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Need some newbie strength exercises(18 posts)

Need some newbie strength exercisesKristin
May 1, 2003 12:42 PM
I am focused on just riding easy miles for now, but I know that I would benefit from a little bit of strength training. When I ride, I put a lot of weight forward only my hands and my neck/shoulders end up pretty tired from the ride. I know I could build these muscles on the bike, but I could do it fast and be more comfortable if I did some off bike stregth training too. The Berhardt program is REALLY long. I can't get 40-60 reps of 27 exercises done in under 90 minutes. I'd like to focus just on those muscles that will help me support my upper body weight better on the bike.

My office has a staffed fitness center and they can show me how to do any lifts, so no need to describe the movements. Just give me the names of the lifts you would recommend.

Should I try to follow the phased plan? Start with 40-60 reps. Or just follow the generic 12-15 reps program?
core strength firstNo_sprint
May 1, 2003 12:50 PM
Use the stability ball for crunch/sit ups. Get on the inverted sit up rack, pelvis against it, arms crossed over your chest and do back extensions. Do it sideways each side. *Bicycles* on the floor mat. For the shoulders and back I'd recommend seated rows, lat pulls, shrugs, maybe some modified clean and jerks, etc. Try to get into a Pilates class regularly.

Just for starters.
Ugh! Thanks for hurting me!Kristin
May 1, 2003 12:57 PM
Back extensions should not be tried by people new to lifting. Repeat that 100 times on your training ride. I tried them once and nearly killed myself--then I was sternly warned by an experienced lifter to not do that again. I'll do the situps tho.
Balance of exercises.Brooks
May 1, 2003 3:53 PM
Just as you want to work both the quads and the hammies (squats & leg curls) you also want to strengthen the abs and the back. The big inflatable balls are great for this. Back extensions should not hurt. You can lay across the ball with your feet propped against a wall and curl up (not too far and not too many the first time). Hold a second then lower yourself back down. Flat on your back bicycle drill with touching of elbows to opposite knees is good as well as "TV Watchers": body straight, forearms and toes only on the floor. Hold for a minute, no arching the back. 5 minutes of ab/back work each session. The best overall are squats, deadlifts and lunges. Get form right before loading the weights.

Have fun!
Brooks
I should have clarified. Back Extensions from a pedastel are not for newbiesKristin
May 2, 2003 5:55 AM
Of course back extensions are doable. But when I tried full extensions from a pedastel, I hurt myself. I think we just got some of those yoga balls in the gym. I'll check it out. Perhaps I'll get one for home too.
re: Need some newbie strength exerciseseschelon
May 1, 2003 12:58 PM
Shoulder shrugs with either barbell or dumbells. Keep it 5 sets: 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, 6 reps...do few minutes of cardiovascular warmup to warm the body up. various shoulder lift exercises (i.e. using dumbells of frontal, side, and rear shoulder muscle movements would be good for you too).

Most importantly, your shoulders may be getting sore because your arms are not bent enough and you need to make a concentrated effort to drop and relax your shoulders...as one rider once explained it to me: Bernard Hinault once said that your upper body should be so relaxed while riding that you could play a piano while riding...stay relaxed on the top section of your body and your soreness shouldn't happen. I'm still trying to keep my upper body relaxed.

Best case in point, if you have time trial bars, I always noticed when I used by time trial bars my upper body relaxes dramatically and I end up being able to go faster and am able to maintain the higher effort/speed because my upper body stays more relaxed.
What about yoga?kilimanjaro
May 1, 2003 1:13 PM
I was pretty active in highschool and college. Did master swim until the kids came, but an 60-90 minutes of yoga was by far the most difficult and fulfilling training I have ever done.
Find a Pilates or Pilates type class in your area...TREKY
May 1, 2003 2:44 PM
My park district offers a class that is based on Pilates.It really works the whole body and emphasizes core muscle conditioning.I think it is just what you're looking for.
hope you have $50 an hour for Pilates lessons (nm)ColnagoFE
May 1, 2003 3:04 PM
Find a Pilates or Pilates type class in your area...snapdragen
May 1, 2003 5:06 PM
I second the Pilates suggestion. Locally we have mat classes for $15/session. But, most gyms are now offering Pilates or Pilates type classes. I hate situps and crunches and never kept them up - with Pilates I don't have to - and my core strength is awesome -- if I do say so myself!
squats and deadlifts are great for entire bodyColnagoFE
May 1, 2003 3:02 PM
as well as doing core work on the ball and your basic crunches and such. back extentions won't hurt you. just don't use weights and watch your form--try them on the ball. other good ones for cycling are seated rows and shoulder presses. might also want to work those triceps with some pulldowns as well. make sure you get someone that knows what they are doing to help you with form. deadlifts and squats will kill you if you do them wrong, but are probably the best compound exercises you can do if sone right.
deadlifts for a newbie?BergMann
May 1, 2003 5:59 PM
Start on nautilus machines to isolate the specific groups involved in a compound exercise like deadlifts, and use a leg press machine to start with in lieu of leg presses.
Save "macho" stuff like deadlifts for a point in time when you have accumulated sufficient muscle mass and tone not to hurt yourself. Even many fit and lean endurance atheletes I know do not have sufficient muscle mass on their shoulders to support a naked barbell comfortably for squats.
I disagreeSpoiler
May 1, 2003 8:34 PM
If you can pick a quarter off the ground you can deadlift. If you can get off the toilet without using railings, you can squat.

This is the problem. People label exercises like deadlifts and squats as "macho" lifts.

No ones saying you have to start off with eight plates on the oly bar. Start off with the bar only. Take advantage of the beginner's light weight to develop proper form.

People who develop leg strength on nautulus and leg press machines get injured when they try to squat or dead lift because they think they have the leg strength to jump into heavy squats.

The months of leg presses have given them bad form and zero back strength. The machines only give them linear, single muscle group strength. They've relied on the machine to provide all the stability.
To avoid injury, they'd have to start squatting or deadlifting with just the bar because they can only squat safely within the limits of their weakest link, their core muscles.
It's much easier to start out squatting and deadlifting with light weights and develop good form, then increase the weight.
I've never been in a weight room that didn't have shoulder pads that wrap around the bar for squatting.
Sorry, I disagree. Bar is 35 pounds. To heavyKristin
May 2, 2003 5:49 AM
That's way to much for someone starting from zero. I've read a couple books on this and both state as much--as well as the staff at my gym (small office gym). Someone starting from zero is going to lack good balance and technique. If a new person with poor muscle definition looses balance with a 35 pound bar on their back, they can really tear something.

A person can immitate a dead lift with an 8 pound weight in each hand and this would be much more reasonable. These are what I was doing before.
re: Need some newbie strength exercisesSpoiler
May 1, 2003 3:02 PM
What is the Berhardt program? If it prescribes 40-60 reps of 27 exercises, it's garbage. To be truthful, I don't think strength exerices will help your comfort on long rides. I kind of thin the yoga suggestion is pretty good. I also think that you should consider squats. Why? Because they're so economical. They work your legs, your back, and your abdominals, all in one exercise. The reason people avoid them or never consider them is because they think they're just for roided out World's Strongest Man competitors. (Or they're just plain HARD)
Since they work so much of your body, you don't need to use a ton of weight for them to be effective.
If you do them, don't use a "Smith" machine. You want to force for entire body to work to stabalize the weight, not have a machine do it for you.
re: Need some newbie strength exerciseswillem72
May 1, 2003 9:57 PM
Suggest seat back 0.5 cm, maybe down 0.25 cm & stem shorter by 1.0 cm, done slowly.

And a core strengthening exercise routine. I have a swiss ball and it's fun - just balancing and rolling around, as well as the exercises discussed above. Situps easier because softer than floor.

Keep larfing...
W
In regards to your initial postingNo_sprint
May 2, 2003 7:10 AM
I believe the problems you're having are from a lack of core strength rather than a lack of shoulder and neck strength. Thus, my posting, core first. Whether you include back extensions or not, developing your core strength will likely help you most. It is my opinion that crunch/sit ups on the stability ball can be harder on your back than extensions. It is easier to have bad form on the ball. I'll re-recommend Pilates too. Good luck.
Thanks!!Kristin
May 2, 2003 8:28 AM
I worded my response poorly before. I was in a hurry when I posted it. I will do back extension, I think they're good to do. My remark was more about doing them on a pedastel--which I believe should be avoided by all but experienced lifters. (Based purely on what I've read/been told.)