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Looking to put down the weights and ride more. Help!

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Looking to put down the weights and ride more. Help!

Old 10-19-10, 12:54 PM
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Looking to put down the weights and ride more. Help!

I have been lifting weights off and on for the past 10 years or so and I'm trying to get out of it as much as possible so I can get on my bike more. Right now I am lifting 3-4 days a week and only riding twice, if I'm lucky.

Here's the problem: I'm pretty worn out on lifting, but I can't stop. It's probably a bit of an addiction and mental issue. I fear that if I stop, I will lose too much muscle and strength. I guess I'm afraid of getting skinnier. Right now I am 6'5 and 205 lbs (not exactly a beefcake ). If I stop lifting weights, I will surely drop below 200, probably 190 or less. I know it's a mental thing, but I don't want to be a skinny guy again. I was in high school (I'm 31 now) and I hated it.

I've told myself that there's no point to keep a lot of muscle if I want to bike a lot...it's a little counter-productive. I definitely enjoy cycling more right now and envision myself getting out a lot and having fun even over the winter months, but in reality, if I don't break away from the gym it won't happen.

So basically, I know lifting is a bit of a waste for me right now but it's tough to stop. Make sense? Anyone go through a similar phase that could offer any suggestions?
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Old 10-19-10, 01:05 PM
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I got heavily into body building when I was in my early 20's. 5'10" 249lbs. I had one hell of a time stopping and mainly it was because of the change in diet I'd have to go through in order to not turn to a blob. My normal weight is about 185 and it's easy to maintain. As you have already found out, it's going to be a lifetime commitment to stay at the weight you're at currently. It may be best to come to terms with it now verses later.

It's only counter productive if you're racing really. There is nothing wrong with having muscle on your upper body and can be quite beneficial. But having to dedicate a lot of time to it is counter productive to the rest of your life. I switched to doing P90X and have maintained plenty of muscle and got back a lot of time and money because of the lack of gym and the time needed for those workouts.
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Old 10-19-10, 01:13 PM
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I am 53 and have been lifting weights since I was 18 and I know how addicting it can be. However, I am frankly a little burned out on it. I find cycling much more enjoyable than lifting now and am having a harder time motivating myself to lift but do not have any difficulty motivating myself to ride.

I cut my lifting routine back to 3 days per week, Monday is back and abs, Wednesday is arms and abs and Friday is chest shoulders and abs. I don't do legs anymore, I get my leg work outs climbing hills. This schedule allows me to ride three days per week and take Sunday off.

I am no longer concerned with being big. I want to look and feel like an athlete and that is fine with me. A friend from the gym recommended that I try a workout routine called P90X which is a work out program on DVD that is about exercises to reduce body fat and tone up. I might give this a try and may eventually cut out weights completely.

By the way, a good friend of mine from the gym was addicted to being big and strong. Many years ago he held a title for power lifting. His best bench press was 618. As he aged, he lost considerable strength and size and he couldn't take it. He went on a high fat diet and I suppose may have taken steroids to regain his strength. He had a heart attack and it killed him.

I think being big and strong is great but as a person ages, I think having endurance, flexibility and having a strong cardio vascular system is more important.

I would start by cutting your works outs to 3 days per week and do a maintenance type of workout with higher reps and lower weight.

Last edited by Carbon Unit; 10-19-10 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 10-19-10, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by knobster
I got heavily into body building when I was in my early 20's. 5'10" 249lbs. I had one hell of a time stopping and mainly it was because of the change in diet I'd have to go through in order to not turn to a blob. My normal weight is about 185 and it's easy to maintain. As you have already found out, it's going to be a lifetime commitment to stay at the weight you're at currently. It may be best to come to terms with it now verses later.

It's only counter productive if you're racing really. There is nothing wrong with having muscle on your upper body and can be quite beneficial. But having to dedicate a lot of time to it is counter productive to the rest of your life. I switched to doing P90X and have maintained plenty of muscle and got back a lot of time and money because of the lack of gym and the time needed for those workouts.
I am considering giving up on the gym and doing the P90X work out myself. I would like to ask you a few question on it if that is OK. If so, I will send you a private message.
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Old 10-19-10, 01:19 PM
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Could always take up track cycling. Those guys are buff.

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Old 10-19-10, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by liferider
I have been lifting weights off and on for the past 10 years or so and I'm trying to get out of it as much as possible so I can get on my bike more. Right now I am lifting 3-4 days a week and only riding twice, if I'm lucky.

Here's the problem: I'm pretty worn out on lifting, but I can't stop. It's probably a bit of an addiction and mental issue. I fear that if I stop, I will lose too much muscle and strength. I guess I'm afraid of getting skinnier. Right now I am 6'5 and 205 lbs (not exactly a beefcake ). If I stop lifting weights, I will surely drop below 200, probably 190 or less. I know it's a mental thing, but I don't want to be a skinny guy again. I was in high school (I'm 31 now) and I hated it.

I've told myself that there's no point to keep a lot of muscle if I want to bike a lot...it's a little counter-productive. I definitely enjoy cycling more right now and envision myself getting out a lot and having fun even over the winter months, but in reality, if I don't break away from the gym it won't happen.

So basically, I know lifting is a bit of a waste for me right now but it's tough to stop. Make sense? Anyone go through a similar phase that could offer any suggestions?
...and you want to bike more?
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Old 10-19-10, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit
I am considering giving up on the gym and doing the P90X work out myself. I would like to ask you a few question on it if that is OK. If so, I will send you a private message.
Sure, not a problem.
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Old 10-19-10, 01:59 PM
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Ride a bunch and don't worry about it. Even at 6'5" and ~200, you'll still feel like a lard ass after watching some dudes built like Kate Moss fly by you on the climbs.
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Old 10-19-10, 02:23 PM
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Two things:

1. If you don't want to race, then there's no reason to care much about your weight for cycling. Even if you dropped your weightlifting bulk, you'd still be 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds -- a monster compared to all the featherweights who'd crush you in a race anyway. So ride a bike for fun, or fitness, or both, but not for racing.

2. When I finally gave up on a big bench, I switched to kettlebells, which build endurance and explosive strength. Big pecs never helped me for much outside the weight room; wiry strength from kettlebells helps with just about every sport I try, including riding a bike.
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Old 10-19-10, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit

I would start by cutting your works outs to 3 days per week and do a maintenance type of workout with higher reps and lower weight.
This is good advice, I definitely need to stay with higher reps. The problem is I have that "go heavy, get big" mentality and I end up lifting in the 5-8 rep range for a lot of exercises. So I need to break that mentality, which is the tough part.

Originally Posted by joe_5700
...and you want to bike more?
Yep! That's the dilemma!

Originally Posted by celticfrost
Ride a bunch and don't worry about it. Even at 6'5" and ~200, you'll still feel like a lard ass after watching some dudes built like Kate Moss fly by you on the climbs.
Don't worry, I'm used to that!

I did a hilly century with my brother-in-law last year and we are both in comparable shape. However, he was pretty easily outpacing me on the climbs. He is only 2" shorter than me but 45 lbs lighter. I do well when we mountain bike on short, steep, powerful climbs and moderate distance climbs, but long distance road climbs I really fall back on. I love climbing though, good or bad.

Originally Posted by Lanterne Rogue
Two things:

1. If you don't want to race, then there's no reason to care much about your weight for cycling. Even if you dropped your weightlifting bulk, you'd still be 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds -- a monster compared to all the featherweights who'd crush you in a race anyway. So ride a bike for fun, or fitness, or both, but not for racing.

2. When I finally gave up on a big bench, I switched to kettlebells, which build endurance and explosive strength. Big pecs never helped me for much outside the weight room; wiry strength from kettlebells helps with just about every sport I try, including riding a bike.
Yep, I know I'll get crushed, so I have no hopes on racing and winning. I just want to get out on the bike more, get in better cycling shape and not worry about "oh, if I bike today I will have to skip my chest/arms workout" (sounds so dumb doesn't it?)

I have been looking into kettlebells. They seem like a good functional strength workout. I'll have to check out the kettlebell class at my gym and look at some videos online to get started.

Thanks for the advice so far everyone.
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Old 10-19-10, 03:29 PM
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you can still lift and ride just make sure one is easy then the other, likke if your bike ride i sreally hard maybe go a little easy on your lifting. dont not lift, but dont go killing yourself
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Old 10-19-10, 03:31 PM
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Start doing long climbs, you'll see the need to stop lifting. Not because of carrying the extra muscle but the energy burned lifting is a big downer on long climbs.

I lifted for about ten years. If you lift like you say, your body won't forget. I stopped lifting when I started longer mileage on the bike. When I quit lifitng, I was benching 320. I thought I was toast as far as lifitng but when I did go back to the gym (dragged by my daughter wanting to workout) within a month I benched 330. I don't know how I dveloped strength in lifitng from riding but it happened. Well yeah, I can understand in a way.

But if you lift like you say, I think your body will respond quickly if you ever decide to take up lifting again."thumb"
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Old 10-19-10, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by liferider
I have been looking into kettlebells. They seem like a good functional strength workout. I'll have to check out the kettlebell class at my gym and look at some videos online to get started.
Here's a pretty good kettlebell video, as long as you consider that the guy teaching it is a mutant.
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Old 10-19-10, 03:55 PM
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To my one-time personal strength coach's (my son) chagrin, I have flipped to riding primarily and strength training a whole lot less. Basically, I am currently on a one day a week, but intense, chinups, pullups, and dips upper body regimen, which is fine for maintaining upper body fitness since I spend most of my available time for exercise on my bike. As a matter of fact the wife just gifted me a really nice dip bar for my birthday last month. This is the same routine I went on due to an injury a little over ten years ago when I lifted 4 days a week and was carrying about 25 more lbs. of muscle. The doctor begrudgingly allowed me to limit workouts to chins, pulls and dips. Gains were substantial enough that each has been a staple ever since.

At 6'5" and 205 you are not too big (certainly tall, but not big by lifting standards). I'd bet that if you did this routine with intensity twice a week you'd maintain an athletic upper body, though cycling lots is invariably gonna lean you up. My son now clowns me for my "skinny cyclist arms." To which I laugh right along with him knowing that, at 51, I'm in great shape.
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Old 10-19-10, 04:27 PM
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I went through a similar mindset. It's tough to give up the body image you have of yourself. But once you do, and don't really care about that image, you can start doing what you really enjoy doing the most. Pretty liberating not feeling 'obligated' to lift just for the body image..
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Old 10-19-10, 07:32 PM
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^^^+1

I used to be obsessed with Crossfit, and I had the body image to match. But since I've "liberated" myself, and just to what I enjoy, I'm much happier. I mean, why go to some stinky gym when its beautiful outside and I can ride my bike.

Sure, my arms are starting to look like Andy Schleck's, but who cares - I'm healthy and happy, and prefer it far more than veiny arms and a six pack.
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Old 10-19-10, 07:43 PM
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Counseling and therapy can help you overcome your body issues.
Seriously. I've been writing health and fitness stories since the '70s, and a lot of us (me included, for awhile) have problems with this. If it keeps you from doing what you want to do, it needs attention.
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Old 10-19-10, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by brbbiking
I went through a similar mindset. It's tough to give up the body image you have of yourself. But once you do, and don't really care about that image, you can start doing what you really enjoy doing the most. Pretty liberating not feeling 'obligated' to lift just for the body image..
Nicely put.

Great thread as well. I have been dealing with the same issue. My first "season" on a bike and I am down 15-20 lbs.
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Old 10-20-10, 04:48 AM
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I was in the same boat as you. Bodybuilding all the way for many years. Built a great lean and strong base.

Now I ride twice a week, and do one or two full body workouts of 30 mins a week.

My workouts comprise the following:

- Pull-ups/Chin-ups
- Deadlifts
- Squats
- Dips
- Shoulder DB Press

Works wonders. Haven't lost weight or strength.
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Old 10-20-10, 08:02 AM
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Back off lifting to 2-3 times a week. Do full body routines so you hit everything twice a week (or three times a week). I presume right now you are probably doing a split.

Hitting everything twice a week should keep you in good shape. Then ride 3-4 times a week. Watch your nutrition, get plenty of protein and lots of carbs.

I lift 3x/week and cycle 3x/week (plus commuting to/from work daily) for a total of 100-150 miles/week, and it hasn't affected my lifting much other than needing to eat like it ...

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Old 10-20-10, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by philski
Back off lifting to 2-3 times a week. Do full body routines so you hit everything twice a week (or three times a week). I presume right now you are probably doing a split.

Hitting everything twice a week should keep you in good shape. Then ride 3-4 times a week. Watch your nutrition, get plenty of protein and lots of carbs.

I lift 3x/week and cycle 3x/week (plus commuting to/from work daily) for a total of 100-150 miles/week, and it hasn't affected my lifting much other than needing to eat like it ...

philip
This.
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Old 10-20-10, 08:20 AM
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I lifted forever..could bench 435, big guns, the whole routine...I started riding 3 years ago and have stopped lifting completely. I never thought that was possible..My legs and calfs are in better shape than ever, lost tons of extra fat, in way better cardio shape, and did not lose as much upper body and arm tone as one might think. Was surpised actually. I have a nice gym in my house and have tried to mix in a little weight training, but I'm just not able to stick to it. Also towards the end of my weight trainig I learned that more isn't always bette,r when it comes to lifting. Cut your weight trainig down to twice a week, doing just upper body and pedal like crazy, for the waist down. Give it two months and I promise you will be in better shape and will have lost nothing.
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Old 10-20-10, 08:25 AM
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I would throw a leg workout in once a week. I have lifted forever but neglected legs. When I dd lift legs my cycling improved. I am cutting back on the upper body stuff like you suggest and adding a leg day.
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Old 10-20-10, 08:31 AM
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I've been there as well (early 20s). I think I went too far in the gym and as a result of anaerobic exercise my blood pressure kept rising and pulse went up. I don't remember exactly how high it was, but it was a shock for me. Then one summer I started road cycling more seriously. Initially I figured I would do it just once-twice a week to put some aerobic in to the schedule. Well, half a year later I couldn't force myself into the gym any more...The freedom on the bike and fresh air are just unparalleled. Plus, when you climb somewhere, where you haven't been before, you'll really feel that you have achieved smth.

+1 to brbking
I have a chuckle at the guys standing in front of the mirrors in the local gym as I ride past it every other day ;-)
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Old 10-20-10, 08:34 AM
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if you have a proper strength routine and as addicted as you say, you will maintain all of your strength with a 2 day a week workout. You probably will lose a few lbs but if your nutrition is on point, you won't lose that in muscle.

I think guys are selling you short saying your still 205 and will always get smoked. Yes, you probably won't beat anyone on the climbs but I know how strong my legs are at 6'3 235. If I shed 25 lbs I'm still 210 but I know guys would be in deep **** against me on flats and downhills. You get yourself on a properly fit bike and get those legs strong and you can surprise some people, your not really heavy at all.

BTW, I understand what you mean about not wanting to get super skinny like you used to be but 1. your 6'5" you border on freak of nature status already simply for being that tall regardless of whether your 180lbs or 250lbs
2. chicks dig tall guys and would rather a guy too tall than too short, you'll be last on the climbs, but first with the chicks
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