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    weight training legs and cycling too much?

    Is it too much to do weight training along with cycling? i ride around 30 miles a day 5-6 x week at about 90-100rpms in the summer. It has slowed down significantly now in the winter, but i still do the trainer. I try to do a lot of interval training on the trainer cause Im not getting as many miles in. I also started going to a gym to get some upper body strength which i dont have. My legs are pretty muscular and I dont want to overdo it. It makes no sense to me to do leg presses when you do cycling cause your just reworking the quads. Right? Plus, with cycling you are getting the aerobic workout in addition to strengthening your legs.Should I do different machines? I use the nautilus machines at my gym. Thanks a lot.

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    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    I don't think so, but you probably don't have to do a lot
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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Nope.

    Do exercises to create balance. Deadlifts, straightleg deadlifts, core exercises, plyometrics, that sort of thing.
    Take the day off or go for a long walk the day after you go to the gym.

    Cycling builds the front, deadlifts work the backside.

    If you don't need to use machines, use free weights.
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    Yes, you should be able to lift weights. Yes, I do different leg exercises and run and swim and bike. It will not hurt you if you do it properly.
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    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cchristanis View Post
    Is it too much to do weight training along with cycling? i ride around 30 miles a day 5-6 x week at about 90-100rpms in the summer. It has slowed down significantly now in the winter, but i still do the trainer. I try to do a lot of interval training on the trainer cause Im not getting as many miles in. I also started going to a gym to get some upper body strength which i dont have. My legs are pretty muscular and I dont want to overdo it. It makes no sense to me to do leg presses when you do cycling cause your just reworking the quads. Right? Plus, with cycling you are getting the aerobic workout in addition to strengthening your legs.Should I do different machines? I use the nautilus machines at my gym. Thanks a lot.
    Forget about the leg presses & machines. Get yourself over to the barbell & start doing multiple-joint exercises that involve the posterior chain (Hamstrings, Glutes, Hips, Legs & Lower back) & core.

    Personally, I do my lowerbody weight training 3x a week. 1 day dedicated to Max Effort, 2 days dedictated to Dynamic Effort<<<After Hams/Glutes have been blasted, I hit the Core/Abs/Hip Flexors<<< Then I go out & smash my pedals.

    Next day, Upperbody... Then Core/Abs again.... (3/4x Per Week)

    Tip. To blast your hamstrings even more & give your calves something to think about, stick boards or books underneath the balls of your feet when performing the Deadlift.
    Last edited by $ick3nin.vend3t; 01-19-10 at 03:16 PM.

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    I lift, alot. 3 days a week. I'm working on getting strong enough to powerlift. It probably won't negatively affect your performance, really. You'd get used to the volume.

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    Depending upon how big/strong you want to get, find leg exercises that compliment your cycling and limit to a couple of times a week. Also, it seems that traditional leg exercises can build bulk whereas cycling leads to muscular but leaner legs. That said, I think that some form of weight bearing exercise is always a good idea and can compliment all your other athletic endeavors. Since time is a big factor in my ability to train, I depend on my daily cycle commuting for the bulk of my leg work and cardio, I then use the gym twice a week to work my upper body/core, and do specific, re-hab type exercises to strengthen my knees and specific leg weaknesses in the Winter "off season".
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    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    A big factor regarding Bulk/Mass/Size is your daily caloric intake, you just need to control it. Some of the strongest lb for lb guys in the world are very thin due to the amount they consume daily. They go into the gym to get strong not a pump.

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    Is it a bad idea to lift and ride on the same day (like, ride in the morning before work, then go to the gym after work)? I'm trying to actually train this year and still making my way through the Friel book, but I'm still unsure about this. I'm following his weight-training plan but it's not clear to me if that's supposed to be its own day, or if it can be combined with a riding day.

    My biggest problem tends to be over-doing it, but I'd like to do both on the same day if possible so that I can still ride most days (most of that riding is on rollers/trainer right now).
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    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism View Post
    Is it a bad idea to lift and ride on the same day (like, ride in the morning before work, then go to the gym after work)? I'm trying to actually train this year and still making my way through the Friel book, but I'm still unsure about this. I'm following his weight-training plan but it's not clear to me if that's supposed to be its own day, or if it can be combined with a riding day.

    My biggest problem tends to be over-doing it, but I'd like to do both on the same day if possible so that I can still ride most days (most of that riding is on rollers/trainer right now).
    If your going to combine weight training w/cycling on the same day, you will sure be stimulating your central nervous system, with a high possibility of burn out if you don't control the volume of exercise. You still can go out riding most days, weight training doesn't have to mean eyeballs out. Starting light allows for more time for you to progress forward. It’s easy for anyone – beginner or advanced – to want to get ahead of themselves. This is a very hard pill to swallow for most lifters. They want to start heavy, and they want to start now. This is nothing more than ego, and nothing will destroy you faster, or for longer, than ego. This goes hand in hand with starting light. Slow progress might not get you the best rewards today, but it will tomorrow.

    I do my weights in the morning, then I go out riding, converting my strength in the gym to power on the bike, but then again I'm a soccer player not a cyclist but it works for me. There is no way I could go out hard riding, come back & lift weights, no way. Far too shattering. In my experience do the weights beforehand or weights then get on the rollers/trainer.

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    Senior Member Smallguy's Avatar
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    I signed up on trainingpeaks.com (Joe Friel's site) and the virtual coach recommends 2-3 days a week in the gym. On my lifting days I generally do not ride but if I do it's a 30 min Zone 1/Zone 2 ride. mostly Zone 1 work

    right now I'm in a heavy phase but it only lasts a month.... and 12 work outs max

  12. #12
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I've been lifting and riding for many years. Any answer to your question should depend on your goals, and that answer will be different depending on those goals. I'm going to answer as though your goal were simply improved cycling performance.

    There is no demonstrable positive relationship between conventional weight lifting and cycling performance. That said, studies can't test for everything and can't test everyone. So we'll proceed assuming that in your case there might be such a positive relationship. But that being said, it is certain that there is a positive relationship between training on the bike and cycling performance. So we can conclude that you must not miss rides so that you can lift weights. Therefore, you must ride and lift on the same day.

    Biking is just my hobby and I don't commute, so I have to do it all in the evening. I have found that when I do two different trainings on the same day, I derive the most benefit from the first training. Therefore, ride your bike first, then lift weights. We might call this a cyclist's brick. If you were lifting like a bodybuilder, you'd do it the other way around, like they do. In a way, this training order simulates a "flat" ride where you'll ride long for endurance, then go hard for the kilo and sprint. So I do these bricks only on days when I'm not doing intervals, just putting in zone 2-3 endurance miles. Helpfully, it's then possible to ride to the gym and do a few sprints on the way home to loosen your legs back up. Whether it's due to these workouts or not, I enjoy sprinting.

    Lifting once a week will maintain strength. Twice will increase it. Three times will increase it quickly, but can easily lead to overdoing it if you don't recover.
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 01-20-10 at 10:50 PM.

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    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    There is no demonstrable positive relationship between conventional weight lifting and cycling performance.
    Heres one...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTWgNCmvHwI

    Another...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDawlrIeaVM

    Jan Ullrich also lifted weights off season & never surpassed a 42% Hematocrit...

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Huh. I should probably mention that I've never regarded youtube videos as scientific evidence.

    One might also remember that Lance had to lose 7 kilos of useless protein leading up to the 2009TdF, and the donut always had to lose weight and gain conditioning every year after he showed up at spring camp. I seem to remember that Jan also had some other problem . . .

    This is the best compendium of research I know of at this time:

    http://www.sportsci.org/jour/04/cdp.doc

    Weight training has a good rap, and trainers are more than willing to sell you on their programs, but when you get into the nitty-gritty, there's just no evidence.

    One approach that I've used is for one year to substitute weight training stress for cycling stress. They aren't 1:1, time-wise. Weight training stress is more like interval stress - IOW it's really easy to overtrain in the weight room. So if you add weights, you're going to be forced to drop some cycling intensity. But everyone is different and has to experiment to find the size of their training envelope. So then when summer comes, you TT your favorite long climb and see how you do.

    Next year, you drop the weights and add cycling time and intensity. See what happens. Or do it the other way 'round, whatever.

    I'd also like to make the point that if you're old and/or unmotivated, and don't ride enough to fill your envelope, you will lose strength and sustainable power, whereas if you'd gone to the gym once in a while, you'd have at least retained some of that strength. OTOH, you could have just ridden more . . . (see Merckx, Eddie)

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    I wouldn't worry about it, but if you are feeling sore at all I would recommend a good protein shake with some glutamine and amino acids for a faster recovery. Typically for your body to fully repair your muscles is about 24-48 hours depending on the damage it occurred during the workout and how big the muscle is. Since the legs are the biggest muscle in the body it does take a little bit longer. But if your not soar then it seems like you are in shape, continue what you are doing.

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    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulpalermo View Post
    Since the legs are the biggest muscle in the body it does take a little bit longer.
    Glutes are the biggest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cchristanis View Post
    Is it too much to do weight training along with cycling? i ride around 30 miles a day 5-6 x week at about 90-100rpms in the summer. It has slowed down significantly now in the winter, but i still do the trainer. I try to do a lot of interval training on the trainer cause Im not getting as many miles in. I also started going to a gym to get some upper body strength which i dont have. My legs are pretty muscular and I dont want to overdo it. It makes no sense to me to do leg presses when you do cycling cause your just reworking the quads. Right? Plus, with cycling you are getting the aerobic workout in addition to strengthening your legs.Should I do different machines? I use the nautilus machines at my gym. Thanks a lot.

    I realize this is an old post but thought I'd jump in. The only leg exercise you should do is a Goblet Squat (3 sets of 8-10 reps). (Google it - it's very simple). The reason is that it will help alleviate the muscular imbalances caused by cycling - and, it forces perfect form and does not stress your knees. Overall - weight training is an essential part of any fitness program. If you are a competitive racer, then lift in the off season and stick to cycling in-season, because you likely won't have time for anything else. Other than that, you need to train for, what we call 'general physical preparedness' in the fitness industry- which you can only get with a combination of weight training and cardio. Cycling is a very catabolic sport. Your body actually breaks down on long rides. Weight training will help with overall physical conditioning if done correctly. I've been an avid weight trainer for over 30 years - and it is the sole reason that I can compete in bike racing in my late 40's, and have warded off numerous injuries from crashes and other things. Part of winning is who can play the longest - and weight training will allow you to compete / cycle, etc for many years longer than most people. You don't need to go crazy with it either - just 1/2 hour to 45 minutes 2 times per week is fine. Lift full body but don't forget the goblet squats.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambro View Post
    I realize this is an old post but thought I'd jump in. The only leg exercise you should do is a Goblet Squat (3 sets of 8-10 reps). (Google it - it's very simple). The reason is that it will help alleviate the muscular imbalances caused by cycling - and, it forces perfect form and does not stress your knees. Overall - weight training is an essential part of any fitness program. If you are a competitive racer, then lift in the off season and stick to cycling in-season, because you likely won't have time for anything else. Other than that, you need to train for, what we call 'general physical preparedness' in the fitness industry- which you can only get with a combination of weight training and cardio. Cycling is a very catabolic sport. Your body actually breaks down on long rides. Weight training will help with overall physical conditioning if done correctly. I've been an avid weight trainer for over 30 years - and it is the sole reason that I can compete in bike racing in my late 40's, and have warded off numerous injuries from crashes and other things. Part of winning is who can play the longest - and weight training will allow you to compete / cycle, etc for many years longer than most people. You don't need to go crazy with it either - just 1/2 hour to 45 minutes 2 times per week is fine. Lift full body but don't forget the goblet squats.
    +1
    That's about what I've been doing for many years: twice a week in winter and early spring, whole body, about 30 minutes/session. I haven't see the Goblet Squat at our gym, but I'll give it a try. I've been using barbell squats, leg sled, and straight-legged deadlifts for leg strength. Still trying to go hard at 69.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    . I've been using barbell squats, leg sled, and straight-legged deadlifts for leg strength. Still trying to go hard at 69.
    You should be just fine with these, they're all awesome exercises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cchristanis View Post
    I also started going to a gym to get some upper body strength which i dont have.
    Bench, press, pull up, rows.
    Quote Originally Posted by cchristanis View Post
    My legs are pretty muscular and I dont want to overdo it. It makes no sense to me to do leg presses when you do cycling cause your just reworking the quads. Right?
    You can never have too much strength. Leg press makes no sense if you are going for performance unless you are very weak. And because it doesn't stress the posterior chain like squat and deadlift.

    Quote Originally Posted by cchristanis View Post
    Plus, with cycling you are getting the aerobic workout in addition to strengthening your legs.
    Could you tell me how cycling strengthens your legs? Strength can be quantified. Unless you are carrying a heavier load everytime you cycle at the same speed, you are not getting stronger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Huh. I should probably mention that I've never regarded youtube videos as scientific evidence.

    One might also remember that Lance had to lose 7 kilos of useless protein leading up to the 2009TdF, and the donut always had to lose weight and gain conditioning every year after he showed up at spring camp. I seem to remember that Jan also had some other problem . . .

    This is the best compendium of research I know of at this time:

    http://www.sportsci.org/jour/04/cdp.doc

    Weight training has a good rap, and trainers are more than willing to sell you on their programs, but when you get into the nitty-gritty, there's just no evidence.

    One approach that I've used is for one year to substitute weight training stress for cycling stress. They aren't 1:1, time-wise. Weight training stress is more like interval stress - IOW it's really easy to overtrain in the weight room. So if you add weights, you're going to be forced to drop some cycling intensity. But everyone is different and has to experiment to find the size of their training envelope. So then when summer comes, you TT your favorite long climb and see how you do.

    Next year, you drop the weights and add cycling time and intensity. See what happens. Or do it the other way 'round, whatever.

    I'd also like to make the point that if you're old and/or unmotivated, and don't ride enough to fill your envelope, you will lose strength and sustainable power, whereas if you'd gone to the gym once in a while, you'd have at least retained some of that strength. OTOH, you could have just ridden more . . . (see Merckx, Eddie)
    There is a good deal of eveidence but like you said there is a good deal of eveidence that it doesn't help. Using LA as an example is poor.
    While there may not be enough eveidence that strength training is helpful(I would say it's very helpful) you have to look at the indirect benefits from a well thought out peroidized strength training plan.
    You have to look at the imbalances cycling can cause (forward rolled shoulders) and try to correct them.
    If an athelete is more comfortable on the bike and is not thinking about how sore their back, shoulders , neck feel then that athlete will be able to ride longer, harder and be more confident, if that's not a benefit then what is?
    As far as goblet squats go they are just a variation of front squats still a good exercise but what if you're already quad doninant? Then you're doing an exercise that will promote that and muscular imbalance. So don't just do 1 type of squat there are many variations just because you like one doesn't make it the best.
    Coach TJ Cormier NSCA-CPT/USAC Level1 Coach

  22. #22
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    ^ All true. The LA example is just to say that muscle mass doesn't necessarily make a stronger cyclist, using "stronger" in the sense that the strongest cyclist will win the Tour.

    I tried the goblets and thought they were pretty cool, in that they forced me into good form and stretched my hips, always a weak point with me. I get my best balanced quad development simply from pushing forward at the top of the stroke.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambro View Post
    I realize this is an old post but thought I'd jump in. The only leg exercise you should do is a Goblet Squat (3 sets of 8-10 reps). (Google it - it's very simple). The reason is that it will help alleviate the muscular imbalances caused by cycling - and, it forces perfect form and does not stress your knees. Overall - weight training is an essential part of any fitness program. If you are a competitive racer, then lift in the off season and stick to cycling in-season, because you likely won't have time for anything else. Other than that, you need to train for, what we call 'general physical preparedness' in the fitness industry- which you can only get with a combination of weight training and cardio. Cycling is a very catabolic sport. Your body actually breaks down on long rides. Weight training will help with overall physical conditioning if done correctly. I've been an avid weight trainer for over 30 years - and it is the sole reason that I can compete in bike racing in my late 40's, and have warded off numerous injuries from crashes and other things. Part of winning is who can play the longest - and weight training will allow you to compete / cycle, etc for many years longer than most people. You don't need to go crazy with it either - just 1/2 hour to 45 minutes 2 times per week is fine. Lift full body but don't forget the goblet squats.
    Goblet squats are best used as an assessment tool and very hard to load to elicit responses in limit strength. I caved forward quite badly doing goblet squats when my mobility was bad. They're also a good tool for progressing to a full oly squat. Full oly squats are essential if you're an oly lifter, not really otherwise.

    For most cyclists-and athletes in general-not much thought is required in the weight room. You're increasing your limit strength, so treat it that way and keep it simple. If you squat 2x body weight or so, it may be worth looking at something more sport specific, but for most people linear load increases will work fine.
    "It is not the critic who counts."

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    Professional cyclists ride 40k miles a year, they don't lift weights simply because they cannot recover properly and benefit from it.

    Should YOU lift weights ? Absolutely, and so should every normal person. Resistance training will make you stronger, therefore better in every single sport and healthier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cchristanis View Post
    My legs are pretty muscular and I dont want to overdo it. It makes no sense to me to do leg presses when you do cycling cause your just reworking the quads. Right? Plus, with cycling you are getting the aerobic workout in addition to strengthening your legs.
    Pedaling is a concentric-only effort, so the muscles involved in the alternating knee extensions never tense and resist like they would with the leg press or squats, they simply don't properly get worked out on a bike. That's why even the strongest cyclists will be weak on the squat if they never worked out before.

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