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Best kind of Weight lifting for Cycling?

Old 07-27-21, 07:11 PM
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DreamRider85
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Best kind of Weight lifting for Cycling?

Throughout the last several months, I've been pumping some iron. Typically in the 8-15 rep range to failure. Now I noticed lately, I do look more muscular and a bit leaner. It's a pretty good look that's hard to achieve through just bike riding. But I have noticed that longer rides have been tougher lately. However, I can't figure out if it's just because doing so much weight training makes it harder to have time or energy to ride as much or if it is the increase in muscles that is slowing me down a bit.

On one hand, I want to keep the look. But I want to keep progressing in my endurance as well. Do you recommend higher reps? The more I work out and the harder I work out, the less energy and time I have to devote to long-distance biking. So I want to balance it out and it seems a bit tricky. I don't want to have an offseason type routine, then an in-season routine. I'm just all around, all season. But I don't want to do too much biking but have no muscles. But I don't want to have such bulky muscles that I can't bike.
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Old 07-27-21, 08:27 PM
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What's your lifting routine? How many days/week?
If you want to prioritize lifting, schedule one day of non lifting to do a long ride. You'll gain more endurance from increasing a single ride by 5 miles than increasing 5 rides by one mile.
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Old 07-27-21, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
The more I work out and the harder I work out, the less energy and time I have to devote to long-distance biking.
What mileage are these long distance rides?

Last edited by shelbyfv; 07-27-21 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 07-27-21, 08:40 PM
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Link: CYCLING STRENGTH & CONDITIONING GUIDE: Essential exercises for strength, core stability and flexibility.
By Phil Mosley
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Old 07-28-21, 02:26 AM
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I workout for 30 minutes five times a week at home without a weight set. I have a cheap dumbell set that I do different stuff with, many body resistant exercises, especially pushups and I have a duffel bag filled with weight that I use. If I don't do upper body workouts my arms turn into toothpicks with as much riding as I do. I could actually go to a good gym for free because I'm retired from the military and live close to Ft. Bragg but I don't need it.

I recommend that you take creatine, it helps with cycling as well. I use the inexpensive Six Star 100% creatine from Walmart. 1tbs every morning with a glass of water.

In 2015 after I retired and did nothing but cycling and was riding 500-800 miles a month I had shriveled down to 145lbs. Then I started doing what I posted above and took mass gainer for an extra 1500cal/day. In six months I was at 175 and everyone thought was on steroids. My average speed on the bike actually increased due to (my belief) the creatine. Then I backed down and stopped taking the mass gainer. Without it now I still maintain about 165lbs which is perfect for me at 5'10" and I'm not embarrassed to wear short sleeve shirts haha.
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Old 07-28-21, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
What mileage are these long distance rides?
And, what kind of elevation?
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Old 07-28-21, 04:23 AM
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After over a year out of the gym because of COVID I've returned. Bear in mind I'm a 75 yr old man. I try to ride 4 days a week with rides being around 20 mi. and about 1200-1500 ft of elevation for each ride. I also go to the gym 4-5 days a week. I try to stay away from big weights. An example of my routine would be bicep curls with 20 lbs (3X10) each arm. Then I do a lot machines for chest, shoulders, core, etc. I also do 3X10 reps of bridges and leg raises. My main issue on the bike is climbing. I'm about 10 lbs over where I want to be and, of course, down on power from when I was in my 30's. Although I can still do pretty well on the flats. My best time on a 1 mile flat segment was last year at 25 mph. But, no matter what I do it's all about health/fitness these days.
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Old 07-28-21, 09:30 AM
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On days I don't ride I hit the gym. That is a good easy to keep schedule for me. I usually take 1-2 days a week off because of my current schedule. Sometimes on the weekend I will go for a 20-30 mile ride and hit the gym. I don't think there is a good type of weight lifting to make you better at cycling. If you want a muscly look hit the weights. If you want to be faster on the bike ride the bike.
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Old 07-28-21, 10:22 AM
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Old 07-28-21, 11:00 AM
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But I don't want to have such bulky muscles that I can't bike.
Boy - wouldn't THAT be a tragedy? max sarcasm intended

Your question lacks sufficient supporting contextual information. In general people recreate and exercise as a response to a complicated matrix of psycho-social perceptions that confer amusement and satisfaction.

It is true that in some cases behaviors pertaining to these various physical activities can become neurotic, narcissistic and even self destructive.

I'm sure you'll find a balance or exercises that work. Just remember the old saw: Moderation in all things.
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Old 07-28-21, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
Throughout the last several months, I've been pumping some iron. Typically in the 8-15 rep range to failure. Now I noticed lately, I do look more muscular and a bit leaner. It's a pretty good look that's hard to achieve through just bike riding. But I have noticed that longer rides have been tougher lately. However, I can't figure out if it's just because doing so much weight training makes it harder to have time or energy to ride as much or if it is the increase in muscles that is slowing me down a bit.

On one hand, I want to keep the look. But I want to keep progressing in my endurance as well. Do you recommend higher reps? The more I work out and the harder I work out, the less energy and time I have to devote to long-distance biking. So I want to balance it out and it seems a bit tricky. I don't want to have an offseason type routine, then an in-season routine. I'm just all around, all season. But I don't want to do too much biking but have no muscles. But I don't want to have such bulky muscles that I can't bike.
If long-distance biking is your main priority, then you need to do more biking and less lifting. Most strength training routines I see aimed at biking are pretty lightweight - usually 2x 20-30 min sessions of mostly body weight exercises like squats, lunges, planks etc and maybe a few kettlebell lifts and curls. The rest of the week is spent training on the bike. For example I do maybe on average 10 hours per week on the bike and less than an hour on strength training. I even cut out strength training altogether on heavy biking weeks, but do a bit more strength work during the winter when I'm not out riding so much. Guys who do a lot of serious pumping iron are not usually very good at endurance cycling. Especially if they are really bulked up with muscle. The two things are incompatible. But a sensible amount of complimentary strength work should make you a stronger cyclist.
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Old 07-28-21, 11:41 AM
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This lifting probably isn't the best idea. There is stuff in a weight room that's much more likely to injure you than a water bottle.
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Old 07-28-21, 12:41 PM
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You're not going to build endurance without repeated, prolonged cardio-vascular workouts. My limited experience is that you get very little of that lifting weights.
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Old 07-28-21, 03:45 PM
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I haven't found strength training for my legs adds much value to my bike riding. So the weight lifting I do is all upper body stuff for my arms, chest, and back.
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Old 07-28-21, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
But I don't want to have such bulky muscles that I can't bike.
Lifting weights won't make you big. Eating huge amount of calories + lifting weights + limiting cardio workouts s what will make you big...My advice is to continue doing what you started. Keep lifting weights and continue to ride your bike. Don't worry about loosing bike performance and don't worry about getting too big.
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Old 07-28-21, 07:30 PM
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I have and older bike so I lift about 21 lbs.

John
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Old 07-29-21, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
If long-distance biking is your main priority, then you need to do more biking and less lifting. Most strength training routines I see aimed at biking are pretty lightweight - usually 2x 20-30 min sessions of mostly body weight exercises like squats, lunges, planks etc and maybe a few kettlebell lifts and curls. The rest of the week is spent training on the bike. For example I do maybe on average 10 hours per week on the bike and less than an hour on strength training. I even cut out strength training altogether on heavy biking weeks, but do a bit more strength work during the winter when I'm not out riding so much. Guys who do a lot of serious pumping iron are not usually very good at endurance cycling. Especially if they are really bulked up with muscle. The two things are incompatible. But a sensible amount of complimentary strength work should make you a stronger cyclist.
I have no problem keeping a super physical job (climbing arborist), weight training doing big lifts (bench press, squats, deadlifts, weighted dips, overhead press, etc) and still completing 200-600k rides

You just need to give your body time to adapt and get used to the new work load
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Old 07-29-21, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SapInMyBlood View Post
I have no problem keeping a super physical job (climbing arborist), weight training doing big lifts (bench press, squats, deadlifts, weighted dips, overhead press, etc) and still completing 200-600k rides

You just need to give your body time to adapt and get used to the new work load
So just do loads of everything, all of the time right? Then you just perform better at ALL of those activities simultaneously. Sure, sure you do.
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Old 07-29-21, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
So just do loads of everything, all of the time right? Then you just perform better at ALL of those activities simultaneously. Sure, sure you do.
Am I elite world class level? No.

But I'm happy that I can do a 40-50 hour work week climbing big trees, do full splits, deadlift 190kg and also complete sub 36 hour 600k's with a 29kph moving average. OH and 10 wide grip pulls in a row, why not.

I strive to have my body as balanced and functional in every way possible

Disclaimer : 27 years old.
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Old 07-29-21, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by SapInMyBlood View Post
Am I elite world class level? No.

But I'm happy that I can do a 40-50 hour work week climbing big trees, do full splits, deadlift 190kg and also complete sub 36 hour 600k's with a 29kph moving average. OH and 10 wide grip pulls in a row, why not.

I strive to have my body as balanced and functional in every way possible

Disclaimer : 27 years old.
Sounds amazing. But don't you think you would do even better at the cycling if you weren't working a 40-50 hour week at the same time? As you imply yourself, you are an all-rounder. A Jack of all-trades. Which is absolutely fine, but not really what the OP was asking about. Ask yourself how the pro cyclists spend their time. I can bet they don't climb big trees for 40-50 hours a week!

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Old 07-29-21, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Sounds amazing. But don't you think you would do even better at the cycling if you weren't working a 40-50 hour week at the same time? As you imply yourself, you are an all-rounder. A Jack of all-trades. Which is absolutely fine, but not really what the OP was asking about. Ask yourself how the pro cyclists spend their time. I can bet they don't climb big trees for 40-50 hours a week!
OP was asking about a balanced "all-season/year round" training regime including cycling and weight lifting. I'm simply pointing out it's possible

I wouldn't be as happy if I didn't get to climb trees all the time 😊

He made no hints about becoming a pro or performing at elite levels

I can keep up with 35-37k average group rides. That's enough for me as a recreational cyclist who rides bikes because he enjoys riding bikes 😁
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Old 07-29-21, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by SapInMyBlood View Post
Am I elite world class level? No.

But I'm happy that I can do a 40-50 hour work week climbing big trees, do full splits, deadlift 190kg and also complete sub 36 hour 600k's with a 29kph moving average. OH and 10 wide grip pulls in a row, why not.

I strive to have my body as balanced and functional in every way possible

Disclaimer : 27 years old.
600Ks shame 99.9% of BFers, regardless of age! From what I gather, OP is stuck in the under 60K range and hoping to improve.
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Old 07-29-21, 09:57 AM
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If you don't bulk up easily, you simply will not. I focus on lower back, upper back, abs, and to a lesser degree, arms and legs...lighter weight and high reps with 1-2 heavy days a month. I find that the abs/back/triceps work is most beneficial. I'm finding myself less fatigued when my abs and lower back can handle more weight/strain over hours of riding. Plus, I am less likely to get an injury.
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Old 07-30-21, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Sounds amazing. But don't you think you would do even better at the cycling if you weren't working a 40-50 hour week at the same time? As you imply yourself, you are an all-rounder. A Jack of all-trades. Which is absolutely fine, but not really what the OP was asking about. Ask yourself how the pro cyclists spend their time. I can bet they don't climb big trees for 40-50 hours a week!
OP isn't a pro cyclist and I don't think that anybody who posts here on these forums is a true pro cyclist who gets paid to ride. Most are just casual riders who would benefit from doing other exercises besides just riding a bike.
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Old 07-30-21, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SapInMyBlood View Post
OP was asking about a balanced "all-season/year round" training regime including cycling and weight lifting. I'm simply pointing out it's possible

I wouldn't be as happy if I didn't get to climb trees all the time 😊

He made no hints about becoming a pro or performing at elite levels

I can keep up with 35-37k average group rides. That's enough for me as a recreational cyclist who rides bikes because he enjoys riding bikes 😁
I see your point, but I very much doubt the OP or 99% of the rest could cope with your obviously massive weekly TSS and not have some fatigue.

I would bet that if the OP dials back his weight sessions a notch or two then his endurance rides will be less tiring - especially if they are the next day.

My point about pros was that they donít smash themselves on the weights before long endurance rides. The volumes are all relative, but the principles of accumulated training stress and fatigue apply to all. Even you!
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