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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for gym workouts for riding my road bike. I know I need good cardio and endurance but I also want to workout those muscles that are used to ride. Any info is greatly appreciated.
 

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Don't try to replicate the movements of cycling in the gym! Do compound movements to strengthen the core and improve the posture on and off the bike.

Again, don't waste time on isolation movements, do compound movements. Keep it simple: dead lifts, squats, bench press, shoulder press, pull-ups, dips and push-ups is all you need. Heavy weights, low (4-10) reps will be the most beneficial. High reps (14 or more) will do no good for you, it will only make it more difficult to recover.

Your body is already under a lot of stress to recover from cycling, so your lifting should be intense but short. Do each of the exercise mentioned above once every 5-7 days! Warm up properly and then 4-6 sets of 4-10 reps with heavy weights.

In addition to riding 250-350 mi a week I do 3 or 4 gym workouts every week. I have free weights in my basement so this routine does not take much time. My workouts look something like this:

workout 1: dead lifts 5-6 sets and then squats 5-6 sets
workout 2: bench press 5-6 sets, dips 5-6 sets, push-ups 4 sets
workout 3: pull-ups and/or chin-ups 6-8 sets and then shoulder press with dumbbells or barbell 5-6 sets
 

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I rode home from work today (28 miles) and I soon as I walk into the house, while I'm still warm:
4 sets of
-22 sit ups (all the way up)
-10 Scotty bobs with 25 lb dumbells
-100 jump ropes

Great stuff!!

I've been doing stuff like this all winter and it really improved my sprint. Personal best 1275W jump at 165 and 46 yrs old, just today.
 

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Don't try to replicate the movements of cycling in the gym! Do compound movements to strengthen the core and improve the posture on and off the bike.

Again, don't waste time on isolation movements, do compound movements. Keep it simple: dead lifts, squats, bench press, shoulder press, pull-ups, dips and push-ups is all you need. Heavy weights, low (4-10) reps will be the most beneficial. High reps (14 or more) will do no good for you, it will only make it more difficult to recover.

Your body is already under a lot of stress to recover from cycling, so your lifting should be intense but short. Do each of the exercise mentioned above once every 5-7 days! Warm up properly and then 4-6 sets of 4-10 reps with heavy weights.

In addition to riding 250-350 mi a week I do 3 or 4 gym workouts every week. I have free weights in my basement so this routine does not take much time. My workouts look something like this:

workout 1: dead lifts 5-6 sets and then squats 5-6 sets
workout 2: bench press 5-6 sets, dips 5-6 sets, push-ups 4 sets
workout 3: pull-ups and/or chin-ups 6-8 sets and then shoulder press with dumbbells or barbell 5-6 sets
350 miles a week....why thats 50 miles a day....and you go to the gym...you must be single.
 

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I go to to local Y and do spin class once a week plus weight training class and a cardio class to keep me in acceptable shape til I can ride outside. All classes is 1 hr long. Your local Y should have similar classes available compare to a private gym.
 

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Don't try to replicate the movements of cycling in the gym! Do compound movements to strengthen the core and improve the posture on and off the bike.

Again, don't waste time on isolation movements, do compound movements. Keep it simple: dead lifts, squats, bench press, shoulder press, pull-ups, dips and push-ups is all you need. Heavy weights, low (4-10) reps will be the most beneficial. High reps (14 or more) will do no good for you, it will only make it more difficult to recover.

Your body is already under a lot of stress to recover from cycling, so your lifting should be intense but short. Do each of the exercise mentioned above once every 5-7 days! Warm up properly and then 4-6 sets of 4-10 reps with heavy weights.

In addition to riding 250-350 mi a week I do 3 or 4 gym workouts every week. I have free weights in my basement so this routine does not take much time. My workouts look something like this:

workout 1: dead lifts 5-6 sets and then squats 5-6 sets
workout 2: bench press 5-6 sets, dips 5-6 sets, push-ups 4 sets
workout 3: pull-ups and/or chin-ups 6-8 sets and then shoulder press with dumbbells or barbell 5-6 sets
So why shouldn't we try to mimic cycling movements? Isn't cycling what you're training for? Isn't a squat a some what similar movement?

4-40 reps what are you trying to do? If it's strength you're trying to improve it should be 1-6rep range for Hyperthrophy (building muscle) 8-12 reps.
I agree lift heavy. But that requires a lot of energy too and may not help with recovery.
I would add more 1 legged work (split squats, 1 legged Romainian dead lifts ) I also like 1 leg lateral box hops (skaters ) they mimic climbing/sprinting out of the saddle do them for time 30-60 sec. Focus on pushing off with the leg that's on the box. Try adding Olympic lifts these can be done with dumb bells and if you are experienced one legged great for helping improve your jump on the bike. (sets of 6 max) They also use a lot of muscle groups so you can cut you time down even more Push presses are great! Power cleans too.
 

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I would also add as cyclists our shoulders are more forward rotated for long periods so I would only do 1 chest exercise (bench press, pushup ) per workout as these do lead to that Look at any muscle head in the gym. So to counter that I would do 2 row type exercises that focus on mid and upper back to prevent that.
Dips are OK but you can easily hurt your shoulders doing them.
Clap pushups are a good choice too think about what happens when you fall you put a lot of stress on your arm(s) and shoulders (Collar bones).
 

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What makes you think he actually thinks that?

Anyway OP. Developing better core strength, in the gym, feels like it's really helped me a lot.
Because the OP said they wanted to work out the muscles that are use to ride. Which is circular logic.

Clearly when you ride, you use the muscles you use, and in a manner specific to riding. Nothing you can do in a gym, other than on a bike, will be more specific or better for working/developing the muscles used to ride a bike, than riding a bike.

Best core muscle or any muscle work for cycling is done on the bike, because it's done in a manner that is specific to the demands.
 

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Quick background: 44 and have only been riding seriously for the last 6-7 months but have been riding to increase cardio for racing motocross for the past 10 years. Till this year I would maybe ride 500-750 miles a year. At 1100 miles ytd.

I know a lot of you guys dont like Crossfit, but it has really helped me. I get a great workout over the whole body. 3x a week for me.

Sample from this week:
Monday: 200 jump rope, 100 pulldowns (120), 100 squits, 100 push ups, 100 situps, 100 push press (just bar), 200 jump rope for time... about 28 mins.
Wednesday: 400 meter run, 10 thrusters (95), 15 box jumps (24"), 10 dead lifts (135)
5 rounds for time.... about 22 mins

I have gone from barely hanging on B group rides to staying with the A group. First race was last weekend and finished 14/25 in the +45 cat4/5. I feel like it helps me...
 

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What works for me (in no particular order):
Squats, usually 3 to 5 sets, with the middle/later sets being at a weight I can do 7 reps
Split squats, 3 sets, usually 1 around 10-12 reps and then 7-8 reps for remaining sets with higher weight
Hip abductor, I use the cable and a collar above the ankle, similar sets/reps as squats above
Quad extension (single leg), 3 sets, increasing weight to where last set is around 8 reps
Back extension, usually 2 or 3 sets of high reps with no weight
Pull-ups, couple sets of 8
Pull downs, 3 sets around 8-10 reps
Bench press, 3 sets around 8-10 reps
Incline press, 3 sets around 8-10 reps
Seated row, ideally 20 to 40 minutes on a rowing machine
I do core work on a stability ball or mat at home

I may work in other things from time-to-time but those are my main diet in the gym, usually once a week, maybe twice. I don't put on muscle very easily and have a slight build, so I don't bulk up, but I do find that hitting the gym helps.
 

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... 44 and have only been riding seriously for the last 6-7 months but have been riding to increase cardio for racing motocross for the past 10 years....
MX is extremely physically demanding. Those who haven't done it can't really appreciate how tough it is. But it's way different, IMO, than the demands of cycling. Riding MX I never felt my cardio capacity as being limiting. It seemed to me it was all about full-body muscle endurance...not that improving cardio capacity is a bad thing....

One type of exercise I particularly like for cycling are lunges (with or without weights); forward, to the rear, to the side, traveling.... They combine muscle strength moves with range of motion and stretches that are particularly beneficial (IMO) for cyclists.
 

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Best core muscle or any muscle work for cycling is done on the bike, because it's done in a manner that is specific to the demands.
Have to disagree with some of your statement. I don't think the amount of core stimulation just from cycling is enough. I think you have to do core work outside of cycling. It seems to me (and from my experience) that adding some off the bike core work (I also think the core isn't just muscles of the trunk) will go along way to helping you on the bike.
It's a lot like building a house/building(used to work in the building trades). By having a good foundation/base you able to build a house/building/fitness that is longer lasting and allows you to add on/improve over time. With out that your house/building/fitness won't last and you won't be able to expand it.
With good core strength,mobility and stability you'll have a better base to produce more power(watts) be more comfortable and be better suited to performance.
If you look at the work/writings of Stuart Magill ( I will admit that I haven't read enough of as there is a lot) and Gary Cook (FMS) sport performance can be enhanced by improved core strength, mobility and stability. Add that to the reduced risk of injury, and it doesn't take much time away from time on the bike, to improve your core. You can get a lot of bang for your buck with 15-20min of daily core work. Heck you don't even have to do every day to get the benefit.
 

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Have to disagree with some of your statement. I don't think the amount of core stimulation just from cycling is enough. I think you have to do core work outside of cycling. It seems to me (and from my experience) that adding some off the bike core work (I also think the core isn't just muscles of the trunk) will go along way to helping you on the bike.
It's a lot like building a house/building(used to work in the building trades). By having a good foundation/base you able to build a house/building/fitness that is longer lasting and allows you to add on/improve over time. With out that your house/building/fitness won't last and you won't be able to expand it.
With good core strength,mobility and stability you'll have a better base to produce more power(watts) be more comfortable and be better suited to performance.
If you look at the work/writings of Stuart Magill ( I will admit that I haven't read enough of as there is a lot) and Gary Cook (FMS) sport performance can be enhanced by improved core strength, mobility and stability. Add that to the reduced risk of injury, and it doesn't take much time away from time on the bike, to improve your core. You can get a lot of bang for your buck with 15-20min of daily core work. Heck you don't even have to do every day to get the benefit.
Sure, but can anyone provide some fundamental evidence that non-bike core "strength" work actually improves endurance cycling performance? Or that you don't get sufficient stimulus for the "core" musculature from doing the actual exercise you are training for?

I'm not saying it's not a good idea to do core work, so let's make a clear distinction on that. I also agree we should be really clear what is meant by the loose phrase "core strength". Both words are usually misinterpreted, and no doubt the combination is as well.

Mostly this area is one of assumption and pre-conceived ideas, and usually promoted by strength and conditioning people with an agenda and not a lot to back it up. There is very little evidence that actually demonstrates a performance benefit for endurance cycling, or that there is all that much demand on the core when cycling, or that what "core" stimulus you attain from cycling training is insufficient to meet the demands of endurance cycling.

I think if people promote a performance benefit from a training intervention, then they should be able to demonstrate the evidence to support that claim.

Which is why I question it.
 

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Sure, but can anyone provide some fundamental evidence that non-bike core "strength" work actually improves endurance cycling performance? Or that you don't get sufficient stimulus for the "core" musculature from doing the actual exercise you are training for?

I'm not saying it's not a good idea to do core work, so let's make a clear distinction on that. I also agree we should be really clear what is meant by the loose phrase "core strength". Both words are usually misinterpreted, and no doubt the combination is as well.

Mostly this area is one of assumption and pre-conceived ideas, and usually promoted by strength and conditioning people with an agenda and not a lot to back it up. There is very little evidence that actually demonstrates a performance benefit for endurance cycling, or that there is all that much demand on the core when cycling, or that what "core" stimulus you attain from cycling training is insufficient to meet the demands of endurance cycling.

I think if people promote a performance benefit from a training intervention, then they should be able to demonstrate the evidence to support that claim.

Which is why I question it.

Actually I agree that lifting and gym work will not improve endurance cycling performance. It might help some sprinters but it would be useless for efforts longer than 1 or 2 minutes.

However, for an average Joe who is not a pro cyclist, a moderate lifting offers a lot of benefits. Increased bone density and stronger joints, better posture and improved "core strength" to name a few.

I am not paid to ride a bike so I am willing to trade a little of my cycling performance for the benefits mentioned above. In addition I have no desire to have an upper body like some GC contender.

(please don't ask me to attach pictures of half naked Chicken)
 

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Generally if you want to be a better cyclist you need to keep engaging the muscles used for cycling. So you might as well ride your bike more. If you absolutely must spend time in the gym, focus on strengthening supporting muscles such as your core. A stronger core will absolutely make you a better cyclist and will prevent overuse injuries.

Check out Tom Danielson's Core Advantage book. It just so happens that none of the exercises in the book require a gym membership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A lot of excellent info, thanks everyone. Let ke give a little background. By the end of the riding season I'll be about 260, 280 now. Biking will not get me to a weight I want. So to the gym I go. Figure while I'm there I'll knock out two birds as we say. When riding in groups I get dropped on the hills as you might expect. Goal is 187lbs, do an Iron Man triathlon, go back to my group rides and dish some suffering to riders half my age!
 
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