That's the point I was making.The Low back muscles are not the prime focus of the exercise, they stablize the pelvis and back.
The prime focus of the exercise (when done right) is Hamstrings,and Glutes.
Coach TJ Cormier NSCA-CPT/USAC Level1 Coach
The thing with high reps and low weight is that's the best way for a beginning or new season lifter to avoid injury. By low weight, I mean enough so that the 30th rep is difficult and adding weight when it isn't. Besides strengthening connective tissue, this practice improves form, and provides HIIT type anaerobic training. I believe for the latter reason, I make more progress with heavy weights if I begin each lifting season with a couple of months of high rep training, like Friel recommends. After my heavy weight training is done for the season, I continue with 30 rep maintenance training, although then I'm able to use heavier weights, 30 @ 2.5 X bodyweight on the sled, F.I.
SLDLs and other "dangerous" exercises are another case in point. Having torn a meniscus going heavy on SLDLs, I recommend staying at 30 reps on those. Which BTW aren't really a back exercise, they are hamstring specific. I suppose it might be possible for one's back to be so weak one couldn't work the hams, but that's probably rare. A much neglected exercise, IMO.
Some good info here others not so much.
Why limit to upper body and core?
Full body work is the best route. As long as you have good form and have a good idea of what to do lift big!
Most of the time this thing wirh high reps and low weight is a waste of valuable training time and doesn't really accomplish much.
Also push up are very good when done right and most don't, they can be modified for subjects with shoulder issues. But as cyclists we should be doing more "pulling" exercises then pushing. Pushing exercises overly done promote anterior sholder rotation adding 2 "pulling " exercise for each "push" will counter act that.
Lastly a doing Deadlifts for low back is a good way to hurt your low back A very commom misconception. Deadlifts are for Hamstrings, glutes.
Train hard rest harder!
Deadlifts are gonna hit your lower back and make it stronger regardless, IMO.
Only when done with poor form!
My position is that deadlifts will strengthen your lower back *when* done with proper form, for the reasons stated earlier. Perhaps a case could be made for strengthening your lower back using some other exercises if lower back strength is lacking but one has no need for stronger hamstrings or glutes. I don't know if that's what you're trying to get at. I don't personally see a need to go in that direction.
Personally, I do deadlifts for general fitness as much as for cycling. I do relatively light weights and high reps. Increasing strength in all the muscles worked by deadlifts is important to me, but I don't have any need for massive strength. In the context of functional strength to pick up the occasional heavy object, shovel wet snow, or turning the cranks on a bicycle, the amount of lower back strength gained through deadlifts is sufficient. The strength gained in the lower back is also proportionate to the strength gained in the other muscle groups targeted by deadlifts.
Obviously, hurting yourself is counterproductive to training or any activity in life, so we're in agreement that proper form is important for anyone doing deadlifts.
[SLDLs and other "dangerous" exercises are another case in point. Having torn a meniscus going heavy on SLDLs, I recommend staying at 30 reps on those. Which BTW aren't really a back exercise, they are hamstring specific. I suppose it might be possible for one's back to be so weak one couldn't work the hams, but that's probably rare. A much neglected exercise, IMO.[/QUOTE]
Every exercise can be "dangerous" when done wrong.
Doing high reps/low weight is nothing like Hiit work(most Hiit work becomes aerobic pretty quick) you are doing more aerobic work then anaerobic with the workout you describe.
Also to start a "newbie" on something like that makes even less sense! You want them to build connective tissue, neuro- pathways and prepare them for bigger resistances your way will not and will probably lead to injury in the log run.
Using a sled/leg press takes away have of the exercise much less bang for your buck.
SLDL's are great but you gotta have some resisatance.
Coach TJ Cormier NSCA-CPT/USAC Level1 Coach
I see that you disagree with the Friels. Back in the early 70's I used to do only trad lifting, but when Friel's CTB came out, I switched to doing it their way and had better results. YMMV.
I'm curious how you define "anaerobic." A properly done set of 30 takes 1 to 1.5 minutes, about the same length of time as a power interval. That fact that it would be impossible to continue for more than another 2-3 reps, or another 30 seconds in the case of power intervals, had always led me to believe that these intervals are powered by anaerobic reactions.
I'm also curious about your statement that HIIT work "becomes aerobic pretty quick." How is that?
Being a road cyclist rather than a track sprinter, I'm also generally curious and somewhat skeptical about heavy squats and deadlifts, vs. using a leg sled or press. Being of an age, I have arthritic facets, lumbar stenosis, thinned discs, and one disc with a compression fracture. Thus I'm somewhat disinclined to load my spine with exceptional weights. Moreover, it seems to me that these spine-loading lifts do not very well replicate the forces of cycling. I know that I pull up on the bars some when sprinting and climbing hard, but nothing like multiples of bodyweight which those lifts produce. Seems to me they go against the principle of specificity.
Are you familiar with this meta-study?
Perhaps there are better and newer studies? My reading of this one says that trad weights are perhaps the least effective training modality for road cycling.
The problem with very high reps and light weight is that they only target your Slow-Twitch muscle fibres. Majority of people already get enough stimulation in their slow twitch muscles just by doing everyday activities, even if they don't lift weights... Most people neglect their Fast-Twitch type IIA and IIB muscles, because they never use them, but it's extremely important to regularly activate your motor units which control your fast twitch muscles and the only way to do that is through heavier weights and lower reps and also through sprinting and plyometric training.. Fast twitch muscles are your strongest muscles and they are also the very first to suffer from degradation due to ageing...Slow twitch muscles are with you forever and you never loose them ,fast twitch muscles are lost unless regularly used, if you don't use it you loose it..Do high reps for few weeks then switch to lower reps, and alternate between low and high every few weeks.
The other problem with high reps and light weight is that you have to do an extreme amount of sets (as in hours, not minutes) to accomplish anything other than burning calories. One alternative to heavy lifts is body weight plyometrics. Any set you can do in under 2 minutes would have to be heavy, or very fast to do any good.
So, as much weight as you can use and still do 30 - takes a few tries to get that right - the last rep should be difficult, no resting between sets other than setup:
standing one-legged calf raises, no weight, to exhaustion
Roman chair, to exhaustion
Give it a try. rkwaki over in the 33 is another guy who does 30s, but he uses a lot more weight than I can. Talent helps.
Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 02-01-14 at 08:30 AM. Reason: Added exercises.
OP, You've gotten a lot of good information here.
As someone what has had multiple upper body injuries from contact sports I strongly suggest you see an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports injuries. Shoulder injuries do not go away without specific corrective exercises. $200 with a doc and $300-400 for a couple of sessions with a good physical therapist will be the best money you ever spent - the idea is to fix the current issue, and prevent a recurrence.
there are a number of good body-weight calisthenics programs on line, with good tutorials. You don't need to go to a gym, and can incorporate balance exercises as well. A lot of these are sport-specific, and incorporate multiple movements in one exercise. This lets you have a very efficient workout
i play a lot of hockey in the winter (timing is bad for spin classes) and use this - http://247hockeyacademy.com. You can pick and choose, and there are a lot of good upper body and core workouts. You can ignore the hockey-specific bits like stick handling, and structure a really intense 60 minute workout.
TRX is also excellent if you have access to a gym, as is a rowing machine if you learn proper form.
And stretch! If you haven't done a ton of upper body work, learn how to stretch your shoulders and back after a workout
2012 CAAD 10 4 / 2011 Masi Speciale Fixed Drop / 2010 Novara Matador MTB / 2008 BMW cruise bike / 1979 Schwinn Varsity (flat handlebar)
Why is that studies for other endurance sprots(running, swimming etc.) find the strenght training helps with eccomomy and is a benifit, why is cycling different?
I've been working with cyclists for since 98 and have found weight lifting to be a big benifit to all my athletes and myself.
Lift big train hard recover harder!
Coach TJ Cormier NSCA-CPT/USAC Level1 Coach
1) I probably was using poor form in a way: I was doing power work, sets of 12 with heavy weights, done very fast. I don't do any power work anymore. It seems to me that the very short period of high acceleration when one reverses direction could overstress connective tissue, and did once for me. Deadlifts from the floor or rack, or similar lifts, would be excepted.
2) Friel calls it the Anatomic Adaptation (AA) phase, 2-3 circuits of 20-30 reps. "Its purpose is to prepare the muscles and tendons for the greater loads of the next phase." Friel goes right into Maximum Strength (MS) after AA, but I interpose the trad phase of hypertrophy, 3 X 12, to more gradually bring the weights up. After MS and Power Endurance, Friel puts in a final phase of Muscular Endurance (ME) of 40-60 reps. I tried that, but found I got more out of moving back to 30 reps, but at much higher weights than during the AA phase, just because I could do more following the intense middle phases. OTOH I'm just a wussy. Penseyres was able to do 50 reps at 450 on the sled.
3) I do move right along. When I started doing these, long ago, I'd almost pass out toward the end of the first circuit.
4) I've never done Tabata like that or heard of it. I've always done 20" X 10" X 12, one set. Same power for each "on" period, set by experience to almost barf after #12 . I hate barfing on the rollers.
5) I think I get plenty of spinal loading squatting with less than bodyweight. Heck, they say walking or running is enough. It's true, the sled does load the spine, as do planks and pretty much all ab work. I use the sled to isolate my legs and do maximum strength work without the potential of damaging myself over the decades of lifting. That said, I'm still 2" shorter than I was at 20.
I'm was unfamiliar with the term "Russian deadlifts." I looked it up and there seems to be two variations: one variation looks exactly how I've always done them, the other like the SLDLs I do, but with a 5° knee bend. Not sure why the 5°.
I have also found weight work to be of benefit, which is why I've continued with it. As many racers have pointed out on these forums, a typical pedal load is seldom more than 50 lbs. and usually much, much less than that. Thus, as that study found, one gets a much bigger bang for the training expenditure from intervals and similar hard aerobic work. I've always been mindful that weight work contributes greatly to one's training load, so I only do it in winter, when my road training load is much less due to dark, weather, etc. As soon as I can start doing intervals outdoors, I drop down to strength maintenance, and then to nothing when things get more intense and longer. I've found it good to incorporate weights into the base mesocycles.
This side discussion started out about my recommendation of starting with sets of 30. Just saying, you might try that yourself next October and see how that goes. It's not particularly easy. Same weight, almost to exhaustion, all three circuits. Each circuit of 8 lifts in ~25 minutes or less.
Since my initially I've been to massage three times, latest yesterday; hot yoga five times and I've not swam. I was also outside on the bike twice in two days as it got milder. Much better at the latest massage...so from what I can tell, yoga is working, increase in stretching, including attention to posture is also working.
I have never liked the gym or having a structured weight routine at home, and I've went years without doing so, so I will stick with yoga for now and see if it helps.
Anything over 8-10 reps I no longer consider to be "heavy".
I usually keep my SLDLs in the 8-12 rep range. Anymore than that and I'm only using like 135 pounds, and the only thing that gets accomplished is soreness.
Doing a ton of reps, to me, isn't really any safer. As fatigue sets in, form can suffer. I've done a few sets of 50 rep squats in the past, and after the 20th one, I'm gassed and my form looks awful. That's when people get hurt.
3-5 reps is safer than 20 any day on a compound lift IMO.
Given what you relate about your back, safest would be dumbbell dead's squats. Sure this puts severe limits on the weight you can move. Limiting to your grip or grip w/straps. But the loading closer to inline with your spine.
Alternatively there is a bar that allows a neutral grip called a trap bar. It looks like a giant tricep bar. But this usually limited to rather hardcore lifting gyms. There is a Hammer Strength machine that approximates this.
There are also yokes for squats that shift load onto shoulders such that the loading is like halfway between a front and rear squat. These are more common then trap bars, but usually only seen in power lifting gyms. There is a Hammer Strength Squat machine that approximates this..
If you can't hold your form through just one set of 30, you got a loooong way to go toward fitness. Most probably more core work is necessary, as well as form work. Good form makes it easier, not harder. I can hold form through three circuits of 30s just fine. But I've been lifting for over 50 years, so maybe that makes a difference.
When I ran Nordic 50 years ago, I could do 200 one-legged bodyweight squats, on the floor. So I have a history of enjoying endurance work.