everything that anyone says or writes about training. I believe that different workout plans are going to work for different people. It is also completely dependant on how committed the individual is. No matter how great a plan is it won't work if the person doesn't give it his/her all.

    Right now I am following my coaches advice as close as I possibly can. I'm not even sure that some of the workouts are beneficial to me. However, I do believe that I need to do everything he tells me to do right now. Not because he tells me or because I am paying him to tell me what to do. I am doing it because I need to find out what does and what does not work for me. This way next year I will be able to have some input and change the workouts accordingly.

    Personally I think the only way to find out what is going to work is trial and error.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Jutlin's Avatar
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    Oldcrank, I am very interested in reading about all of these issues. Do you recommend any general weight training books or guides to help a relative novice? I'm actually more familiar with general weight training and have had very specific programs throughout my life, but never actually read anything about it.

    I did like the sense of impending drama in the thread for that short moment though. . .

  13. #13
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    Sure. First, I'd recommend staying away from the popular, so-called "Muscle Mags" out there on the shelves. Many are there primarily to promote products. The featured lifters are endorsed to said products. Plus, the workouts presented are commonly so intense that they produce overtraining in a relatively short period of time.

    Not to mention that this is not what we're trying to achieve through the combination of weight training and cycling.

    The books I would recommend below ARE bodybuilding books. However, let's forget about that boxed-in category for now. What we want to achieve by reading them is an understanding of the body itself, and how best to perform the necessary techniques in order to strengthen it.

    With that in mind, my first recommendation would be to learn about the muscular structure of the body itself. What are the muscles and how do they function. It's of utmost importance to know this information in order to get the maximum return of our efforts.

    For instance, take the biceps. When most people say "show me your muscles" we flex the biceps, i.e. this group moves the forearm up and down. But to GET great biceps (better than those seen out there), you need to know that the biceps also come into play when twisting the wrist/forearm. As an example, "make a muscle" and place two fingers on your biceps. Now twist your wrist around back and forth as far as you can go in each direction. Feel the biceps coming into play? Anyone who knows this, and puts this knowledge into use with actual lifting movements, will develop biceps far beyond anyone who doesn't know this.

    And so on and so forth, thoughout the body when training.

    So, learn about your body and how it works. This is a great book to do just that. It can be hard to find and is a bit pricy, however.

    Strength Training & Anatomy:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/073...lance&n=283155

    It also helps to perform weight lifting properly, along with learning about nutrition and proper rest. Once again, these are bodybuilding books -- but the information that they contain can be transferred to other weight lifting training regimens, including cycling:

    The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/068...lance&n=283155

    Brawn:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/996...lance&n=283155

    Brother Iron, Sister Steel
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193...books&v=glance

    Lastly -- and certainly NOT least -- is training the mind. Your mind will make you or break you. Where the mind goes, so the body shall follow.

    Iron Minds: Stronger Minds, Stronger Bodies
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/092...lance&n=283155

    That's about it for now -- and a "relatively" good sampling for being off the cuff here as a quick post. Good luck with it and get strong. Being strong and fit will not only boost your everyday outlook on life, but will also give you confidence in yourself that shows to others -- and they DO respond accordingly.

    I've been involved with both cycling and weight training my entire life. I like the combination of both -- and, at 50 years of age, I especially like the benefits of what weight training brings to the table.
    Last edited by oldcrank; 12-28-05 at 11:39 AM.

  14. #14
    Junior Member Jutlin's Avatar
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    Can't thank you enough crank. I'm a heavy reader so this should keep me busy for a few weeks (including the carmichael, friel and armstrong books).

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldcrank
    20 years ago, the literature published at the time said that any weight training at all was BAD for cycling performance. At least give some consideration to the possibility that some incorrect information can still be out there -- and will continue to be out there for some time to come.
    I remember that very well as that's when I started cycling 20-years ago. Unfortunately it takes much longer than that to change people's mental models. There's something about the cycling arena that's very, very conservative and resistant to change. Such as adopting aero-bars; the triathletes had beeng using it for over 5-years before Lemond set the cycling community on its ear by winning the TDF with it.

    A lot of die-hard cyclists cling to old ideas and think that knowledge is fixed and never changes. But our understanding of the world and our bodies are always changing and improving with new data. Such as in the realm of nutrition. The old butter vs. margarine battle is over IMO since the trans-fats in margarine is mutliple times worse than the saturated fats in butter. Yet so many people cling to knowledge from 30-year old studies that have since been contradicted by tonnes of newer research.

    Same with weight-training, it does have a place in bike-training. But there's a wide range of bodybuilding between a bike-racer and a Mr. Olympia/Universe contender. Anyway, as a junior racer, I was fortunate to have been coached by some very high-level people (like LowCel mentioned). Guys with Olympic records and gold-medals to their names and coaches who train those guys. At the time, their philosophy was so far ahead of current thinking that they were outcasted as freaks. They advocated strength & weight-training for me in the winter; something no self-respecting bike-racer would ever consider. Although looking back at it now, I realize that this helps out the beginning racers the most whereas more seasoned racers use it more as a maintenance routine. It's not an end-all/catch-all magic formulae and it's not a substitute for on-bike training. Rather it's a supplement in addition to riding the bike. And you'll improve at a faster rate than those who just hops on and rides like in the old days.

  16. #16
    Junior Member Jutlin's Avatar
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    Okay, so, having looked up a bunch of the books on the subjects (cycling weight training and weight training generally), I think I'm going to go forward with this hybrid program for about 12 weeks. Note the first biathlon in my area is not until late march, which I'll compete in but just to get my butt beat in for the new season.

    First I guess I should state my goals:

    this is my first real, full road cycling season. I have a somewhat time consuming job, so I am not looking to compete in any four hour plus type endurance races; although, my GF and I do want to do some touring, but more for sight seeing and such and actual travel. I do enjoy racing though, so relatively short, 10-15 mile type races will probably be what I shoot for. I am not expecting to really be too competitive, but the competition is still fun. I might not even qualify for category five. Anyhow, the point is, I quit smoking 8 months ago, I love my new life, and cycling and racing is fun so i want to enjoy it. My only problem is, I feel I reached a plateau in speed and strength, so I'd like to work out a bit to get a bit faster and kill a mountain once in a while. Thus, I'd like some strength gain, but I don't expect to be sergio olvar (ha! see i'm learning already!) in one season. that low expectation is why I'll keep heavy upper body workouts in the schedule.

    That being said, new workout program is thus:

    Bah, had to edit this it wouldn't show it appropriately. The workout is: monday (chest), tuesday (shoulders), wed. (legs), thurs. (back), Fri. (legs light), weekend days (Cardio/abs).


    So, in essence, I'm doing a full body workout, but now I'm incorporating two days for legs, one being light, the question will be, should I block the two leg days together? After I do this for about 12 weeks, I'll check my progress and maybe begin a carmichael/friel type cycling interval regimen. I don't think I'll get a lactose threshold test or anything, but probably a MSPO or a MHR test.

    Anyhow, any suggestions welcome, and thanks to all who have already posted and been very helpful. Happy new year!!!!

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    Just to mix things up a bit-have you ever read the book Bicycle Road Racing by Edward Borysewicz published in 1985? All sorts of weight lifting information and if math serves me correctly it is 20 years old. I also have some other publications from that era that have plenty of weight lifting advice in them.

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