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I ride an old steel 14 speed road bike and hills are murder. I thought It'd be a good idea to start lifting weights again to give my legs and entire body more strength. Does weight training really help in cycling? I'd like to be strong as well as fit for riding but I don't know many cyclist that weight train very hard.
 

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orlin03
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I train my core and upper body, but let my biking and running take care of my legs; I'd hate to replace good, fast moving biking muscles with slow twitch, heavy slugs. I know the core work and upper body workouts help me ride faster and longer.
 

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Running and cycling won't make your leg muscles stronger unless you're insanely out of shape to begin with.

Biking and running elicit the most changes in slow twitch muscle fibers. Lifting weights causes the most change in the fast twitch fibers.

There's no conclusive research out there that says lifting helps, but there's definitely nothing out there that says that lifting will hurt you. Most of the research available either sucks or uses untrained subjects.

//Asking this question is like going to the Politics forum and asking what everyone thinks about abortion.
 

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"I ride an old steel 14 speed road bike and hills are murder."

Your options are to ride more, and get stronger legs, or to get lower gears.
Period.

Some explosive weight training can help your sprinting, but lifting lots of heavy weight has little value.
 

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"Does weight training really help in cycling?"

Not much or possibly at all unless you're not riding very much or very hard. Almost certainly, if whatever time you spend lifiting weights was spent instead cycling intensely, you'd end up faster by doing the cycling.

"I'd like to be strong as well as fit for riding but I don't know many cyclist that weight train very hard."

If you want to be strong, lift weights, if you want to be fit for riding, ride (especially with some high intensity in the mix). The cross-training benefits of one for the other is poor at best.
 

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If you haven't been active for a while (some years), and your legs are weak as a result, I think that weight training can help. It'll build leg muscle faster than cycling alone.

If you have been riding for a while already, then it would help your leg strength less. Weight lifting is good for cycling performance if leg strength (not leg muscle endurance) is your limiter. That's not often the case.

When I got back into cycling at age 41 after being sedentary for some years, I did weights and rode. I didn't have any muscle anywhere in my body so I needed to work on both leg strength and overall fitness. I wasn't fit enough to ride for days in a row anyhow, so alternating riding and lifting got me more exercise. Now that I'm fit and riding a lot, I do weights in the winter and pilates year round.

I think that strength training for upper body and core is always important. And for older or middle aged cyclists like me, weight training is good to maintain muscle mass and bone density.
 

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I'm a big advocate of weight lifting to help cycling. Those who don't think so probaly have a limited background in both traing and strength training. As Andre said the studies are limited and inconclusive most use poor exercise choices also. In season is not so much of a help as it is in the off season(is there one any more) but I like to me (and the athletes I work with) in the gym 1-2x/week maybe 20-30min to keep the gains we made.
A well thought out strength training plan can gp a long way to helping increase (not just leg ) strength , resolve muscular imbalance help prevent injuries.
Most cyclist(& endurance athlets in general) are concerned about weight /muscle gain but this (IMO) is nothing to worry about as long as you don't eat like a body builder (&train too much like one) this shouldn't be an issue. Power work in the gym(plyos and O lifts) are very good (good for bone density too).
 

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orlin03 said:
I train my core and upper body, but let my biking and running take care of my legs; I'd hate to replace good, fast moving biking muscles with slow twitch, heavy slugs. I know the core work and upper body workouts help me ride faster and longer.

dumbest post ever.

yeah, you never see track cyclists lifting weights. :rolleyes:
 

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reikisport said:
I'm a big advocate of weight lifting to help cycling. Those who don't think so probaly have a limited background in both traing and strength training. As Andre said the studies are limited and inconclusive most use poor exercise choices also. In season is not so much of a help as it is in the off season(is there one any more) but I like to me (and the athletes I work with) in the gym 1-2x/week maybe 20-30min to keep the gains we made.
A well thought out strength training plan can gp a long way to helping increase (not just leg ) strength , resolve muscular imbalance help prevent injuries.
Most cyclist(& endurance athlets in general) are concerned about weight /muscle gain but this (IMO) is nothing to worry about as long as you don't eat like a body builder (&train too much like one) this shouldn't be an issue. Power work in the gym(plyos and O lifts) are very good (good for bone density too).
:thumbsup:
 

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Yo no fui.
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Do a seach on weight training and related words in these forums. It's a hot topic.

A brief outline of the debate is as follows:

* "It anecdotally helps (helped) me . . . "

* "It anecdotally did not help me . . . "

* "I hear track riders lift weights . . . "

* "I hear pro roadies and xc mountain bikers do not lift weights . . . "

* "We're not pros . . . "

* "We're still subject to the laws of physics and bike workouts are more efficient . . . "

* "I want to look good naked . . . "

Sprinkle in some valid and som invalid scientific analysis and there you go.
 

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"Those who don't think so probaly have a limited background in both traing and strength training."

Or perhaps have a reasonable understanding of the exercise physiology literature related to issues surrounding this topic and draw a conclusion different from yours based on experiences and observations :)

Not to mention they may have their own experiences that differ from yours.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
"Those who don't think so probaly have a limited background in both traing and strength training."

Or perhaps have a reasonable understanding of the exercise physiology literature related to issues surrounding this topic and draw a conclusion different from yours based on experiences and observations :)

Not to mention they may have their own experiences that differ from yours.

I will say that I happen to a little more than a resonable understanding of the exercise physiology lititture(related to this subject) and have read many of the studies, but as I said what leaps out at me is they are short(6weeks or less fro the most part) IMO most use poor exercise choices(why would anybody do leg ext. to help improve cycling) etc.
But as you said other have thier own experiences with strength training, but if you use a well thought out /periodized program I think most would see improvements. That said will help you to have better endurance probably not but will you be able to use a bigger gear(climbing for example) for the same rpe I think so. But then again I come from a more strength and conditioning background, and most of think that S&C work can help with almost anything :)
 

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reikisport said:
But then again I come from a more strength and conditioning background, and most of think that S&C work can help with almost anything :)
One can always argue for most any issue "the right study hasn't been done yet" :)

I've yet to see a study that mimics the way most endurance athletes lift, i.e. off-season weight program that is discontinued in-season.

However, I think from looking at any number of muscle/exercise studies across many different populations, etc. it is unlikely to be true (even if the "right" study is done) that increasing the strength of cycling specific muscles would translate into increased power on the bike for any duration beyond a few tens of seconds at most, perhaps with a large enough increase in muscle mass along with the strength increases, cycling power over durations heavily influenced by an anaerobic component might be improved.

It just seems to me, that generally speaking, the major adaptations that occur in response to strength vs. endurance training don't overlap greatly. And when adaptations do overlap (e.g. glycogen storage or fiber type shift from strength training) that they are reduced to being irrelevant if you are engaging in the more powerful stimulus. This is probably why studies have shown strength training does sometimes improve endurance performance in sedentary or relatively untrained subjects but has failed to do so in the few studies that have used well-trained subjects.

I'm a big believer in resistance training for overall health particularly as one ages, I just don't think we have any good reason to believe that for a serious endurance cyclist it will do much of anything for their cycling performance.
 

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Yes you may be right but as you said a few tenth's of a second could be all it takes to win a race.
But if you look at how some train that's where the improvement comes from.yes there are more than a few pros who lift. I seem to remember an article about a certin Texan(though not a big fan) who did lift in the off seson, as did many of his team mates. not science.
If you look at what the Aussies are doing they are in the weight room too. So maybe there isn't any cross over(as you say) but there is something going on.
There are some exercise sthat somewhat minic what we do on th ebike too. Checkout some of the circuts that JC Sanatana does that are pretty good (idon't like everything).
Muscle size doesn't =strength we try to limit size and focus more on strength.
I
 

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wight lifting certainly won't hurt you. as we age we need to keep muscle mass as stated already. i'm approaching the 40 mark and will keep doing the powerlifting to keep my muscle mass. i'm not a road racer so it's not something i need to worry about.

i'd stick with big muscle movers like squats, deadlifts and bench presses. these exercises work the entire body and you won't be doing bodybuilding style movements that don't do much for cycling. at least with these exercises you are training your entire body in one day and only once per week. the rest of the week you can ride which will greatly improve your cycling/climbing/endurance. if you're not familiar with power/strength movements you should ask the local gym if someone can show you proper form and warmups.

as for the bike...i have a 14 speed schwinn and just recently bought a newer bike. big difference in climbing since the 14 speed weighed almost 30 pounds and the new bike is around 19 pounds.

good luck.
 

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I guess I'm a rarity; I don't automatically equate the word "gym" to mean "massive weightlifting"

To me, "gym work" could really be performed anywhere. And "cycling-specific" gym work includes things like crunches and planks and swissball stuff and yoga moves, and the weights involved are incorporated as part of that stuff. Sure I'll knock out some heavy squats too, but not many since most of my energy will go into lunges and plyo.

But for the OP, if hills are your problem, riding more is the primary answer.
 

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I used to lift a lot and would agree that arm-only movements, along with upper
back and pec excersizes should be used minimally and only in the off-season.
Being heavier up top is easy for me, but the extra muscle slows me down on the bike.
I still believe there is a place for moderate interspersing of squats, hamstring curls,
and leg presses with standard trainer sessions during the off-season. Of course if
by 'gym' you mean pilates for abs and core, this should absolutely be something
you're doing on an ongoing basis, the benefits are astounding.
 

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Bacon!
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I look good naked. I can lift my riding buddies over my head, their wives and girlfriends stare at me at the beach with a smile, but my buds kick my a$$ up the hills. But boy can I out race them on the downhills.
 

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Yo no fui.
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Ridgetop said:
I look good naked.
You're asking to get asked out saying that. :D
 

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Bacon!
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Hey, a man has to keep his options open.
 
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