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Combining Upper Body Work & Intense Cycling Training

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Combining Upper Body Work & Intense Cycling Training

Old 03-25-19, 12:04 PM
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Psychocycles
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Combining Upper Body Work & Intense Cycling Training

I got into cycling a few years ago and have over the past year been doing structured training at fairly high intensities. Over the past few weeks I have taken that up another notch and am training at race-level intensity. However, I also rock climb & do upper body work in the form of calisthenics (pullups, pushups, etc). I used to workout upper body 3x a week & rock climb 2-3x a week, but since taking up the increased intensity training, I cannot maintain that level of upper body work anymore.

I'm thinking to drop my upper body work to 2x a week & rock climb 1-2x a week to accommodate the increased demands of cycling training but then I have the question of which days to do the upper body work?

I've been listening to the TrainerRoads pod cast and one of the coaches, Chad, is a firm believer in rest on rest days; i.e. no other workouts on rest days. However, rest days are the only days I have enough energy to get in a decent upper body workout. Does anyone else lift/workout upper body and balance that with your cycling training? How do you balance your workouts?
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Old 03-25-19, 12:30 PM
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I do my bike workout, then do the gym work after. Resting on rest days is good. The gym work doesn't suffer from the bike work IME. Different energy systems.
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Old 03-25-19, 12:54 PM
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I do my upper body days (really just my lifting days as I tend to do full body most times in the gym) on days when I have the time. Whether it is "optimal" or not is a distant second to actually getting it done. Generally that means either Tuesday or Wednesday at lunch, once on the weekend and possibly Friday at lunch as well. Over the winter, my intense cycling workouts have been on the other day of Tuesday/Wednesday and the other day of the weekend. But, if I was doing upper body only, I would have no problems doing it on the same day as a hard cycling workout.
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Old 03-25-19, 04:23 PM
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I do my full body workouts ( upper and lower body ) 3 times per week on my non-cycling days.
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Old 03-25-19, 04:51 PM
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Full body at the gym M, W, F. Used to go at lunch, now it's in the evening. I ride on my lunch break. Do long whatever (ride, hike, ski) on weekends.

For me, my priorities tend to shift. I used to climb and miss it, if I get a chance to do it again I'll be happy to ride less to accommodate. Sounds like the opposite for you. Something eventually has to give. It's important to know what's important.
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Old 04-04-19, 08:41 AM
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Manual ranch labor = full body decimation workout the bike riding is the easy part it cures all the soreness.
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Old 04-04-19, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Full body at the gym M, W, F. Used to go at lunch, now it's in the evening. I ride on my lunch break. Do long whatever (ride, hike, ski) on weekends.

For me, my priorities tend to shift. I used to climb and miss it, if I get a chance to do it again I'll be happy to ride less to accommodate. Sounds like the opposite for you. Something eventually has to give. It's important to know what's important.
Sorry for the delay, thanks for the responses everyone! Yeah, I used to prioritize my upper body strength above all else but now I'm thinking to just maintain upper body & really double down on increasing FTP and cycling performance.

My hard workouts leave me feeling cooked inside, so even though strength work is a different energy system, I usually don't have the mental and/or physical capacity on a hard cycling day. I agree with OBoile...getting it done is more important than timing it perfectly; I just want to make sure I'm not compromising my cycling performance . Anyway, I'm not pro, never will be, so maybe it's going too far to analyze it in such detail.
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Old 04-04-19, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Psychocycles View Post
Sorry for the delay, thanks for the responses everyone! Yeah, I used to prioritize my upper body strength above all else but now I'm thinking to just maintain upper body & really double down on increasing FTP and cycling performance.

My hard workouts leave me feeling cooked inside, so even though strength work is a different energy system, I usually don't have the mental and/or physical capacity on a hard cycling day. I agree with OBoile...getting it done is more important than timing it perfectly; I just want to make sure I'm not compromising my cycling performance . Anyway, I'm not pro, never will be, so maybe it's going too far to analyze it in such detail.
Well, you know what your priority is. So, I'd say just intend to do both, but if one has to be cut/reduced/taken easy due to scheduling or feeling run down or whatever, you know which one to cut. Also, keep in mind that in order to maintain, you need far less volume and intensity than you need to improve.
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Old 04-04-19, 12:42 PM
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Also a climber and cyclist, I'd drop the upper body work as its not necessary except for aesthetics I assume. Climbing will work core and upper body to a large extent that is necessary and plenty of climbers get jacked and skinny without any additional upper body work except for antagonist training(ie sharma etc). I climb 2-3x a week, commute 5 days a week 1 hour each way + intervals 2-3 times per week and then weekends are either climbing outdoors or long rides depending on season.
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Old 04-06-19, 04:54 AM
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I do 2 upper body workout days / week on recovery spin days which are T, Th. Monday I do nothing,
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Old 05-22-19, 03:16 AM
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Rest days are just that: no strenuous physical activity. In fact, for those difficult to conceptualize, I'd go as far as to say, be as lethargic as possible. That means a complete removal from all exertion. That includes working on your car, yard work, etc. . Do this at minimum of 1 day/wk.
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