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Weight lifting for climber? how much is too much...(16 posts)

Weight lifting for climber? how much is too much...Kwantani
Nov 15, 2002 12:43 PM
Weight lifting in general will help all discipline in cycling. For a climber, is there a way to determine what is the right amount of weight lifting to do so just enough muscle to do the job, but don't want to carry excessive/unneccssary amount of muscle up the hill?

re: Weight lifting for climber? how much is too much...brider
Nov 15, 2002 2:06 PM
Your weight training is going to be geared towards rectifying any muscle imbalances that crop up, for injury prevention purposes. Think of what doesn't get used in cycling, and think core work. Keep the weights fairly light (sets of 10 reps, but no need to go to failure). Upper back stuff (rows, pullups). Pullovers. Some general lifts (deadlifts and squats, bench press). If you tend toward shoulder problems, you should do some L-flyes to keep the rotator cuff healthy.
and on a related noteweiwentg
Nov 15, 2002 2:43 PM
if I gain 5 pounds of muscle (up from a bit under 120), is that going to seriously affect my climbing? it's mostly power climbs over in the Midwest.
weights and weightBryanJL
Nov 15, 2002 4:23 PM you're thinking of hitting the weights, but hesitant because you're concerned you'll gain weight, and thus lose an edge in climbing or cycling performance.

A few things in addressing this issue.

First, weight training, properly performed, is good for you. Improve strength, address muscle imbalances (cyclists are generally pretty imbalanced!!) and gets a strong core (assuming you do sit ups and back extensions, which we all should).

Second, you should read a cycling source regarding weight training as a base for educating yourself. There's a few different schools of thought, though most boil down to a periodization type of program. Differences are in how much weight to do/how many reps to do during the different phases.

Third, it is crucial to understand that weight alone is not the real thing that gets you uphill--the determining factor in pedaling uphill is power--the ability to push the most weight in the shortest time (and usually for a long time)--but more specifically, power to weight ratio. The lighter you are, the less power you need to produce to overcome the hill, and vice versa. And less power isn't as hard to produce as high power.

So...that being said...there'a another important factor that people overlook with respect to a benefit of weight training....muscle burns fat! That is to say, if you have a 1 pound gain in muscle, you will have 1 additional pound of muscle gained, but that muscle will burn fat for fuel. So, you are better off gaining one pound of muscle, which produces more power, and uses more fat, than not gaining 1 pound of muscle.

I should note that this doesn't mean that cyclists should gain pounds and pounds of muscle--but, unless you hit the gym 2x a day, and take special, extreme efforts to gain muscle, you really will not gain it like it's been popularized. You will, however, become stronger with what you've got, and that's what you want.

Many people praise weights, many people think they have little direct effect. Experiment, and see for yourself.Weights are one way to help a person get stronger and burn fat. And when it comes down to it, fat is just extra baggae uphill, so any way that I can get more power and lose more fat (to a healthy range) is a good thing.

Couple weight training with easy rides and you'll make some nice, long-term changes. But remember that while doing weights, you will not be in race form (well, it is the off season anyway).

Good luck hope this helps,

well, sounds like I'll give it a go. thanks! nmweiwentg
Nov 17, 2002 5:57 AM
Brider, your ol' friend has another weight lifting ?James Curry
Nov 18, 2002 7:31 AM
I want to build up to Mario Cipolini's plan! He does weights twice a week, 460# 6X26 leg press!!!

SO anyway, back to reality, I recently went to a back doctor and he told me that my back problems are a direct result of weak, undeveloped hamstrings. He told me I need to stretch daily and later we'll focus on strengthening!

There's not a thing wrong with my back! It's the backs of the legs! Ok, and I HATE stretching too, but so far have vigilantly stuck to the 2-a-day stretching routine.

My Question:

To acheive a good "balance" is there a Leg Curl:Leg Press ratio?

I mean I leg press 450# already quite easily, but only curl 70#, straining. It's pathetic. What target weight should I pick for the hamstring curl and how long is it going to take before I can touch my toes?
do a variety of hamstring lifts....853
Nov 18, 2002 9:59 AM
You cannot compare leg presses with leg curls.
Leg presses recruit many muscles of the leg to perform, while leg curls isolate hamstrings.Do a variety of leg excercises to keep a balance, and change your routine every 4 weeks to avoid plateaus.

Try straight-legged dead lifts. These are awesome
A bit of echo of 853...brider
Nov 18, 2002 10:30 AM
Very true, you can't compare leg press to leg curl for the factors 853 stated. Just as you can't compare bench press to preacher curl. Leg extension would be a better comparison. I've asked the same question on some weight lifting boards, and never got a really satisfactory answer. I've heard that a ratio of 2:1 is good for leg extension vs leg curl, but most people are in the same boat you're in -- good extension, weak curl, and never have any problems.

Since you're not doing squats, there really isn't a directly comparable exercise. I'd recommend doing stiff-legged deadlifts to hit the hamstrings. You could also to standard deadlifts, and 45-degree roman chair back extensions (don't go straight to the horizontal chair). Or you could just keep working the leg curl.

But basically, if I'm reading this right, your doctor is telling you that you have an excessively tipped pelvis, which is forcing extremem lordosis of the spine, due to overly strong and inflexible quads, and comparable weak hammies. Likewise, it could also be tight hip flexors and weak abs, coupled with strong spinal erectors. Same result, different imbalance.

Make sure you're addressing the abs and the hams.
YEah totaly!James Curry
Nov 18, 2002 11:37 AM
Doctor said the same thing. I think though I found my real flexibility when I perform weightlifting first then stretch! Stretching alone doesn't seem to be effective.

How long is it going to take for my flexibility to show up? I have never, in my life, been able to touch my toes! That is the only reason I don't do dead lifts.
Strenght not inversely proportional to flexibilitybrider
Nov 18, 2002 1:05 PM
The only reason that ANY weight lifting movement would cause a loss of flexibility is if you don't stretch. And, BTW, touching your toes IS NOT going to solve a bad pelvis tilt. You need to get the quads flexible (not as easy as it sounds) and loosen up the low back. (Tight low back pulls the pelvis forward farther, so when you try to touch your toes you reach the limits of hamstring flexibility VERY quickly.)

You should see some results from regular stretching in a pretty short time (on the order of a couple weeks), with increasing benefits for some time. But if you get lazy on the stretching, you'll lose the benefits even quicker.
classic case of 'cyclist's butt'lonefrontranger
Nov 18, 2002 3:45 PM
The 'tipped pelvis' being described sounds like what I've always heard described as 'cyclist's butt' i.e. spinal hyperextension, meaning your butt sticks out, sometimes also called 'swayback'.

Both imbalances can cause it, though usually is caused by the strong spinal erectors and correspondingly weak abs that are classic for most road cyclists. This causes a host of issues, particularly in women. I and many of my female teammates and cronies have experienced torn / stretched ITB, psoas, piriformis, quads and glutes, and/or displaced patella, all due to imbalance and weakness in the hip flexors, all directly correlating to the condition known as 'cyclist's butt'. Women exhibit greater injury rates because our correspondingly greater hip angle increases the risk to already stressed and stretched ligaments / muscles.

A good exercise to combat this (along with the typical crunches) is what's known as a 'kickout'. This is where you lie on a bench with your knees at a 90 deg. angle on the floor. To do the kickout, you flex your abs and do a simultaneous crunch and leg raise. If you have weak abs, these will kill you.

Core and balance work also help. This includes doing light upper body weight work on a machine - meaning bicep / tricep curls at ~ 50% of your normal weight, but here's the catch. You do them while standing one-legged on a slightly squishy mat, meaning you have to balance and exert your core muscles to stay upright and keep your form. Doing crunches and hamstring / glute raises using a yoga ball also works, but it's a cast-iron biznitch and will kick your booty.
I knew if we waited long enough Beth would drop a gem like thisshirt
Nov 18, 2002 8:06 PM
But seriously. I have SERIOUS problems with my hips, only in the last six months or so. The right one in particular. I'm gonna start doing the exercises you recommend here.
if you are serious about fixing your broken bumlonefrontranger
Nov 19, 2002 6:26 AM
drop me a mail:

One of my teammates is a personal trainer, and a very good one at that. She's been working me like a rented mule in the gym, but it's mostly balance and core work, not a lot of grunting, posing in the mirror and throwing big iron things around. I find I'm actually looking forward to gym nights if you can believe it - and I hate the gym. The workouts she's using are a lot more varied and interesting than the typical weightlifting, and they are hard as hell. The yoga ball stuff makes me whine, scream, and use words of dubious origin.

I can give you a whole list of stuff she's given me to combat my cyclist's butt.
is it broken if my wife likes it?........nmRode Warrior
Nov 19, 2002 10:13 AM
Probably, since she likes mine better. :-0 (nm)shirt
Nov 25, 2002 3:07 PM
Like Pilates' 100's: similar leg/crunch/ab move. (nm)Spunout
Nov 20, 2002 5:15 AM