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 Post subject: Weights once a week
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:52 pm 
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Owing to work and other commitments I think I can only go to the gym once a week through the winter for a max of 1.5hrs. Far from ideal, I just need someone to tell me it is worth it.

I will be riding at least 20miles a day through the week too.

Advice....?

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 Post subject: Weights once a week
Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:52 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: Weights once a week
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:32 pm 
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richardtoddywoddy wrote:
Owing to work and other commitments I think I can only go to the gym once a week through the winter for a max of 1.5hrs. Far from ideal, I just need someone to tell me it is worth it.

I will be riding at least 20miles a day through the week too.

Advice....?


What is your fitness level, what is your goal and what do you mean by a gym workout? Also what does "20miles a day through the week too" mean each day including weekend, on the order of 150 miles per week?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:08 pm 
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The point behind weight training is to improve strength and general health.

There has been an endless argument about strength training for cyclists. I'm not going to argue that going to the gym will help your speed or anything like that. What I would say is that gym work can be very healthy for other reasons. First, it's a mental break. The gym helps you focus on your muscles, helps you learn how to use them. Simply put, a mental break is something that takes your focus off your target, and the gym is a good way to do that. Second, the gym strengthens your supporting tissues. Have you ever heard of those plaguing knee problems that cyclist often get, well, if you strength train (and stretch) you're less likely to get these type injuries, including back and shoulder problems. In building these supporting tissues, strength training also allows you to build a platform for cycling specific muscles (fast and slow twitch), meaning over the long haul you'll be able to build more speed. Third, strength training builds confidence. Building strength in the gym will help you feel stronger than your competition, and if that's the edge that puts you across the line in 1st vs. 2nd, then it's worht the effort.

Anways... you don't need to go to the gym to get strength training in. But if you only have 1.5 h a week, I would focus on your cycling muscles. Lunges, squats, leg curls, leg lifts, etc. In that 1.5 h you should be able to do 3 sets of 15 reps at a very low weight. Remember, the idea is not to build bulk, so avoid putting on those big plates. I use the bar without any weight for the first half of my gym period. Core muscles can benifit a lot from routine strengthening. Strong abs are always a favorite with the wife/girlfriend. Core muscles are important when ballancing the force against the pedals. Your legs are pushing down, and it's your core that keeping your body from getting all mangled up. Strengthening the core also helps prevent injury to the lower and upper body. If you do do an upper body workout, work those bis/tris/and deltoids... cyclists tend to have weak rear delts, making our shoulders curl forward when sitting in a chair.

You can get a lot of strength traingiing done at home. Push ups, sit ups, chin ups, pull ups, lunges, etc.. all are great, and don't require equipment.

Last but not least, a recent study out shows that strength training in cylists is important to maintain and build bone density. You've be surprised how many cyclists end up with low bone densities in their later years. I assure you, breaking a hip when you're 85 years old is not fun. Best to start working on preventing that now.

And if that doesn't get you motivated... think of all the cute girls who need to be looked at. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Weights once a week
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:20 pm 
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John979 wrote:
richardtoddywoddy wrote:
Owing to work and other commitments I think I can only go to the gym once a week through the winter for a max of 1.5hrs. Far from ideal, I just need someone to tell me it is worth it.

I will be riding at least 20miles a day through the week too.

Advice....?


What is your fitness level, what is your goal and what do you mean by a gym workout? Also what does "20miles a day through the week too" mean each day including weekend, on the order of 150 miles per week?


John, I ride 80 - 100miles a week commuting, do about 30mins on the trainer spinning one night in the week and 50 - 70 miles on Sunday. Saturday I do nothing. :D Plan is to add some leg exercises at the gym and skip the commute that day for a month or two, then add the commute for a month, then drop the gym and go out on a Monday night and ride this bitch of a hill 5 times in a row in a big gear.

Upper body, yes, the weights in my room will be dusted off and used, and I will do some time on the Concept 2s to try to get the 2000m at level ten under 7 mins again like it was last year. :)

My aim is to ride a season of MTB doing the NPS, and also some 24hr team races next year.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:22 pm 
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What are the best leg exercises in the gym for cyclists? (apart from jumping on the stationery bike :roll: )


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:54 pm 
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split squats, leg press, back extensions.


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 Post subject: Re: Weights once a week
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:25 pm 
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richardtoddywoddy wrote:
Owing to work and other commitments I think I can only go to the gym once a week through the winter for a max of 1.5hrs. Far from ideal, I just need someone to tell me it is worth it.

It's worth it :D Though if I were you I would try to make it 45 mins twice a week; 3 days in between workouts is enough to lose some fitness, so you might not make the gains you were hoping for once a week.

Now if your aim is to improve on the bike, it's a good idea not to neglect the neuromuscular adaptations required later in the season - or for that matter the development of glycogen pathways your muscles need not to be fatigued too easily. These things require time spent pedaling. But right now is a good time not to be too specific, so you might as well improve your strength!

And if you were looking for really good advice tailored to your needs ... perhaps you should consult a coach. All we can do really is speak in gross generalities.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 12:31 am 
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richardtoddywoddy;
Given your goals, I believe your approach is sound, but I would caution you against any weight lifting targeting the legs. Given you live in England, I would recommend looking up Ric Stern -- IMHO a premier coach who is experienced, learned and smart. You may not decide to engage him, but he is accessible in various forums and is quite thought provoking.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:14 am 
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Thanks John.... Ric Stern.... isn't he that DJ guy.... :D

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 5:26 pm 
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richardtoddywoddy wrote:
Thanks John.... Ric Stern.... isn't he that DJ guy.... :D


Really? Ric Stern's (the coach) website is http://www.cyclecoach.com/ actually I think he lives in Wales.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:10 pm 
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In http://cyclingforums.com there is a sticky in the training forum on this very topic.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:41 pm 
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My reading on training has suggested that if you use your rest day in the gym to stay well clear of leg work...

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:26 pm 
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My rest day is Saturday, and is normally spent in Windsor or London doing as little as possible.

I have joined a gym, and will be going twice a week for 45min sessions :D

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:41 am 
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Richard, twice a week for gym work is plenty.

Start easy for at least 4 weeks to help prevent injury and remember to always plan your workout with large muscle groups first and smaller muscle groups last.
ie squats/leg press/bench press etc first and then the targeted execises last such as calf raises, quad extensions, hamstring curls etc.

Don't forget the core strength and stability training mentioned by ras11. Core stability is highly under rated. Ignoring core strength and stability is like getting the worlds stiffest bars, stem and cranks, and then attaching them to a noodle of a frame!

If you have no anatomy/physiology knowledge I would definitely recommend meeting with a strength and conditioning coach and picking their brain for a while. This will give you a place to start, and there are many good textbooks available on functional anatomy.

:)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:11 am 
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There is a part of me which loves the pain of the rowing machine too. I do 2000 meters on this slowly (9min 15secs) before doing anything else. I will ease into it, see how it goes and do my MTB year. Next year (2007) I will consult coaches and do some road racing.

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