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Benefits of weight training to cycling

Old 10-27-11, 04:14 AM
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Benefits of weight training to cycling

I do weights sometimes. But i like the research answers from all of you on this forum.

For doing weights more less like leg weights such as Lunges, Leg Presses, Curls, etc etc.......

do they have benefits to improving cycling performance.
as I like doing long distance.

would legs exercises in the gym make me be able to ride faster and stronger?

What would be a good leg workout, plan to follow? that would be more benefit to my cycling?

As well i would l like to know. What are the benefits and what have you all seen in your own improvement in your riding when you also had a gym workout?
thanks
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Old 10-27-11, 01:33 PM
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Weight training can help older riders like me maintain muscle. It helps my core strength which helps my position on the bike, especially when tucked in on descents (important in some races). I think it helps my strength on the bike for short bursts of power, but I have not measured it and I'm not sure, so whatever effect it has is small. But I am an ectomorph, with less than 1 lb per inch of height. Normal people aren't strength limited in an endurance sport like road cycling.

I don't detect any change in my endurance other than improved core and upper body strength means fewer aches and pains as the miles accumulate.

So while it's part of maintaining a healthy body its not going to make you faster on the bike.
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Old 10-27-11, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ericm979
But I am an ectomorph, with less than 1 lb per inch of height. Normal people aren't strength limited in an endurance sport like road cycling.
So you weigh 70 lbs?
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Old 10-27-11, 07:22 PM
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I started a weight workout in August and I feel it has improved my cycling. My legs feel stronger on hills and my shoulders and neck don't get tired and sore after 3 hours on the bike.

For legs I do leg press, leg extension, and leg curl.

Upper body: lat pulldown, chest press, bicep curls, tricep pulldowns, and shoulders on the crossover machine.
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Old 10-27-11, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CbadRider
I started a weight workout in August and I feel it has improved my cycling. My legs feel stronger on hills and my shoulders and neck don't get tired and sore after 3 hours on the bike.

For legs I do leg press, leg extension, and leg curl.

Upper body: lat pulldown, chest press, bicep curls, tricep pulldowns, and shoulders on the crossover machine.
That's a solid workout. I do all three leg exercises that you do. Except I keep the upper body simple. I do chest press and bent row (1 push and 1 pull). Also I do abdominal work as well. I keep it to 6 exercises and 30-40min... 3x a week. Although it probably won't make us faster, the weight work will help with the strength needed to endure long hours in the saddle and it will also help us recover faster from cycling specific workouts.
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Old 10-28-11, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83
So you weigh 70 lbs?
2 lbs/in.
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Old 10-30-11, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CbadRider
For legs I do leg press, leg extension, and leg curl.
I think you'd be better off doing squats and dead lifts. They more closely mimic natural movements, involve a fuller range of motion, strengthen smaller ancillary stabilizer muscles and help strengthen the core. They may have a bad rep for causing injury, but with proper form (IMPORTANT), this is undeserved. They actually help avoid injury due to the benefits listed above.
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Old 11-19-11, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ericm979
2 lbs/in.

I hate mysteries. How tall are you?
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Old 11-20-11, 10:42 PM
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If weight training helps your cycling - it mostly means you are a rotten cyclist.

If cycling helps weight lifting -same thing.........
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Old 11-20-11, 10:54 PM
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Broad sweeping generalizations ftw.
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Old 11-20-11, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by chinarider
I think you'd be better off doing squats and dead lifts. They more closely mimic natural movements, involve a fuller range of motion, strengthen smaller ancillary stabilizer muscles and help strengthen the core. They may have a bad rep for causing injury, but with proper form (IMPORTANT), this is undeserved. They actually help avoid injury due to the benefits listed above.
I don't have access to a Smith machine where I do most of my weight workouts, and I'm a bit leery of doing squats with a barbell. So far the leg press is working out fine.
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Old 11-21-11, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
If weight training helps your cycling - it mostly means you are a rotten cyclist.
If cycling helps weight lifting -same thing.........
Well according to Joe Friel (the cyclist's training bible), weight training is essential to performing at top levels. He dedicates a large portion of his book to strength training during the off-season.

So I'll go with him and say it's pretty beneficial.
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Old 11-21-11, 08:17 AM
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It can also help prevent musculature imbalances. Also, Chris Carmichael recommends it as well and a few coaches around here that I have chatted with.
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Old 11-22-11, 09:49 PM
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I spent 3 yrs in the gym...loosing 70 lbs and getting strong. I wasn't 'bulky' but knew where my 'pebbles' were (bicep muscles). Not bad for a 50 yr old female. Then I started w/ a proper cycling coach to prepare for a big event 3 yrs down the road. The first thing he said... "it's time to strip some of that muscle off you" That muscle translates to weight and that means slow riding. Off season he had me do power work (on and off the bike- all lower body) and core work. Now I'm pebble-less but I've got kickin' leg muscles...
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Old 11-22-11, 10:10 PM
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I don't understand why off-the-bike weight training is necessary for cyclists. If a cyclist wants to do a strength training session that targets the exact muscles they use for cycling, can't they just pedal in a higher-than-usual gear?
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Old 11-22-11, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by poxpower
Well according to Joe Friel (the cyclist's training bible), weight training is essential to performing at top levels. He dedicates a large portion of his book to strength training during the off-season.

So I'll go with him and say it's pretty beneficial.
Look at what the current top cyclists do instead of what Joe Friel advoactes. You realize he's promoting the same things for the last 20 years despite scientific evidence shows it is not the best
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Old 11-22-11, 10:53 PM
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I find it debatable to declare that pro cyclists do not strength train.
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Old 11-23-11, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Hookflash
I don't understand why off-the-bike weight training is necessary for cyclists. If a cyclist wants to do a strength training session that targets the exact muscles they use for cycling, can't they just pedal in a higher-than-usual gear?
There are other muscles besides leg muscles that can benefit from strength training: arm muscles that help hold your arms and hands in a long-term comfortable position on the handlebars, abdominals to help hold your upper body in place and in a good position for breathing properly. Additionally, work on the areas of the quadriceps that assist in holding the knee-cap in place can help prevent knee injury.

Overall, a fit and trim physique aided by (not too much) weight and strength training can assist with the body's endurance on the bike.
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Old 11-23-11, 07:50 AM
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Hamstrings as well.
Massive quads and puny hamstrings are an interesting combo.
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Old 11-23-11, 10:28 AM
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If weight training helps your cycling - it mostly means you are a rotten cyclist.

If cycling helps weight lifting -same thing.........
My answers usually make an attempt at accuracy - and this one is no different.

However, with semantics and but without context these threads more often confuse than enlighten.

As one post points out - very knowledgeable people know how to use weight training to improve human performance.

However, without context - and without prioritization of a given athlete's status and stated goals much gibberish can be thought of as "correct."

In the end - as usual - my pithy comment is probably best. Alternative training does not improve "cycling" until an athlete exhausts all the avenues of training adaptations afforded through quite a bit of bicycle riding. I doubt this to be that case of the OP - but I digress.

My narrow perspective is worthless to most people.
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Old 11-23-11, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Hookflash
I don't understand why off-the-bike weight training is necessary for cyclists. If a cyclist wants to do a strength training session that targets the exact muscles they use for cycling, can't they just pedal in a higher-than-usual gear?
Cycling is not load bearing exercise. It just follows from there that exercises moving more mass will benefit the cyclist in ways that mashing heavier gears will not.

I saw a video of Lance Armstrong's workout where he spent some time stepping with weights. I know, none of us are Lance, but if we don't do a lot of walking, some running or weight training we'll eventually wind up with lower density bones and diminished strength in general.
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Old 11-25-11, 12:27 AM
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if you belong to a gym, try the bodypump and CX30/CXworks classes. bodypump will get you the squats and lunges you need (plus some upperbody and core), and cx30 is great for core. i still think cycling is the best exercise for cycling, but if you want some variety or if you want to do something after work when it's dark outside, these can be great.
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Old 11-25-11, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by chinarider
I think you'd be better off doing squats and dead lifts. They more closely mimic natural movements, involve a fuller range of motion, strengthen smaller ancillary stabilizer muscles and help strengthen the core. They may have a bad rep for causing injury, but with proper form (IMPORTANT), this is undeserved. They actually help avoid injury due to the benefits listed above.
The beauty of deadlifts is also workout efficiency: like other compound exercises, they not only let multiple muscle groups function naturally together, but they save you time by working multiple muscles simultaneously instead of working through an endless succession of isolation exercises.

Outside of its potential benefit for cycling, strength training (free weights, bodyweight exercises, and/or machines) can confer other benefits: reduced risk of heart disease, better blood sugar management, metabolic elevation, etc. Plus, you'll probably look better in skin-tight cycling clothes
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Old 11-25-11, 08:42 AM
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I started using kettlebells and I became faster and stronger bike rider. Kettlebells is not only about strength training, but mostly cardio and endurance. After only a few weeks of kettlebells I started climbing in a bigger ring and my cruising speed increased. Also I felt much fresher after the last 200k brevet than before I was using kettlebells.
A set of kettlebells exercises is like doing intervals in the off season. I do see more benefits for cycling from a 45 min set of kettlebell exercises than from an hour of indoor trainer.
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Old 11-25-11, 09:03 AM
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I don't think of training as something seperate.

If I work out I feel better, and I feel best when I've used
a lot of muscle mass.

That doesn't happen with cycling.

Don't get me wrong, a bike has always been a part of my life.
The first time I bike toured I didn't know the word existed.
I just loaded my bike with camping gear so i could get to a weekend long rock
show in the next state.

But after I got out of college, I had a job on the road and started
going to gyms to get some exercise.

Kettlebells are great, I got some a couple years ago and keep meaning to use them.
I guess what I am saying is the First Rule of Exercise.

1) The best exercise is the one you'll actually do.

have some fun.
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