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This winter I decided to take a couple of weeks off the bike to do some cross training; I started running, swimming and doing some weight exercises for the legs, abs & chest.

Yesterday, I was back again on the bike and noticed three things:
1. I felt more strenght in my legs.
2. My cadence dropped about 8% to mas o menos 75 rpm (both in the flats and climbs, when I usually go for a 90rpm).
3. The bike is much more fun to me than the other stuff.

A friend suggested not to put too much weight on the legs because more muscular mass means more oxigen consuption and more stress to the heart. So now I'm wondering if it's a good idea to keep trying to move heavy steel objetcs with my legs when self weight lunges, squats and the like will suffice...

Any comments? tips? thanks.
 

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Well, I think your cadence dropped because you mostly due to the fact you haven't ridden in 2 weeks and possibly your legs hadn't recovered from your other workouts. I think its a better idea to mix all that in with biking through consecutive days.
 

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It might be worth reading Joe Friels Mountain Bike Training Bible. Bottom line is more strength = > force and > power output per pedalstroke;possibly more efficient.

Hey at least you didnt just eat pies!
 

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Brant-C.
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I do squats, deadlifts and benchpresses (staples of powerlifting) once a week! I find that it keeps me strong on sprints. I also add stretches and ab work everynight (sometimes this doesn't happen). It's made me a much stronger rider from 10 years ago and I'm not getting any younger.

As long as your workouts are not to get big (like body builder big) your muscles will become more efficient/proficient for the task that you want to do which is spinning your legs.

Put it this way, it's very hard to gain muscle mass from weight lifting when also riding your a$$ off!

Just don't overtrain! If you start feeling fatigued and feel like not doing any type of exercise, then it's probably a good sign that you're starting to overtrain.

offroadzen has a good point.
 

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This is such a hot topic, we might have an MTBR "civil war" over this.

Search this forum and you'll find a lot of arguments for and against lifting weights.

For me, I feel that following a good, cycling specific weightlifting plan helps me. The strength gained on my core and lower back is well worth the time I spend doing it, and lets me finish races stronger. Learn about weightlifting from a cycling mindset; it is not like bodybuilding weightlifitng.

Don't worry about gaining size. It takes so much hard work, dedication, good genetics, and/or supplements to gain muscle size, I don't understand why people worry about it so much. You will not gain signicant muscle size by accident, especially if you're integrating aerobic activities (as you should be).

Everyone is different and you need to find what works for you. Stick to something this year and see how it works. But at the same time, seek best knowledge.
 

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Power lifting is simply a waste of time if your a serious mtbiker,all they do is off-set each other but weight training in an aerobic pace"higher reps"or using equipment like the total gym are fantastic compliments to biking.
I do full body workouts when i can't ride for long stretches and then dump the leg workouts when i'm riding hard.
Works great for me.
 

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Bird said:
Power lifting is simply a waste of time if your a serious mtbiker,all they do is off-set each other but weight training in an aerobic pace"higher reps"or using equipment like the total gym are fantastic compliments to biking.
Please explain.
 

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been reading several books about biking over the last month or so and although they advocate some weight training but nothing too extreme. if you notice, most really well rounded bike riders who excel are not muscle bound. during the tour de france, armstrong weighed in around 163, da jan 169, hamilton 130, landis 150. the more weight you have, including muscle, means more power you have to generate to keep pace with lighter riders.

it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. if you desire to be fast, lighter is better than heavy, regardless if the heavy is muscle.
 

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For what it's worth, I lifted weights for years. Pretty much backed off on the legs when riding a lot and did the legs during the winter; but maintained an upper body training program year around. Then I gave up weight training. As a result I lost weight and got faster. Now, I've gone back to a minimal weight training program for fitness mostly.

Lesson: packing around extra muscle weight that's not used in pedaling the bike will slow you down.
 

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Cyclists don't need balance.


I lifted for years, and quit two years ago. I was carrying around too much muscle that didn't help me achieve my goals. Now I get upper body work from xc skiing. That's about it. Maybe if I ever "retire" from racing, I'll get back in the gym.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yikes!!!

dude! my eyes! my eyes!!!! :nono:
lol!!! ok I get it, I get it!

My main problem is I'm a weak climber, certainly I don't want to turn into a big bulk of muscle that will add up to the overall weight of the deal, I just need to strenghten the legs a bit. I'll keep at it with more reps than weight and update you at the end of my 3-month contract at the gym. :thumbsup:

p.s. by the way: I was under the impression that eating a lot of pies and tamales would strenghten the abdomial muscles, same with six packs of beer. not the case. :p :D
 

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Just because you lift weights does not mean you will gain and look like a bodybuilder. Lifting will benefit your core strength and also your sprints.

As I stated before, it is very hard to gain muscle especially when riding. Bodybuilders train to gain mass; they don't go anaerobic; they eat very clean; they eat very often; they sleep alot; they only workout less than an hour a day; they only do aerobic workouts for less than 15 minutes.

Check this out: http://www.cptips.com/weights.htm
 

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bcaronongan said:
Chris Carmichael is Lance Armstrongs coach is had Lance lift weights...just my $.02
This discussion again. Oh joy.:rolleyes:

Lance Armstrong was 100% focused on winning the Tour de France. Most of us have jobs, school, family, and other responsibilities. It was his job to race his bike. To quote him, "people ask what I'm on. I'm on my bike 6 hours a day."

There are a lot of excellent racers on this board that can vouch for on the bike strength building if you have limited time to train. There are others that swear by the gym. Decide what is best for you. I've done both, and I know what has worked for me.
 

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Also, Chris Carmichael recently said if weightlifting takes up signficant time from your cycling work, then don't do it.

If you're doing 2 hours weight room and 3 hours bike (and thats all the time you have), then you better off doing 5 hours of biking in a week.

For me, weightlifting is at most 20% of my weekly workout time. For the two hours a week I do lifting, I have at least 8 hours of aerobic time within the week.

Last night, I ran 3 miles in 10 degree temps; that's why I'm a big fan of the weight room. The less of that crap, the better!!
 

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I weight train because I need to change my body composition to become more overall efficient- is it working for me? Yes it is. Will it work for everyone? Depends on who you ask.... Everyone's physiology and body-state is different, so tune your activites to your goals. Do a realistic self-assessment, set clear goals, and the activities you need to accomplish them will become much clearer...
 

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bcaronongan said:
mtbfool, what worked for you? just curious. i'm trying to find my groove...

thanks!
I don't know if I'm the best person go ask about this subject. I don't express myself too well in this area. Glenzx definitely does a better job than I do.

This will be my 7th year racing (holy cow, I had to add that up in my head, I'm getting old) mountain bikes. I started lifting for ball and stick sports when I was 14. Got relatively big for the positions I played. Moved to Colorado and caught the racing bug. Kept lifting weights. Was able to stay pretty strong, get to a decently low bodyweight, and do decent in races. I had always used Friel's Bible, but went back and forth between seasons overtraining and one or two good results amongst a mostly mediocre season.

Two seasons ago, I decided to bite the bullet and try to do it right. I hired a coach and decided I easily put on unnecessary weight in the weightroom. I turned my time lifting in to time riding. I did some strength training exercises on the bike. My first season doing this, I had a couple of good results and overall better results. I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I was always going to be an upper-mid pack expert, but I loved racing and kept doing it.

This past year, I had huge gains. I was in the top 3 in pretty much every race I entered. I really attribute it to training differently, training correctly, and spending more time on the bike.

I used to run/jog well into March. I now don't do any riding after Jan. 1. I spend a ton of time on the trainer. I still do some XC skiing on the weekends to be able to get outside. I normally do really big rides one day on the weekend, but the snow has prevented that this year.

Is that the way to have the most fun? Not necessarily. I like to run. I like to go to the gym. I hate riding on the trainer. I hate cutting back on beer. The big thing is I love to race. I like to see how fast I can get, and most of the time that is worth the sacrifice.

Don't get me wrong. I think some/a lot of people can benefit from lifting, but I have done enough lifting to build bone density, ligament and tendon strenght, etc. It really is about time on the bike for me. You don't see pros going to Solvang for weight lifting winter training camps.

Now I'm trying to catch my breath.
 

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Sounds like good advice.

I've been riding since 1991. I did my first race in 1992. I'm only a beginner. I would do about 2 or 3 races a year. Then got married in 2000 and now have a four year old and two year old. Got back into MTBing July of 06 after a buddy came down and road with me. Had no idea disk brakes and SID existed until he came! I've been in hiatus since 1998 or 1999!

Anyway, I've decided to get into the sport class this year. I've always been a gym rat. Although I'm a small guy (165# was the heaviest I got doing weights and training with powerlifters and bodybuilders) I did my best to keep up with heavy lifting. Along with that I also road my MTB almost every other day. I never did road riding; just couldn't get into it.

This year I want to see how fast I can get so I've done road riding about 4 days a week when the weather was good and now I'm on the trainer 4 to 5 days a week. On the days off I do the weight training. I stretch every night and do abs. I can tell I'm getting better so I'll stick to this workout regimen and see how I do on the first race this year. I'm going to stay in beginner and if I do really well, I'll move up to sport. I don't want to be a sandbagger! My weight sessions primarily focus on compound movements and they are limited to less than an hour once per week.

I see your point! It's what my friends have told me since we started racing...ride!

I just wasn't that competitive...but now I have this "racing bug" and I want to excel. I guess it's middle age.

Thanks again!
 

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bcaronongan said:
Sounds like good advice.

I've been riding since 1991. I did my first race in 1992. I'm only a beginner. I would do about 2 or 3 races a year. Then got married in 2000 and now have a four year old and two year old. Got back into MTBing July of 06 after a buddy came down and road with me. Had no idea disk brakes and SID existed until he came! I've been in hiatus since 1998 or 1999!

Anyway, I've decided to get into the sport class this year. I've always been a gym rat. Although I'm a small guy (165# was the heaviest I got doing weights and training with powerlifters and bodybuilders) I did my best to keep up with heavy lifting. Along with that I also road my MTB almost every other day. I never did road riding; just couldn't get into it.

This year I want to see how fast I can get so I've done road riding about 4 days a week when the weather was good and now I'm on the trainer 4 to 5 days a week. On the days off I do the weight training. I stretch every night and do abs. I can tell I'm getting better so I'll stick to this workout regimen and see how I do on the first race this year. I'm going to stay in beginner and if I do really well, I'll move up to sport. I don't want to be a sandbagger! My weight sessions primarily focus on compound movements and they are limited to less than an hour once per week.

I see your point! It's what my friends have told me since we started racing...ride!

I just wasn't that competitive...but now I have this "racing bug" and I want to excel. I guess it's middle age.

Thanks again!
Good luck.:thumbsup:

Keep searching these forums and asking questions. There are a lot of experienced, good racers that post here.
 
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