Moderator: Moderator Team
So, I'm really stuck in the gym for training . does anyone have a gym program they use for training? currently every week I'm doing:
1x long run on treadmill (12-13km)
1x interval session on gym bike ( 4 x 15 minutes effort at 95% FTP, 5 mins rest.)
2x weight sessions/strengthening sessions which includes per session:
3x 12 weighted squats
2x 12 Leg Press
2x 12 Leg Curl
2x 12 Bench Press
2x 8 Chin Ups
3 x5 Dead Lifts
2 x 12 weighted Lunges
2x 20 Russian twists
2 x 1 minute Swiss Ball Bridge
2x 1 minute swiss ball plank
2 x 1 minute Swiss ball superman
2 x 15 lower back raises
any comments, suggestions?
Best scenario would be to do more more on the gym bike. 20min, 10min, 5min or 3min interval durations would be my pick for trying to help any potential TT performance in the not too distant future, e.g.: 2x20min, 3 x 10mins, 5 x5 mins, etc etc.
If you're going to do a strengthening session then do a strengthening session. If your squat is nearing 1.5x times bodyweight and you've hit a plateau then maybe look to assistance exercises. Otherwise simple is good. Simple is effective. And by squat it should be a proper squat i.e.: if you're using the "pussy pad" and not going below parallel then research/get coaching so you are squatting proper. I am little biased to the technique used in Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe which is a low bar squat. Doing a gazillion leg presses or walking lunges is largely pointless for a cyclist.
SO for strengthening:-
2 times per week
* Squat 3 sets 5 rep.
* Alternate: Bench 3 x 5 and Press 3 x 5
* Alternate: Deadlift 1 x 5, Chins 3 set till failure.
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG
I'd also drop bench presses, leg presses, leg curls and chin ups. You're not really wishing to build upper body muculature, and it's certainly debatable that leg presses and curls translate to any increase in power on the bike.
What I would keep is intervals, tempo and endurance on the bike trainer. Extend the time there. Pretty much the main focus of days at the gym. Stretching as well. Hamstrings, IT bands etc ought to be stretched every day.
For strength work, you probably only need that 2-3 times a week. Keep working on core strength with a variety of planks, the back raises etc - that will do all you need for your upper body, but more importantly strengthen the core. Could do squats or lunges, and possibly dead lifts, but try to work on lower weight and higher reps with explosive speed out of the rest position, keeping in mind that it's likely the only thing this will help is explosive, very short duration neuromuscular strength efforts on the bike.
Certainly, it's a matter of debate as to what is and is not helpful to a cyclist in terms of gym work, but I've found stretching (of course) and core work to be absolutely helpful, with a little explosive strength work (squats or lifts) to be possibly helpful. The rest, not so much. YMMV of course.
Warm up for 5-10 mins on level 9-12. Then 30 mins on level 16/20, a few mins on level 17= 500 cals.
Then warm down for a few mins, go to alpine pass setting on level 17 for 17 mins= 200 cals.
Then warm down, go to sit down arm elevation machine for two position three reps at 90 kilo's, then from behind sit down arm machine for two position three reps at 90 kilo's.
Then have a shower.
I'm a big fan of oly style squats for 100 different reasons, but IMO front squats and good mornings are probably the most important lifts that might tangibly carry over to cycling in any way. I also think that, yes, leg presses have their role.
For tt'ing any kind of gym work that I think might ever help would only be things related to mobility and reducing the enlistment of postural muscles in the TT position, however, this comes down to fit more than it does weight training. Lots of mobility work and static/dynamic bracing work might help if you're truly that weak. Some cyclists are, some aren't.
IMO any weight room work would really have to tangibly augment what you're doing on the bike. If you were trying to enhance overall CP system ouput and/or neuromuscular strength endurance then some would say that it can be of use. I used to think that it never could be until I worked with a rider that had incredible aerobic potential and a decent snap in the sprint, but lacked in overall neuromuscular power. His coach before me heavily advocated and appropriate weight training program that paired building his CP/NM output in the gym and on the bike simultaneously and it was surprising how much he improved on the bike in both of those areas in many measurable ways. I myself don't have that weakness and found the work to be of little use in the past.
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG
As for Good Mornings it again comes down to what type of rider you're training, but I find them to be one of the best glute, trunk, and posterior chain movement there is and they come with the added benefit of not recruiting as much upper back muscles as a RDL or deadlift. For a short duration track rider this doesn't matter, but for a road cyclist or track enduro rider that is convinced they need weights it, to me, has the added benefit of not incurring as much potential recruitment and hypertrophy of upper body muscles that aren't necessary while still working on hip extension power.
Lastly, both movements are extremely easy to teach IMO and most trainees seem to have an easier time adapting to proper front squat form than back squat form. For some reason most people take a really long time to get proper back squat and oly squat form and since this part of the season is limited only taking 1-3 sessions to get proper front squat form down is better than taking twice as long to get back squat form down especially since back squat strength is more commonly limited by posterior chain development, which many road cyclists do not necessarily have and need as much. Again for track riders its much different. While I and most strength coaches I've known over the years in the US are not fans of Rippetoe (he really doesn't produce much), I do agree with him that some of the basic power movements are a great starting point.
As for loading patterns and volumes I see it less as % of 1RM and more of total set duration. If an athlete needs maximal power then they're going target a multitude of systems, one primary system being the initial creatine phosphate system. I've found that limiting the total set duration to under 15 seconds (pretty easy), keeping the repetitions within 80% of 1 RM, and simply using total volume to manipulate load makes more sense to transfer to that specific on the bike goal. On the bike I've seen doing what I call sprint starts (high cadence of 100-105 rpm, 5 10s quick spin outs/jumps every minute for 5 minutes) work well in tandem since they target the same system, but repeatability instead of overall gross capacity. For those that feel (again I'm not 100% sure if this is even proven) that NM recruitment is their issue, doing timed sets under of 30s-120s of duration, circuits, etc and then immediately jumping on a stationary bike and doing 30s-120s power stomps at a low cadence (as well as doing them on the road) has seemed to had positive qualitative results from the riders I know that have done them. My sample size is low, but before cycling I spent years working with elite powerlifting coaches, olympic lifters (that are on the olympic level), pro strongmen, and many Division 1 strength and endurance coaches and have transferred the way they use specificity the best I can to cycling.
I'm not sure its always the right solution nor am I sure that it works for every cyclist because my sample size is low, but those that have employed a lifting plan like this (they requested it, I did not) did see very positive gains in neuromuscular strength, sprint power, and snap (using microbursts as a test) which was the goal. I feel that its incredibly risky, however, because so many road riders could spend the time working on FTP or doing on-the-bike work. The riders that benefitted from such workouts last season were all former swimmers or cross country runners in high school/college and already had very developed FTPs and aerobic systems, but almost 0 strength which was proving to be a limiter on really steep climbs, at the end of punchy crits, and power from 15s-30s.
I'm still not convinced lifting is the answer for enduro and road riders, but found that using specificity and energy systems to guide the training made more sense than following traditional programs adapted from strength sports and athletics. Those sports are heavily limited by muscular strength and power and those athletes generally move for 5s to 20s max and then rest/recover for another 5 minutes or so. No sense in training a cyclist like you would a running back.
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