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As part of the amusing struggle to get myself race fit again I've joined a local gym.

I went for my initial assessment tonight (really pretty instructor which definitely helped and raised my heart rate a little) and was asked what I wanted to achieve from my workouts. I said that I wanted to tone myself up properly and build endurance rather than muscle bulk. So we went round the resistance equipment and she certainly pushed me hard and has written me a programme to the first six weeks to follow.

I'm a little confused though; I had always thought that light weights coupled with plenty of reps was the way to tone. Instead she's given me medium/heavy weights with medium reps for the first 6 weeks to burn fat off and says that then we'll concentrate on toning.

I have absolutely no reason not to trust what she's suggesting but it's at odds with what I've always thought. What do y'all think?:)
 

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#1 Every body is different. What works for me might not for you.
#2 Disclaimer: I have some pretty non-standard opinions about cycling and weights.

I stayed really skinny and couldn't break plateaus at higher than 20 reps to failure.

What works for me is 10-20 reps quitting when I feel the burn and my form is falling off, not to total failure. I get the strength improvement without the bulk. If I'm stuck in a performance plateau, I go for failure at 5-10 reps. Once the plateau is broken, back to 10-20 reps.

I spend most of my time in the gym now with great results when I can ride.

My only word of advice for working with a trainer is to make sure you are getting good technique advice. It matters less at low weight, but if you stay with the gym it could set you up for injury or almost as bad, slow progress.

Lots of trainer's business seems to be the cosmetic focus. You'll get both for a good while. But at some point if it's for cycling you should get skinnier while being able to lift more weight.
 

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I would go through the 6 weeks and see how it goes. You could also ask her (sounds like any chance to talk to her is good one :D ), after all you are paying them. On your workout plan do they specifically tell you what weight to lift and how many times? If you think it is high maybe they assessment was not very accurate?
 

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Lifting for strength - low reps with heavy weights, never to failure, full recovery between sets - is what you do to "tone" (get muscle definition at rest). Strength adaptations are mostly neuronal and, generally speaking, are what you want if you want to "tone" and don't want to "bulk up" (hypertrophy) like a body builder. Body builders lift somewhat ligther weights, multiple sets to exhaustion, seemingly for hours on end. To see your toned or hypertrophied muscles you have to get rid of the fat around the muscles.

These concepts are not new. Most good trainers know them. Gym rats .... different story.

Larry
 

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As long as it's only 6 weeks that's proberley about right gain a bit of easy to get strength and muscle size intitially it'll build endurance to, bigger muscles can work at the same rate for longer easier after all.

Bigger muscles for the same food intake, will mean same over all weight but less fat which is good to.

I went Low reps for ages, but starting to increase the reps as I near my strength kinda goals, I weight the same ( way to much ), but atleast I've got much less fat, likely gained 10lb's of muscle and lost 10lb's of fat.
 

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There is a lot of good info on the net regarding muscle endurance. If you want to be a cyclist, you do not want big upper body muscles. Those bigger muscles use more energy, which could be used in the legs. You don't necessarily want huge legs either, for the same reason.
Just do some light to moderate lifting. Circuits are great. You can do all muscle groups, and finish in a short period of time.
To create muscle endurance, do low reps(2-4) of 80% of your max weight for a specific exercise. And do it for 15-20 sets, with 30sec rest in-between sets.

Example - Squats with a max of 200lbs

160lbs - 3 reps - 20 sets - 30sec rest between sets.

For the legs try and focus on exercise that replicate the motion while riding.
Jump squats, dead lifts, squats, split leg squats, lunges. These are all good Stay away from leg extension, hack squats, leg presses.
You may want to throw in some light hamstring work and adduction(inner quad) exercise to help with muscle imbalances created from cycling.

Also very important, work your core. And stretch before and after
 

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she's given me medium/heavy weights with medium reps for the first 6 weeks to burn fat off and says that then we'll concentrate on toning.
I'm not sure about lifting weights "to burn fat off" :skep: I would have thought you'd be better off doing some cardio for that....

Is the trainer free with the gym or freelance there and you pay her by the session?
 

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I'm a little confused though; I had always thought that light weights coupled with plenty of reps was the way to tone.
That is a myth. Any bodybuilder will tell you that lifting heavy weights builds muscle and reducing your bodyfat via cardio and a healthy diet shows the muscles. There is no such thing as lifting to tone.
 

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I'm not sure about lifting weights "to burn fat off" :skep: I would have thought you'd be better off doing some cardio for that....
Agree. That doesn't make much sense. Granted you get a bit of a cardio boost when you lift, it's nowhere near what you get from straight cardio.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Okay, thanks all for the input.......

The instructor's advice and recommended programme is free; she's not a personal trainer and is attached to the gym.

When I say I want to be toned, I meant that I just want to be fit everywhere. I don't care whether any muscles show and certainly don't want to become a beefcake. I'm 6ft and my target weight is 13st (bit over currently). I should have added in my first post that the resistance training is sandwiched between cardio/fat burning workouts, firstly on the X-trainer then after the weights I do 10mins fairly hard on the rowing machine followed by 5mins cooling down on an excercise cycle.

She's going to assess my BMI and take all my measurements next week :)eek:) and then wants to do it all again at the end of 6 weeks before altering the training programme. She certainly seems to know what she's on about, it was just at odds to what I'd always believed.

Thanks again and I'll tell you if she says yes to dinner!
 

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There is no such thing as lifting to tone.
This.

OP: Have a specific goal in mind when you train - lift for increased strength, or local muscle endurance, or to correct strength imbalances or to build muscle size. Your program should then be built around that goal or goals.

Toning is a no-meaning, catch-all phrase that everyone seems to use, and can only vaguely agree on what it actually means.
 

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I'm not sure about lifting weights "to burn fat off" :skep: I would have thought you'd be better off doing some cardio for that....
An increase in muscle mass will naturally help burn fat. You could easily "lift to burn fat" by doing some sort of circuit, and keeping the heart rate up. I would agree that cardio would do a better job.
 

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An increase in muscle mass will naturally help burn fat. You could easily "lift to burn fat" by doing some sort of circuit, and keeping the heart rate up. I would agree that cardio would do a better job.
This. So many people get it backwards, grinding out cardio before they have enough muscle to really benefit from it. That cardio and dieting wastes away even more muscle leading to a quick plateau.

A base of increased muscle mass burns more calories when you do ANYTHING including sleeping.

I won’t say that your trainer’s advice is perfect for your goals, but for generalized fitness, I say spot on.

Also, as a guy who has chased muscle bulk for many years, I assure you, it’s nothing to worry about. Unlike fat, muscle goes away if you do nothing.
 

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As part of the amusing struggle to get myself race fit again I've joined a local gym.

I went for my initial assessment tonight (really pretty instructor which definitely helped and raised my heart rate a little) and was asked what I wanted to achieve from my workouts. I said that I wanted to tone myself up properly and build endurance rather than muscle bulk. So we went round the resistance equipment and she certainly pushed me hard and has written me a programme to the first six weeks to follow.

I'm a little confused though; I had always thought that light weights coupled with plenty of reps was the way to tone. Instead she's given me medium/heavy weights with medium reps for the first 6 weeks to burn fat off and says that then we'll concentrate on toning.

I have absolutely no reason not to trust what she's suggesting but it's at odds with what I've always thought. What do y'all think?:)

Try a 100 push-ups program before a weightlifiting program, you can find them online. Body weight exercises will make you strong and reduce imbalances, maybe even make your girlfriend notice, but they won't add considerable bulk. Ultimately it's about watts/kg in XC racing.
 

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Try a 100 push-ups program before a weightlifiting program, you can find them online. Body weight exercises will make you strong and reduce imbalances, maybe even make your girlfriend notice, but they won't add considerable bulk. Ultimately it's about watts/kg in XC racing.
Not sure if you'll get a response because this thread is 9 years old.
 

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My response is 9 years later... but here's my 2c based on what I've learned (7 years of crossfit and working with highly experienced coaches) . Always lift with weight... don't whimp out (unless injured then cut back) If you want to see results you need resistance and put in an effort. Using low weight or using things like resistance bands and high reps is not as effective. It's ok to use substitutes like resistance bands periodically when you don't have the equipment available but the results will be minimal. For example in crossfit we were discouraged from using heavy bands for assisted pull ups. It was a slow process for me, but I did progressive exercises using body weight, practiced lifts (adding plates) to build lat strength. Eventually I was able to pull off a few consecutive pullups without kipping... but it was tough. It also helped that I progressively lost weight (the magic formula of building muscle and burning fat works) ... in my case less mass to move, makes the job easier ;)


But if you want results listen to the experts:
Arnold Schwarzenegger's 8 Best Training Principles | Bodybuilding.com
 
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