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    Senior Member CanadianBiker32's Avatar
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    How many times a week for ab workouts

    How many times a week would be good enough to train the core?

    This is for someone who does recreation races. Road and mt biking. What would be good to stay well fit and get the proper support? thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
    How many times a week would be good enough to train the core?

    This is for someone who does recreation races. Road and mt biking. What would be good to stay well fit and get the proper support? thanks
    It sounds like you are asking: "What is the minimum I can get away with?"
    ... If you are looking for optimum results, why not 5-6 days a week?
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    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
    How many times a week would be good enough to train the core?

    This is for someone who does recreation races. Road and mt biking. What would be good to stay well fit and get the proper support? thanks
    ... and based on "How many times a week for ab workouts?":

    Why limit yourself to only abdominal muscles? I know that conventionally those muscles have been described as 'THE muscles of the back and core'. But, increasingly we are aware that working ALL of the hundreds of muscles of the core (such as with Pilates) provides "better" results (I put "better" in quotes because it really depends on your goals).

    I got a good example of that in my last Pilates class: a woman brought her runner-husband in. He was far and away the most fit of all of us -- he looked like he could step right onto an NFL field and fit right in. But, throughout the class he couldn't keep up with the old ladies in the class: he was grunting and moaning -- and skipping out of exercises early until the teacher finally asked him: "Are we killing you?" to which he sheepishly replied: "I don't suffer in silence!"

    The moral is: conventionally we tend to focus on those major muscle groups that we can see. There are hundreds more that actually do more work that we often don't even think about and we leave to their own best devices -- and 30-40 years later we can no longer stand up straight.
    --------------------------------------
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  4. #4
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    I'd highly suggest a good barbell program like Starting Strength. Don't do the gallon of milk a day thing, that's absurd. You'll train your core as effectively as possible that way.
    "It is not the critic who counts."

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I've read that abs are no different than any other muscle group. if you do a vigorous workout, rest 48 hrs before the next. so abs Monday, rest Tuesday Wednesday then you can work abs again Thursday. rest Friday Saturday, & work abs Sunday, rest Monday Tuesday, work abs Wednesday. like that ...

    also, like any other muscle group, if you overtrain on any given day you might require more than 48 hrs rest. over training abs can be nasty.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    The CDC recommends a minimum 90 minutes a week for weight-resistance training. The weight training is in addition to the 2- 2 1/2 hours of aerobic exercise recommended.

    I sometimes walk/jog but mostly just bicycle (because I love cycling) so my aerobic portion is easily covered in half decent weather. I also do a 20 minute weight, calisthenics, and resistance-band work-out 5-7 times a week. to cover my 90 minutes of recommended weight training.

    This isn't because I race. I don't race! I am just an old man that wants to feel decent.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 04-21-14 at 03:26 PM.

  7. #7
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I use the Core Advantage book, which is a lot more than abs, which is very good. Tom Danielson says he does one of those workouts every day. If you recover like a pro, you probably can too. I do an average of 3/week. All the silly little pains I used to have, like old-age back pain, have almost entirely gone away since I've started with it. So 3 is fine for most folks.

    This far into the season is much too late to fool around with starting some weight training program. Think about that in October. You can start a core program any time.

  8. #8
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    Also, you can train every day if you want to. Keep your calories high and relax a lot and you'll acclimatize to it pretty quickly. Usually takes me around 2 weeks to be happy at 10 sessions per week or so.
    "It is not the critic who counts."

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    Senior Member bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EthanYQX View Post
    I'd highly suggest a good barbell program like Starting Strength. Don't do the gallon of milk a day thing, that's absurd. You'll train your core as effectively as possible that way.

    This. GOMAD is great for people trying to get big, not so much for a cyclist.

    I very rarely do any "ab" work, its much more effective to just squat and deadlift.

  10. #10
    Senior Member clydeosaur's Avatar
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    I'm in agreeance with some of the words of others. Rather than abs, why not hit core, or better yet, the entire upper body? I do 5 days a week hitting back, chest, arms, shoulders and core. Nothing crazy, about 1/2 hour a day. I do everything from body weight exercises (pull ups, planks, dips, etc...) to barbell & straight bar. I do believe it helps my cycling, at least in comfort & endurance. Not to mention, I'm 41 & not getting younger. We do loose muscle / density over time.

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    Senior Member bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    ^ I agree.

    Strength training is going to help you stay healthy, improve discipline, confidence, etc and that can make anyone a better cyclist.
    It also gives you an opportunity to correct some muscle imbalances, we spend a lot of time kind of rounded over, so the upper back work is never a bad idea.

  12. #12
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    And it will be short lifting sessions that are easy to recover from, as long as you don't add a bunch of dumb stuff like I keep doing for some reason.
    "It is not the critic who counts."

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    Senior Member bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    I've actually noticed pretty decent results from the short sessions. I used to train for an hour or more and my bench numbers never really went anywhere. I've decreased my volume quite a bit lately and I'm making progress.
    A lot of people overdo it, and if you can't recover from your workouts, they aren't really benefiting you much.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I've been working my way through the Core Advantage book, starting last fall and devoting about a month to each successive workout. Yesterday I started Level III, the final level. Workout 2 kicked my butt. I couldn't complete it and I'm still sore. I thought my hip flexors were pretty strong. I guess not. I'll need a couple days to recover, so maybe 2-3 a week until I can complete it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
    How many times a week would be good enough to train the core?
    How many days are in a week? Then maybe add some weight 1-2 days a week.

  16. #16
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmontgomery87 View Post
    This. GOMAD is great for people trying to get big, not so much for a cyclist.

    I very rarely do any "ab" work, its much more effective to just squat and deadlift.
    GOMAD is absurd on the face of it IMHO. I don't see a reason to pack weight on like that, that quickly. If you need the calories to recover, fine, but drinking a gallon of whole milk a day because Rip says you need to weigh 200lbs is kinda out there to me.
    "It is not the critic who counts."

  17. #17
    Senior Member bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EthanYQX View Post
    GOMAD is absurd on the face of it IMHO. I don't see a reason to pack weight on like that, that quickly. If you need the calories to recover, fine, but drinking a gallon of whole milk a day because Rip says you need to weigh 200lbs is kinda out there to me.
    yes and no

    if you're a 140 pound high schooler who wants to be a running back or linebacker and you have 8 months of offseason to put on 30-40 pounds, it's valid.
    If you want to start powerlifting and need to fill out a weight class, or go up a class, or get stronger in a short amount of time (I put 200 pounds on my total in under a year and gained 30 pounds) then it's also a valid idea.


    Ripp is a jackass and his idea that you need to weight 200 pounds is absurd. Lots of guys under 200 are wayyy stronger than he ever was.
    If you're concerned about health or endurance or ride a bike, it's an awful idea. I wouldn't do it again, but I can appreciate it's use for strength sports.

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    There should be proper cardio and abs workout plan for the weight control and fitness purposes.
    You should do cardio and abs exercises at least 4 times a week to maintain your fitness level and enhance your stamina for the riding.
    Last edited by Vernon008; 05-27-14 at 01:27 AM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member elcruxio's Avatar
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    I try to do 3 gym sessions per week. I usually don't do abs per se but I do a lot of kettlebell and body weight stuff which is good for the core. Then again I should try to incorporate an abs/lower back set in there somewhere. I just hate abs so much. Everything else is fun and gets the good kind of pain and pump going but abs/lower back just make me want to puke...

  20. #20
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmontgomery87 View Post
    yes and no

    if you're a 140 pound high schooler who wants to be a running back or linebacker and you have 8 months of offseason to put on 30-40 pounds, it's valid.
    If you want to start powerlifting and need to fill out a weight class, or go up a class, or get stronger in a short amount of time (I put 200 pounds on my total in under a year and gained 30 pounds) then it's also a valid idea.


    Ripp is a jackass and his idea that you need to weight 200 pounds is absurd. Lots of guys under 200 are wayyy stronger than he ever was.
    If you're concerned about health or endurance or ride a bike, it's an awful idea. I wouldn't do it again, but I can appreciate it's use for strength sports.
    True enough. Although I did the fast bulk thing and I'm still trying to fix it...I need to be 175ish and lift as a 181 ideally. 10 or so lbs away from that right now.
    "It is not the critic who counts."

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    +1 on the comments about full-body exercises. In particular if you incorporate balance work within the sessions, results improve a great deal.

    in terms of frequency? IMO you should look more to what else you do that day - one day hard / one day easy seems an easy rule of thumb.

    You may want to think about what your goals are - general fitness, tri training, crits, weight loss, etc. I had better luck subjectively when incorporating workouts into an overall goal. There are tons of good plans that make this easy.

    One recommendation - stay away from crunches or sit-ups! They are the worst thing you can do for your spine, especially when you ride a lot. Planks or hanging knee raises are MUCH more effective and don't put strain on your spinal column.
    Last edited by JCNeumann; 05-26-14 at 05:32 PM.
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    Every day. Abs recover incredibly fast. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    ... and based on "How many times a week for ab workouts?":

    Why limit yourself to only abdominal muscles? I know that conventionally those muscles have been described as 'THE muscles of the back and core'. But, increasingly we are aware that working ALL of the hundreds of muscles of the core (such as with Pilates) provides "better" results (I put "better" in quotes because it really depends on your goals).

    I got a good example of that in my last Pilates class: a woman brought her runner-husband in. He was far and away the most fit of all of us -- he looked like he could step right onto an NFL field and fit right in. But, throughout the class he couldn't keep up with the old ladies in the class: he was grunting and moaning -- and skipping out of exercises early until the teacher finally asked him: "Are we killing you?" to which he sheepishly replied: "I don't suffer in silence!"

    The moral is: conventionally we tend to focus on those major muscle groups that we can see. There are hundreds more that actually do more work that we often don't even think about and we leave to their own best devices -- and 30-40 years later we can no longer stand up straight.
    George, you are so right. Core training is more than the abs, and they need to be trained regularly. As a personal trainer, pilates instructor, cyclist, dance instructor, and (brand new!!!!!) pilates studio owner (!!!!), I can certainly attest to the fact that you can do core training every day. The benefits from it can help increase endurance, decrease or eliminate back pain, maintain your height, help with balance and coordination, and help develop body awareness. I love pilates. I also love seeing how it helps people develop in ways they can't even imagine.

    I rarely get guys coming into pilates. Why? Because (in my opinion), guys are very competitive, and they want to perform and 1) see immediate results and 2) not look weak in front of other women. Seriously. I've been teaching for years, and these are my observations. So now, I'm in the process of developing a pilates for men class. Because I know men want to be worked. If it's easy, then they scoff. But if it's hard and they fail, then they feel like they're being shamed. And that's too bad, because pilates is one of the best ways I can think of (other than something like aerial silk classes (think of Pink on those silk ropes singing and swinging high from the rafters during her Grammy performances- that's some serious core) that can help with developing core strength, as well as loosen up really tight areas, like hip flexors, and strengthen men's weaker areas, such as inner thighs. Men, come into the light!

    Tons of people have taken my classes over the years. When I walk in the room, they assume from my body shape that I'm gonna putz through the class. I don't have the dancer's body. But I can rip people a new one any day of the week, and I will guarantee results with core strengthening if they keep it up. Just because you look fit, doesn't mean you've got the core strength!

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    Pilates was actually first popular in the US with boxers in the 1920s. It is a great workout, and I find it refreshing to be outdone by a class full of women! It reinforces the idea that you always have something to learn.

    Baffles me why more men don't use it.
    2012 CAAD 10 4 / 2011 Masi Speciale Fixed Drop / 2010 Novara Matador MTB / 2008 BMW cruise bike / 1979 Schwinn Varsity (flat handlebar)

  25. #25
    Why not? EthanYQX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCNeumann View Post
    Pilates was actually first popular in the US with boxers in the 1920s. It is a great workout, and I find it refreshing to be outdone by a class full of women! It reinforces the idea that you always have something to learn.

    Baffles me why more men don't use it.
    Its not a good approach to training for an athlete. In fact, it isn't training, it's exercise. It's perfectly fine as exercise, but it's not what the OP or any athlete needs.

    In order to be considered training, it needs a clear objective (in this case, a stronger core), a specific, concrete goal (maybe to squat 250lbs), and a clear and logical progression laid out to get there. Starting Strength offers all of that and more.

    There really isn't a better way to build strength than solid, logical barbell training.
    Last edited by EthanYQX; 05-27-14 at 08:08 PM.
    "It is not the critic who counts."

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