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  1. #1
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    Weight Lifting ... off season

    I'm seriously considering supplementing my off season riding routine with some sort of weight lifting program. I'd like to compete in a series of time trials beginning next Spring and would like to really build some strength and mass in my legs while dropping pounds elsewhere.

    Anyone here spend time in the gym? What does your routine look like? Do you do other types of cardio?

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    You'll get a billion responses for and againts on this one, but here is the straight dope.

    Unless the events you are competing in are about 90 seconds or less in duration, weight training will be of little benefit if you are a trained athlete. You're much better off following a structured road program aimed at improving your time trialling.

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    weight training will help you if you find yourself not being able to push a very big gear, but the same results can be achieved on the bike. weight training will help you, especially for sprinting, but remember, keep the weight lower and the reps higher. i would also recomend lifting two, three times a week at max. for time trials it is more important to have cardio fitness than extreme am ounts of power, but you can never go wrong with either, as long as they are balanced properly. also, make sure to do back strenghtening(especially lower) and some ab/core strengthening. good luck

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    I have been lifting since the middle of october. first, I started out doing very light weights to get my legs used to the motion, then I did 3x25 of each weight for squats, lunges, leg press, leg extension, leg curl and calf raises. I also am doing core exercises such as crunches, situps, back extensions, and leg lifts.

    I hate it. weight lifting is making my legs feel like crap. I've gained 5 pounds of pretty solid muscle in my legs, and now I'm 180 pounds, ten heavier then I wanted to be. I think I'm gonna stop. I wouldn't reccomend lifting unless you are under about 155-160 pounds or so and are having trouble keeping up on the flats. lifting will only hurt you for climbing. I know you want to do TT's, but unless you live in oklahoma or the eastern shore of maryland, there's gonna be a few hills on the course. remember that...

  5. #5
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    OIver the past couple of years, this topic has been beaten to death. You might find it beneficial to read some previous (some very lengthy) threads. Here are just a few:

    weight training?

    weight training & cycling

    weight training and cycling?

    http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=585181

    Personally, I lift weights because cycling is just one part of my overall fitness program.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 11-26-04 at 09:07 AM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    My personal experience porbably won't add to what's already been discussed but here it is anyhow. In my USCF racing years I spent 3 off seasons doing 3 brutal weight sessions per week with a full body series. I would go home totally wasted. Definitely got stronger all over and my wife said I was the best looking hunk in town. It did not do jack for my racing. I stopped with the weights and added more miles, especially a long weekly solo ride(75-100 miler) - that made moocho difference.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phatman

    I hate it. weight lifting is making my legs feel like crap. I've gained 5 pounds of pretty solid muscle in my legs, and now I'm 180 pounds, ten heavier then I wanted to be. ...
    LOL.....I guess you don't believe in the laws of physics and power to weigh ratio.
    Last edited by 53-11 alltheway; 11-27-04 at 12:57 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phatman
    lifting will only hurt you for climbing. ..
    What? B.S. It only will only help your climbing. However it definitely helps if you have accompanying arm strength so you can position your handlebars And especailly your seat forward.

    Biggest problem people have with very forward and low bar positioning is inabilty to move the seat forward also (lack of arm strength forces them to move seat back....so they balance instead of just letting their arms support them. Unfortunately the are now forcing there back and neck to take the load)

    The foward seat position is essential if you want to get the best spin you can....it positions you in a nice sweet spot over the cranks. Furthermore, the farther forward you can move your seat....the lower and farther forward your bars can be.

    Climbing out of the saddle is easiest for people with low forward bars.....those with good arm strength can take advatage of this the best. Good arm strength in turn allows your legs to get a more advatageous position over the cranks due to the forward bars.

    THe upshot is you cannot train one part of your body and not the other. It all integrated. Super powerful legs will be a wasted if you haven't built up some strength in your arms.

    Another question are you training for a crazy marathon race like the TDF.....or do you just want to completely kick everyone's ass for 3-4 hours non-stop.

    P.S. The biggest mistake I see is someone who is trying to drop their bars too much and overcompensating by having the seat back (instead of forward like a truly powerful rider would). All you are going to get from doing that is a sore back. Your neck is going to killing you too becaue with that seat back like that your shoulders are going to drop and you will strain your neck trying to hold your head up).

    In addition to back and neck problems you will have a weak spin on the flats.....now how are you going to draft me with your lousy saddle postion and consequently weak spin? Even if you can manage to somehow stay with me .....I'll probably just smoke you when the next hill comes.....and that's when things really get ugly for you because now It's just a straight power to weight ratio battle (no air resistance) and I've got the super forward low racing angle that really comes into play when the nose of your bike turns up..By the time you finally get to top that hill....I'm long gone after I've blasted down the otherside that hill in 53-11. See ya!
    Last edited by 53-11 alltheway; 11-27-04 at 01:06 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    If you're 15 years old then weight lifting will be beneficial to your overall fitness and strength looking ahead. If you're 30 then forget it and join the master's swimming team for the off season. You will be better off putting forth efforts in the endurance venue. You already have adequate muscle strength for riding and climbing. You will be better off come Spring if you are in excellent shape and slow down a bit on the climbs - this way you will always get to the top, with reserve. You should find this far more rewarding to your self esteem.

    My opinion anyway.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnhood
    If you're 15 years old then weight lifting will be beneficial to your overall fitness and strength looking ahead.
    It helps anyone....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53-11 alltheway
    It helps anyone....
    What am I doing agreeing with 53-11, but he is right on this one. Weightlifting actually does help. You mentioned wanting to drop weight and a weightlifting program with the correct cardio and goals in mind will help you drop weight be stronger healther and have healthy bones. It will also keep you warm and toasty on those cold winter days. Weightlifting builds muscle mass which helps burn calories hence makes you loose weight. If you are a superlight person then maybe you will put on weight but if you are looking to drop some weight then definetly go for it. All good athletes lift including pro cyclist. You don't need to go in and try to put up more then the guy beside you don't need to have such big muscles your head will not make it through the door, but lift and get core, leg and yes even arm strength. If you like to swim that is a great idea to. It will bill both strength and cardio but do whatever you want. Have fun and enjoy, and definetly don't think the weight room time replaces saddle time but together you will be even better. And really aren't most of us just hoping to be healthy and happy and really want to beat the guy beside us but more want to show well and be happy.

    PS I am lazy and really have not lifted recently but will definetly be starting up with winter.

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    Maybe a point missing is the tradeoff of what activity is most beneficial to cycling given limited training time. I have to agree that if time is not a limiting factor then weight training probably can help.... a little. But if the trade is to lift in lieu of riding then I have to disagree. Most folks are time limited so 3-4 hours in the weight room a week is equivalent to 80-100 miles on the road. Based on my experience the added miles will be significantly more valuable for cycle training than the weights. If increased body strength is needed pound a few steep hills. An hour of hill repeats will be worth more than an hour on the universals.....IMHO

  13. #13
    scurry13
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    Of all the responses, the swimming makes the most sense. Yes, weightlifting is benefical, but you have to be careful. I'm an old Cat I tracky and a Cat II roadie. I weightlifted. I had great power, but couldn't climb my way out of a paper bag ( I let myself get too big in the upper body). You need to look at what you want to do and design your off season training around that. The key is balance. Cyclists' have good strong backs but tend to be week in the abs. Ab work is essential. In fact an overall strong body core will help every aspect of your cycling. It doesn't need to be big, just solid. Swimming is by far the best bang for the buck when it comes to overall body work. If you choose weightlifting, be careful not to let yourself get trapped into the "I want to lift just 10 more pounds than I can now" mindset. It will mess you up for cycling. Trust me on this. For next springs time trials, get some type of load trainer (Wind, magnetic, fluid, etc) and get on it. Do a 30 - 60 minute workout in the biggest gear you can turn 90 rpms two or three times a week. Add swimming and a sit up/push up routine and come next spring you be tearing up the road.
    Enjoy,
    scurry

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    Quote Originally Posted by scurry
    . The key is balance. Cyclists' have good strong backs but tend to be week in the abs. Ab work is essential. In fact an overall strong body core will help every aspect of your cycling. scurry
    I understand what you are trying to say (your balanced approach makes a lot of sense).....but the biggest problem is moving the seat rearward when you move your handlebars low and forward (because arms are too weak to handle forward seat....so seat is moved back and consequently strain is on the neck and back). I keep on mentioning this because I think arms are the weak point in most cyclists physiques.....and they are in denial about it (LOL...one guy said he even wishes they would completely waste away)

    I keep on hearing about good core strength....(and this is important no doubt-you are only going to maximize your potentail if you have no weak links)....but if more cyclists were stronger in the arms they could take a lot of the burden off their backs and necks (read my prior post in this thread).

    I'll be honest my handlebars are low and forward in a manner most people would consider very extreme.....but my seat is moved farther forward too. This puts a load on my arms, but keep my back straight and my shoulders square (relative to doing like everyone else does) plus I have a more advantageous position over the cranks. Sure my arms will get a helluva pump riding this way, but I have no neck/back strain at all.

    Besides How many times do you hear older riders complain about handlebar position because of sore neck/back?....All the time. It's because they abused the low handlebars when they were younger and forced their necks/backs to keep them balanced instead of their arms.
    Last edited by 53-11 alltheway; 11-28-04 at 08:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 53-11 alltheway
    I understand what you are trying to say.....but the biggest problem is moving the seat rearward when you move your handlebars low and forward (because arms are too weak to handle forward seat....so seat is moved back and consequently strain is on the neck and back).

    I keep on hearing about good core strength....(and this is important no doubt)....but if more cyclists were stronger in the arms they could take a lot of the burden off their backs and necks (read my prior post in this thread).

    I'll be honest my handlebars and low and forward in a manner most people would consider very extreme.....but my seat is moved farther forward too. This puts a load on my arms, but keep my back straight and my shoulders square (relative to doing like everyone else does) plus I have a more advantageous position over the cranks. Sure my arms will get a helluva pump riding this way, but I have no neck/back strain at all.
    I'm not saying that people should spend 5 hours a week lifting weights like I do, but 30 minutes a day/3 times a week would do wonders for someone who doesn't do any lifting at all. Actually 30 minutes 2 times a week would also do a hell of a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 53-11 alltheway
    What? B.S. It only will only help your climbing. However it definitely helps if you have accompanying arm strength so you can position your handlebars And especailly your seat forward.

    Biggest problem people have with very forward and low bar positioning is inabilty to move the seat forward also (lack of arm strength forces them to move seat back....so they balance instead of just letting their arms support them. Unfortunately the are now forcing there back and neck to take the load)

    The foward seat position is essential if you want to get the best spin you can....it positions you in a nice sweet spot over the cranks. Furthermore, the farther forward you can move your seat....the lower and farther forward your bars can be.

    Climbing out of the saddle is easiest for people with low forward bars.....those with good arm strength can take advatage of this the best. Good arm strength in turn allows your legs to get a more advatageous position over the cranks due to the forward bars.

    THe upshot is you cannot train one part of your body and not the other. It all integrated. Super powerful legs will be a wasted if you haven't built up some strength in your arms.

    Another question are you training for a crazy marathon race like the TDF.....or do you just want to completely kick everyone's ass for 3-4 hours non-stop.

    P.S. The biggest mistake I see is someone who is trying to drop their bars too much and overcompensating by having the seat back (instead of forward like a truly powerful rider would). All you are going to get from doing that is a sore back. Your neck is going to killing you too becaue with that seat back like that your shoulders are going to drop and you will strain your neck trying to hold your head up).

    In addition to back and neck problems you will have a weak spin on the flats.....now how are you going to draft me with your lousy saddle postion and consequently weak spin? Even if you can manage to somehow stay with me .....I'll probably just smoke you when the next hill comes.....and that's when things really get ugly for you because now It's just a straight power to weight ratio battle (no air resistance) and I've got the super forward low racing angle that really comes into play when the nose of your bike turns up..By the time you finally get to top that hill....I'm long gone after I've blasted down the otherside that hill in 53-11. See ya!
    lemme ask you something 53-11, have you ever done anything BESIDES lift? have you actually tried replacing your gym time with more riding? how would you know that your lifting makes the difference? maybe you should try losing some weight to see if you climb better. at 209 pounds, I'm sure you have weight to lose.

    and I'm not sure why you are attacking my positioning...I didn't mention my positioning at all. I'm one of the fastest decenders in my club here. I've NEVER had neck problems, and haven't had back problems since I first started riding. so I'm not sure why you are rambling like you are.

    anyway, I dont want to get into a pissing match with you, 53-11, you are in your own world, and have no idea what you are doing. you've never even raced, and yet you're giving training advice and (unsolicited) pointers on positioning.

    Anyway, back to the original poster, I think that a core-strength program would be good for you, and if you have trouble keeping up on the flats, then possibly it might be worthwhile to look into a weight-training program. be prepared to drop your milage, though. Your legs will feel awful, so get used to it, and stop lifting when the season starts.

    however, if you are the type that gains muscle easily, and has trouble climbing, I wouldn't lift. do the core strength, though. a solid core will help you have something to push against when you're hammering.

  17. #17
    lowracer ninja master lowracer1's Avatar
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    Aarg!!!!!!! I can't believe it either, but I must also agree with 53-11 for once. My circumstances are different however. I do calf lifts, leg press and 45 degree hack squat. I mainly do the weight training at the beginning through the end of base training, lower weights at first and build to the heavier stuff. I don't do too much weight training during the summer other than once a week. I winter train on a tacx I-magic machine so I can record all improvements just like on a computrainer.
    The reason my circumstances are a bit different to that of an upright bike, is because I race and do long distance on a low racing recumbent. I'm always in a leg press position on the bike, so the weight training to the legs are very beneficial.
    chris@promocycle.net

  18. #18
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    In addition to back and neck problems you will have a weak spin on the flats.....now how are you going to draft me with your lousy saddle postion and consequently weak spin? Even if you can manage to somehow stay with me .....I'll probably just smoke you when the next hill comes.....and that's when things really get ugly for you because now It's just a straight power to weight ratio battle (no air resistance) and I've got the super forward low racing angle that really comes into play when the nose of your bike turns up..By the time you finally get to top that hill....I'm long gone after I've blasted down the otherside that hill in 53-11. See ya!

    You still aren't the fastest however. You still have a lot of wind resistance to deal with.
    Check out the ride report for the Hilly Hundred weekend. Lowracers are faster even on hills.

    http://www.biketcba.org/TRICORR/ride...04/report.html
    chris@promocycle.net

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phatman
    lemme ask you something 53-11, have you ever done anything BESIDES lift? have you actually tried replacing your gym time with more riding? how would you know that your lifting makes the difference? maybe you should try losing some weight to see if you climb better. at 209 pounds, I'm sure you have weight to lose.

    and I'm not sure why you are attacking my positioning...I didn't mention my positioning at all. I'm one of the fastest decenders in my club here. I've NEVER had neck problems, and haven't had back problems since I first started riding. so I'm not sure why you are rambling like you are.

    anyway, I dont want to get into a pissing match with you, 53-11, you are in your own world, and have no idea what you are doing. you've never even raced, and yet you're giving training advice and (unsolicited) pointers on positioning.

    Anyway, back to the original poster, I think that a core-strength program would be good for you, and if you have trouble keeping up on the flats, then possibly it might be worthwhile to look into a weight-training program. be prepared to drop your milage, though. Your legs will feel awful, so get used to it, and stop lifting when the season starts.

    however, if you are the type that gains muscle easily, and has trouble climbing, I wouldn't lift. do the core strength, though. a solid core will help you have something to push against when you're hammering.

    First of all I have a gym in my house.....so getting gym time and riding time is not that hard for me. I ride about 20-30 miles a day( I used to do more more daylight savings time hit)...and 40-60 miles a day on the weekends.

    As far as climbing goes.......with my bars low and forward like this I think it is safe to say that climbing is most strongest point now. Obviously it's about power to weight ratio....and I am extremely strong for someone merely 209 lbs.

    What else did you say?......Oh about my positioning. It is the same positioning advocated by the top sprinters in the country. I trust them more than I trust what other people have to say.

    I'm glad you don't have back and neck pain, but other people may not be so lucky. So why not inform them?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phatman
    lemme ask you something 53-11, have you ever done anything BESIDES lift? have you actually tried replacing your gym time with more riding? how would you know that your lifting makes the difference? maybe you should try losing some weight to see if you climb better. at 209 pounds, I'm sure you have weight to lose.

    and I'm not sure why you are attacking my positioning...I didn't mention my positioning at all. I'm one of the fastest decenders in my club here. I've NEVER had neck problems, and haven't had back problems since I first started riding. so I'm not sure why you are rambling like you are.

    anyway, I dont want to get into a pissing match with you, 53-11, you are in your own world, and have no idea what you are doing. you've never even raced, and yet you're giving training advice and (unsolicited) pointers on positioning.

    Anyway, back to the original poster, I think that a core-strength program would be good for you, and if you have trouble keeping up on the flats, then possibly it might be worthwhile to look into a weight-training program. be prepared to drop your milage, though. Your legs will feel awful, so get used to it, and stop lifting when the season starts.

    however, if you are the type that gains muscle easily, and has trouble climbing, I wouldn't lift. do the core strength, though. a solid core will help you have something to push against when you're hammering.
    Ah! A common sense post how refreashing.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kip2714
    I'm seriously considering supplementing my off season riding routine with some sort of weight lifting program. I'd like to compete in a series of time trials beginning next Spring and would like to really build some strength and mass in my legs while dropping pounds elsewhere.

    Anyone here spend time in the gym? What does your routine look like? Do you do other types of cardio?

    Each person is going to be different and individual from you. Why not hire a personal trainer? At least then, they can assess your strengths and weaknesses and recommend a training program to work through your weaknesses and make you a better overall rider. Training by using someone else's plan just makes you good at THEIR weaknesses, not yours.

    Koffee

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    Quote Originally Posted by 53-11 alltheway
    I understand what you are trying to say (your balanced approach makes a lot of sense).....but the biggest problem is moving the seat rearward when you move your handlebars low and forward (because arms are too weak to handle forward seat....so seat is moved back and consequently strain is on the neck and back). I keep on mentioning this because I think arms are the weak point in most cyclists physiques.....and they are in denial about it (LOL...one guy said he even wishes they would completely waste away)

    I keep on hearing about good core strength....(and this is important no doubt-you are only going to maximize your potentail if you have no weak links)....but if more cyclists were stronger in the arms they could take a lot of the burden off their backs and necks (read my prior post in this thread).

    I'll be honest my handlebars are low and forward in a manner most people would consider very extreme.....but my seat is moved farther forward too. This puts a load on my arms, but keep my back straight and my shoulders square (relative to doing like everyone else does) plus I have a more advantageous position over the cranks. Sure my arms will get a helluva pump riding this way, but I have no neck/back strain at all.

    Besides How many times do you hear older riders complain about handlebar position because of sore neck/back?....All the time. It's because they abused the low handlebars when they were younger and forced their necks/backs to keep them balanced instead of their arms.

    Care to post a pic of yourself in this ridiculous position?? I'm trying to imagine it but I'm having trouble....

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    I am a lurker on the boards who gets a kick out of some of the advice presented, in this forum in particular, and once in a while I just have to make an appearance. First of all, I want to state that I think Ms. Brown has a good working knowledge of some training principles, but many in here do not. The level of misinformation and confusion that some pass on in the world of exercise physiology is a crime and it gets only slightly better at the "professional" level. Please be careful about personal training!

    I am certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association: CSCS, D. I have trained at and above the university level for many years, but the amount of sound training advice that I see "personal trainers" giving their clients at private gyms can be counted on one hand. While there are good trainers out there, you get what you pay for. It is far too easy to pass some alphabet soup certification over a weekend course and be essentially licensed to screw up people's bodies. That being said, there is no need to mention names, but many in here who pretend to be experts, again not making reference to KB, clearly are mixing gym rat science with mis-interpretation of a past article that they read out of "Muscle & Fiction" or similar publication. The idea of seeking assistance to assess muscle imbalances and physiological weaknesses is a good one. Just make sure the person doing it knows what they are doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eman
    I am a lurker on the boards who gets a kick out of some of the advice presented, in this forum in particular, and once in a while I just have to make an appearance. First of all, I want to state that I think Ms. Brown has a good working knowledge of some training principles, but many in here do not. The level of misinformation and confusion that some pass on in the world of exercise physiology is a crime and it gets only slightly better at the "professional" level. Please be careful about personal training!

    I am certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association: CSCS, D. I have trained at and above the university level for many years, but the amount of sound training advice that I see "personal trainers" giving their clients at private gyms can be counted on one hand. While there are good trainers out there, you get what you pay for. It is far too easy to pass some alphabet soup certification over a weekend course and be essentially licensed to screw up people's bodies. That being said, there is no need to mention names, but many in here who pretend to be experts, again not making reference to KB, clearly are mixing gym rat science with mis-interpretation of a past article that they read out of "Muscle & Fiction" or similar publication. The idea of seeking assistance to assess muscle imbalances and physiological weaknesses is a good one. Just make sure the person doing it knows what they are doing.

    Best post ever. Please come back every time someone starts a thread "Should I lift weights to help my biking?"


  25. #25
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53-11 alltheway
    [deletia]
    And especailly your seat forward.

    [deletia]
    The foward seat position is essential if you want to get the best spin you can....it positions you in a nice sweet spot over the cranks. Furthermore, the farther forward you can move your seat....the lower and farther forward your bars can be.

    [deletia]
    Good arm strength in turn allows your legs to get a more advatageous position over the cranks due to the forward bars.

    Where does he get this stuff???

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