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Any old guys here doing strength training?

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Any old guys here doing strength training?

Old 01-02-23, 09:17 PM
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Been weight lifting since '79. Used to do 2x a week upper body and 2x lower body, but for the last 15 years or so 3x a week mix of both. I do more on nautilus machine now as I find it less likely to get joint pain. Fortunately I have access to base gyms, currently on Schofield Barracks with the 25th ID and working out along side the young troops is motivating. I have plenty of running event tee shirts from before these guys and gals were born to wear.

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Old 01-02-23, 09:47 PM
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I used to do all barbells at the gym: Deadlift, squat, rows, bench press and overhead shoulder press.

Then Covid hit and lockdown had me fixing my incomplete spinlock dumbells and fixing my bowflex adjustible dumbbells.

So all those barbell exercises turned into dumbbell exercises AND various youtube videos explained how at my age, I needed to work to failure with light weights (15 rep range).

When the gym reopened, I went back to deadlifts and barbell squats but kept the dumbbells on those other exercises. But eventhough I tire myself out with the deadlift and squat, I never felt my legs had ever been stressed enough. I never ever felt the muscle twitching or doms on my legs the way I get them on my pecs or triceps etc with dumbbells.

So my leg exercises are now on machines: leg curl and leg press. I can really work them hard to 15 reps ( sometimes to 20 just to see if I'm ready to move up in weight) and get my legs feeling like noodles and almost shaking when I walk away.

And now when I climb up hills, I can feel the contribution by my hamstrings and glutes.

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Old 01-04-23, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4
I used to do all barbells at the gym: Deadlift, squat, rows, bench press and overhead shoulder press.

Then Covid hit and lockdown had me fixing my incomplete spinlock dumbells and fixing my bowflex adjustible dumbbells.

So all those barbell exercises turned into dumbbell exercises AND various youtube videos explained how at my age, I needed to work to failure with light weights (15 rep range).

When the gym reopened, I went back to deadlifts and barbell squats but kept the dumbbells on those other exercises. But eventhough I tire myself out with the deadlift and squat, I never felt my legs had ever been stressed enough. I never ever felt the muscle twitching or doms on my legs the way I get them on my pecs or triceps etc with dumbbells.

So my leg exercises are now on machines: leg curl and leg press. I can really work them hard to 15 reps ( sometimes to 20 just to see if I'm ready to move up in weight) and get my legs feeling like noodles and almost shaking when I walk away.

And now when I climb up hills, I can feel the contribution by my hamstrings and glutes.
Yeah, with the barbell you gotta use more weight. Deadlifting, it's not a big issue as long as your form is good. You can either get if off the floor or you can't. If you can get it off the floor, then it's just how many reps until you can't anymore, say a max of 12, but usually fewer. 12 heavy deadlifts should blow your aerobics away. Squatting for real should only be done in a proper squat rack, a cage, because the idea again is that you squat until you can't or more realistically until on that last rep your legs are shaking so violently as you slowly and painfully come up that you can tell you don't have another rep in you. One can start doing squats and deads for 12 reps, but then gradually increase weight until you're down to 10, then 8, then 6, then 4 is the max you can do - that's over a period of say 6 months. The great thing about the deadlift and squat is that they load your spine as well as the rest of your skeleton. More bone density is good.

In the squat rack, you want to set the safety bar high enough that you realistically can drop the bar onto it when you/'re all the way down.
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Old 01-04-23, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Yeah, with the barbell you gotta use more weight. Deadlifting, it's not a big issue as long as your form is good. You can either get if off the floor or you can't. If you can get it off the floor, then it's just how many reps until you can't anymore, say a max of 12, but usually fewer. 12 heavy deadlifts should blow your aerobics away. Squatting for real should only be done in a proper squat rack, a cage, because the idea again is that you squat until you can't or more realistically until on that last rep your legs are shaking so violently as you slowly and painfully come up that you can tell you don't have another rep in you. One can start doing squats and deads for 12 reps, but then gradually increase weight until you're down to 10, then 8, then 6, then 4 is the max you can do - that's over a period of say 6 months. The great thing about the deadlift and squat is that they load your spine as well as the rest of your skeleton. More bone density is good.

In the squat rack, you want to set the safety bar high enough that you realistically can drop the bar onto it when you/'re all the way down.
That's certainly the classic approach and might be good for very experienced people, but I have heard that "failure" is relative and not a requirement for building strength. I stop as soon as I feel my form deteriorating, at which point I could probably get another rep or two out. I'll happily sacrifice some incremental gains for safety.
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Old 01-04-23, 12:56 PM
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How old does one have to be to chime in on this? I'm 58 and sure I left weights. Also ... I'm not a guy. Is that OK for purposes of this discussion?
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Old 01-04-23, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyItsSara
How old does one have to be to chime in on this? I'm 58 and sure I left weights. Also ... I'm not a guy. Is that OK for purposes of this discussion?
50+ is the age “suggestion” and we need women posting on bike forums for their perspective - so welcome.

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Old 01-04-23, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
That's certainly the classic approach and might be good for very experienced people, but I have heard that "failure" is relative and not a requirement for building strength. I stop as soon as I feel my form deteriorating, at which point I could probably get another rep or two out. I'll happily sacrifice some incremental gains for safety.
One certainly does have to keep their form together. I call form deterioration "failure". A good reason for that is that one can move more weight with good form than with bad. There are many subsidiary muscles involved in holding good form, and we certainly don't want any of those to stop contributing - and if they do, well then that's failure. They failed.

I see so many cheaters and already-failed people working out at the gym - mostly men. It's like the amount of weight has some meaning. It doesn't. Only form has meaning. For the most part, women get that. Maybe they're just more stylish. As Style Man used to say, "Style is pain."

Beyond that, reaching failure is kinda the point, meaning that only at failure have all your muscle fibers been able to contract together to do the work, so it's a point of neuromuscular failure. That's the reason that one's max goes up so quickly when one starts a new program. Our bodies solve the problem of getting our nerves to find our muscles fairly quickly, maybe in as little as 6 weeks. Then boom, our advance slows greatly. The only way to get stronger then is to gain size or gain endurance. Most of us don't really want to gain size, so we don't increase calories. But very slowly, the amount we can lift with our skinny bods keeps going up. I don't know why though. Maybe we stay the same size because we're losing internal muscle fat and becoming more cut.

It used to be that at that neuromuscular sweet spot, many riders would start to do high rep sets to increase endurance. They'd still rep to failure to maintain that neuromuscular conditioning. That's fallen out of favor now because it robs too much energy which could be better spent on the bike doing the same thing. Climbing OOS until you can't anymore is a lot more fun and more useful. So now they drop the strength reps to 4 instead of increasing them and put in the extra time on the bike.
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Old 01-04-23, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
One certainly does have to keep their form together. I call form deterioration "failure". A good reason for that is that one can move more weight with good form than with bad. There are many subsidiary muscles involved in holding good form, and we certainly don't want any of those to stop contributing - and if they do, well then that's failure. They failed.

I see so many cheaters and already-failed people working out at the gym - mostly men. It's like the amount of weight has some meaning. It doesn't. Only form has meaning. For the most part, women get that. Maybe they're just more stylish. As Style Man used to say, "Style is pain."

Beyond that, reaching failure is kinda the point, meaning that only at failure have all your muscle fibers been able to contract together to do the work, so it's a point of neuromuscular failure. That's the reason that one's max goes up so quickly when one starts a new program. Our bodies solve the problem of getting our nerves to find our muscles fairly quickly, maybe in as little as 6 weeks. Then boom, our advance slows greatly. The only way to get stronger then is to gain size or gain endurance. Most of us don't really want to gain size, so we don't increase calories. But very slowly, the amount we can lift with our skinny bods keeps going up. I don't know why though. Maybe we stay the same size because we're losing internal muscle fat and becoming more cut.

It used to be that at that neuromuscular sweet spot, many riders would start to do high rep sets to increase endurance. They'd still rep to failure to maintain that neuromuscular conditioning. That's fallen out of favor now because it robs too much energy which could be better spent on the bike doing the same thing. Climbing OOS until you can't anymore is a lot more fun and more useful. So now they drop the strength reps to 4 instead of increasing them and put in the extra time on the bike.
I guess I have a physiologist's view of failure, i.e., inability of a single muscle to generate a given force. As you know, that's a central nervous system thing, because at that point the muscle remains almost normally excitable to nerve stimulation and the response to transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex is decreased. Although the central nervous system is being trained in weight lifting, it always seemed to me that the main reason for doing it was to improve intrinsic muscle strength and "failure" seems unrelated to that goal.
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Old 01-04-23, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
I guess I have a physiologist's view of failure, i.e., inability of a single muscle to generate a given force. As you know, that's a central nervous system thing, because at that point the muscle remains almost normally excitable to nerve stimulation and the response to transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex is decreased. Although the central nervous system is being trained in weight lifting, it always seemed to me that the main reason for doing it was to improve intrinsic muscle strength and "failure" seems unrelated to that goal.
I dunno. I'm not a physiologist. I just know what the culture says, which goes something like this:

When we use our muscles to move something, only the number of motor units necessary to do the moving are contracted. That's supposedly a principle of bodily efficiency. As we do reps, the original motor units doing the moving get tired and thus new motor units have to be recruited because we're stubborn and aren't going to quit just because our muscles got a little tired. At failure, supposedly all our motor units are being contracted. But maybe not . . . The theory is that, over time, our nervous system continues to respond by contracting more and more motor units and this is the reason that progress is so fast starting out and then plateaus.

So is my italicized summary above correct? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-04-23, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I dunno. I'm not a physiologist. I just know what the culture says, which goes something like this:

When we use our muscles to move something, only the number of motor units necessary to do the moving are contracted. That's supposedly a principle of bodily efficiency. As we do reps, the original motor units doing the moving get tired and thus new motor units have to be recruited because we're stubborn and aren't going to quit just because our muscles got a little tired. At failure, supposedly all our motor units are being contracted. But maybe not . . . The theory is that, over time, our nervous system continues to respond by contracting more and more motor units and this is the reason that progress is so fast starting out and then plateaus.

So is my italicized summary above correct? Thanks in advance.
It's been a very long time since I gave any thought to that end of the motor system, but here's what I know: When you recruit all the motor units in a muscle, that is known as a maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). An MVC is actually very hard to produce and can only be held for few seconds. We know it's an MVC when we can shock the motor nerve to the muscle at a supramaximal intensity and not produce a twitch visible above the background electromyographic activity recorded from the muscle or, of course, a mechanical twitch.

Once there's any fatigue at all, the MVC becomes impossible and you can see the "interpolated twitch" when you shock the nerve, meaning that there are motor units which can no longer be recruited voluntarily, but are still available to nerve stimulation. All this was found in landmark studies from the 1960s on fatigue by Brenda Bigland Ritchie and others.

At the point of muscle failure, we are unable to recruit enough units to do the job.
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Old 01-04-23, 08:36 PM
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All I have to do is lift my steel bikes and hold them up for a minute, a few times a day. LOL
Plus chopping and chucking snow in the winter.
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Old 01-05-23, 12:14 PM
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Digging a little deeper into this strength training business, how about the notion of strength training for endurance?

Can we strength train our legs to make them more resistant to fatigue? If we can, I would like some of that, please. Who wouldn't want more fatigue-resistant legs?

Those slow-twitch, type I muscle fibers are supposed to be the fatigue-resistant ones, but it seems they're resistant to growing bigger.

Not much research on how to grow type I muscle, but I found one study that compared a low-intensity (50% of one-rep maximum load) workout, to a high-intensity (80-85% of one-rep maximum load) workout. They discovered that the low-intensity workout increased type I muscle fibers more than the high-intensity workout. That's pretty great, no?

Optimization of training: development of a new partial load mode of strength training

Abstract

Hypertrophic effect of strength training is known to originate from mechanical and metabolic stimuli. During exercise with restricted blood supply of working muscles, that is under conditions of intensified metabolic shifts, training effect may be achieved with much lower external loads (20% of one repetition maximum (1 RM)). The aim of the study was to compare the effects of 8 wks high-intensity (80-85% MVC) strength training and low-intensity (50% 1 RM) training without relaxation. The high-intensity strength training leads to somewhat higher increments in strength and size of trained muscles than training without relaxation. During high-intensity training an increase of area occupied by type II fibers at muscle cross section prevails while during [low-intensity] training without relaxation - an increase of area occupied by type I fibers takes place. An exercise session without relaxation leads to a more pronounced increase in secretion of growth hormone, IGF-1 and cortisol. Expression of gene regulating myogenesis (Myostatin) is changed in different ways after high-intensity strength exercise session and after exercise session without relaxation. Low-intensity strength training (50% 1 RM) without relaxation is an effective way for inducing increases of strength and size of trained muscles. This low intensive type of training may be used in restorative medicine, sports and physical culture.

Vinogradova et al, Optimization of training: development of a new partial load mode of strength training, Fiziol Cheloveka, 2013 (Article in Russian)
OK, I found another study that found a low-intensity workout (25% of max) produced more type I fiber growth than a medium-intensity workout (65% of max), which produced more type I fiber growth than a high-intensity workout (85% of max).

Responses of knee extensor muscles to leg press training of various types in human

Abstract

Responses of m. vastus lateralis to 8-week resistive training of various types at leg press mashine were investigated in 30 male subjects. Training loads were 25, 65 and 85% of one repetition maximum for low (LI), medium (MI), and high intensity (HI) training groups respectively, while angular velocities of contraction differed considerably between groups. The total work done during training session was identical. The maximum strengths during isokinetic knee extension in LI and HI groups were increased at most angular velocities. In group MI increments were obtained only during concentric contractions. Significant improvement of fatigue resistance and maximum oxygen consumption (V(O2max)) was seen only in group MI and LI, respectively. The training-related increase of cross-sectional area in type II fibers in m. vastus lateralis was in the order of HI > MI > LI group, and that of type I fibers was opposite [LI > MI > HI]. The increased myonuclear number was found for HI group. The data suggest that fiber hypertrophy, fatigue resistance and V(O2max) changes were related to the type of training.

Netreba A, Popov D, Bravyy Y, Lyubaeva E, Terada M, Ohira T, Okabe H, Vinogradova O, Ohira Y. Responses of knee extensor muscles to leg press training of various types in human. Ross Fiziol Zh Im I M Sechenova. 2013 Mar;99(3):406-16. PMID: 23789443.
Increased type I fiber growth, fatigue resistance, and VO2Max? Yes, please.
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Old 01-05-23, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Digging a little deeper into this strength training business, how about the notion of strength training for endurance?

Can we strength train our legs to make them more resistant to fatigue? If we can, I would like some of that, please. Who wouldn't want more fatigue-resistant legs?

Those slow-twitch, type I muscle fibers are supposed to be the fatigue-resistant ones, but it seems they're resistant to growing bigger.

Not much research on how to grow type I muscle, but I found one study that compared a low-intensity (50% of one-rep maximum load) workout, to a high-intensity (80-85% of one-rep maximum load) workout. They discovered that the low-intensity workout increased type I muscle fibers more than the high-intensity workout. That's pretty great, no?



OK, I found another study that found a low-intensity workout (25% of max) produced more type I fiber growth than a medium-intensity workout (65% of max), which produced more type I fiber growth than a high-intensity workout (85% of max).



Increased type I fiber growth, fatigue resistance, and VO2Max? Yes, please.
A nice easy ride is the ultimate low load/high rep workout.
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Old 01-05-23, 01:04 PM
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terrymorse It is a great question to ask…how to do strength training for endurance. Or ask, once I have a goal in mind for cycling, how can I add strength training to optimize my performance.

I have been trying to make strength training operational and optimized to support my cycling. It seems like a fools errand. I can definitely increase my strength in the gym. And stronger muscles seem more fatigue resistant. And, I do not want to lose general strength due to aging.

I think studies are pretty useless and knock yourself out trying to put them into practice.

I have used personal trainers at the gym and observed their workouts they do themselves and what they prescribe for other clients - interesting and I always learn something.

There are two different types of strength training - power lifting and body building / fitness. Power lifting is about increasing the myofibril content of the muscle fiber. The more myofibril content, the stronger the muscle. Increasing myofibril content is about heavy lift I.e. 1 max efforts. As the myofibril content increases, muscles get larger and stronger. Then there is sarcoplasmic increase. Myofibril fibers are surrounded by sarcoplasmic fluid. Embedded in the sarcoplasmic fluid is mitochondria. To increase sarcoplasmic fluid one must do more repetitions and sets. Muscles get ever larger with more facility to support myofibril contractions - more reps.

Taking that very simplistic model, and BTW you can search myofibril and sarcoplasmic terms and find a host of information, diagrams and studies, one can vary workouts to favor increasing muscle size, weight, strength and endurance. And then of course there is the different muscle types - slow twitch and fast twitch and those that can become either.

So a slow twitch muscle can be trained with more repetitions and greater strength increasing sarcoplasmic content and potentially, mitochondria density. And that potential is about genetics.


I find it very complicated to figure out an optimization routine. My conclusion is: myofibril content increase is good and sarcoplasmic increase is good as well and can be gained on the bike. That biases the strength workout to lower reps and higher weight leaning toward power lifting routines. The downside is heavier weight increases the chance of injury.

I am very careful with dead lifts and back squats. I use a target for back squats that a personal trainer set up for me. I lower the weight until my butt hits the target - no lower. My goal is one set of 6 reps with a weight such that 3 additional reps would put me at failure. I build to that optimum weight with lower weight warmup sets. I am very careful not to overcook too many reps and sets. The same is true for other exercises.

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Old 01-07-23, 06:56 AM
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Don't know about the old guys, but this old lady does some strength training.

Hauled about 400 kg of rock today. Does that count?
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Old 01-07-23, 02:17 PM
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Planet fitness $10...month is best deal

I go 2 times week maybe...to do light weights for strength and stretch 15 mins..i use treadmill if unable or willing to ride. Helps me to feel OK. For springtime.
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Old 01-07-23, 02:47 PM
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Old 01-09-23, 03:58 PM
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I wouldn't call this formal strength training, but I've been drafted to go out walking with my wife, 2 to 3 miles every two days. While I'm not as fast as she is now, I want to combine it with some weight work, so a time of two I've combined it with rucksacking, 8# of management textbooks in an old Eddie Bauer daypack. So far so good, a little muscle fatigue around my shoulders. I'm thinking of doing this for two weeks and then taking stock. Walking always seems to help my legs swing freely, so it does feel good. It also improves my balance by strengthening my lower legs and feet. If I can also program my bone mass not to deteriorate quite so soon, so much the better!

My questions: Who else has tried rucksacking, and what were the results? Any particular or typical negative effects? Any physiological conditions which would argue for or against teh practice? Any academic articles or other literature which talk about doing this and benefitting from adding this to a conditioning program?

I'm 69 now, wanting to return to indoor cycling, testing an old soft/supple Brooks Professional Select. Good, but still trying to dial in the saddle height.
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Old 01-09-23, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan
I wouldn't call this formal strength training, but I've been drafted to go out walking with my wife, 2 to 3 miles every two days. While I'm not as fast as she is now, I want to combine it with some weight work, so a time of two I've combined it with rucksacking, 8# of management textbooks in an old Eddie Bauer daypack. So far so good, a little muscle fatigue around my shoulders. I'm thinking of doing this for two weeks and then taking stock. Walking always seems to help my legs swing freely, so it does feel good. It also improves my balance by strengthening my lower legs and feet. If I can also program my bone mass not to deteriorate quite so soon, so much the better!

My questions: Who else has tried rucksacking, and what were the results? Any particular or typical negative effects? Any physiological conditions which would argue for or against teh practice? Any academic articles or other literature which talk about doing this and benefitting from adding this to a conditioning program?

I'm 69 now, wanting to return to indoor cycling, testing an old soft/supple Brooks Professional Select. Good, but still trying to dial in the saddle height.
Kudos for getting out there with your wife! It's more fun to play with someone else. We've done several different walking things. We have a 2.7 mile, 350' loop through our neighborhood which we frequently walk, sometimes extending it to 4 or 5 miles. We try to average about 3 mph, though I can average 4 solo. We try to do that once a week, cross training. We push the pace the whole way.

In summer when it's not raining, we try to do a hike in the local mountains every Monday, say 7 miles, 2500'. I carry a 20 lb. pack, my wife just a 2 liter Camelbak. Doing those walks is good training for the summer hiking. Every fall for the past 45 years, we've done a 10-day unsupported backpack in the Cascades or Olympics. One of those was our honeymoon.

So, what good does that do? There are so many muscles the cycling simply doesn't touch. Plus we are constructed to walk long distances. We are endurance hunters, so running, too. But we're too old to have fun running anymore, so we just walk and hike.

Two weeks will be a good start, but you won't see substantial gains for a couple months. Our practice has been to start getting ready for next summer in October. We try to walk or ride or go to the gym at least 5 days/week. Two are gym days and we often will hit the gym in the morning and then walk or ride in the afternoon. We start with light weights and easy workouts in October and gradually get to doing heavy weights and intervals by February. Going to the gym, we do upper and lower bdy work, so don't bother with rucksacks on our walks. We'll do fine with packs by the time summer comes around, plus we need to have good upper body conditioning just to stay comfortable on the bike - we only ride outdoors on our tandem.

That's all more than a lot of people want to do, but we are rather addicted to feeling strong, so we take the time and make the effort. It's worked out for us. It doesn't matter how fast one is, only that one does it.
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Old 01-10-23, 07:23 AM
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If you have access to a gym, do it all within reason. Swim, yoga, strength training, etc. Crosstrain as much as you can. It might make you slower overall on the bike, but your body and health will be better. Yoga, pilates, etc. are great to go with the weight training.
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Old 01-10-23, 07:32 AM
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Don't have rollers or a bike trainer at home but belong to a gym with plenty of machines and weights for a workout. Plus have a Soloflex, hand weights, and a nice treadmill, at home. Never gave it much thought, guess it all just became part of a routine.
This. If you grew up playing the traditional sports, it's pretty much ingrained into your life.
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Old 01-12-23, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Don't know about the old guys, but this old lady does some strength training.

Hauled about 400 kg of rock today. Does that count?
Naaawwww, Waayyy too WIMPY! GGrrrr!

Glad to see you're still kicking around here!

Working as a landscaper?
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Old 01-12-23, 09:29 AM
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wow you guys know a lot! when I was undergoing a body transformation 2005-2010 I became very interested in all the precision, because I was so determined. some might say obsessed. but i was 50 yrs old & the work I needed to do required that kind of dedication

I think I kept up with this thread for a while but then some of the info lost me. probably because I'm not so focused anymore. but I remember nutrition & nutrition timing was critical to any weight training gains. meaning they go hand in hand
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Old 01-12-23, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan
rucksacking
as in weighted walking? I saw a guy at my gym a cpl years ago wearing a weighted vest. scared the heck out of me. thought he was wearing something different. eek!
but in my area it's not uncommon to see ppl walking with packs of various sizes (for exercise)
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Old 01-12-23, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
So what kind of Winter strength training do Bike Forums old guys (all genders) do?
None. Absolutely zero.

Since it's the time of year we spend more time indoors than outdoors, I've been thinking about doing some full body strength training.
Who is we?

I spend the same amount of time outdoors in the winter as I do in the summer. Snowshoe, fatbike and ice fishing. And if I can't do one of those things then I do the ellipitical and spin bike at the gym followed by a nice long session in the sauna.
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