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  1. #1
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Cycling specific weight training?

    I rode with local group of sopme pretty fast guys a week ago and one guy was telling me he takes 4-8 weeks off in winter to do "cycling specific" weight training.
    Any idea if there's a good source for this info I could see online? I do do regular weight training now. mostly free weights
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    It depends why you wan't to strength train. Are you old? A sprinter? Or do are you lifting just for general fitness. The studies on weight training for cycling are equivocal on their benefits but if your cycling time is limited it's not a bad alternative. Joe Friel's training bible has a section on weight training for the off season.

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    There are a variety of exercises you can do that are designed to increase muscle strength in areas that don't traditionally benefit from cycling alone, but when stronger can help your cycling. These include squat jumps, lunges and any number of upper-body exercises, such as single-arm pulldowns, pushups, pushing a "weighted" sled, etc.

    One of the main benefits of these exercises is that they not only increase your strength, but your flexibility. The latter can be very helpful in cycling.

  4. #4
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafzali View Post
    There are a variety of exercises you can do that are designed to increase muscle strength in areas that don't traditionally benefit from cycling alone, but when stronger can help your cycling. These include squat jumps, lunges and any number of upper-body exercises, such as single-arm pulldowns, pushups, pushing a "weighted" sled, etc.

    One of the main benefits of these exercises is that they not only increase your strength, but your flexibility. The latter can be very helpful in cycling.

    good to know, thanks. trying to get into pullups and other body weight exercises
    Comedian Bill Hicks once said, "Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy a jet ski, and you never see an unhappy person riding a jet ski."

  5. #5
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    Generally, the big lifts like squats, deadlifts, and lunges are going to give you the most benefit. Bodybuilding-type workouts and exercises like seated bicep curls and the "pec deck" machine will be much less beneficial. If you want to get "cycling specific," put some handlebar tape on the bar and lift in your bib shorts.

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    I like any leg exercizes and I like to do lower weight but as many reps as I can.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Must be that season again! Seeing as how you are looking to improve cycling performance, here's an old post of mine on that subject which I believe is still valid:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...g-for-cyclists

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Must be that season again! Seeing as how you are looking to improve cycling performance, here's an old post of mine on that subject which I believe is still valid:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...g-for-cyclists
    That's a great post and parallels my experience. I have over 900 workouts in the gym and on the bike in the last 6 years, all recorded on a heart rate monitor that lets me download the data to my computer. I quickly noticed that extended sets of heavy lifts produced HR peaks that look like interval training. Doing sets of 10-20 gives me huge HR peaks and the HR goes up (and down) faster than anything I've seen with any other exercise. As Carbonfiber says "This is a form of high intensity strength training, which I believe offers specific gains for cyclists". Bingo. I don't think you have to do sets of 30 (although I'll have to try that...), the key is to do sets that push you into HIT range.

    Also, at age 58, I find that heavy lifting for part of the year is essential to prevent muscle mass loss. My only caution on this is STRETCH, or you'll get too tight. I had a year of IT band issues that I'm convinced came from tightening up from heavy squats. STRETCH.

    Finally, if you want to learn to do the "big lifts", which I think are the most beneficial ones, you must, must, must get "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe. For cyclists, I'd summarize this book as the Friel of weightlifting only more so. It's the best book on fitness that I've ever read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn View Post
    good to know, thanks. trying to get into pullups and other body weight exercises
    Another exercise that works great are "stair steppers." If you go to a gym that has a platform for these, use it. Otherwise, try to find something that's similar in height in your home and use that. My regular workout includes these, with 4 sets of 10 reps on each leg. When you start doing them, it can be quite hard depending on your flexibility and overall strength, since you're literally putting your entire body weight on one leg. But along with squat jumps, they really do work.

  10. #10
    Question Authority JoeMan's Avatar
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    I would suggest including pull ups in any exercise regimen in the off season. They are a great overall upper body exercise. They are also a good measure of strength to weight ratio.

  11. #11
    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    "You lack motivation because cycling is a stupid sport with no upside that takes way too much time out of your life to be mediocre at." - Racer Ex

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    Great info in this post. I also believe that Core and General Body Strength are beneficial and often overlooked in many sports (cycling included).

    I share my experiences in my blog here:
    Core Strength: http://www.thetallcyclist.com/?p=668
    Weight Lifting: http://www.thetallcyclist.com/?p=681

    Best of luck with your program!

    -Carcinogent

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carcinogent View Post
    Great info in this post. I also believe that Core and General Body Strength are beneficial and often overlooked in many sports (cycling included).

    I share my experiences in my blog here:
    Core Strength: http://www.thetallcyclist.com/?p=668
    Weight Lifting: http://www.thetallcyclist.com/?p=681

    Best of luck with your program!

    -Carcinogent
    Good stuff in this thread. This is what I was looking for.

    Are there any alternatives to using the big bar bell? I am not a gym person - I'm not super comfortable with the big thing. I'm sure that sounds lame. I just started going this month; I'm doing spin classes and using the weight machines (because they are easy to figure out, but I still don't know what I'm doing).
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    I don't know about online sources but from what I read you want to mimic the movements of cycling. So for squats and leg presses have your toes pointed straight forward spaced the same distance as where your pedals would be. You could add some lower back and ab work, too.

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    The Barbell (Back) Squat is a pretty fundamental leg exercise so I do not think there are any real alternatives. Get an instructor to show you; Back Squats looks intimidating from the side (i know from self experience). Start with just the barbell and no weights until you get the motions right. Once you have the muscle memory you can start adding some more weight. From learning these motions you will get the hang of how to do other exercises as well (deadlift etc).

    Good luck!
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  16. #16
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    My new fave exercise is one leg RDLS with resistance bands.

    http://www.coreperformance.com/knowl...-dumbbell.html

    I think concentrating on cycling is fine, but you need to remember that muscular
    imbalance can land you in the doctor's office.
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  17. #17
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    To revive an old thread; I found this video of MTB World Champion Greg Minnaar.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwnGklmAcbU

    The first couple of minutes show him doing some weight/core exercises. There are some similarities to the program I have just started doing this week. You can take a look on my blog:
    http://www.thetallcyclist.com/2012/1...ngth-series-3/

    Enjoy!
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  18. #18
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    If you don't already maybe think about adding some core building body weight exercises into your daily routine too. Like the plank, body bridge, catapults, one legged squats, crunches etc. adding ankle weights or light dumbbells if you want extra difficulty. That and yoga are part of my daily routine to help with my core strength and flexibility with no need for gym equipment. Iíll also do things to have exercise just part of my daily life like taking stairs instead of elevators and a brisk walk or stair climbing during a work break etc.

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