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  1. #1
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    Overall strength/fitness

    I have taken several weight training classes, and I try to read what there is on strength gains and endurance training etc. yet I still never seem clear. If the average person wanted to increase their endurance for a sport such as Rowing or Cycling that is largely dependent on Leg strength and also Cardio/V02 capacity... what is the best sytem? Weight lifting 3 times a week, with running/biking/rowing (cardio stuff) in between? To maximize strength gains (not on one "lift" but sustained as needed for cycling etc) What number of Sets/REps is recommended(Or what do you do for your training system)? Thanks for any help.. this is a very knowledgeable group.

  2. #2
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I have been using the Body for Life routine lately (this was a marked change from my previous weight lifting routines).

    The approach is to exercise 9 different muscle groups, alternating upper and lower body every 2-3 days.

    Then you go

    12 reps lower weight
    one minute wait
    10 reps higher weight
    one minute wait
    8 reps higher weight
    one minute wait
    6 reps higher weight
    two minute wait
    12 reps as high as you can
    and immediately 12 reps on a complimentary exercise.

    Muscle groups are:

    Chest
    Shoulders
    Biceps
    Triceps
    Back

    and

    Quads
    Hamstrings
    Calfs
    Abdominals

    Personally, I really like it and have seen significant improvement in strength, endurance and muscle definition.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-29-03 at 07:22 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  3. #3
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    When you say "one minute weight" do you mean "wait"? I don't understand this part...

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Blake
    When you say "one minute weight" do you mean "wait"? I don't understand this part...
    Oops!!

    That is what happens when you do your email and posting at 5:00 am.

    Wait, not weight!!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, that's what I thought you meant... when you say to go 2-3 days alternating.. is that between workouts, or between workouts of one muscle/body area? Do you do a certain cardio worlout, and if so, when in relations to teh weights? Thanks!

  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Blake
    Thanks, that's what I thought you meant... when you say to go 2-3 days alternating.. is that between workouts, or between workouts of one muscle/body area? Do you do a certain cardio worlout, and if so, when in relations to teh weights? Thanks!
    Upper body

    then wait 2 days

    lower body

    then wait 2 days

    I ride bike or power walk or trainer (ugh). Daily. at least 1 hour.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
    Pat
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    Well, there is a difference between endurance and strength.

    In weight lifting, one can think of strength as the maximum amount of weight you can lift for one rep. Now working out to maximize strength is very different then working out to maximize endurance.

    I did some weight training a number of years back. I was told it would help my cycling. It didn't. Maybe for some people but not for me. I did go out and ride with some of the top body builders in the gym and they were competitive at the national level and pretty strong. But they couldn't hit a high enough rpm to go faster then 24 mph in the big gear so dropping them was easy. Just get them up to 24 mph and put on a burst.

    I also noticed that none of the weight lifting exercises did anything for my cardiovascular system. Most people sat around awhile to catch their breath after a set. I would just move on and work another muscle group because the weight lifting rarely got my heart beating elevated much. I was pretty much working on upper body and those muscles just were not big enough to tax my cardiovascular system.

    I was impressed that the body builders did have reasonably good cardiovascular conditioning, but not like me, a cyclist.

    The thing is that cycling involves very high rpm work for long periods of time and it involves much more cadiovascular training then you will find in most gyms unless you get on a stair climber and go nuts.

    Now don't get me wrong, I am not denigrating weight training. Doing a balanced weight training routine several times per week is a great idea. It will make sure that all of your major muscle groups are in reasonable shape and reaonably strong. So if you go out and decide to do something out of the ordinary physically, you will probably be able to do it without killing yourself.

    But for training for cycling nothing beats getting on your bike and riding.

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    I did some weight training a number of years back. I was told it would help my cycling.
    Id always done some weight training when I was at Uni, but eased off when i started cycling and racing.I do a bit of upper body and 'try' to do some ab work during the racing season.I concentrated last winter on weights hoping that it would help my strength on the bike, but not convinced that it did tho.

    I know a bit about weight training in general and had followed some cycling specific programs,but to be honest, i definately got stronger and put on a bit of muscle but dont think I gained more that what I could have done on the bike.Ok, you gain the strengths in the gym, but you still have got to transfer that when on the bike.Chris Carmichael had talked about Stomp Intervals and Big gear intervals, which are to be used in conjuction with weight training.Basically he says that it helps transferring the gains made in the gym to strength on the bike.

    There are so many opinions about weight training, my advice would be to try it for yourself then make your mind up after 6 months of it, to see if it was benefitial(with regards to cycling).

    Definately ab work and some light upper body is a must, but nothing can replace training on the bike IMO.

    (still sitting on the fence on benefits of weight training for cyclists)
    Last edited by bikerdave; 10-05-03 at 10:28 AM.

  9. #9
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Depends on if it is weight training just for cycling or for general overall fitness.

    As I grow older, it becomes increasingly more important that I use resistive exercises in the prevention of osteoporosis and to prevent the loss of musculature that happens with older folks sort of automatically. Resistive exercises are really a necessity for those of us in my age bracket!!

    Biking is not a significant "resistive exercise."
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  10. #10
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    Agreed with Denver- resistance training is the best weight bearing activity you can do to keep the bones strengthened and prevent osteoperosis in old age- it helps maintain bone density as you get older.

    Besides that, I just returned from a fitness convention where the top researchers in the field were lecturing on resistance training in older populations, and the latest research studies done from observing older patients in hospitals showed that when a high percentage of older people with low density bone issues had hip fractures, they died within 2- 3 years. So at the very least, do the weights to help combat bone density issues later in life.

    Another thing you may want to consider- why go with bodybuilders on training rides or consult with bodybuilders on what a cyclist should do for weights? That makes absolutely no sense at all. I would venture to think that the reason why weights did not work in this instance was probably because by going to a group of people who knew absolutely NOTHING about cycling, you were not able to get any correct information on how to correctly train to get maximum results with weights. Done correctly, weight training will maintain muscle mass, prevent loss of fast twitch muscle fibers, and help increase your power output. As I always say, it's all about putting together a strong periodization program, and that includes time with strength training too. With a solid program of strength training and cardiovascular training, you should see a marked improvement in your cycling skills. If you don't see it, you just haven't done it right, that's all.

    Finally, keep in mind that weight lifting is NOT a cardiovascular training activity- cycling is, running is, rowing is... but weight training is a basically anaerobic, short burst energy exercise. There are no direct cardiovascular gains made from weight lifting.

    Koffee

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    As koffeebrown was saying about not listening to bodybuilders about weight training as you are a cyclist.Exactly, you need to listen to cyclists or coaches/people who know about weight training specific to cycling. (search on google on weight training for cyclists brings up some good sites)

    I joined a new gym and instructor gave me form to fill in....usual stuff on it.I was saying I knew what I wanted to do with regards to weight training as I was a cyclist but if he could suggest a good routine i would listen.I said specifically i didnt want to bulk up, and he was talking.."yeah, could get some good protein and get you putting on some upper body muscle" and i was like "hello, what part of 'I dont want to bulk up' do you not understand.

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    Interesting topic.

    It mainly depends on your goals and your base levels.

    If your base level is not up to scratch (you have muscle imbalances etc), weight training could help.

    If your goals involve sprinting, again weight training could help.

    You have to remember that weight training is diverse as cycling, maybe even more so. A bodybuilder is exactly the last person to consult in this instance.

    Weight training is much more than pure strength or size. It is about developing your central nervous system to activate as efficiently as possible.

    There is a myriad of things you can do within a gym. Please though, for my sake, never speak to a commercial gym personal trainer again!

  13. #13
    truthisntalwayswanttohear jacob's Avatar
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    What I have found helpful, (I don't even lift regularly!) from a more personal standpoint, is to have someone who is in this kind of condition, like a weightlifter/former weightlifter/polevaulter/football player, etc., to train you! Then personalize the workouts for yourself, Blake!
    For example, one time at the beach my uncle and I ran along the beach from the place we were staying at to a hotel with weight workout machines and I used them (not freeweights). I did lots of reps. He said I did a good job. Then, I swam back part of the way (against the current). This sort of thing, along with scheduled training, can also tend to get you in shape.
    Another experience I had was at track in high school. Even though I read in a publication that Jim Ryun "supposedly" was not, according to some, to have done leg extensions the same day as an intense, short distance track workout, I did them and had a lot of fun doing the workout. Even as I type this email, I wonder if leg muscle mass/power ratios vs. endurance physiology principles of our contemporary sports culture can be a totally valid paradigm for today's endurance seeking competitor or even for the casual sporting enthusiast. Some of what you read and learn via transmission of data through our dissemination of advice Western sporting culture can really make a difference!




    Jacob

  14. #14
    Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koffee Brown
    Agreed with Denver- resistance training is the best weight bearing activity you can do to keep the bones strengthened and prevent osteoperosis in old age- it helps maintain bone density as you get older.

    Besides that, I just returned from a fitness convention where the top researchers in the field were lecturing on resistance training in older populations, and the latest research studies done from observing older patients in hospitals showed that when a high percentage of older people with low density bone issues had hip fractures, they died within 2- 3 years. So at the very least, do the weights to help combat bone density issues later in life.

    Another thing you may want to consider- why go with bodybuilders on training rides or consult with bodybuilders on what a cyclist should do for weights? That makes absolutely no sense at all. I would venture to think that the reason why weights did not work in this instance was probably because by going to a group of people who knew absolutely NOTHING about cycling, you were not able to get any correct information on how to correctly train to get maximum results with weights. Done correctly, weight training will maintain muscle mass, prevent loss of fast twitch muscle fibers, and help increase your power output. As I always say, it's all about putting together a strong periodization program, and that includes time with strength training too. With a solid program of strength training and cardiovascular training, you should see a marked improvement in your cycling skills. If you don't see it, you just haven't done it right, that's all.

    Finally, keep in mind that weight lifting is NOT a cardiovascular training activity- cycling is, running is, rowing is... but weight training is a basically anaerobic, short burst energy exercise. There are no direct cardiovascular gains made from weight lifting.

    Koffee
    Sheesh Koffee, I did not go with them on a training ride per se. I just happened to ride with them a few times. I was curious. Just what do these guys have? How fast can they go? How good is their aerobic conditioning?

    Also, I went to them primarily to learn proper weight lifting techniques and to strengthen my upper body. They told me the weight lifting would improve my cycling but I was rather skeptical. What did they know about cycling?

    There is a tendency for people involved in any sport to think that their sport is the "best". That is natural.

  15. #15
    Senior Member JustsayMo's Avatar
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    In my own experience (YMMV) weights improved my cycling and more importantly my overal fitness (quality of life).

    When I first began actively racing I did NOT lift weights. I improved but reached a plateau in my performance. I also had knee pain, low back pain, neck pain and battled with numbness in my hands.

    In my mid thirties I began expirementing with weights. I'd lift in the off season and the results (podium finishes, 40k TT times) were great early on but degraded as the season progressed.

    The last three years I raced I lifted year round. ALL of my personal bests (40 k TT, Pursuit, Flying 200, Kilo etc) are from that period. Even though I was in my late thirties (beyond my peak athletically) I was smashing my previous personal bests.

    Now in my forties, I still lift and still ride (but rarely compete). My joints and lower back are better than ever. I credit weight lifting for taking to a higher level and extending my competive "career."

    Keep a training journal and test yourself at regular intervals. If you don't see improvement, change what you are doing. And PLEASE, don't be afraid to have biceps!

  16. #16
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Your results may vary!

    My response, strictly as a cyclist who used to lift for general conditioning, is that you're lifting too much for an optimal cycling program. In fact, much additional serious cycling will probably put you in the overtrained zone. I used to work out at a gym 2 or 3 times a week and noticed that the serious body builders seemed to avoid cardio work like the plague. Five minutes warm-up on the Lifecycles, max! I assume it was because they wanted to save their energy for the weights. As a cyclist, I have a similar perspective... I don't want to squander energy on weights resulting in a lackluster on-the-bike workout.

    Anyhow, as you can see from the diverse responses, different people get different results. It may depend somewhat on body types (mesomorph, ectomorph, endomorph), I dunno.

    Regardless, I believe the primary benefits can only be achieved riding. Cycling is sooo much more an endurance activity than a strength activity. You even have a multitude of gearing options at your fingertips to allow you to tune it to your particular level and type of strength. I don't debate that resistance training may be useful to add an edge to conditioning obtained on the bike, but it is at best icing on the cake.

    If you want to lift to improve cycling, I'd recommend having a look at some of the cycling training books oriented toward race conditioning. Most do a good, fairly thorough job of addressing the exact weight training questions you have. My favorite is Cyclist's Training Bible, by Joe Friel. Lots of good stuff regarding all aspects of cyclist conditioning, and every time I go through it I learn something new that I missed before.

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