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When do I lift?(6 posts)

When do I lift?jaybag
May 16, 2002 7:07 AM
Its still early season for me and i really need better legs at this piont. I know I should lift weights, but I love riding too much to take a day off to lift. And a day off to recover.
Good news: You don't...Kyle
May 16, 2002 7:53 AM
Ignoring for the moment the heated debate as to whether weight lifting helps your cycling at all, I think almost everyone would agree that the gym is best left for the off-season. During the cycling season, the most you should do is an easy day in the gym once per week to maintain the lifting strength you gained over the winter.

An interesting note: I did my first serious lifting program this winter (November-mid April). My gains were impressive: I estmate that I nearly doubled my squat. Then I took 3 weeks off for a biking trip and am now on a 1 day/week maintenance program. Was it worth it? Interesting question.

When I returned from my trip, I did a 30 second all out sprint on an erg. My incredible leg strength gains translated into a 4.5% increase in max & average power over 30 seconds. Not exactly mind blowing. I'm doing sets of 30 sec. sprints once/week now, and over the next month or so, I hope to see further improvements as I (maybe) convert that lifting strength to pedalling strength.

Will I do it again next winter? Probably. It keeps me off the trainer and makes me feel less lazy. Also, it really improved my ability to shoot up short, steep inclines on XC skis. But the jury's still out on whether it's done anything significant for my cycling.

Good luck
Try muscle tension intervals.Pack Meat
May 16, 2002 8:23 AM
It kind of simuilates weight lifting because you are overstressing muscles and is totally cycling specific. All you have to do is ride up a long incline in a ridiculously large gear at low cadence (55-60 rpms), heart rate will stay low. Try one 10 minute interval and then move up to 3 10 minute intervals with complete rest between each. Concentrate on form and watch for unusual knee pain. If you don't have a good base you may not want to do this.
Need more base. Been snowing here (nm)Kyle
May 16, 2002 9:32 AM
re: When do I lift?hrv
May 16, 2002 8:12 AM
I'm down to lifting maybe twice a week and pretty soon once per week. I try and fit these sessions in after a ride, if I'm not totally toast. This way I'm warmed up and don't have to spend extra days lifting. I spend maybe an hour lifting, and I focus on squats and leg presses. Your legs might feel like crap after the first few times but keep thinking how strong you'll get.

On the bike exercises should be done also, like big gear/low cadence stuff: stomps, power starts, muscle tension intervals. For myself, I couldn't start these until I had a solid base of weight work. Watch those knees!

re: When do I lift?distinctHead
May 16, 2002 9:17 AM
I do exclusive weight training on the off-season, but during the season I do high-rep calisthenics (i.e. half-squats, leg lifts, push-ups, crunches etc) and the only lifting I do is calf curls once a week after my ride. This helps me actually improve upon my off-season strength and doesn't seem to bulk me up as much as weights do. You can accomplish just as much, if not more, with calisthenics and it definately saves your legs during the season.
Ride on,
Eric :-D