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When do you lift weights???(19 posts)

When do you lift weights???funknuggets
Dec 30, 2003 7:51 AM
Quick question for those who lift hard in the winter. This is especially for Friel followers who are in or around their Max Strength phase. My question, on what days do you lift during Base and build phases? Because, after lifting, my legs are freaking toasted. In looking at Friel's schedule, it doesn't say specifically which days on which to lift... for example, do you lift hard on your off day, or do you lift hard on your endurance days or what? I just want to make sure I am getting the maximum benefit for my efforts and not decreasing the benefits of Friel's plan.

Then, on top of that, does time spent weightlifting get included into your specified "training time". So if you have 2 hours scheduled for that day, and spend 1 hour in the gym, are you only supposed to ride for 1 hour? Or, is the specified weekly hours for specific on-the-bike training?

Then, Friel also has specific target numbers for people to strive for for their maxes for 3x6. What do you do if you exceed those, should you stick to the specified upper target limits... or should you go above the upper range? Cause all I do is get bigger, and that seems to be opposed to what I want (to get leaner and lighter to increase my p to w ratio).

Thanks... and merry funkin Christmas
mondays & thursdays_rt_
Dec 30, 2003 8:10 AM

i'm not using Friel's plan but i am lifting hard as part of my training plan. i lift on my off (non-cardio) days and i focus almost entirely on upper body. the only leg exercise i do is leg press. the rest of my leg strength work i get through cycling specific drills on the bike (tues, wed, fri, with LSD on the weekends).

time in the gym is NOT counted toward my specified training time. only time on the bike counts toward my specified training time. i had this same discussion with a friend of mine a few weeks ago (she's using Friel's plan) and we agreed that weights shouldn't count toward training time because time in the gym is subject to other stuff, e.g., having to wait for equipment if the gym is busy, number of sets you do, how long you wait between sets, etc...

you may want to rethink your weight programColnagoFE
Dec 30, 2003 8:12 AM
If you keep getting bigger and don't want to be any bigger then you might think about cutting way down on your weight training and concentrating more on the bike. Also eat less. If you're taking Creatine, stop taking it. It's really hard to build muscle if you don't have the fuel to do so. Are you eating a bodybuilder's type diet? You may need to cut back on the calories a bit. Also maybe go a bit easier on your weight efforts...maybe a 'bit' lighter weight and somewhat higher reps for a couple sets instead of the heavy efforts that seem to be toasting your legs. Focus on compounds and try to stick to just a few strength building exercises instead of many. If you are doing a split you should be able to get in your workout in 30 minutes or less. Full body in a hour or less. If you're spending longer then I'm guessing you are overdoing the weights. Also make sure you spin on the bike for 15-30 minutes after a weight session. Helps with recovery and transferring the weight training benefits to your cycling.
howdy FE, here we are again....funknuggets
Dec 30, 2003 8:31 AM
I had a feeling that you would respond, FE. Hope you had a great christmas. No, this year I wanted to put Friel's plan through its paces. I picked bits and pieces last year and came into the season in great shape, but blew the plan to pieces when I got into the season. This year I want to give it a chance. Anyway, I got Friel's 3rd Edition a while back and was looking at the weight section. It has upper limits for 5 basic lifts, squats, leg press, lat pulldown, bench, and seated rows. For example, for men, I think the upper limit goal is something like 2.97xbody weight... so If I weigh 170, my upper limit for a 3x6 would be 505. Ok, so... do I keep going up... or do I just stay there to maintain? Im currently doing more. But for upper body, I dont want to get any bigger... so I just do the upper limit. I think the bench press goal is somthing like 1.13xbody weight, which for me is 192. I dont go above that for my 3x6. Same thing applies for the other upper body stuff.

My question in relation to WHEN to lift in comparison to the friel plan. TYPICALLY, the plan has off/easy on Monday, endurance on tuesday, speed/power on wednesday, endurance on thursday...etc, etc. So, on what days does heavy lifting or maintenance lifting "fit" as it pertains to recovery? He doesnt cover that very well.

As for supplements, I do only basics, omega3, multivite, glucosamine chondritin, and ibuprofen... and I take a postworkout recovery supplement... no creatine (although it seems that Friel is not opposed to it).

As I have mentioned before FE, I used to be a lean 192 and have just finally slimmed down to 170 after 3 years of riding. However, whenever I get into the gym, my muscles get full and round and build fast... I guess it is called muscle memory, but who knows.
one more thing...funknuggets
Dec 30, 2003 8:32 AM
diet is decent... like around 2100-2500 calories, with 150-170g protien per day.

if you keep gaining unwanted muscle massColnagoFE
Dec 30, 2003 10:56 AM
You might want to cut a few hundred calories out if you keep adding unwanted mass. Not too much, but experiment to see at what point you stop gaining. Even pro bodybuilders on massive steroids won't gain muscle if they aren't eating enough. You don't want to starve yourself...just find that balance where you are adding strength without adding mass.
limits on weight seem strangeColnagoFE
Dec 30, 2003 10:53 AM
I'm no expert, but it seems that there is such variation in strength due to genetics and muscle composition that putting actual weight rules into a program is not a great idea. I'd be more inclined to go up in weight if you can and ignore the limits. I'm guessing your background as a weightlifter has trained your fast twitch muscle fibers well and your muscle memory is allowing you to lift heavier weights than the typical bird-chested cyclist using Freils program. Drop him an email--he might be able to give you some reasoning behind the limits that makes sense--otherwise I'd be inclined to modify that bit of advice and raise the weights some as you progress. Your weight lifting background probably also has you lifting "harder" in intesity than most cyclists just jumping into the gym after a summer layoff from the gym. I'd be careful using his program--you may have to limit the intensity of effort or risk overtraining. I was making great gains with a full-body program 3x a week and then started hitting a wall and overtraining when the weights got too high and I started adding back in longer aerobic sessions. Had to cut back to 4x a week split (upper/lower) for weights and increased cardio considerably. So far it seems to be working. I was feeling wrecked all the time. Now the built in rest seems to be allowing me enough time to recover. Recovery is gonna be a individual thing too. A 20 year old will bounce right back after a hard session--a 40 year old may need more time. Again like the weight limit recommendations it's a hard thing to make a hard and fast rule about. I try to put my hard leg efforts at the beginning of the week as I like to have something left for the weekend of riding. Also if you are doing something new or have not been lifting for a while it may take a few weeks to get your legs used to the new routine. The soreness may go away on its own.
No, I'm no expert, you FE know what you're talking about! nmAsiago
Dec 30, 2003 11:58 AM
thanks for the compliment, but I still have a lot to learn nmColnagoFE
Dec 30, 2003 1:37 PM
Dec 30, 2003 11:56 AM
No expert, but since you are relating to Friel (which I am not doing BTW) and the 3x6s, I believe in the strength phase he talks about upping the reps beyond 6 rather than upping the weight and staying at 6 reps.

so you are saying...funknuggets
Dec 30, 2003 12:03 PM
stick to the 505 on leg press, and just do 3x12 or something to that nature, rather than up the weight and do 3x6 at say.... 650. I guess that would make sense. I wonder if there is that whole law of diminishing returns once you pass the "upper limit" for your body weight as it pertains to stress on joints, tendons, and such...
No, I'm not saying it, Friel is... :)Asiago
Dec 30, 2003 12:11 PM
In the third edition, look on page 156 in Sidebar 12.4.

"The goal is to complete three sets of six repetitions each at these loads by the end of the MS phase. If a goal is reached early, mantain the load and increase the repetitions beyond six for the remainder of the MS phase."

Thanks, I just wonder what the justification of the limit is(nm)funknuggets
Dec 30, 2003 12:18 PM
Thanks, I just wonder what the justification of the limit is(nm)Asiago
Dec 30, 2003 12:26 PM
"It is tempting for some athletes to extend this phase beyond the recommended ranges in the table. Don't do it. Continuing this phase for several weeks is likely to result in muscle imbalances, expecially in the upper leg, which may contribute to hip or knee injuries."

Dec 30, 2003 1:44 PM
I still say it depends on the person and the goals. There is no reason I can think of that lifting heavier or for a longer period of time will result in muscle imbalances assuming you have a well thought out program built around compounds, good form and [mostly] using free weights instead of machines that can tend to isolate certain muscle groups which MAY open the door to imbalances. Now there may be a case for cutting down the weight lifting to concentrate on your cycling, but the potential muscle imbalance isn't the reason. Overtraining may also be a result of pushing it too hard or long.
Tomorrow, and I think once in October...Cory
Dec 30, 2003 9:12 AM
No, actually I'm pretty much on the same schedule as _rt_. I concentrate on my upper body except for some heavy work on the leg press machine. My program's a little loose now (it will get better tomorrow...), but in general the lifting days are recovery days for my legs, and the riding days are recovery from weights. Works pretty well from an overall fitness standpoint. If I were racing I might focus on my legs more, but once you pass 50 you really have to stay on top of your upper body or you lose strength and flexibility.
re: When do you lift weights???Matt Britter
Dec 30, 2003 10:02 AM
I do follow the Friel program and by no means an expert, but will give answers the best I know. Lifting is part of the weekly hours. You can combine workouts to get the daily hours, like your example. Usually a skill or force workout with the balance of the time spent in Z1 or Z2 as an endurance ride.
Lifting can be done on any day, really is left up to you. Just do not schedule anything hard the next day.

Do not get hung up on the numbers for the lifting. It is better to lift lighter and not be as sore. Less is more. Setup you schedule, then start adding weight as you progress. If you can do the sets 100% in form then move the weight up.

The couple of areas I watch very closely are the big hour rides (which are usually low heart rate) and the BT workouts for the week. You need these three things each week. Missing workouts is going to happen, but again watch these three areas.
When my sons leave them in my way! nmdzrider
Dec 30, 2003 10:19 AM
re: When do you lift weights???Asiago
Dec 30, 2003 12:01 PM
I lift M-W-F. I build day to day and week to week. My coach has me counting my time spent in the gym as part of my training time. My lifting is focused on legs and core with minimal upperbody.