I'd like to know about this, also. Lately, I ride 4 days on a track or in spin class, but want to lift some weights for upper body the days inbetween. I've been going at it somewhat randomly so far. Anyone?
Everything I've read suggest weight training during the off season and tapering off to maintain your gains once most of your riding turns to the road or the racing picks up in your area. The cycling training bible by friel has a good section on the types of exercises and progression through the season for specific cycling needs.
If all you're doing is upper body exercises, no reason not to do those all year round if your goal is upper body mass.
2-3x a week... chest, shoulders, bi's, tri's, back, abs... once at high reps for toning, the other at high weight for building... I never work out legs other than riding, but basically do the same thing... long steady high cadence rides for toning... slower cadence, low gear for building... but that's just me... most cyclists on this website that I've seen tend to shun weight trainging thinking they're all going to turn into arnold and not be as skinny and fast.
I heard protein is best absorbed by the muscles 2 hours after weight workouts.
absolutely... 2-3hr window for maximum absorbtion.. carbs after riding is a 4hr window then it cuts in half for hrs 4-6, then back to normal after that. It's key to eat tons of carbs in that 4hr window... I think it's like 3g per kg of body weight.
edit: after riding you should really consume a 4-1 ratio of carbs to protein... protein is key in rebuilding all the muscle tears for riding... this is of course after a major ride... a sensible diet is all you'd really need for sub 2hr rides.. let your body tell you what it needs... I bonked hard a couple weeks ago because I wasn't eating enough... 15 miles and I was ready to pass out (had to actually leave work that day)... ate tons of pasta and brocolli for 2 days, then did 55 miles without breaking a sweat. (ok... maybe I sweat a little )
If you are serious about going to a gym, then find a trainer to work with occasionally. And make sure they are actually knowledgeable about cycling, or at least competitive sports, not just body building.
Mostly, its all about core stregth. At least a third, or even half of any serious athletes weight workout should be developing core strength.
Google ("Chad Waterbury" and "Triple Total Training"). Or PM me and I'll send you a copy of this routine and link to a forum discussing it. Chad Waterbury is notorius in the strength and conditioning under world and his programs are intelligently designed.