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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is anybody doing squats? The whole deal seems weird to me. They make me sore, but I only notice it just walking around-never while pedaling the bike. And its just hamstring soreness. My quads don't seem to be getting worked at all. I really wonder about the value of thses towards cycling. Maybe good for core strength but I have an idea that they don't have much to do with pedaling at all. Thoughts?
 

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pjfinch said:
Is anybody doing squats? The whole deal seems weird to me. They make me sore, but I only notice it just walking around-never while pedaling the bike. And its just hamstring soreness. My quads don't seem to be getting worked at all. I really wonder about the value of thses towards cycling. Maybe good for core strength but I have an idea that they don't have much to do with pedaling at all. Thoughts?
Squats are unimportant to cycling.........Hell NO!!!!!!!

Squats when done right will develop the most explosive power in a person than any other excerise. In addition, squats have the tendency to release the most testosterone in a person. It is good to get the form down in the beginning stages and then develop the ability to explode upwards quicker to simulate a downward pedal stroke which will develop muscular endurance and start recruiting slow twitch muscle fibers.

If your not getting sore in the quads it could be because you did a whole season of cycling and your quads are handling the workload with no problem. Hamstrings being sore is a good thing and will go away when you get stronger and recover better. Change your stance once in awhile to work different parts of your quads. Some days I will do a wide stance.

I would also get a behing the neck pad since it sucks having that metal bar on your shoulders and then you have a hickeys all over your back which will get you in trouble with the lady,

Carl
 

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If you really want to test your quads, do a reversre pyramid while squatting. That's 10 reps, rest without setting the bar back on the rack, 9 reps, rest, 8 reps, rest, all the ways to one rep without setting the bar on the rack. It's 55 reps total. A real leg killer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Squats part2

Don't get me wrong-I've lifted weights for 35+ years and squats are the grandaddy of all weight lifts. I just question their value for cycling. I've been passed by plenty of whippet-legged racers who couldn't squat much more than their own body weight. Training on a singlespeed has made me strong for cycling . Training with squats seems to make me strong for squats.
 

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you need to get sore to get a good lifting workout

deadlifts are probably the best all-over body lift, but RE squats: more explosive power is always needed on a technical uphill. the guys with the spindly legs are likely built that way all over. for those of us with bigger frames(5'11 210) it pays to add some additional leg strength. squats are great. also, I recommend Tele skiing.

pjfinch said:
Don't get me wrong-I've lifted weights for 35+ years and squats are the grandaddy of all weight lifts. I just question their value for cycling. I've been passed by plenty of whippet-legged racers who couldn't squat much more than their own body weight. Training on a singlespeed has made me strong for cycling . Training with squats seems to make me strong for squats.
 

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pjfinch said:
Is anybody doing squats? The whole deal seems weird to me. They make me sore, but I only notice it just walking around-never while pedaling the bike. And its just hamstring soreness. My quads don't seem to be getting worked at all. I really wonder about the value of thses towards cycling. Maybe good for core strength but I have an idea that they don't have much to do with pedaling at all. Thoughts?
Just doing squats is not what makes them an important training tool, but it's the entire PERIODIZED strength training plan that they are incorporated into that makes you a more powerful cyclists.

Do some searching and reading up on Cycling Specific Periodized Strength training programs. Squats wrt to cycling might make more sense.
 

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I'll chime in...

I'll chime in here. I do squats...and hip presses...and calf raises...and lunges. They all help with power to the pedals. Now, I am not sqauting 800 lbs. But rather a close 250 lbs. Just enough to build strength and keep skinny and tone. No need to carry around the added bulk. These weight workouts all focus on the legs and will help with the speed/power to the pedals come race season. I have big legs by nature thanks to my parents genetics. If you want proof, just visit my blog and look at my header :eek:

On a side note...
Don't forget to work your abs and lower back. These are the 2nd most important!
 

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Unless you are playing a sport like football, where you may need the extra bulk, train for strength not for bulk. This can be done by doing low reps ( 5 reps or less ) and high intensity ( heavy weight ). You can aply this lifting formula for all your lifts. When the weight gets heavy, never lift to failure. Strive for 70 to 90 % of your 1RM for any given lift. I use 5 reps per 5 sets on all of my power lifts and including arm and calf work.
I never try to get sore from weight training. Yes sometimes it happens, but you do not have to train to sorness in order to get strong. With my busy lifestyle between work and play I do not have time to constantly get over stiff and sore muscles.
 

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I agree with Kerk. Abs are important.

I got massive abs just by doing a lot of tech riding. My first year at the trails.

What sucks is you can't see because I have just a bit of fat so there's no definition.


Oh well, I am going to start doing maybe 150 crunches twice a day and see if anything happens.
 

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standard235 said:
I agree with Kerk. Abs are important.

I got massive abs just by doing a lot of tech riding. My first year at the trails.

What sucks is you can't see because I have just a bit of fat so there's no definition.

Oh well, I am going to start doing maybe 150 crunches twice a day and see if anything happens.
Working a single part of a body can give you definition in an area, but you will never see it with a lay of fat. Working the abs only will not burn off fat from the abs - running or other cardio will burn the fat. You can't just target fat in the ab area by just doing crunches/situps.
 

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Squats are good because they stress bigger group of muscles, but of course they are more difficult to do and need very proper technique. Adult cyclist should be able to squat say 1,5 x own weight 1-3 times or leg press about 3 x own weight 1-3 times. Better to stay at 0-10 reps as more is useless twitching with legspeeds that one does (hopefully) not use when biking. It's quite hard to say how person benefits from squats as one may win with better aerobic engine and one may lose with lousy power. Balance my friends..balance ;)

Saw and have a talk with C. Sauser this season..opened my eyes pretty well. So thin and not ripped looking at all. But so unbeliveable with bike. I mean really. Go and see for your own how guys like he do the do and think then what is a main point. How much to do squats or worry how my abs look like? Or how much ride your bike.

 

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RHR38 said:
Squats are good because they stress bigger group of muscles, but of course they are more difficult to do and need very proper technique. Adult cyclist should be able to squat say 1,5 x own weight 1-3 times or leg press about 3 x own weight 1-3 times. Better to stay at 0-10 reps as more is useless twitching with legspeeds that one does (hopefully) not use when biking. It's quite hard to say how person benefits from squats as one may win with better aerobic engine and one may lose with lousy power. Balance my friends..balance ;)

Saw and have a talk with C. Sauser this season..opened my eyes pretty well. So thin and not ripped looking at all. But so unbeliveable with bike. I mean really. Go and see for your own how guys like he do the do and think then what is a main point. How much to do squats or worry how my abs look like? Or how much ride your bike.

Surprising he can lift that bike over his head with those boney arms...
:)
 

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Squats are a great excercise. They can also be destructive to the knee's and lower back.
I was a bodybuilder and a personal trainer in my younger years, I loved squats. However my knee's did not. Everybody's body genetics. For me squats were not the answer.
Legs presses worked better for me. If ya can find a machine like the football players use, the machine with big pads for your shoulders that are a controlled squat, that may be better for you. I do four, high intensity sets per body part. If you do squats, be sure to wrap the knee's and wear a belt.
 

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RHR38 said:
Squats are good because they stress bigger group of muscles, but of course they are more difficult to do and need very proper technique. Adult cyclist should be able to squat say 1,5 x own weight 1-3 times or leg press about 3 x own weight 1-3 times. Better to stay at 0-10 reps as more is useless twitching with legspeeds that one does (hopefully) not use when biking. It's quite hard to say how person benefits from squats as one may win with better aerobic engine and one may lose with lousy power. Balance my friends..balance ;)

Saw and have a talk with C. Sauser this season..opened my eyes pretty well. So thin and not ripped looking at all. But so unbeliveable with bike. I mean really. Go and see for your own how guys like he do the do and think then what is a main point. How much to do squats or worry how my abs look like? Or how much ride your bike.

How can he possibly squat any respectable weight with those skinnny legs?
 

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Dang....I think I can actually see his heart beating.

A couple of quick tips:

1. Start VERY light for your first few weeks. I mean, light like just the barbell light.

2. Consider doing overhead squats, again with just the bar to start. These are very difficult and demand perfect form but will build up your legs, lower back, glutes and abs very effectively. They are also an excellent way to build up your regular squat.

3. Consider doing LUNGE PRESSES....basically do a typical lunge with dumbbells, but as you progress through the rep you also do a shoulder press at the same time. These are extremely taxing, both strength and cardio....I have a hard time doing 10 full reps with 30lb dumbbells, and I typically shoulder press 80lb dumbbells when sitting. The difference is astounding.
 

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Are you a weight lifter, or a bike racer?!

Let me play devil's advocate for a minute: :D

What kind of competition are you doing, weight lifting, or bike racing?! From the lurking I have been doing in this forum for a long time now, it seems like weight lifting is an extremely popular training method in this forum. So I am sure this commentary will be hotly contested, but... I doubt the value of all the lifting that is prescribed around here. My opinion is you are far better served training on your bike, than lifting in the gym. Don't get me wrong, I am sure there is some limited value to weight lifting as it applies to bike racing. But most of the succesfull amateur racers I have talked to (outside this forum), focus the vast majority of their training time on riding the bike, and many do not ever lift at all. Look at that pic of Sauser, or the physique of most pro bike racers. I don't think those guys are spending a lot of time at the gym! The principle of specificity would seem to imply that strength is best built on the bike. Here is an explanation that makes sense to me:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=2005/letters12-19#training
http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=strengthstern

Of course, maybe I just feel this way, because I can't seem to motivate myself to lift!!! :D
Fortunately, I would rather ride anyway!
 

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Squats will not necessarily make you any faster. They add power which aids in climbing and endurance. A moderate workout plan will add power without adding extra mass. Lift smart, not hard.
 
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