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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before two weeks ago i was only riding in order to keep my legs fit. What kinda strenght am i gaining and what strenght am i not gaining by doing squats, pressing and calve lifts?. Any idea on increase is strenght as a percent?

Im 43, 185 & 5'8".
 

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The answer is: it depends

Without any information from you on the frequency or intensity of your workouts, it's impossible to answer your question. And even if you had provided such, there's not much way to predict how any given person will respond to a weightlifting program, especially when the alternative is a specific exercise (cycling). Some claim great things from weightlifting, while others suggest that you ride the bike and do power intervals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok..

Kerry Irons said:
Without any information from you on the frequency or intensity of your workouts, it's impossible to answer your question. And even if you had provided such, there's not much way to predict how any given person will respond to a weightlifting program, especially when the alternative is a specific exercise (cycling). Some claim great things from weightlifting, while others suggest that you ride the bike and do power intervals.
Work outs are 2 X a week. I do 3 fast reps of ten @230lbs pressing. i do 3 sets of 10 squating 210 lbs and 3 sets of 10 reps of calve lifts @40lbs. i also commute 3 to 4 days a week avg. 15 miles and at a moderate pace.

Does this help.
 

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It can't hurt

I can only really comment on the squat, as that is the one I do. I've found better balance and more leg strength in everyday situations. For that alone I feel they are time well spent.

I also feel better on skis this year than I have in the past. What does this have to do with the bike? Maybe nothing. It’s hard for me to tell if the power translates to the bike. Maybe come spring I’ll have a better idea.

jrm wrote: "Before two weeks ago i was only riding in order to keep my legs fit. What kinda strenght am i gaining and what strenght am i not gaining by doing squats, pressing and calve lifts?. Any idea on increase is strenght as a percent?

Im 43, 185 & 5'8".
 

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jrm said:
Before two weeks ago i was only riding in order to keep my legs fit. What kinda strenght am i gaining and what strenght am i not gaining by doing squats, pressing and calve lifts?. Any idea on increase is strenght as a percent?

Im 43, 185 & 5'8".
Well...not much info to go on here, but it sounds like you are starting a weight training regimen. This is especially important for older folks as we start losing muscle mass pretty quickly after age 30 or so. Cycling is not really a weight bearing activity so you also risk the loss of bone density. Weight training will help with that. I'd suggest doing a little more well-rounded program that you suggest though. Include some upper body work as well as lower. Squats are good, deadlifts good. Personally I find that I really don't need specific calf work because of my cycling. Not sure what you mean by increase in strength as a percent, but it's gonna take you a while to see much benefit as far as increased strength if you just started. Concentrate on learning proper form first and then work into the heavier weights as you go. The specificity principle applies with weightlifting (as with all sports) so lifting heavy in squats mostly makes you good at squatting and doesn't fully translate to cycling--though it does help. Cycling requires much more endurance than anything.

check out: http://www.stumptuous.com/weights.html and http://www.exrx.net/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bocephus Jones said:
Well...not much info to go on here, but it sounds like you are starting a weight training regimen. This is especially important for older folks as we start losing muscle mass pretty quickly after age 30 or so. Cycling is not really a weight bearing activity so you also risk the loss of bone density. Weight training will help with that. I'd suggest doing a little more well-rounded program that you suggest though. Include some upper body work as well as lower. Squats are good, deadlifts good. Personally I find that I really don't need specific calf work because of my cycling. Not sure what you mean by increase in strength as a percent, but it's gonna take you a while to see much benefit as far as increased strength if you just started. Concentrate on learning proper form first and then work into the heavier weights as you go. The specificity principle applies with weightlifting (as with all sports) so lifting heavy in squats mostly makes you good at squatting and doesn't fully translate to cycling--though it does help. Cycling requires much more endurance than anything.

check out: http://www.stumptuous.com/weights.html and http://www.exrx.net/
Ive been lifting weights for upper body strenght for about 2 years. It sure helps ward off injury, increases uper bod stability and prolong overall fatique. Just recently started legs.
 

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check out: [url]http://www.stumptuous.com/weights.html[/url]

This is a very neat site! Though it's supposed to be meant for women, small guys like me can do well with it too (not everyone is meant to be huge). I read up on the squat techniques & gave it a go last evening by altering my usual stance. I weigh 153 lbs & found out that I can deep squat 145 lbs with room to go. Will give it another crack in a few days & attempt to up the weight to my limit of 175 lbs.
The rest of my routine is the run of the mill bench pressing, shoulder presses, pull downs, etc. All of my exercises are done very slow & by the 8th rep, I am finished & must rest.
 

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arctic hawk said:
This is a very neat site! Though it's supposed to be meant for women, small guys like me can do well with it too (not everyone is meant to be huge). I read up on the squat techniques & gave it a go last evening by altering my usual stance. I weigh 153 lbs & found out that I can deep squat 145 lbs with room to go. Will give it another crack in a few days & attempt to up the weight to my limit of 175 lbs.
The rest of my routine is the run of the mill bench pressing, shoulder presses, pull downs, etc. All of my exercises are done very slow & by the 8th rep, I am finished & must rest.
Yes it's a great site. Forget the "women" part of it. The advice she gives is great for everyone.
 

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I've read alot of articles lately, on various coaching webpages, cycling books, etc, that claim cyclists do not have much to gain through the use of lower body workouts. Most claim that on the bike workouts (seated accelerations, standing overgeared starts, sprints at speed, climbing, the list goes on...) are the key to cycling specific LEG strength.

So it sounds like all of the gains that cyclists achieve in the gym are through the development of core/trunk strength. Over the winter I worked to strengthen my back and abdominals... I've already noticed a huge difference in my riding. My upper body hasn't been rocking back-and-forth like it used to. It feels like I can apply that power more efficiently than I was before... Mostly I've been doing prone bridges, oblique's, crunches, leg raises, etc. On the other hand, someone pointed out that the increase in age equates to a decrease in muscle-mass. I'm sure there's some gains to be made in that department...
 

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There are still plenty of coaches & books coming out advocating weight lifting, including squats.

Squats are painful in a hard/suffering way like cycling. My experience after 12 years of weightlifting now, is 99% of the people in the gym, including muscle heads, will use any excuse they can to skip doing squats... I really think they are probably the most important exercise. There is almost no sport where the coaches wouldn't tell you to do squats.

Friel, for example has changed his weight program in the latest edition of cyclists Training Bible to include some more high weight stuff, with a period of high-weight/low-rep work.

I calculated my goals on his program as squatting somewhere in the range of 235-305lbs, I weighed 180 when I started. That is for the period of the training where you are going for high weight. (6 reps) Currently the most I have managed to do is a set at 275. Would have been nice to make it to the upper end of the range.

I think it helps me. As for the original question, when I start lifting instead of cycling in the fall, I gain weight, usually about 10lbs. Most of it is fat. It comes off in the spring.

Ben
 

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aaroncvc said:
I've read alot of articles lately, on various coaching webpages, cycling books, etc, that claim cyclists do not have much to gain through the use of lower body workouts. Most claim that on the bike workouts (seated accelerations, standing overgeared starts, sprints at speed, climbing, the list goes on...) are the key to cycling specific LEG strength.

So it sounds like all of the gains that cyclists achieve in the gym are through the development of core/trunk strength. Over the winter I worked to strengthen my back and abdominals... I've already noticed a huge difference in my riding. My upper body hasn't been rocking back-and-forth like it used to. It feels like I can apply that power more efficiently than I was before... Mostly I've been doing prone bridges, oblique's, crunches, leg raises, etc. On the other hand, someone pointed out that the increase in age equates to a decrease in muscle-mass. I'm sure there's some gains to be made in that department...
I'm guessing there are not many world class cyclists that don't lift weights--at least in the off-season. And even if weights aren't beneficial to cycling they are good for general health and weight maintenance. You are correct that the core is important to train, but if you neglect training the rest of you it sets you up for imbalances that could lead to injury. It's good to lift heavy sometimes. Squats and deads work the core and a lot of other stuff too. I have often thought that the best "abdominal" exercise is deadlifts. Doesn't make sense until you start to do them with heavy weight and you realize the core strength needed to lift that weight off the floor in proper form. Deads and squats are not just leg exercises--they work most of the major muscles in the body in some respect. That's why they are called "compound" exercises. Best to work lots of muscles at once (like you do in real life) instead of "pieces parts" in my opinion.
 

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Bocephus Jones said:
I'm guessing there are not many world class cyclists that don't lift weights--at least in the off-season. And even if weights aren't beneficial to cycling they are good for general health and weight maintenance. You are correct that the core is important to train, but if you neglect training the rest of you it sets you up for imbalances that could lead to injury. It's good to lift heavy sometimes. Squats and deads work the core and a lot of other stuff too. I have often thought that the best "abdominal" exercise is deadlifts. Doesn't make sense until you start to do them with heavy weight and you realize the core strength needed to lift that weight off the floor in proper form. Deads and squats are not just leg exercises--they work most of the major muscles in the body in some respect. That's why they are called "compound" exercises. Best to work lots of muscles at once (like you do in real life) instead of "pieces parts" in my opinion.

I'm with you completely on this one. I started seriously weight training about a year ago, and went from 140 to 165lbs I'm 45 y/o, and small stature 5'6". Previously I had trained medium light with high reps, lots of cardio - a typical general fitness type routine.

The difference in my strength (and appearance) is amazing since I started training. At 140lbs I looked like a waif, and had bad posture to boot. I am convinced of the value of compound exercises, they are the ones that create the core strength. I train my legs relatively heavy - my heavy day would 3 sets of 12 with seven 45lb plates a side on the leg press. I only weight train my legs once a week to adequate time to repair and take flat rides on the day following my leg workout. Upper body is done two days a week, worked in groups.

It sure seems to have a direct result though. I go and ride in the foothills around my home, and can climb much steeper hills and have much greater endurance than I did a year ago. The cycling and weight training burns more calories than I can consume ( just how much past and rice can a guy eat?), so I end up burning muscle as well, and my size has dropped noticeably - which suits me fine -being muscle bound isn't really my thing.

I realize many cyclists think weight training is unnecessary for cycling gains, and I can't speak for or against that, but I'm hard pressed to imagine life without the benefits of rigorous resistance exercise. Dramatic improvements in my posture, no more injuries from lifting my young children, and my girlfriend loves the way my bottom looks! ;)

As I am at the stage of my life where I should be experiencing diminishing strength, I am glad I have added a lot of strength from which to diminish.

~ Michael
 

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Bocephus Jones said:
Well...not much info to go on here, but it sounds like you are starting a weight training regimen. This is especially important for older folks as we start losing muscle mass pretty quickly after age 30 or so. Cycling is not really a weight bearing activity so you also risk the loss of bone density. Weight training will help with that. I'd suggest doing a little more well-rounded program that you suggest though. Include some upper body work as well as lower. Squats are good, deadlifts good. Personally I find that I really don't need specific calf work because of my cycling. Not sure what you mean by increase in strength as a percent, but it's gonna take you a while to see much benefit as far as increased strength if you just started. Concentrate on learning proper form first and then work into the heavier weights as you go. The specificity principle applies with weightlifting (as with all sports) so lifting heavy in squats mostly makes you good at squatting and doesn't fully translate to cycling--though it does help. Cycling requires much more endurance than anything.

check out: http://www.stumptuous.com/weights.html and http://www.exrx.net/
By the way, that is a great site -love her writing style. I will be pouring over that thoroughly. I learned to squat the way she demonstrates there, and still I have people asking me if that isn't too hard on my knees.
 
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