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  1. #1
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    Muscles, strength, & endurance

    I donít exactly know how to ask this, so bear with me.

    Is all muscle the same? Or is there strength muscle and endurance muscle?

    If I build use a weight machine in a gym to lift more with my legs, does that mean I will be able to go further on the bicycle?

    If I ride my bicycle until my legs can not go any further, will that increase the weight I can push in the gym?

    Does the question make sense?

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    There is fast-twitch muscle and slow-twitch muscle. How much you have of each is largely genetically determined but can be influenced by training. Slow-twitch is largely responsible for endurance work.

    If you do leg work in the gym it won't make you go further, but might make you go faster. Track sprinters do low-repetition squats with big weights. With that exception, cycling is primarily an aerobic exercise and leg strength is not the limiting factor. Look at the legs of some of the GC contenders in the Tour de France and I'll bet theirs are thinner than yours. That is because mostly you need no more strength than is needed to enable you to run upstairs. What you need is the aerobic fitness to keep running up stairs for a long time, and that has to do with your weight, and your aerobic capacity, not with the size of your muscles.

    If you do lots of low-cadence training on a bike pushing very big gears, yes that will increase the weight you can push in the gym. Be careful of your knees, though.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    RWblue, have you read through any of the great books on cycling training? There are some really find writers out there making it real clear how the cycling body and its training works. I especially like Joe Friel, in "Cycling Past 50" and "The Cyclist's Training Bible." Other good authors are Chris Carmichael, Gayle Bernhardt, Arnie Baker, Simon Doughty and John Hughes.

    Even as a fattish very Freddish rider who's content to improve year over year, I find the perspective of a competitively training cyclist to be very useful in guiding the workouts I do put in my schedule and to maintain an understanding of how this stuff works.

    Different authors often look at the same issues differently, especially if they are writing for different audiences. That's why I prefer to get a book written by one expert with a focus that I can identify with in some way. I end up with a much clearer understanding that way. There is a lot of great stuff on the web and a lot of smart people on sites like this, but it becomes hard to sort through the diversity.

    These books are always available used. Check Amazon.

  4. #4
    BF Avatar Zombie Hunter Jseis's Avatar
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    Winter training in northern latitudes is the key to improvement as opposed to constantly re-establishing a base every spring. Using rollers, taking advantage of the rare nice weekends with the occassionaly nasty ones really makes improvement measurable year after year. I face rain, wind, temps to low 30's. Not nearly as brutal as Alaska/Maine/Minnesota snows or lake effect cold though winter maintenance in coastal Pacific NW is a B. a 3 month layoff (injury) Oct-Dec set me back 4 months and it wasn't till May that I got ahead of September.
    Amerika, Land of the Very Brief.

  5. #5
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    A better question might be: "Given my goals of xxxx, what sort of training might best enable me to reach those goals?"

    Some time ago I read an opinion by a physiology researcher, who said that human leg muscle biopsies don't actually show fast and slow twitch muscles. We seem to see evidence of that in athletic performances, but in his opinion that is the result of training and cardiovascular talent, rather than muscle type. This makes sense to me, witness the transformation of cycling gods from one type of performance to another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    RWblue, have you read through any of the great books on cycling training?
    Of course not.

    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    The usefulness of Friel's training bible to a beginner is highly questionable, to say the least. Friel himself says, at the outset, that his principal audience is racing cyclists who wish to progress to the next level. His advice to beginners is to just ride steadily for a year before returning to his book.

    His "cycling past fifty" is going to be more helpful but is still aimed at those who wish to be, or remain, fairly competitive.
    I am not looking to be competitive.

    I have been reading a different book which is from a weight lifters prospective. It is interesting, but one sided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    A better question might be: "Given my goals of xxxx, what sort of training might best enable me to reach those goals?"
    The end goal is to the reduce % fat and maintain it.

    If I ask this on a bicycle site, I will be told to ride and ride more.
    If I ask this on a weight lifting site, I am told to lift things up and put them down.
    If I ask this on a runner site, I am told to run.
    If I ask this on a dieters' site, I am told to stave myself. (Not gonna happen.)


    So I have to go beyond the simplest question. As stated in anther thread, I need to learn how to coach myself. This being said, if I wanted to be competitive, I would have to have a real coach.

  8. #8
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWBlue01 View Post
    The end goal is to the reduce % fat and maintain it.

    If I ask this on a bicycle site, I will be told to ride and ride more.
    If I ask this on a weight lifting site, I am told to lift things up and put them down.
    If I ask this on a runner site, I am told to run.
    If I ask this on a dieters' site, I am told to stave myself. (Not gonna happen.)


    So I have to go beyond the simplest question. As stated in anther thread, I need to learn how to coach myself. This being said, if I wanted to be competitive, I would have to have a real coach.
    Whatever site you visit, if you wish to lose weight you need to "starve yourself". It is very unlikely that you will succeed unless you make sure that the calories you consume are outweighed by those you burn. Obviously, the amount of exercise you do will determine how much you can eat and still remain in calorie deficit, but whatever exercise regimen you choose, if you just eat and drink whatever you want you'll be unlikely to lose much weight.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWBlue01 View Post
    The end goal is to the reduce % fat and maintain it.

    If I ask this on a bicycle site, I will be told to ride and ride more.
    If I ask this on a weight lifting site, I am told to lift things up and put them down.
    If I ask this on a runner site, I am told to run.
    If I ask this on a dieters' site, I am told to stave myself. (Not gonna happen.)


    So I have to go beyond the simplest question. As stated in anther thread, I need to learn how to coach myself. This being said, if I wanted to be competitive, I would have to have a real coach.
    Reduce fat the quickest by riding a lot at a moderate pace, and eat stuff like scrambled egg whites with catsup, plain tuna, plain steamed broccoli, dry wheat chex, that kind of thing. To maintain it, well that's just lifestyle. Get used to eating healthy, balanced meals in small servings, while exercising regularly however, 6 or so hours/week. Or just start doing that latter and get the same result more slowly. Running is good, too. Much quicker than cycling, but with added joint stress. Just depends on where you find your joy. Weight lifting doesn't burn as many calories in just the doing of it. Most folks at the gym who only weight train have a good bit of fat on them, unless they are also very careful about diet. Still, it's a good thing to do. Strengthens stuff like muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. Which is all good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Whatever site you visit, if you wish to lose weight you need to "starve yourself".
    I am doing the www.myfitnesspal.com. I have it setup to lose 2 pounds a week and I am not starving myself. I am just not eating the crap that I use to eat and drink.

    Some of the diet sites want you to do things that are not sustainable. I have done it before and I don't plan on doing it again. From what I have read on other sites, when you starve yourself, the body knows and goes into survival mode. So when you eat, the fat comes back.

    I am more inclined to build some muscle and ride over hill and dale looking at the pretty girls.

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    Based on the answers I have received here and on other sites, I think I have a plan.

    I will lift for upper body strength and ride for the legs and endurance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWBlue01 View Post
    Based on the answers I have received here and on other sites, I think I have a plan.

    I will lift for upper body strength and ride for the legs and endurance.
    Now the question becomes, Do you lift for strength, or endurance; in other words, less weight with more reps, or more weight with fewer reps? I still haven't figured out this one... After half a year of using a home gym, I am still only able to perform a certain number of push-ups, and my upper-body looks nearly the same as it did six months ago (with the exception of some more definition and varicosity on my arms).

    As always, YMMV, especially if you are under-40; I'm 48, and having a hell of a time building new muscle...

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelerman View Post
    Now the question becomes, Do you lift for strength, or endurance; in other words, less weight with more reps, or more weight with fewer reps? I still haven't figured out this one... After half a year of using a home gym, I am still only able to perform a certain number of push-ups, and my upper-body looks nearly the same as it did six months ago (with the exception of some more definition and varicosity on my arms).

    As always, YMMV, especially if you are under-40; I'm 48, and having a hell of a time building new muscle...
    One thing I know is just how little I know on this subject, but I have several threads running on different forums, talking to doctors, and reading my butt off. (I am also just a little sore from yesterday, so...)

    Let me ask a couple questions and maybe I will find the answer to your issue while I am working on mine.
    Are you very lean?
    Are you eating right? ( Try using Myfitnesspal.com. Listing out what I ate really helped me.)
    Are you taking vitamins?
    Do you use the weights 3 times a week (regularly)?
    What did you decided on reps, sets? Is it consistent or variable?
    Are you slowly working up to heavier weights?
    When you say you can only do "certain number of push-ups", do you mean under a time limitation (endurance) or just that is it and I need a rest (strength)?

  14. #14
    Question Authority JoeMan's Avatar
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    For upper body strength you might consider doing pull ups. These really increase your strength to weight ratio and are a great all around muscle builder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWBlue01 View Post
    One thing I know is just how little I know on this subject, but I have several threads running on different forums, talking to doctors, and reading my butt off. (I am also just a little sore from yesterday, so...)

    Let me ask a couple questions and maybe I will find the answer to your issue while I am working on mine.
    Are you very lean?
    Are you eating right? ( Try using Myfitnesspal.com. Listing out what I ate really helped me.)
    Are you taking vitamins?
    Do you use the weights 3 times a week (regularly)?
    What did you decided on reps, sets? Is it consistent or variable?
    Are you slowly working up to heavier weights?
    When you say you can only do "certain number of push-ups", do you mean under a time limitation (endurance) or just that is it and I need a rest (strength)?
    Yes, I have always been fairly lean - which makes for good endurance cycling, but can be a little embarrassing when hanging around a the public pool; it seems like every other fit male these days sports well-defined pecs and a six-pack, but I've pretty much conceded this to them given my impending half- century mark.
    i eat very well, lots of protein and complex fiber veggies and fruits, and I maintain a pretty consistent weight.
    I think most vitamin supplements get pissed away, so I try to get most of them from food and fruit juices.
    I lift a minimum of three times a week, starting with lower weights, and working to higher ones, to the point of exhaustion... I have seen a small increase in weight and endurance there, but it seems to be very slow going.
    i could do a hundred push-ups easily 20-odd years ago, but did not pay much attention to core fitness in the ensuing years, and could barely do 25 when I got back into cycling and fitness a year ago. I have worked back up to 40-45, but seem to be stuck there for the past six months, no matter how consistently I work at it.
    I was able to get my cycling fitness back up after about three months of training- going from barely-eight miles to over thirty in at time period (I have done a couple of fifties this year). But the upper body strength improvement seems to have stalled out.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelerman View Post
    Yes, I have always been fairly lean - .
    I have no practical experience here, but according to some of the muscle/weight lifting stuff I have been reading, you may never get a lot of showy muscle.

    First off you are getting older, this make it harder for the body to make muscles. (Less testosterone, I believe is what they are saying.)
    Second, they say you really need to have fat to make muscles. (They say lay off the cardio while trying to build muscles.)
    Third, some say that you can not build muscles with machines. You need free weights. (This seems a little far fetched.)

    And I will state again, this is just from reading. If someone has some practical experience.....please chime in.

    I will be buying Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100 - Roy M. Wallack
    I was able to download and read a portion on the Kindle app over the weekend and I see it has a weight lifting program.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWBlue01 View Post
    I am doing the www.myfitnesspal.com. I have it setup to lose 2 pounds a week and I am not starving myself. I am just not eating the crap that I use to eat and drink.

    Some of the diet sites want you to do things that are not sustainable. I have done it before and I don't plan on doing it again. From what I have read on other sites, when you starve yourself, the body knows and goes into survival mode. So when you eat, the fat comes back.

    I am more inclined to build some muscle and ride over hill and dale looking at the pretty girls.
    I do like that training plan!
    Last edited by Road Fan; 07-17-12 at 05:29 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWBlue01 View Post
    The end goal is to the reduce % fat and maintain it.

    If I ask this on a bicycle site, I will be told to ride and ride more.
    If I ask this on a weight lifting site, I am told to lift things up and put them down.
    If I ask this on a runner site, I am told to run.
    If I ask this on a dieters' site, I am told to stave myself. (Not gonna happen.)



    So I have to go beyond the simplest question. As stated in anther thread, I need to learn how to coach myself. This being said, if I wanted to be competitive, I would have to have a real coach.


    Lol this is my experience too! I say just to a blend/variety of exercises...and do things you like so you can be consistent!

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