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How important(4 posts)

How importantBC
May 4, 2001 7:23 PM
is squat power? Do you guys normally use squat machines, or leg press machines, to imporve your speed? When does stregnth out weigh the benefit with extra weight?

BTW, how much can you squat/leg press?
Don't lift heavy weights...DINOSAUR
May 4, 2001 8:20 PM
I'm not one deserving to provided information, however I have dabbled in weightlifting and cycling for sometime. I've found that weight training is best done during the off season and you should follow a program that emphasizes the upper body. I start off my routine with squats using a weight that I can easily perform for 20 reps. I then increase the weight, doing a total of 4 sets of 20 (warm-up) 12 10 8.
I use olympic weights as it is easy to load the bar one end at a time. I don't worry about how much I lift, I concentrate on using strict, controlled form. I also use a belt when I am lifting anything while standing. During cycling season I lift 2-3 days a week, doing just maintenance work. Caution: you do not want to lift really heavy weights with squats, you can blow out your lower back.
I lift to keep my upper body strong and it helps my position, especially on long rides. When you get older, and have cycled for a couple of decades you will probably have trouble with your lower back.
If I don't lift my back gets real stiff.
There is an old adage the "the best exercise for cycling, is cycling".
Anyway, if you put in decent miles, unless you are superman, you can't maintain a good weightlifting program and crank out the miles on the road. The old bod can't handle it...I found that squats did help during the off season, however I'm not cranking up the hills in the gear I usually use. It still takes a couple of months to get your form back.
re: How importantpeloton
May 4, 2001 9:30 PM
The squat is a great exercise to build power and prevent injuries on the bike. I personally prefer a free bar for doing squats. With good form, free weights give the fastest results. Other options such as using the smith maching for squats aren't the best because it inhibits the bodies natural movement in concentric(lowering) and eccentric(raising) movement of the bar. The leg press (sled) is a good option for using many of the same muscles as well, but it doesn't use as many muscles as free weights or work one's balance. There are a variety of nautilus style machines that also mimic the movement of the squat. Some of these machines can be safer than free weights if used properly. Machines can be excellent choices for those who are just getting into a stregth training program until experience and form builds. Technique with a machine is generally less of a factor, and easier to use for most people.

Safety when performing any squating type of movement is dependent on GREAT form. If you are unsure how to squat properly, get a physical trainer to show you how and to coach you. It is a more complex movement than it looks, even for people with a stregth training background. A good physical trainer can ensure that you are making the most of your labor for your safety and optimal results. I cringe when I go to the gym and watch people do squats. Most people don't have the best form with this exercise. Don't have a friend show you how. Get a proffesional. Take the time to get it perfect, and you will be rewarded with better results and safety.

The squat is a great exercise for working a lot of different muscles at once. Remember for cycling you'll want to do lower weight with higher reps for maximal sport specific training. There really isn't a better exercise that you could be doing for building stregth in the lower body. Just make sure you learn how to properly perform this exercise so that you can make the best results for yourself.

BTW- 455 lbs. (1 rep)
May 5, 2001 8:20 PM
My mistake, concentric is the raising movement in a squat, eccentric is the lowering. Aaahh- typing too fast again without thinking.