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squats/leg presses(7 posts)

squats/leg presseststamm
Jun 24, 2001 8:46 PM
Do any of you train your legs with weights? If so do you squat or do leg presses? I read that most pros do only leg presses in order to reduce the risk of knee injuries. I also read that they do light weight high reps, is this the best way to go?
re: squats/leg pressespeloton
Jun 24, 2001 9:02 PM
Training with weights can be a very effective way to make yourself a better cyclist, and reduce the risk of injuries. Weight training can give you more power on the bike, and the ability to push bigger gears. Lance and Tyler were put on a weight training program before the Olympics in order to gain strength for the ITT event.

For someone new to lifting the leg press is a great exercise. The squat is a very complex movement when done properly, and should only be learned under the supervision of a qualified trainer. A squat done incorrectly can endanger your back, knees, and limit your gains. The leg press is easier to learn, and the risk of injury from inproper form is less due to this. For cycling, I would reccomend using lighter weights with higher repititions as you suspected. This will train your muscles more effectively for the sport you are training.

Something to remember when weight training is to change your routine regularly to keep the workouts fresh and to prevent your body from becoming complacent in it's gains. Work on muscle balance as well. When you use one muscle group, use the opposing muscle group as well. An example, if you work your chest on one day, also work your upper back. This will prevent muscle imbalances. Overworking the chest is a common imbalance that you can see at the gym. Look for guys with huge pectorals and a rounded, upper back with poor posture. This is why you want balance. For legs, think quads and hamstrings. Don't ignore your hamstrings. Americans are chronically weak there. And finally, and most importantly- get some education before just going to the gym and throwing lead around. Get a trainer, or read up on exercises and how to do them properly. Really try to get proffesional advice here. Many people lift with poor form that limits their gains, and puts them at risk for injuries. Don't be one of them. A qualified trainer can make sure that you make the most of your time, and don't hurt yourself. The best thing that a trainer can do too, is to see you in person and know what you need. That is something that you won't get from anyone over the internet.
re: squats/leg pressesDINOSAUR
Jun 25, 2001 9:59 AM
Weight training has it's benefits. Funny I was just thinking the other day that my climbing is sucking. I feel better at the beginning of the season. Then I remembered that I workout with weights during the off season. Like Peloton said using proper form and doing the right exercises is paramount. Learn how to lift correctly. I tweaked my lower back doing something really stupid lifting weights in the 70's, and once and a while it bothers me to this day. Weight training (bodybuilding) is a science and you need to educate yourself. It can get real complicated and confusing. Try this, enter "Bodybuilding" in your search engine. See how many sites pop up. I do basic exercises with free weights. When I retired back in '98 I was going to really get serious about lifting. Then I saw all the split routines and various programs and I said screw it and I got back into cycling. I carry a burden of hauling around a lot of extra body weight from my weightlifting days.
Back to your question, I do squats with olympic barbells. High reps (15-20) light weights. Keep your back straight and use very strict form. Best to have someone teach you how to do this like Peloton said.
I lift in front of a mirror so I can watch my form.
Weight training works, but I can't handle both cycling and lifting during the season. You post made me think that maybe I should do a light routine 2 or three days a week. That's all I could handle.

Lifting is good if done correctly, otherwise you can really screw up you body.

Another off topic remark...think drugs is ruining pro cycling? Look what it did to bodybuilding....
Peloton has the knowledgeThioderek
Jun 25, 2001 10:04 AM
I agree with everything Peloton says.

I work out in the gym three times a week in the mornings with a full body workout. I wont do squats anymore because one little mistake can cost you a few weeks off the bike. Leg presses are much safer (in my book), but you can still mess yourself up with these.

I noticed a big difference in my climbing after I started training with weights. Shocked the hell out of me. I do a lot of tri's so I am in the gym working on maintenance all the time.
re: squats/leg pressesdotkaye
Jun 25, 2001 12:25 PM
I used Joe Friel's weight training program for triathletes (from Triathlete's Training Bible) during the winter this year, alternated between squats and leg presses. Leg presses are a lot safer, squats are tricky. I do them in a gym on a machine which keeps the bar straight, and lets me get out from under the weight quickly if things go wrong. Focused mainly on the strength portion of the plan, which is high weight/low rep, since I'm a real weenie on the bike. In all my triathlon life, I've always been in the bottom half of the field on the bike. This year I've been in the top 20-30% consistently, so something must have helped..
advice on squatspeloton
Jun 25, 2001 2:55 PM
I would advise anyone against using a Smith machine (the machine that you describe) for doing squats. The Smith machine will only let the bar travel up and down in a vertical motion. The motion of the human body performing a squat isn't entirely vertical. The bar also moves some in the horizonatal plane. This is the way your body was designed to perform a squating motion. The Smith machine inhibits the way the body wants to move when performing a squat by only allowing the bar to move vertically. Simply, this isn't good.

I percieve a good squat rack to be even safer still than a Smith machine in getting out of the squat should your muscle power fail you. A smith machine will allow the bar to travel all the way to the floor. You must physically rotate the bar to stop the weight from going down. You might get a little lower than you want to before you are able to rotate the bar if you should fail on a smith machine. On a squat rack, there are adjustable metal bars that don't allow the weight to go lower than a certain point. Even if you were to drop the barbell, the weight would be caught by the metal bars while you can escape below them. When you fail on a squat in a squat rack, just let the weight go and don't fight it. The bars will catch the weight, and you are easily and safely under the restraint bars.

On a smith machine, you also lose some of the balance and supporting muscle group development that you would recieve if you were using free weights on a squat rack.

The squat is a great exercise. Just make sure that you get a qualified individual to teach you how to do it. There is no mystery to the motion. It's all about learning how to perform a new task. There is no reason why anyone should be expected to know how to lift when they first come into the gym. It's a learned task like anything else, and like most learned tasks it requires some education.
Sticking with leg pressesThioderek
Jun 25, 2001 3:12 PM
I think after that piece of advice I will stick with leg presses.

Thanks Peloton