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Some gym weight training questions

Old 02-02-22, 09:44 AM
  #26  
OBoile
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Is machine weight roughly equal to free weights? No. Based on pullies/lever length etc. machine weight can mean pretty much anything. One example: assuming leg raises mean leg extensions, it would be odd to do less with this than with leg curls but you do significantly less. Likely due to the difference in machines.
Quoting myself here as I thought of a good analogy.
The weight listed on the machine is likely accurate. But, the effort it takes to move that weight depends entirely on the set-up of that machine.

The analogy: when you ride your bike up a hill, your weight is your weight. It doesn't change. But, how hard you actually have to push on the pedals depends on a number of factors:
The gear you're in.
The length of your crank arms.
The size of your wheel.
etc.

The set-up of the machine can greatly influence the difficulty it takes to move a certain amount of weight. It actually was an advertised feature on some Nautilus machines that the resistance would change at different parts of the movement based on the shape of the lever (cam? I don't know the technical term), much like the idea of oval chain rings on a bike.
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Old 02-02-22, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
I would advise guarding against injury over trying to increase weight. You seem to be doing very well. An injury could be devastating.
That is basically the balance I'm looking for. Tomorrow is a gym day and I'm going to go lighter weight and more reps to see how that feels. Thanks.
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Old 02-02-22, 11:18 AM
  #28  
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Just to clarify my goals. I am trying to maintain fitness and muscle strength not necessarily lift big weights for a PB or some ego thing. I am also trying to use strength training that will be effective on the bike. To that extent I make the assumption that there are some cyclists who have done that and know far more than I do. Who they are....I'm not really sure but I assume there are some here. When I was in college I was a QB and SS and was the guy who could steal home. Whatever those muscles were are long gone at age 75. So, doing this at this age is all new to me. And, that's why I asked for advice. And, I appreciated that people are sharing what they can. Thanks. Now to sort it all out.
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Old 02-02-22, 12:51 PM
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If I were you, I'd swap lunges for the leg extensions (but leg press is okay too), and swap back extensions for the leg curls (or do both) plus do some "core" work (abs, obliques etc.). Basically, just try to make sure you aren't missing any major muscle groups.
I don't think you're going see any real noticeable benefit from trying to be super cycling specific. Probably the biggest benefit you could see is having fewer aches and pains from just being generally more fit/well rounded.

I think generally speaking, you want a lifting routine to have the following:
Lower body push (squat, lunge, leg press) Leg extensions would be this, but they aren't very good as they only work the quads, not the glutes.
Lower body pull/hamstring dominant (deadlift, Romanian deadlift, back extension, glute ham raise,) leg curl would be here- but this is likely the least good again because it doesn't work the glutes or lower back
Upper body push (bench press, push up, machine bench press) Your choice here (chest press) is likely fine.
Upper body pull (row, pull up, pull down) Your choice here (pull down) is likely fine.
Abs/core you don't really have any of this.


You want to put in a legit effort, but don't go nuts. It's pretty easy to overdo things, particularly at your age. IMO, it's better to stop a couple of reps before failure. Just not worth the risk of having your form break down and the extra recovery needed. If in doubt, go a bit easier.

Having said all that, the internet at the best of times, is a suspect source of info. I don't know anything about you really. Do you have health issues, old injuries or other unique circumstances? I'm assuming not (and if you do, it's beyond my area of knowledge).
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Old 02-02-22, 02:43 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
If I didn't know what I was doing, this is the last place I'd look for information.
crowd sourcing information has it's pluses & minuses for sure. there are weight training forums & also personal doctors who know the medical history of the subject. geriatric weight training may be a specialty. the OP has been going to the gym for 15 years? doesn't sound like he doesn't know what he is doing
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Old 02-02-22, 04:10 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Having said all that, the internet at the best of times, is a suspect source of info. I don't know anything about you really. Do you have health issues, old injuries or other unique circumstances? I'm assuming not (and if you do, it's beyond my area of knowledge).
The only issue I have (had?) was a crash that resulted in a broken neck. I had C1 & C2 fused in 2013. I am fine but with a little ROM decrease. So, I use an Italian Road Bike mirror. Other than that no worries yet.
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Old 02-02-22, 06:33 PM
  #32  
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I take it back, there is someone here who knows what they're talking about. OP, I'd heed their advice.
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Old 02-02-22, 08:46 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
<snip>
Look, you keep doing you. I'm not telling you that you need to stop or change or whatever, but just keep in mind that no one else is suggesting this rather extreme approach. The fact is that pretty much all reasonable rep schemes will work reasonably well for someone who is looking to get fit and doesn't have some extremely specific performance goal.
Did it your way for years, no good results. Did it the Friel 2nd edition way for a year, wasn't getting dropped anymore. My guess is that getting results requires a certain amount of muscular endurance. That was in my late 50s.

Thing is, a rider coming into it at 75 is problematic. His muscle strength will outstrip his tendon and ligament strength. The way to keep the weights down in the appropriate range is simply to increase reps. No way to screw that up. One expects that form will be a learning experience. Better to learn it with weights that won't cause permanent damage. I see no reason to rush a rider of any age into a low rep program. Why would one do that? The rule is, "First, do no harm."

Telling folks new to strength training to just keep the weight down denies them the huge advantage of maximizing fiber recruitment which is how one gets stronger at the same bodyweight. Your long and successful work with strength training might make it more difficult to see what works best for older athletes just starting out with strength. There is simply no logical reason to think that one size fits all.

You may not have been here long enough to remember back when all the serious racers here and on the 41 decried any weight training as counterproductive or at best, a waste of time and energy. They had the studies to prove it too, showing that conventional strength training made no difference except in sprints. IMO the reason that those studies didn't show anything good was that they were too short for the E+S riders to gain enough strength-endurance over the E riders.
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Old 02-03-22, 08:56 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
The only issue I have (had?) was a crash that resulted in a broken neck. I had C1 & C2 fused in 2013. I am fine but with a little ROM decrease. So, I use an Italian Road Bike mirror. Other than that no worries yet.
Your probably fine with what I recommended then. But don't be afraid to change things up if there is a problem. You know yourself far better than any of us will.
My general advice would be to:
1. Try to make sure you work every major muscle group. Many people focus in the "mirror muscles" (ones they can see in the mirror) at the expense of everything else.
2. Be wary of people who are overly dogmatic. The most important things are effort and consistency (just like with cycling). If you don't enjoy a particular rep scheme, do something else. If you don't enjoy an exercise, or it's causing your pain/issues, do something else. You're not a competitive strength athlete, so the little details don't matter too much. Whether you use 5, 12 or (shudder) 30 reps will almost certainly not have any noticeable difference in your day to day life. What will make a difference is your persistence in going to the gym regularly for an extended period of time.
3. Be cautious with personal trainers. It's an unregulated profession. Some are very, very good. Others are terrible. Most are somewhere in between. One can be useful to help you with form. But they can also be pretty terrible. Lunges and back extensions (along with machine based exercises) are stuff you should be able to learn on your own without much difficulty IMO. This was in fact one of the reasons machines became very popular with gym owners in the 80s. They required very little instruction as they are more "idiot proof" than free weights are.

*** edit to add: it's a good idea to do a lighter warm up set or two, particularly if you're doing low reps.

Last edited by OBoile; 02-03-22 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 02-03-22, 09:01 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
I take it back, there is someone here who knows what they're talking about. OP, I'd heed their advice.
Thanks for the kind words.
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Old 02-03-22, 09:11 AM
  #36  
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fwiw - we had the "universal" machines in our middle school, in the early '70s ...
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Old 02-06-22, 11:21 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
...All are done at 3 sets of 10 reps. They are:

Concentration curls (free weights) w/25 lbs each arm
Leg raises.....115 lbs
Leg curls ......145 lbs
Chest press...175 lbs
Pull downs.....145 lbs

...

TIA
I am 60. Since the pandemic I have been doing dumbbell exercises at home. When I returned to the gym, the only barbell exercise I got on was the back squat and the Romanian Deadlift. You can do them with dumbbells too.

These two exercise should address your leg raises and your leg curls as they focus on quads and hamstring.

Youtube has lots of videos for older guys. I've been watching Live Anabolic, specifically with Gary Walker. You don't need heavy weights but you do need to get the mind-muscle connection and challenge yourself.

ExRx.net used to be good forum. Now your posts and questions may just sit unanswered. So as far as weightlifting questions go, you're going to get like-minded cyclists trying to answer you.

Last edited by Daniel4; 02-06-22 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 02-07-22, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Live Anabolic
interesting theories. I like not stressing joints! thank you for the reference
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