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Old 02-20-06, 10:37 AM   #1
fifao
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Upper body strength + lightweight body= perfect balance. Where is this balance?

I'm just wondering. I'm pretty thin, and would like to develop some more upper body strength; my question is, where is the balance between upper strength and a light cyclist?
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Old 02-20-06, 10:38 AM   #2
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Sorry, I forgot to include lower body strength as a part of the equation.
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Old 02-20-06, 10:53 AM   #3
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Its all about stregnth to weight in road racing. A world class roadracer has to be as light as possible so they don't bulk up their upper body which has the muscles that are used the least in cycling.

Just look at any world class road racer They have scrawny upper bodies, looking almost malnourished.

Thats the extreme so unless your at that level, upper body work is probably not going to make a difference in your case.
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Old 02-20-06, 10:59 AM   #4
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go for lighter, high rep work to develop less bulky upper body. Any unless you want to be a pro, I would worry too much about looking like / having the muscle profile of a pro.
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Old 02-20-06, 11:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
Just look at any world class road racer They have scrawny upper bodies, looking almost malnourished.
Jan Ullrich is the early favorite to win the Tour de France this year. He hardly looks malnourished.

The climbing specialists are very thin, but the all around riders tend to be more normal looking.
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Old 02-20-06, 11:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SpongeDad
go for lighter, high rep work to develop less bulky upper body. Any unless you want to be a pro, I would worry too much about looking like / having the muscle profile of a pro.
Like push-ups? They are high rep and, for me, is a pretty light load.

Vino is an all-rounder, and he looks to be a pretty good mix. I'm not sure where he stands on the favorites rankings, but he was a great stage winner in the '05 Tour.
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Old 02-20-06, 12:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifao
I'm just wondering. I'm pretty thin, and would like to develop some more upper body strength; my question is, where is the balance between upper strength and a light cyclist?
Do you want upper body strength or a larger chest and biceps? You can have plenty of upper body strength by doing more sets with higher reps but using lighter weights.

My weight program at the gym includes exercises for my entire body but with more emphasis on the legs and back. I also do lots of crunches and try to remember to stretch a lot after the workout. Rather than increasing my weights, I've been increasing the reps or adding another set. I only increase the weight when I can do at least another full set at the old weight.

The Training and Nutrition forum has lots of good info. on there.
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Old 02-20-06, 12:07 PM   #8
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Fifano,

I wouldn't worry about too much bulk, most of us cant build it anyway, especially if your are riding a lot (tends to negate the anabolic effects of the lifting). But it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

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Just look at any world class road racer They have scrawny upper bodies, looking almost malnourished.
I always get a chuckle out of the Pro Road Race reference. What is 90% of domestic racing for 90% of riders? Criteriums? But we continue to emulate dudes training for 200km stages in 3 week races. In sprints and jumps there is an advantage to increased upper body strength.

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go for lighter, high rep work to develop less bulky upper body. Any unless you want to be a pro, I would worry too much about looking like / having the muscle profile of a pro.
My philosopy has always tended to be let Endurace training be endurance and let Strength training be strength. You need to lift heavy now and then or you are just wasting your time "toning", why bother.

In response to your original post I would say you are a Strong rider if you can Squat at least 1.5 times your body weight (preferably double) and you can Bench at least your body weight.
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Old 02-20-06, 12:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny99
Jan Ullrich is the early favorite to win the Tour de France this year. He hardly looks malnourished.

The climbing specialists are very thin, but the all around riders tend to be more normal looking.

I don't think Lance looked like a POW, either.
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Old 02-20-06, 12:14 PM   #10
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beyond a few push ups, lifting for your upper body is going to be counterproductive for cycling. Build a good core, and lower body, then light weights for your upper body if you want, but realize it's more about looking good on the beach than being fast on the bike. (unless we're talking track sprinting then it's a different ball game.
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Old 02-20-06, 12:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
beyond a few push ups, lifting for your upper body is going to be counterproductive for cycling. Build a good core, and lower body, then light weights for your upper body if you want, but realize it's more about looking good on the beach than being fast on the bike. (unless we're talking track sprinting then it's a different ball game.
If all you are doing is light weights then I agree, a wast of time. Track sprinting = acceleration = jumps out of corners = a hard bridge = a short roller. All the same, all can benifit from increased upper body strength.
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Old 02-20-06, 01:17 PM   #12
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My goal is not to show off ata beach.....the closest one is something like 150 miles away, and the nearest decent one is 1000+ miles away. So, not that. I am interested in what I think is muscle tone. Big muscles are not 'big' with me, but I would like to be strong.

Ah, yes. Track sprinting. I am not doing track sprinting, but I play quite a bit of soccer. In that wonderful sport, speed is an essential. As in sprinting. I am not familiar with all the terms, 'rolling', 'hard bridge'. Acceleration and jumping out of corners is definately something one does in a soccer match.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-20-06, 02:52 PM   #13
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Are you wanting more to be a great cyclist (racer) or an all-around fit person?

Also what kind of cycling? TTs, hills, sprints, long distance?
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Old 02-20-06, 05:08 PM   #14
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Well, I think I'll go for the all-round fit body. As far as type of rider, I'd like a good mix. Focus mainly on long distance and hills, though. I think those areas are what my body favors.
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Old 02-20-06, 07:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifao
I'm just wondering. I'm pretty thin, and would like to develop some more upper body strength; my question is, where is the balance between upper strength and a light cyclist?
dude...just start lifting and don't worry about it so much. you will find out what works for you. its not like you're going to wake up one morning and be like, "crap, i am way too big...what am i going to do know!"

good luck
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Old 02-20-06, 07:07 PM   #16
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Well, I think I'll go for the all-round fit body.
well there you go...
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Old 02-21-06, 08:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by johnny99
Jan Ullrich is the early favorite to win the Tour de France this year. He hardly looks malnourished.

The climbing specialists are very thin, but the all around riders tend to be more normal looking.
This is funny do you know how much he weighs, 6' tall and 160 lbs, thin by most standards unless you are a true climber.
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Old 02-21-06, 10:04 PM   #18
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Like a few others said, high rep w/low to moderate weight for toning. Do a lot of body weight exercises as well (pushups, body weight squats, etc.) This will help you gain strength without getting too big or bulky. If you want to get bigger, up your caloric intake and lift heavy weight for low reps.

I like doing natural workouts myself, maintains strength w/o damaging effects of weight lifting. If you're interested, look at some yoga stuff (sun salutations and other asanas build serious strength). There is also a natural workout called Ginastica Natural from Brazil that is amazing, if you can find any info on it.
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Old 02-22-06, 08:00 AM   #19
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core. it's all about the core.
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Old 02-22-06, 08:24 AM   #20
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This is funny do you know how much he weighs, 6' tall and 160 lbs, thin by most standards unless you are a true climber.
Peter Crouch, a pro soccer player, is 166 lbs., 6'7. That's thin.
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