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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any thoughts on strength training calf muscles during the riding season (light weight, high reps)? I wanted to begin light weight training this week and continue for the remainder of the summer. During the winter I may lift slightly heavier, but continue with high repetition for definition.
I’ve also read that hamstrings tend to get under worked if you only cycle and omit strength training in that area. It’s been said that hamstrings and lower back pain are related (basketball coach told me). If you work core, make sure you work hamstrings as well. Can anyone chime in on this and let me know if I should be working out my calf’s during the season?
 

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think of your hamstring, glutes, and lower back as a kinetic chain. if any section of that chain is tight, it will lead to lower back discomfort. believe it or not your hamstrings get plenty of work cycling if you are properly fitted on the bike.

what are you trying to accomplish by weight training?
 

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I was walking stairs in the local gorges. I was doing about 4000 steps a day my legs (calfs, hamstrings, quads and glutes) were getting huge but I wanted to increase my riding speed and endurance so I have been on my bike exclusively for the past 2 months.
I may throw the steps in again and see if that does anything....
 

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aries14,

if you are doing it to get definiton, there are plenty of work out tips i'm sure on the internet. i forgot where i read it, but if i remember correctly the calves are one of those muscles where, depending on your genetics, you really have to work at if they aren't defined already. good luck.
 

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I don't know about the calves, but I can tell you if your hamstrings aren't strong and flexible it can lead to back pain. I've dealt with lower back issues off and on for the past year, hitting the hamstrings with strength training and stretching is about the only thing that is keeping me on the bike pain free. If I skip out for a week on this stuff I'll pay for it. It especially seems to hit after I've raced a crit, going into and jumping out of corners works my back hard appearently.
 

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Heathb,
You may want to try doing working on your lower-back specifically as well. Reverse situps, good mornings, romanian deadlift, back raises.

Start with no weight, do 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps. If you're okay after that, you can start adding weight slowly. It did wonders for my back.
 

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I do swissball workouts that target the core 3 times a week. It also helps me to keep my mid section really skinny. I didn't have any back pain up until the last 6 months, but I'm 18 pounds heavier at 6'2" 178 and last year I was 160lbs, so I'm in the process of trying shred up the midsection and see how that helps, even though I think I might end up losing some of the gained leg muscle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What I mean by definition is just staying tight and building a little more muscle tone all over, not only calf. I mentioned this area (legs) because I didn’t think it would be too much of a burden on my cycling efforts. I’m 40 now, but when playing basketball competitively I could work calves the night before and play ball the following day with little to no discomfort. I normally feel quad tightness after a hard ride so I know that area of my leg is working extremely hard and I wouldn’t want to exhaust this area by adding weight training. My thinking is that if I begin working upper body (high reps, light weight) I should do something for the lower. Same model, high rep, low weight.
Of course the added cardiovascular exercise I’m getting on the bike is contributing to fat loss and tone building, but I thought a little weights on top would be an added benefit. If you think this is going to adversely affect my cycling let me know. I can hold off till winter if that’s the case.
 

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esac said:
aries14,

if you are doing it to get definiton, there are plenty of work out tips i'm sure on the internet. i forgot where i read it, but if i remember correctly the calves are one of those muscles where, depending on your genetics, you really have to work at if they aren't defined already. good luck.
Not only that, I think, now remember I said I think, that calves are the kind of muscles you can work all the time. In other words, say I do a full leg workout today, the next day is my rest day. On rest days, I do cardio, calves, abs and wrist curls..

Back to the OPs question, all around weight training program, IMO would be sufficient. You can vary the weights to what you want, but IMO, doing it regularly will be the key..
 

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I'm by no means a professional trainer but I wouldn't recommend working any muscle individaully. Muscles hardly ever work by themselves. There's always groups and connections. In cycling you're using your whole lower body together...so workout your whole lower body together.

Body weight lunges, squats, step ups are great workouts. I try to do sets once or twice a week on off days.

Proper stretching or yoga go a long way in alleviating aches and pains that I get anywhere in my back, calves, knees...shoot, yoga is a great workout in and of itself.
 
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