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Gym workouts(10 posts)

Gym workoutsBo
Dec 19, 2001 12:15 PM
I'm looking for suggestions on cycling specific weight workouts. I am finishing the "adaptation phase"-- high reps, light weight. Currently doing squats, extensions, leg curls, leg presses and calf raises. (I also do 2 or 3 pushing/pulling upper-body exercises plus abs and back extensions). I am ready to increase the weight and build some leg strength.

I have about 1.25 hours, three times per week to spend in the gym. What has worked for you guys/gals?


reGym workoutsallervite
Dec 19, 2001 12:51 PM
I like to keep mixing up my workouts so that my muscles are under a constant state of shock. I'll pick two or three leg exercises for three weeks then switch to new ones. I really like lunges and deadlifts. I do the deadlifts slowly and with fairly light weight. I arch my back and concentrate on lifting the weight with my glutes and hamstrings. I also like upright rows. They strengthen your pulling muscles and your shoulders.
re: weightsguido
Dec 19, 2001 1:10 PM
Your legs will be really strong, but not fully adapted to riding. They won't have any snap, and will tire easily. Better to concentrate on upper body conditioning with light weights. You don't want big shoulder, or arms. They're dead weight on a bike, and will only slow you down, but its good to make the upper body strong.

For the legs, spinning classes are far superior to weight work. Weights don't work the heart like spinning. They develope the fast twitch fibers, the wrong ones for cycling.

Neither Eddy B. in the past, nor Chris Carmichael, Lance's coach, recommends extensive leg work in the winter with weights. They both have upper body weight training programs to strengthen muscles neglected during the season, stomach, obliques, back, shoulders, arms, but reserve leg training for working the slow twitch muscles, the endurance fibers, by spinning light gears and working the heart and lungs, and re-establishing a smooth pedal stroke.

Don't mean to say you're wasting your time! You'll end up with strong legs, but they'll have to re-learn how to pedal the bike, and your lungs will feel terrible trying to keep up.
but, since (if you're like me) you're going to do it anyhow...Js Haiku Shop
Dec 19, 2001 1:22 PM
circuit weight training keeps that heart rate up. high reps, low weight, etc., keeps you in a fat-burning zone, and also blows through calories (if that's a concern).

i'm running several times per week, treadmill, about 30 minutes each time, 8.5-ish minute miles. weight training on my run nights, one night upper including chest and shoulders, one night arms and abs, one night legs. sometimes i skip the legs night. riding the trainer for 45 minutes 1-2 nights per week, and my schedule includes a LSD ride on saturdays (life has been in the way here in the last few weeks) and a 30-50 at pace on sunday.

reading the lance armstrong training book by LA and CC, looks like his squats are ~400lb. i'm around 335, 12 reps, 3 sets, and i work up to that. not sure if that means he's hitting 400lb after a warm-up, or that's just what he squats.
Leg strength . . .Bo
Dec 19, 2001 1:42 PM
is what I'm trying to improve. I still spend 3-4 hours a week on the bike, mostly in the little ring. Hopefully this will keep the engine working and prevent me from forgetting how to pedal. : )

Spin classes are ok, but they are not offered where I work out.

As for Carmichael,that may be true for the pros, OHwever, I remember reading somewhere that he thinks the average weekend racer can achieve significant gains in the weight room. Was I wrong?

Leg strength . . .guido
Dec 19, 2001 8:45 PM
You're right, "the average weekend racer can achieve significant gains in the weight room." And you've got your spinning factored in. Also, circuit weight training does work the heart. So go for it, and enjoy the results in the Spring.

But conventional wisdom says if you want to be a better bike rider, the best way is to ride. Do your leg and aerobic efforts on the bike. Cross-train when you can't ride. This is a clearly prejudiced argument, an opinion. I'd rather go out and ride, if its not precipitating and the temps are above 25F.
re: Gym workoutscioccman
Dec 19, 2001 2:14 PM
I have at least two days per week in the weight room. I do squats, lunges, leg press, extension, prone leg curls, etc. This on top of teaching 2-5 spin classes per week. If you're unsure if it'll do anything, check it out for yourself by doing a power test before and after.

My recommendation is not to max out with weight. I don't have any need to find my max squat weight or bench press. I stick with 3 x 12 routine that makes me work but doesn't get anywhere near maxing me out.

Good luck.
Your time is better spent on the bike?Dog Breath
Dec 19, 2001 3:24 PM
(Assuming you won't be riding track).

The pros do power workouts on the bike. Hill repeats seated, in a big gear at low cadence.
More than 1 way to...CoraB
Dec 19, 2001 10:41 PM
make a rider. Also depends on the goals.
Counter to what I had learned about cycling, I spent a year with a trainer (not cycling specific) that insisted I concentrate on Olympic Lifts and variations. Clean and Jerk, Squat, Snatch, etc.
At times we would do high reps with just the bar followed by sprint intervals on a rower, stationary bike, running, etc.
His basic premise was no workout should be the same, but the general guideline was push something (push up, shoulder press, etc) pull something (deadlift high-pull, pull-up, etc.) and use your legs (squat, dead-lift, plyo-metrics). You could just about randomly walk into the gym (or the garage in my case) and decide on the spot what you were going to do. My only variation on his basic premise was that I would always warm up spinning like mad on rollers, and warm down doing the same for at least 20 mins. so my legs didn't forget what they were supposed to be doing.
May sound ridiculous to some, but my riding was much improved in speed, endurance, and pure power.
Read an article about Trackies that basically said they pounded their legs all day with squats and the like and followed with spinning.
To each his own...
cross-training is goodguido
Dec 20, 2001 12:41 PM
Now I'm ready to try CoraB's plan. Pushing and pulling exercises are good for bike handling, and varying routines are good for the body. Cycling gives people the ability to do other strenuous physical activities they wouldn't have dreamed of before.

The cautionary tales from Eddy B. and Chris C. above are not really applicable to most riders, only a small percentage of super-dedicated racers--specialists. That's a different level of training than most of us want or need. Once your body is in good shape from winter cross-training, you can "specialize" in the Spring.