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Suggest a weight regimen please!(8 posts)

Suggest a weight regimen please!katie1
Oct 22, 2003 4:38 PM
I have decided to take the advice of my friends and lift some weights during the off season this winter. The problem is no one has suggested what to do. Any suggestions?

Does swimming compliment cycling?

Thanks for any advice. I hope these questions don't sound too stupid.
What I've donepitt83
Oct 22, 2003 5:50 PM
I'm starting up again as the season winds down (cyclo-cross ramps up though=)), so timely response.

Start at a weight where you're comfortable and really work at the last 3 reps

Squats (or leg press and extension machine)
Lat Pulldown
Bench Press (dumbells or bar)
Seated Rows
Hamstring Curls
Standing Rows
Bicep Curls
Tricep press
Sit ups

Do one set of 20, then start over twice (3 run throughs)

Twice a week for 10 weeks. Stationary trainer or running the other days and at least one day off. Increase 5% or 5lbs (whichever is do-able) when the last 3 reps are easy.

You'll be ripped by New Years.

Swimming will help build aerobic capacity, but do little else to improve your cycling. YMMV.
Oct 22, 2003 6:53 PM
If you like to swim as cross trianing, to get more cycling-specific benefits, try some of the following.

At the end of every workout, grab a kickboard and kick 500 yards/meters of fly. You'll build core strength, hamstrings, quads and endurance. Get a pair of Zoomers fins for this and up to 50% of your other swim training.

If your pool deck has a high lip on it (e.g., 6 inches or more above the waterline), do some "pool deck push ups." This is getting out of the pool from a deep start using strictly your triceps (no leg kick), up to a full arm extension, then drop back to where you were. Try these in sets of 50.

In the gym, be sure to include a fair amount of stretching of your hamstrings. You'll need this flexibility for power development and maintaining good body position on the bike.

I've also found that rowing 5,000 meters at a time on the Concept 2 rowing machine is a killer workout that exhausts a lot of the same muscles as the bike, but alot quicker!
re: Suggest a weight regimen please!NewDayNewWay
Oct 22, 2003 5:54 PM
There are folks on this board that are probably experts at this, but here is my 2 cents...

First off, you don't provide any indication about your current physical condition. So if you're 20 years old and you ride like Lance, that's one thing. Me, I'm nearing 40 with two kids, full time job, and little time.

With weight lifting, keep in mind that your entire body pretty much has to adapt to the weights. The mistake I think people make is they start maxing out from their first workout, but your body (muscles, nervous system, oxygen delivery system, ligaments, etc.) need to adapt. It's not just he muscles.

So, I would advise a transition period. As an example, here is what I basically did, and how I will transition to heavier lifting in the winter...

I started out with a four week period with established core exercises (bench press, leg extensions, leg curls, crunches, stiff-leg deadlifts, and bent rows). Three weeks of lifting per plan, followed by one week of rest with only light lifting. I was also actively biking, and biking was the priority over weight lifting at this time, so I kept this low key. For each exercise, I established a rep range. For example, for the bench press, the rep range was 8 to 10. I also limited the number of sets to two per exercise. Rather than max out, I preplanned what weight I would lift, and I started with a much lower weight than I knew I could lift. For example, for the bench press, I did two sets of 10 reps with 80 lbs for each set (same weight for both sets because weight was so low it didn't matter). Then, every other work out roughly, I increased the weight, but I always lifted 10 reps for bench presses, for example, and the last rep was NOT maximum effort. Again, the idea here was to establish a base lifting routine, while maintaining primary focus on riding, and get my body adjusted (all body systems) to the lifting.

I'm now in the second four-week period where I've added two sets of squats to the above. Still doing maximum rep with moderate (but not max) effort on the last rep on all exercises. This is intended as a transition period to allow my knees etc. to adapt to the squats to minimize chance of injury when I transition to much heavier weights and more sets.

The next four week phase will be moderate effort but minimum rep for some exercises(e.g., 8 reps for bench press), and I'll transition to three sets for some exercies (e.g., squats). So, in the previous period, I might have lifted 100 lbs for the bench press for 10 reps and then 90 lbs for one set for 10 reps. For the current period, I would gradually work up to, for example, 120 lbs for one set for 8 reps, 110 lbs for 8 reps, and then 100 lbs for 8 reps, still without max effort on the last rep.

Then, when it gets really cold, I'll go to minimum rep, but with max effort on the last rep, as my biking now is back seat to lifting. Weight increases to whatever I can do, but alway staying in the rep range for the exercise. Squats become the focus, with as much weight as is possible for 8-10 reps. Leg extensions take a back seat. My target for bench press is about 140 lbs on the first set. For squats, I'll have to see what I can do, but in the past I haven't focused as much on squats, but we'll see what I can do this winter!

For earlier periods, the upper body exercises tend to be done first, and I move down the body. For later periods, I move the leg work up in the workout. Also, for the earlier periods, I do a lot of supersetting (no rest between exercises), sometimes doing the entire weight lifting routine with only pauses to change weights.

Anyways, there's a lot more involved, but that might give you some things to think about!

Oct 23, 2003 4:11 AM
I appreciate all of the advice. I did some surfing on the net after I posted the question and found similar responses.

As for my fitness, I consider myself in good shape. I race during the season, so I was looking for suggestions to complement my winter riding.
a good websiteColnagoFE
Oct 23, 2003 8:27 AM
Check out this site...great advice especially for women but good advice for all:

I'd suggest hiring a personal trainer if you can swing it so you can learn proper form. If you get a good one it will be worth the $.
A few more thoughts..................bent_spoke
Oct 23, 2003 7:35 AM
Others have mentioned the need to transition into weight training. As a starting point, you need to find a weight that your comfortable with. For biking, you want to build overall strength, so doing alot of weight is not necessary and could be harmful, limit your progress or dampen your motivation.

A recommendation is to do between 40-60% of your maximum amount to begin with. Since you are new to lifting, the easiest way to to estimate your max. is to find a weight that you can lift at least 4 times but not more than 10. Using a factor of .90 for 4 reps and .75 for 10 reps you can approx. your max. You divide the weight lifted by the factor to get your max.

For example, if you can lift 50lbs for 4 reps your max would be about 55lbs (50/.90) Using this max, a good weight to start training with would be about 22 lbs using the low end of the scale or 40% of your max. Using a lower weight will help you ease into training, avoid injury & help you build strength & confidence (leave the heavy lifting & grunting for Arnold & Co.). (to estimate for reps 5 thru 9, subtract .025 from the preceeding factor, .90, .875, etc.). This may seem a little complex, but it'll get you started, using a reasonable amount of weight, which is somewhat hard to determine when you are just beginning.

This approach to lifting is from one Joe Friel's books on cycling. He lays out a more complete training program, that covers riding, weights, etc. if you are really interested in getting serious. It's worth a look if you can get a copy from a friend or the library.

You will be amazed at how quickly your body will respond if you do this 2 times per week. In only a couple of weeks you will notice a differnce and in 8-10 weeks you should have a good base. Once you gain some strength & experience you can try more weight, but build in small increments, backing off if the reps get to be too much. To keep things interesting, I always have some good music as a distraction & a motivator. Have fun & good look with your program!!
form is the keyColnagoFE
Oct 23, 2003 8:34 AM
You can injure yourself with light weights. It is just harder to do. No reason you can't go with heavier weights once you get your form down though. Using free weights instead of machines will force you to learn form quickly. Freil's is only one approach. There are countless theories on how to train, but when you are starting out all that really matters is that your form is good and you are consistently lifting.