Off the bike

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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clutchup
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:16 pm

by clutchup

I'm looking for an off the bike, over the winter, strength training program. Something that works my full body and gives me functional strength. And something that helps the upper body as it's been neglected on the bike.

I'm looking for an at home program that is more then body weight exercises. Problem is I don't have any equipment. I was looking at kettle bells but can't really find a program to follow. The other option is buying a rack, barbell, bench, and weights but that's expensive lol. Not really interested in a gym membership either

Can anyone offer some advice on kettlebells or other at home equipment and programs to follow?

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robertbb
Posts: 1880
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

Could write an entire essay on this subject - over the past 15 years I've spent countless hours under a barbell while training/playing Aussie rules, been a competitive triathlete, dabbled in competitive swimming, then got into Olympic lifting and through it all was always cycling sportives because I just love riding and wrenching on bikes.

Bullet points:

- If you can muster the time and cost, go swim laps freestyle 3 times a week. Do this moderately hard as a compliment to cycling and you'll be a fit, flexible, healthy and happy human.

If you wanna stay on land:

- If you're still going to ride through the winter, get a ski-erg. These are the best compliment to cycling I've ever found. You'll work your entire core and upper body and you can do the movement in such a way that will lock your legs so they can recover for riding days. These are massively under-rated.
- If you're not going to ride, get either a rowing machine (since this will smash your legs as well as your core/upper body)

both of the above won't give you heaps of mass, but you'll gain strength, posture and core stability.

- If you want to hypertrophy, get a barbell and rack. Focus on compound movements like deadlifts, squats, benchpress, overhead press and chinups.

For the love of all things pure and holy, don't do Crossfit and likewise don't bother doing isolation exerises like bicep curls.

Adendum: kettlebells are excellent, but your form is important. You're as likely to bulge a disc as you are to get anything out of them.

cheapvega
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:12 pm

by cheapvega

Weight training for cyclists is interesting. Main issue I see with cycling is an imbalance between the anterior/posterior chains. IOW you spend a lot of hours crunched up like a ball, mainly using your quads. So your anterior muscles are way stronger than your posterior (back, glutes, hamstrings). I would do a super basic program to address that. So a simple full body workout would look something like:

1x pushups/1.5-2x chinups
1x squats/1.5-2x deadlifts
1x general shoulder movement/1.5-2x posture opening exercise

So say if you're doing 2 sets of pushups you'd do 3-4x sets of chinups to help overcome the imbalance created by being in a cycling posture for hours every week.

(One of my pet peeves with weight lifting suggestions is the continued insistence of highly technical barbell lifts... squats specifically. Barbell back squats are relatively simple equipment wise but are a very technical lift with a higher than normal injury potential. Plus they favor certain anatomies- i.e. if you have relatively long femurs squats are going to be rougher on your lower back. I'd look at any compound quad alternative that is easier to execute- even a Smith machine squat is way better IMO).

req110
Posts: 560
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:23 am
Location: Prague, Czechia

by req110

robertbb wrote:
Thu Sep 29, 2022 11:06 am
- If you can muster the time and cost, go swim laps freestyle 3 times a week. Do this moderately hard as a compliment to cycling and you'll be a fit, flexible, healthy and happy human.

If you wanna stay on land:

- If you're still going to ride through the winter, get a ski-erg. These are the best compliment to cycling I've ever found. You'll work your entire core and upper body and you can do the movement in such a way that will lock your legs so they can recover for riding days. These are massively under-rated.
- If you're not going to ride, get either a rowing machine (since this will smash your legs as well as your core/upper body)

both of the above won't give you heaps of mass, but you'll gain strength, posture and core stability.

- If you want to hypertrophy, get a barbell and rack. Focus on compound movements like deadlifts, squats, benchpress, overhead press and chinups.

For the love of all things pure and holy, don't do Crossfit and likewise don't bother doing isolation exerises like bicep curls.

Adendum: kettlebells are excellent, but your form is important. You're as likely to bulge a disc as you are to get anything out of them.
The flexibility from swimming comes automatically as you sport, or requires additional strechting?
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Andrew69
Posts: 545
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:52 am
Location: ɹǝpunuʍop

by Andrew69

req110 wrote:
Sat Oct 08, 2022 5:16 pm
robertbb wrote:
Thu Sep 29, 2022 11:06 am
- If you can muster the time and cost, go swim laps freestyle 3 times a week. Do this moderately hard as a compliment to cycling and you'll be a fit, flexible, healthy and happy human.

If you wanna stay on land:

- If you're still going to ride through the winter, get a ski-erg. These are the best compliment to cycling I've ever found. You'll work your entire core and upper body and you can do the movement in such a way that will lock your legs so they can recover for riding days. These are massively under-rated.
- If you're not going to ride, get either a rowing machine (since this will smash your legs as well as your core/upper body)

both of the above won't give you heaps of mass, but you'll gain strength, posture and core stability.

- If you want to hypertrophy, get a barbell and rack. Focus on compound movements like deadlifts, squats, benchpress, overhead press and chinups.

For the love of all things pure and holy, don't do Crossfit and likewise don't bother doing isolation exerises like bicep curls.

Adendum: kettlebells are excellent, but your form is important. You're as likely to bulge a disc as you are to get anything out of them.
The flexibility from swimming comes automatically as you sport, or requires additional strechting?
Swimming is great as a low impact cardio exercise and it will improve your posture due to strengthening of the core, but swimming in and of itself does lead to an increase in flexibility. As an ex-triathlete that followed the black line for a long time (albeit slowly, lol) it is a great addition to cycling for overall health, but it isnt the answer most people are looking for.

Love the suggestion of the ski-erg though. I already have a concept 2 rower that I use to cross train off season, but my next purchase will most definitely be a ski-erg for all the reasons set out by Robert.

Having said that, cycling, rowing, swimming and ski-erg all still have an issue and that is they are non-load bearing exercises which will lead to a loss of bone density over time. As we age, I think weights or another load bearing exercise (like running) is a must.

What you do is up to you and what you prefer, but I think it is essential you do something load bearing as an addition to cycling

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