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Old 02-04-09, 09:03 AM   #1
laduckslayer
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Leg Training - Do you do it?

What is the consensus when it comes to leg strength training? I have always trained legs, squats, lunges, plyometrics, etc; however, recently I have refrained from this training and changed the way I ride. I now use every other day (or so) has a high cadence training day, working in my designated heart rate zone for a sustained period of time. On the alternate days (at least twice weekly) I attempt to make it a lower cadence day, but with high tension (hills, big gears). I then try to make either Sat / Sun a long ride which incorporates both principles.

I still use weights for upper body, but as stated above, I'm not currently incorporating strength training in with my legs.

What do you do?
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Old 02-04-09, 01:57 PM   #2
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I do almost exactly as you do! It has been working amazing for me. I do lots of squats, lunges etc.. as well but not as often as you. I use an advanced off season training program that is at the cyclo-club website below in my signature.
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Old 02-04-09, 03:13 PM   #3
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2 or 3 days when Iam at the gym I do a few min on a leg thing they have with weights . But I figure as much bike riding as I do is enough to be honest Iam not a racer . Just a old fart trying to get and stay in shape and lose weight .
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Old 02-04-09, 03:27 PM   #4
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What you're doing is essentially what the current research shows. The only exception is weight training does help in short sprints like track racing.
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Old 02-04-09, 11:36 PM   #5
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I don't think that there's any consensus - some people say "just ride and ride", others swear by complementing riding with leg strength building exercises. It seems like you have given up the latter. Any reason for the change? I've made the opposite journey, and have been doing more training off the bike, also using cyclo-CLUB resources. I'm happy with the way that's been going.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:29 AM   #6
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my legs get enough training

i need to work on the upper body before i look like a T-rex
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Old 02-05-09, 05:13 AM   #7
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To add to my original post - there is some history....isn't there always?

At one time I was an international competitive powerlifter, competing at 242. I retired from that around 1996 due to a shoulder injury. At the time my personal best in the squat (during a meet) was 892 lbs. After my injury, I picked up cycling again, nothing serious, but just to get some exercise. Well, as with all things, it's addictive. I have no aspirations of racing, but I do challenge myself daily.

Now, I no longer train with heavy weights, rarely lifting more than body weight. I do/did incorporate tension, isometrics and plyometrics to build and maintain muscle and help further develop the fast twitch fibers.

I have found that my leg routines have left me with little time to recover and it was my opinion that my ride time suffered as my legs had not fully recovered. I have tried fast cadence / low tension the day after a leg workout in attempts to recover, as well as tempering my workouts. None of them seemed to work.

I know setting a workout routine is a personal adaptation, but I really wanted to know if others are 1) able to incorporate leg workouts into their cycling routine 2) build sufficient "pedal power" without strength training.
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Old 02-05-09, 08:06 AM   #8
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It really depends on what type of riding you prefer, if you are ever planning on racing and how strong you want your legs to be. How much do you weigh now? Do you live some place hilly? Do you like to sprint? Do you play other sports? BF %? The power movements (plyo's) you are doing, as you well know, are probably stressing your CNS and thus wearing you down too...

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To add to my original post - there is some history....isn't there always?

At one time I was an international competitive powerlifter, competing at 242. I retired from that around 1996 due to a shoulder injury. At the time my personal best in the squat (during a meet) was 892 lbs. After my injury, I picked up cycling again, nothing serious, but just to get some exercise. Well, as with all things, it's addictive. I have no aspirations of racing, but I do challenge myself daily.

Now, I no longer train with heavy weights, rarely lifting more than body weight. I do/did incorporate tension, isometrics and plyometrics to build and maintain muscle and help further develop the fast twitch fibers.

I have found that my leg routines have left me with little time to recover and it was my opinion that my ride time suffered as my legs had not fully recovered. I have tried fast cadence / low tension the day after a leg workout in attempts to recover, as well as tempering my workouts. None of them seemed to work.

I know setting a workout routine is a personal adaptation, but I really wanted to know if others are 1) able to incorporate leg workouts into their cycling routine 2) build sufficient "pedal power" without strength training.
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Old 02-05-09, 02:41 PM   #9
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In order to build and maintain my "climbing" strength, I do 5 sets of squats on each 7th day of working out. I cut my riding those day ... riding 16 min. on my Lifecycle to warm-up, and 16 min. after suqats to wind-down. During the "outdoor" riding season, I average about 150-300 mile a week ... training for hilly centuries.

Leg strength training is the only way to increase strength in your legs ... IMHO. Especially to improve climbing ...
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Old 02-07-09, 10:50 PM   #10
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It takes me a while to recover from weight training my legs. If I'm trying to ride a lot, it's a negative. In the winter, when I'm riding less and doing more zone 2, it's a positive. I can handle it then. You can gain strength on the bike too, by climbing in big gears, doing stomps, full-on sprint repeats, that sort of thing. I do it all but not all at once, varying it by the season.
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Old 02-07-09, 11:18 PM   #11
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If you have small legs and a big upper body like me, you will be slow and the hills will kick your ass. Trust, me, I know.

Visa-Versa the legs and upper body and you will kick some ass.

I work legs only. That the only thing I want to get bigger/stronger.
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