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Old 08-12-21, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rwmct View Post
I disagree with you somewhat there on the gradual introduction of low rep work. There is no reason for beginners not doing lower rep-higher weight work. One of the most popular beginner weight lifting programs in the world, Starting Strength, is built around five rep sets. I do agree that there is value in higher reps. But that is for increasing endurance strength, or for fat loss. (Or bodybuilding, of course, but that is a pretty specialized area).

To me, one of the best movements for this is the step up. Just get a bench or a box and step up on it with one leg, touch the other foot to it and step down, Repeat on the other leg. On and on. I will do 100 reps with each leg. You can use bodyweight, grab a fairly light pair of dbs, a water jug in each hand, put on a back pack with a couple bricks in it, whatever. It is a very effective exercise, though it is quite tedious.
The problem with starting with 5 X 5 is that one can't start by doing work to near failure without risking injury. One starts light and gradually increases weight. This results in slower progress. Read the strength training chapter in Friel, a good place to start. I've been strength training on and off for 62 years, continuously since '79.

Of course one can do anything one likes, but giving advice in an open forum, I advise starting out by working on form and endurance. I've had the best success in starting a new program doing 30 reps of 7-9,exercizes, circuit style, all sets same weight, the weight being continuously adjusted so that one cannot complete 30 reps on the last set. There's no reason to do a gym exercise which allows 100 or so reps. One would be much better off doing box jumps. Those are quite effective, being plyo instead of heavy work and are bodyweight, good to mention in this thread. Combining plyo with weights is also quite effective. Good for the bones, too.

All that said, my secret weapon for cycling fitness during the past 25 years has been doing strenuous day hikes in the mountains, the interesting thing being that one can do hours and hours of zone 1 without getting bored. I typically carry a 25 lb. pack and use poles for upper body conditioning. Strength training has been good for my hiking, too.
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