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Road cycling and weightlifting. Advice appreciated!

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Road cycling and weightlifting. Advice appreciated!

Old 02-26-13, 07:41 AM
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Road cycling and weightlifting. Advice appreciated!

Hey, folks! It's been a LOOOOONG time since I've been here; glad to see some familiar names still posting on here.

I'm going into my six year on the saddle but have also begun weight training pretty seriously late last year. I have been following the Starting Strength programme to, mostly, a tee and am very happy with the gains I've been making.

I also plan on riding hundreds of miles this season as usual, including a few organised centuries. Since the quad and calf muscles are stressed pretty highly in these rides, I fear that this will prevent me from being able to improve on my squat, a fundamental exercise in my aforementioned weightlifting programme. I would like to continue lifting during my riding season so I can prevent my upper body from atrophying. I understand and accept the fact that the additional weight might slow me down somewhat on the climbs.

My question is this: How can I balance the two activities as to prevent one from affecting the other?

Thanks in advance, folks!

Carlos
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Old 02-26-13, 08:52 AM
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Lifting weights doesnt necessarily make you bigger. Eating calories and protein do along with heavy lifting. There are certain routines that can keep you toned but not huge.


Continue lifting while riding just do it less often and with lighter weights as sort of a maintainence routine depending on how much you ride.


If I wanted to do a intense lifitng day though I would follow it with easy riding for 1 or 2 days and then back to harder riding once you've recovered. You can probably hit the upper body days as usual, just don't over do it on the legs. And don't neglect the core!

Really its up to you how to balance the two by listening to your body.
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Old 02-26-13, 09:13 AM
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I did a lot of reading on beginner lifting programs last year, as I was starting out lifting in the gym myself. I was on starting strength for a while, but switched to Allpros given that it seems to allow for more cardio activity. SS is a great program, but from what I understand, excess cardio like you are describing can hinder gains on SS. I'd pick up Mark Rippetoe's book Starting Strength if you haven't already, and go read some of the stickies on the bodybuilding forum.
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Old 02-26-13, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
Hey, folks! It's been a LOOOOONG time since I've been here; glad to see some familiar names still posting on here.

I'm going into my six year on the saddle but have also begun weight training pretty seriously late last year. I have been following the Starting Strength programme to, mostly, a tee and am very happy with the gains I've been making.

I also plan on riding hundreds of miles this season as usual, including a few organised centuries. Since the quad and calf muscles are stressed pretty highly in these rides, I fear that this will prevent me from being able to improve on my squat, a fundamental exercise in my aforementioned weightlifting programme. I would like to continue lifting during my riding season so I can prevent my upper body from atrophying. I understand and accept the fact that the additional weight might slow me down somewhat on the climbs.

My question is this: How can I balance the two activities as to prevent one from affecting the other?

Thanks in advance, folks!

Carlos
Here is my take and programs when it comes to weight lifting and cycling. Read Cycling Strength Series Part 1 - Core Strength, where I cover balancing it all, and i give a nice introduction as well.
https://www.thetallcyclist.com/tag/strength-series/

Here I discuss some of the myths associated with weightlifting and cycling (gaining weight, etc.)
https://www.thetallcyclist.com/2013/0...g-and-cycling/

In addition I post weekly summaries so you can get an idea of how I combine riding and weight training. From there you can see what works for your with your riding/work schedule.
https://www.thetallcyclist.com/tag/weekly-summary-2/

Good luck!
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Old 02-26-13, 09:22 AM
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I figured out a long time ago that I am never going to show a lot muscle no matter how much I lift, how long or how often. So to stay somewhat defined, I just do one set of bench, curls, tricep extensions, and lat pull ups 3x per week (with variations of each every so often). One set of however many reps of a given weight I can do that is. I'm literally done in 5 minutes going from one set to the next. Makes me feel stronger on the bike and I don't lose any muscle.
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Old 02-26-13, 09:45 AM
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Thanks!

From reading Rippetoe's book, I understand that the fundamental exercises work the core pretty well. Is that not the case?

There are certain routines that can keep you toned but not huge.


Like which?
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Old 02-26-13, 09:53 AM
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Personally, I think allpros routine is fantastic. I plan on using this throughout cycling season.

https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...4195843&page=1
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Old 02-26-13, 09:59 AM
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Using the SS routine is greatly improving your core. Heavy Deads/Squats/Press will torch your core quickly. I feel that Olympic lifting benefits cycling a lot. Power to weight ratio will increase greatly. It will just be hard at first to get your diet dialed in. You will need to up your calories near riding days. As you already know you can't gain muscle on a calorie deficit. Once you cut down bf% you will be much faster on the bike.
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Old 02-26-13, 11:14 AM
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I don't have that much body fat at the moment (I'm getting ~8% from my Accu-Measure calipers and the Jackson-Pollack 7pt method, so it's somewhere between there and 12%), so that's not really the issue. I'm more concerned about gaining BF from upping my calories. I'm trying to keep all of my extra intake clean (meats, nuts, vegetables, milk, etc.) to prevent that. I had some loose skin and fat around my lower abdomen and I can see that getting "filled" in with muscle.

If anything, I hope it makes me a little faster on my centuries

Thanks a lot for the pointer!
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Old 02-26-13, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
Like which?[/COLOR]
Generally, if you're attempting to tone, you lift a lot of a little. So less weight, but more reps, with a steady tempo, and shorter rest cycles. The lifts themselves don't change. Opposite to if you're trying to increase your power. More weight, fewer reps, more sets, as fast and steady as possible.
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Old 02-26-13, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
Generally, if you're attempting to tone, you lift a lot of a little. So less weight, but more reps, with a steady tempo, and shorter rest cycles. The lifts themselves don't change. Opposite to if you're trying to increase your power. More weight, fewer reps, more sets, as fast and steady as possible.
Also, if done without too much of a break between sets, high reps/lower weights can also help build cardio fitness, as well as tone and strengthen your upper body/core. There are few, if any, sports that won't benefit from the right kind of weight training. Even long distance runners can benefit from it.
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Old 02-26-13, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
I'm more concerned about gaining BF from upping my calories. I'm trying to keep all of my extra intake clean (meats, nuts, vegetables, milk, etc.) to prevent that.
eating clean doesn't mean anything in the scope of weight gain, it's as simple as calories +/-. If you eat nothing but broccoli all day but your caloric intake is in excess of what you burn off, you will still gain weight.

Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
Generally, if you're attempting to tone, you lift a lot of a little. So less weight, but more reps, with a steady tempo, and shorter rest cycles. The lifts themselves don't change. Opposite to if you're trying to increase your power. More weight, fewer reps, more sets, as fast and steady as possible.
Also, there's really no such thing as "toning". You either have little or a lot of bodyfat. I've NEVER "toned" (IE done more reps/less weights) and I still look defined. It's really all about net calories and what your overall goals are.

OP, if you keep the caloric intake in check with the cycling, you can control how much weight you gain/lose/maintain with lifting.

Check out my pic here at 12%BF - no "toning" of any kind done and all the fatloss was strictly from biking. Now I'm going to try to gain a few lbs of muscle this year so I too will be trying to find the balance cycling/lifting. Good luck!


Last edited by SteveFromNY; 02-26-13 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 02-26-13, 01:11 PM
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^ great transformation, how long did it take you to cut down to 12%BF?
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Old 02-26-13, 04:20 PM
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If you're on Rippetoe's (excellent) Starting Strength, then you're obviously aware that the core exercises are central to that program - and IMHO, core strength definitely helps cycling - particularly sprints and hills.

However - the Rippetoe system won't help you build endurance for centuries etc.

I was on a heavy weight lifting / BB program for several years, and spent as much time in the BB forum as I now spend here on BF.

Seems to me that it depends on what you want out of your gym program. If you want overall strength and fitness, then interleaving gym and cycling could work okay. But if you're looking to build bulk on a pure BB program, then cycling will work against that objective.

My personal experience: After I started cycling, in particular, doing very long distance rides (double metrics, double centuries, etc), any bulk I'd gained was gone in an alarmingly short time. Now I've lost almost all of the strength I gained in the gym, but feel I'm far more "fit". I still hit the gym these days, but the 4-day-split is long gone. I'm now doing a full body program with mostly low-weight / high-reps, though it always includes squats and deads.
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Old 02-26-13, 04:36 PM
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Thanks for the great response, Duncan!

My goals are pretty standard: to look even better naked without getting HYOOOJ, slow and/or losing fitness on the bike. If anything, I mostly want to fill out my shirts, which is already beginning to happen! (I already fill my pants; my legs are big from years of cycling and I love it!!) I felt that starting with Rip's program was a good idea because he (a) is extremely elaborate about *why* these exercises are beneficial, which has made me conscious of all of my body motions as a result and (b) felt like having a base amount of strength is good for anything, and his methodology seemed efficient. I also don't want to see these gains lost after I start riding my centuries again.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-26-13, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveFromNY View Post
Also, there's really no such thing as "toning". You either have little or a lot of bodyfat. I've NEVER "toned" (IE done more reps/less weights) and I still look defined. It's really all about net calories and what your overall goals are.
Not true.

Muscle Tone is a slight constant and passive contraction of muscles, which gives them their definition, has very little to do with body fat. You can train to improve this specifically.

The difference between toning and building power is pretty obvious. Compare Olympic powerlifters and body builders. Powerlifters don't care about what the muscle looks like. Body builders do. They have completely different training regiments, targeting two different goals.
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Old 02-26-13, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
Not true.

Muscle Tone is a slight constant and passive contraction of muscles, which gives them their definition, has very little to do with body fat. You can train to improve this specifically.

The difference between toning and building power is pretty obvious. Compare Olympic powerlifters and body builders. Powerlifters don't care about what the muscle looks like. Body builders do. They have completely different training regiments, targeting two different goals.
From what I've been reading and have personally experienced, "toning" has everything to do with increasing muscle mass and activity and decreasing body fat to levels low enough to show their contours.

I am not an authority on this subject, but this is what Rip has to say about it:

“The term “muscle tone” or tonus describes an electrophysiological phenomenon, a measure of ionic flow across muscle cell membranes. It can be thought of as the muscle’s readiness to do anaerobic work. The more fit the muscle, the more electrophysiological activity it exhibits at rest. Lack of exercise leads to poor tone, aerobic exercise improves tone a little bit, low-intensity weight training improves tone more, and high-intensity training improves tone the fastest” So here we get a pretty scientific sounding definition of what tonus really is, but most importantly two terms stick out, anaerobic work and high-intensity training. Interestingly enough, weight training is described as an anaerobic, high intensity activity. Rippetoe goes on to say the following “As a test, go poke the traps or quads of an elite weightlifter at rest, if she’ll let you. They’ll he hard as rock. The same muscles of an elite road cyclist at rest will be firm, but not hard. Then compare the athletes’ muscle tone to that of a sedentary person. The results will he quite enlightening. Most exercise programs that claim to improve muscle tone are actually lower-intensity hypertrophy programs and are only moderately effective for improving muscle tone. If “tone” is the goal, strength is the method.” (Rippetoe, Practical Programming for Strength Training, cited from https://www.pioneerfitnessla.com/wome...perfect-match/)

Another source:

"Which exercises ‘Tone’ while others ‘Bulk’ ?

The correct answer is all exercises tone and bulk. Whether you gain weight or lose weight depends entirely on diet. You can perform any exercise if your are trying to tone provided you consume less calories than you burn.

How do you Improve Low Muscle Tone ?

If your body fat percentage is high, you can improve your muscle tone by losing body fat which requires a sustained caloric deficit and usually occurs at 1-2 pounds per week.

If you currently have a low body fat percentage you may need to add some lean muscle to appear more toned. Perform resistance training 3-4 days per week and eat a few hundred calories extra every day to obtain more muscle definition.

What is the Difference between Toning and Sculpting ?

Toning is what you do to leather and sculpting is what you do to ice, stone or wood.

Both are made up words and have no significant scientific meaning. Toning and sculpting are the 2 most often used terms to sell gimmick fitness products because they are based on a popular fitness myth." (Benhken, Michael. "What is Muscle Tone" https://www.askthetrainer.com/what-is-muscle-tone/)

And one last source from a CrossFitter:

"The idea of “toning your muscles” is one of the biggest lies to become firmly cemented in conventional wisdom. There is no such thing as “toning your muscles.” Sorry, it doesn’t exist. The concept that conventional wisdom calls “toning” is a combination of two very real things: gaining muscle mass and reducing excess body fat. But if the problem stopped there it would just be a matter of phrasing. What we call “potato chips” the British call “crisps,” but it doesn’t really matter because we’re referencing the same products produced in the exact same way. Unfortunately, when it comes to “muscle tone” that isn’t the case.

Conventional wisdom about “muscle tone” doesn’t reflect the reality of achieving it. Here’s the conventional wisdom: “If you use light weight at high reps then you will tone your muscles. This results in a trim, lean body that’s not too bulky and has good muscle definition.” Please keep in mind that the preceding quote was a load of crap. Bringing myself to type it was exceedingly difficult, so I hope you appreciate it. You’re welcome." (Barnett, Jeff. "Lies, Damned Lies and Muscle Tone." https://crossfitimpulse.com/lies-damn...nd-muscle-tone)
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Old 02-26-13, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
Not true.

Muscle Tone is a slight constant and passive contraction of muscles, which gives them their definition, has very little to do with body fat. You can train to improve this specifically.

The difference between toning and building power is pretty obvious. Compare Olympic powerlifters and body builders. Powerlifters don't care about what the muscle looks like. Body builders do. They have completely different training regiments, targeting two different goals.
with all due respect, it's more myth than reality. It's almost as bad as the BS myth that tells people to eat 6 meals/day to "spark" the metabolism. I ate only 2 meals/day and went from 27%BF to 10%BF.

powerlifters don't show "tone" not because they don't use more reps with less weights, it's because most of them don't care too much about dropping bodyfat to "show" the muscles. And you bet bodybuilders show definition, but not because they do "toning" exercises, but because they drop bodyfat months before competition.

There are TONS of people that buy in to "toning" but fail to show any muscle striation because they simply carry around excess bodyfat...simple as that.

If you do 1,000 reps of any exercise, but still eat enough calories to maintain your bodyweight, your muscles will not magically "tone" up.




Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
From what I've been reading and have personally experienced, "toning" has everything to do with increasing muscle mass and activity and decreasing body fat to levels low enough to show their contours.
Here’s the conventional wisdom: “If you use light weight at high reps then you will tone your muscles. This results in a trim, lean body that’s not too bulky and has good muscle definition.” Please keep in mind that the preceding quote was a load of crap. Bringing myself to type it was exceedingly difficult, so I hope you appreciate it. You’re welcome." (Barnett, Jeff. "Lies, Damned Lies and Muscle Tone." https://crossfitimpulse.com/lies-damn...nd-muscle-tone)
exactly. Just bulk to increase muscle strength/size, and cut to reduce bodyfat to show definition.
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Old 02-26-13, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by dkoernert View Post
^ great transformation, how long did it take you to cut down to 12%BF?
Thanks! Took about a year off and on, but when I discovered leangains.com, I finally got to 12% (actually, less)
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Old 02-26-13, 07:00 PM
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I do a 5x5 lifting program while cycling. Even though it is squat-centric, it has no ill effects on my legs. You may be surprised how much explosive strength you have left after a long day on the road, since cycling uses some of the same muscles, but in very different ways. The other nice thing about 5x5 / SS is that it keeps you really strong but you don't but on non-functional bulk. The only downside is that I have to eat so much every day just to maintain weight that it can get uncomfortable.
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Old 02-26-13, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
Not true.

Muscle Tone is a slight constant and passive contraction of muscles, which gives them their definition, has very little to do with body fat. You can train to improve this specifically.

The difference between toning and building power is pretty obvious. Compare Olympic powerlifters and body builders. Powerlifters don't care about what the muscle looks like. Body builders do. They have completely different training regiments, targeting two different goals.
No it's all body fat percentage. The reason powerlifter don't look like bodybuilders at a competition is that you compromise strength significantly to drop to that low of a BF%. It's not sustainable or healthy. Steroids changes things dramatically for bodybuilders. Also they may target a certain muscle for isolation work ONLY to try to improve visual symmetry. A power lifter only cares about strength.

Here is a good example of a typical powerlifter who decided to cut and carb depleted/carb loaded https://tnation.t-nation.com/free_onl...rs_are_fatties
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Old 02-26-13, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by NWS Alpine View Post
Here is a good example of a typical powerlifter who decided to cut and carb depleted/carb loaded https://tnation.t-nation.com/free_onl...rs_are_fatties
damn that's badass! he actually looks bigger now with less bodyfat.
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Old 02-26-13, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Bain View Post
Lifting weights doesnt necessarily make you bigger. Eating calories and protein do along with heavy lifting. There are certain routines that can keep you toned but not huge.


Continue lifting while riding just do it less often and with lighter weights as sort of a maintainence routine depending on how much you ride.


If I wanted to do a intense lifitng day though I would follow it with easy riding for 1 or 2 days and then back to harder riding once you've recovered. You can probably hit the upper body days as usual, just don't over do it on the legs. And don't neglect the core!

Really its up to you how to balance the two by listening to your body.
The purpose of a good strength training program is in no way solely to make anyone bigger or just focus on muscles alone. Cycling is not a very "even" sport in that certain areas of the body gain much more strength than others through the sport. What doesn't get worked regularly in cycling can limit one's flexibility and overall performance on the bike. That's why any trainer that gives even a 5-minute speech at a bike club will recommend things like squats and lunges.

Since a good strength program and cycling work different parts of the body, as long as you have the stamina to do both, there's no reason why you can't or even have to take a lot of time off between one and the other.
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Old 02-27-13, 01:55 AM
  #24  
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Olympic lifting is NOT powerlifting. I've trained with both Oly lifters and powerlifters and they train completely differently. Hi-bar vs low bar squats to name one. Oly lifting focuses more on POWER than strength, unlike powerlifting.

Cleans and snatches really help your sprints in cycling. Squats and deadlifts are good for general strength, but don't necessarily translate. Get strong "enough" at them and train like an Oly lifter. You'll see more gains in your sprints. For endurance just ride your bike.

Unfortunately, your body will want to specialize. Choose what you want to excel in. If you want to race, get strong and powerful "enough." If you want to compete in oly events or powerlifting events eat your calories and lift, lift, lift.
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Old 02-27-13, 02:00 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
Thanks!

From reading Rippetoe's book, I understand that the fundamental exercises work the core pretty well. Is that not the case?



Like which?[/COLOR]
Speaking of which, I've been doing his 5x5 program (again, for the first time in 5 years) since December and have gotten stronger since.

I'm looking to switch up my program end of March. Everyone should look up that program and try it for building strength. It's not quite the perfect Strength training routine/program aimed for cycling but for general fitness it's excellent. You do work on your legs by doing Squats and Deadlifts which are the very basic and very important leg exercises.

Last edited by Biscayne05; 02-27-13 at 02:03 AM.
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