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Free Weight Training & Cycling/Running

Old 11-06-19, 06:24 PM
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Free Weight Training & Cycling/Running

+++++I HOPE THE MOD WILL PICK THIS UP AND DELETE OR LOCK THIS POST OR STICKY WHATEVER. I HAVE GONE THE ROUTE OF A VERY DEEP MEDICAL ACCESSMENT, AND I DO HAVE A VERY DEADLY DISEASE I AM NOW DEALING WITH IN HOSPITAL FULL-TIME, TEAM OF DOCTORS. IF ANYTHING, THE FREE WEIGHT TRAINING BROUGHT THE SYMPTOMS TO THE SURFACE AND STARTED A IMPORTANT INVESTIGATIVE ROUTE. SO, NOTHING BUT LOVE TO PEOPLE DOING THIS TRAINING, AND THANKS FOR THE SUPPORTIVE MESSAGES HERE.++++++++

As a fairly avid runner and cyclist I decided to engage a coach and schedule regular weight training sessions, work on the correct compound movement techniques and get competent in pushing iron around the gym.

The results have been fairly disastrous, but I think it is more a cautionary tale for us older folks. Perhaps it is the interference effect, perhaps it's just this old body can't adjust to mechanics of managing heavy weight training, perhaps the recovery phase necessary at my age is just impractical for my schedule. But I've been hobbling around for months, my running and cycling are for crap, I am always sore or medicating for some torn little chest or shoulder muscle or a screaming quad muscle - blah, blah, blah.

On the positive side, I have sure learned a lot. I had no idea just how technical these exercises are if done correctly. It's like for a simple bench press there are a half of dozen techniques to master if you want to optimize the movement safely.

My PSA is for us medicare years cyclists, think twice before jumping into the weight training thing with any zeal. It is a major shock to the system, nothing like doing some push-ups, P90x or burpees on off days. It's made the second half of 2019 my worst season over the last five years - a real throw-away.

Off the soapbox.

Last edited by FrenchFit; 11-21-19 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 11-06-19, 08:09 PM
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1) I've been strength training since I was in the Army. Wife and I joined a local gym in '79. Hindsight. Still at it twice a week for an hour. My wife had never done anything physical except hike. No injuries, no problems.
2) You got a crummy coach. Well, be generous, an idiot.
3) My aunt started strength training at 80. Went really well. Got stronger and stronger, no injuries, had never done a bit of any sort of physical exercise in her life, zero talent, sedentary ancestors. And fat. Now 87, lost 30 lbs., deadlifts 90 lbs., heaves truck tires, walks without a cane..

All that said, it is a cautionary tale. Be very careful picking a PT. We have maybe 6 PTs who use our gym, all certified of course. They start out with a lot of strap and band and floor work for folks who don't have history, almost no free weight work.

It is interesting how cycling and running both use a very limited range of motion and muscle use. Transitioning to full body work is a big deal. For someone starting, I recommend just using Core Advantage for their first year. (cheaper on Amazon)

I know a lot of people near my age who've contracted all sorts of injuries and disabilities by simply ignoring the fact that our muscles go away, our tendons and connective tissue gets weaker, and our cartilage goes away, all of that from disuse. I weigh about what I did in the Army, use the same weights, and have managed to stay uninjured even though I ski, backpack, and do some construction. Oooh, I take that back. I did have a back injury maybe 10 years ago. I hadn't been going to the gym or even riding much that fall and then I went skiing with a Frenchman who used to tour with the Dynastar team. I was carving really hard on a very packed slope, lots of g's, and I felt (and heard) my back go blewy. Yeah, that's when I did Core Advantage for a year. No problems since.
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Old 11-06-19, 08:42 PM
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Weight training shouldn't cause injuries, it should prevent injuries by making your body stronger and more resistant to injury...You must of done something wrong: maybe trying to move too much weight too soon, improper technique, training to failure too often , not recovering from your previous workout session, maybe your coach was an idiot and was pushing you too hard...You should take a little rest , recover and heal and start all over again but this time start of easy...One of the biggest mistake people make is to try to progress too fast... It's better to make a slow progress than try to make fast progress and screw yourself up in the process.
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Old 11-07-19, 01:06 AM
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Sounds like you need a new PT. They should be starting you light and progressing weekly, you shouldn't be in pain all the while
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Old 11-07-19, 02:22 AM
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I've never done serious free weight training. It was seriously frowned upon by boxing coaches years ago, and that was my main sport. Back then boxers were taught to avoid free weights and much swimming. Being musclebound didn't help boxing and swimming was believed to make muscles floppy, too flexible and hindered speed. There was some superstition but also some logic in those perspectives. I knew a local boxer who became a world champ, but he overdid it with free weight training and permanently hindered his flexibility and punching style. He couldn't throw a right hand properly anymore -- he was pushing instead of snapping punches, and appeared to have lost shoulder flexibility. He ended up losing his title by stoppage against a fighter he should have beaten. Classic example of how muscle development that's suitable for one sport is completely inappropriate for another.

Lots of track sprinters now do weight training, including free weights, and have seriously muscular legs, but I don't know of any serious road racers who do to that extent. Different disciplines, different training.

I did use weight machines with modest weight, including rowing and rope or cable type machines. Heck, even 1910 heavyweight champ Jack Johnson used those rope or cable type weight machines, didn't seem to hurt him any. And light dumbells for shadow boxing.

I still limit my weight training to machines, calesthenics and bodyweight exercises. Works for me. At 62 I'm still in pretty good shape, other than the injuries from being hit by cars twice in 20 years. The main challenge is offsetting that damage to the neck, back and shoulders. And it takes longer to make progress and recover from injuries.

Back in the summer I was in PT for a couple of months for the injuries. As I made progress I got a little enthusiastic with the weight and ended up in more pain. Not injuries, per se, but inflammation around the injured shoulder blade -- there were some spots about the size of a dime that felt like electric jolts when touched. And a tendon in my bicep swelled to thumb size. I had a good physical therapist, my form was good, the weights seemed reasonable... but it was wrong for me at that stage of recovery. So I eased up off the weights, returned to bodyweight exercises, stretching, massage and topical analgesics. That pain has subsided, the bicep tendon has returned to normal, so I may try weight machines again soon.

But I don't see any advantage to free weights for myself, not at this stage. It won't improve my cycling, my main exercise now. What I've been doing since I was a teenager has worked for me.

Folks who've pushed free weights around for years will probably be comfortable with those and may gain some benefit for cycling.
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Old 11-07-19, 05:08 AM
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To the OP sorry to hear about your bad experience - since middle school my rule of thumb has been Ďdo no harmí. Hopefully if you rest up & lay off those injuries youíll be able to start again. At 60 Iím still challenged to not over do it
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Old 11-07-19, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
As a fairly avid runner and cyclist I decided to engage a coach and schedule regular weight training sessions, work on the correct compound movement techniques and get competent in pushing iron around the gym.

The results have been fairly disastrous, but I think it is more a cautionary tale for us older folks. Perhaps it is the interference effect, perhaps it's just this old body can't adjust to mechanics of managing heavy weight training, perhaps the recovery phase necessary at my age is just impractical for my schedule. But I've been hobbling around for months, my running and cycling are for crap, I am always sore or medicating for some torn little chest or shoulder muscle or a screaming quad muscle - blah, blah, blah.

On the positive side, I have sure learned a lot. I had no idea just how technical these exercises are if done correctly. It's like for a simple bench press there are a half of dozen techniques to master if you want to optimize the movement safely.

My PSA is for us medicare years cyclists, think twice before jumping into the weight training thing with any zeal. It is a major shock to the system, nothing like doing some push-ups, P90x or burpees on off days. It's made the second half of 2019 my worst season over the last five years - a real throw-away.

Off the soapbox.
As others have said, it sounds to me like you're trying to do too much too soon. I also wonder if your trainer isn't being flexible enough with their (your) exercise choices.
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Old 11-07-19, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I've never done serious free weight training. It was seriously frowned upon by boxing coaches years ago, and that was my main sport. Back then boxers were taught to avoid free weights and much swimming. Being musclebound didn't help boxing and swimming was believed to make muscles floppy, too flexible and hindered speed. There was some superstition but also some logic in those perspectives. I knew a local boxer who became a world champ, but he overdid it with free weight training and permanently hindered his flexibility and punching style. He couldn't throw a right hand properly anymore -- he was pushing instead of snapping punches, and appeared to have lost shoulder flexibility. He ended up losing his title by stoppage against a fighter he should have beaten. Classic example of how muscle development that's suitable for one sport is completely inappropriate for another.

Lots of track sprinters now do weight training, including free weights, and have seriously muscular legs, but I don't know of any serious road racers who do to that extent. Different disciplines, different training.

I did use weight machines with modest weight, including rowing and rope or cable type machines. Heck, even 1910 heavyweight champ Jack Johnson used those rope or cable type weight machines, didn't seem to hurt him any. And light dumbells for shadow boxing.

I still limit my weight training to machines, calesthenics and bodyweight exercises. Works for me. At 62 I'm still in pretty good shape, other than the injuries from being hit by cars twice in 20 years. The main challenge is offsetting that damage to the neck, back and shoulders. And it takes longer to make progress and recover from injuries.

Back in the summer I was in PT for a couple of months for the injuries. As I made progress I got a little enthusiastic with the weight and ended up in more pain. Not injuries, per se, but inflammation around the injured shoulder blade -- there were some spots about the size of a dime that felt like electric jolts when touched. And a tendon in my bicep swelled to thumb size. I had a good physical therapist, my form was good, the weights seemed reasonable... but it was wrong for me at that stage of recovery. So I eased up off the weights, returned to bodyweight exercises, stretching, massage and topical analgesics. That pain has subsided, the bicep tendon has returned to normal, so I may try weight machines again soon.

But I don't see any advantage to free weights for myself, not at this stage. It won't improve my cycling, my main exercise now. What I've been doing since I was a teenager has worked for me.

*Folks who've pushed free weights around for years will probably be comfortable with those and may gain some benefit for cycling.*
Tuesday is my upper body day, mostly pulling work. I do pushing and legs on Thursday. Anyway, when I'm doing dumbbell work, it's mostly done standing, curls bent over with bent knees, etc. After an hour of that, my quads are screaming. Bizarre, huh? Maybe it benefits cycling, but mostly indirectly. The work enables me to stay on the bike and not get injured.

A side note: Schermer's Neck is an issue among randonneurs, but is very simple to insure against simply by doing upper body work with dumbbells: shrugs, presses, side raises, front raises, rear raises. Fixes the neck right up. I superset the sides, fronts, and rears to save time. And I'm really glad I included that link, because I've had diplopia on brevets without Schermer's Neck. Probably something to do with trying to hold my head as low as possible and still see well ahead. It goes away pretty quickly, usually during the brevet, nothing to worry about, just eye muscle strain. I've wondered what caused it for years. I used to think it was low blood sugar, but have disproved that.
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Old 11-07-19, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Tuesday is my upper body day, mostly pulling work. I do pushing and legs on Thursday. Anyway, when I'm doing dumbbell work, it's mostly done standing, curls bent over with bent knees, etc. After an hour of that, my quads are screaming. Bizarre, huh? Maybe it benefits cycling, but mostly indirectly. The work enables me to stay on the bike and not get injured.

A side note: Schermer's Neck is an issue among randonneurs, but is very simple to insure against simply by doing upper body work with dumbbells: shrugs, presses, side raises, front raises, rear raises. Fixes the neck right up. I superset the sides, fronts, and rears to save time. And I'm really glad I included that link, because I've had diplopia on brevets without Schermer's Neck. Probably something to do with trying to hold my head as low as possible and still see well ahead. It goes away pretty quickly, usually during the brevet, nothing to worry about, just eye muscle strain. I've wondered what caused it for years. I used to think it was low blood sugar, but have disproved that.
My neck injury is from being hit by cars, twice. C2 was broken in 2001 but healed, although it's thickened and the cartilage is shot so there's some grinding. And after the 2018 collision the C1 and C2 are displaced in opposite directions, so occasionally there are bizarre side effects from nerve pressure, like spikes in BP and HR.

Yeah, I get the double vision thing too from being in the drops too long or using aero bars. I've modified my bike fits to minimize that problem. It's not the most aero and technically the reach is just a little shorter than optimal. But it's comfortable, a reasonable compromise and I've been able to enjoy longer rides this year.

And daily physical therapy is a must. At a minimum I do massage and stretching every day, usually two or three times a day. On good days I'll add strengthening exercises. Really helps.
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Old 11-11-19, 06:49 AM
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If you're never done weights in your life and then all of a sudden take it up much later in life, then yeah, that's not an unexpected result, especially with free weights.

A barbell and a set of dumbells great for building strength and muscles but it takes time to learn how to work them properly, and time to develop the stabilizing muscles to be able to support them. For someone just beginning to weight train it's better for him to start with body weight exercises such as push ups and pull ups.
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Old 11-11-19, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
For someone just beginning to weight train it's better for him to start with body weight exercises such as push ups and pull ups.
I don't think that's something which is universally true. Free weights, or machines, offer the advantage of being able to easily adjust the level of resistance. Body weight exercises generally do not. Body weight exercises are great choices if one's body weight happens to provide a reasonable level of resistance, but that is often not the case. Push ups and pull ups may be too hard for a beginner who is heavy for instance.
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Old 11-11-19, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
I decided to engage a coach and schedule regular weight training sessions ... The results have been fairly disastrous, but I think it is more a cautionary tale for us older folks.
Can you describe the basic sequence of exercise/cardio/stretching choices that were made, from the start to the point when you began hobbling?

I suspect that for your given level of experience, fitness, strength, that you went too heavy, did more-complex and -advance moves that (as pointed out) can require an amount of knowledge and muscle-memory to get "right."

The idea of starting out with resistance bands/tubes, floor exercises, stretching and "the basics" and moving slowly up through lighter weights and simpler exercises has a lot of merit. Depends on the person, to a great extent, of course. But it can avoid a lot of pain and needless risk of injury.

My own great injury occurred decades ago but it was based on a mismatch between me and the challenge ... too much range of motion required for the activity at the strength levels and speeds of the performance I was hitting. Bad news, as something "blew" in the legs. Am still dealing with the ramifications (limitations) years later. Would have been vastly better-served to have gone more slowly, ramping up my performance as my ROM improved. Learned a lot from that experience, but oh did it limit what I could do once I did get back to performance condition.
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Old 11-11-19, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I don't think that's something which is universally true. Free weights, or machines, offer the advantage of being able to easily adjust the level of resistance. Body weight exercises generally do not. Body weight exercises are great choices if one's body weight happens to provide a reasonable level of resistance, but that is often not the case. Push ups and pull ups may be too hard for a beginner who is heavy for instance.
Good point. For someone who's severely overweight I'd be better to start off on a machine. But there are modifications that you can make for body weight exercises as well, that can accommodate most people. Push ups on an incline, for example. Doing only the negative for pull ups.
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Old 11-11-19, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Can you describe the basic sequence of exercise/cardio/stretching choices that were made, from the start to the point when you began hobbling?
I would typically run/walk/stretch for a half hour before we started. We started off initially with movement assessments, then went to bands, then to weights when he was confident I was in control over the entire range of movement. I worked out about half the weight I would have selected for myself. So, he was fairly protective - though lots of reps.

I think I have the answer - (visualize a head slap). I started a low dose statin routine a year ago, forgot all about it 'cause I just didn't have any symptoms. However, just before I started with weights I saw my running times decrease, and I had muscle soreness - which is uncommon for me if I run regularly. The weight training coincided with weeks of very high output physical activity - a cascade of daily efforts. I'm thinking now that what I experienced is the full impact of those statin muscle cramps and weakness side effects I've read about, it just showed up out of the blue with a vengeance.

I've pulled the plug on the statins, figure I'll reassess after a week or two. If I can narrow it down to this as the culprit I'll edit my OP.
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Old 11-11-19, 01:40 PM
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I can't do pushups without modification because they bother a very old injury. About 20 years ago I dislocated by sterno-clavicular joint in a car accident - be careful who you let drive you around. Bench presses are fine. Flys don't bother it, but make me aware of it, so I do less weight at higher reps for those.
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Old 11-11-19, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
I would typically run/walk/stretch for a half hour before we started.
Don't do half hour of stretching before lifting weights...Find a different way to warm up before lifting.

Last edited by wolfchild; 11-11-19 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 11-12-19, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
As a fairly avid runner and cyclist I decided to engage a coach and schedule regular weight training sessions, work on the correct compound movement techniques and get competent in pushing iron around the gym.

The results have been fairly disastrous, but I think it is more a cautionary tale for us older folks. Perhaps it is the interference effect, perhaps it's just this old body can't adjust to mechanics of managing heavy weight training, perhaps the recovery phase necessary at my age is just impractical for my schedule. But I've been hobbling around for months, my running and cycling are for crap, I am always sore or medicating for some torn little chest or shoulder muscle or a screaming quad muscle - blah, blah, blah.

On the positive side, I have sure learned a lot. I had no idea just how technical these exercises are if done correctly. It's like for a simple bench press there are a half of dozen techniques to master if you want to optimize the movement safely.

My PSA is for us medicare years cyclists, think twice before jumping into the weight training thing with any zeal. It is a major shock to the system, nothing like doing some push-ups, P90x or burpees on off days. It's made the second half of 2019 my worst season over the last five years - a real throw-away.

Off the soapbox.
If the exercises are done correctly, there should be no "torn little chest or shoulder muscle or a screaming quad muscle - blah, blah, blah".

Ease into it and do the exercise correctly.
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Old 11-12-19, 11:10 AM
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I've been cycling and lifting for nearly 10 years now (I'm 57). I'm bigger, stronger and faster than I was.

I know that every body is different, but your original post reads like lifting weights, even with a coach will ruin you. That is not true.
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Old 12-09-19, 01:46 PM
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Weight/strength training with weights is crucial to me for maintaining good muscular balance. I've been putting in a lot of running miles lately in preparation for a race this coming March, but all that running (and not to mention my cycling, which I do for transportation) is primarily a quad-dominate activity, leaving my knees very sore by the end of the week.

To get my knees back in top-notch health during my two days off running is to work my posterior chain and my favorite exercise for this are deadlifts. It's funny, because if I do just a slow jog or a body-weight squat and I'll feel it in my knees; however, I can deadlift 360lbs and not even feel it in my knees (and I bend down to where my hamstrings are parallel with the floor).

So yes, weightlifting is technical and proper technique is crucial; it's all in how you position the body to engage the posterior chain and keeping the strain off the quads, especially where they connect with the various connective tissues around the knee. And, as others have said, build a base when first getting started, especially for us older guys. Do the lighter weights at higher reps before going heavy -- a year building a base is not too long.
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Old 12-09-19, 03:51 PM
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OP: please let us know how this goes now. So sorry to hear about your problem. Joint pain was my first indication when I had PMR. When finally diagnosed, that was a fairly easy medical fix, TG.
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Old 12-09-19, 07:56 PM
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Sorry to hear about the worsening medical condition. Take care of that first before worrying about bike training and workouts. Been there myself and it can take awhile to recover.
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Old 12-09-19, 08:52 PM
  #22  
travelerman
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I spend no more than from 20-30 minutes strength/weight training in the gym, no more than 2 - 3 times per week (less during the cycling season)... didn't start in until my late-40's, some 8 years ago. I'm not trying to win any contests - nor could I ever; just trying to stay strong going into my past-middle age years, along with the corresponding benefits for cycling endurance, including the alleged boosted-mitochondria count that is supposed to assist in distance/endurance activities.
If life and work gets too busy to get in the fitness center in any given week, I will do a calisthenics at home, or dumbbell and ankle lifting.
BTW, I tried P90X a few years ago; I gained strength, but it damn near killed me. It's definitely NOT for everyone...
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Old 12-10-19, 03:42 PM
  #23  
xroadcharlie
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Up until recently, Weight lifting was considered a fine exercise for strength/Flexibility and appearance. Recent studies however have now confirmed what some suspected for all along that weight lifting also improves cardio heath independent of traditional cardio work. And you don't have to use heavy weights or spend hours in the gym every 2'nd day. But you do have to put forth some effort. Using a 20 lb dumbbell when you can lift a 30 lb and still complete the exercise won't cut it either.

Being retired and not terribly active otherwise, I am trying to get into the habit of doing 3 x 30 minutes sessions of maintenance level weight training using dumbbells to 1/2 my weight per pair followed by 35 minutes of cardio on the treadmill at 55 - 70% of my heart rate reserve, and 45 minutes for the 4'th day on the treadmill.

While I really enjoy biking, Whether permitting, Where I ride there is no way I can sustain the 55 - 70% of my heart rate reserve for 35 - 45 minutes like on the treadmill. And even if I could it would take all the fun out of my bike ride. So for now, Any benefits from biking are just an added bonus.
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Old 12-10-19, 06:05 PM
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Hermes
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Closed per OP request. Wishing him the best from all of us at BF.
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