Regarding Weigh lifting



David_Lawton

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I'd first like to say that I did some searches on this board and found some great information especially from ric. Thanks! But it left me with a few questions. I'm 6'1, 141-144; low muscle mass. I'm building my aerobic base at the moment; low intensity for an hour or so. Well in the article it said that for relatively untrained people weight lifting can provide benefits. How do I know exactly how much weight lifting I need before I plateaue? Can lower and upper body weight lifting be done on the same day if I'm doing low intensity aerobic workouts?
 

ric_stern/RST

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David_Lawton said:
I'd first like to say that I did some searches on this board and found some great information especially from ric. Thanks! But it left me with a few questions. I'm 6'1, 141-144; low muscle mass. I'm building my aerobic base at the moment; low intensity for an hour or so. Well in the article it said that for relatively untrained people weight lifting can provide benefits. How do I know exactly how much weight lifting I need before I plateaue? Can lower and upper body weight lifting be done on the same day if I'm doing low intensity aerobic workouts?

Hi David,

I can't recall from your other post whether you race or not (or of an equivalent fitness level). If you do, then the weights won't be beneficial and may possibly be detrimental. How much, if any, weights you do will be dependent upon your goals.

ric
 

David_Lawton

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I'm new to the sport, so I don't race yet, but hope to next year. I'm not sure what category I would put myself into (certainly not ready to compete). I did my first 3 mile ITT three days ago with a time of 9:35; an average of 19 mph. One of my mini goals is to race in my first century this up coming March.
 

ric_stern/RST

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David_Lawton said:
I'm new to the sport, so I don't race yet, but hope to next year. I'm not sure what category I would put myself into (certainly not ready to compete). I did my first 3 mile ITT three days ago with a time of 9:35; an average of 19 mph. One of my mini goals is to race in my first century this up coming March.


It's tru that your fitness *will* likely be increased with weight training at your current fitness level (in fact any exercise will increase your cycling fitness). However, fitness will increase fastest with cycling rather than any other modality.

If you only have an hour of training time available, then you'd be best doing more intense rather than easy low intensity cycling as this won't do much for you.

ric
 

BlueIcarus

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Hi, just some humble opinion:

Do you want to be fit, or do you want to be cycling-fit?

It's not the same.

Armstrong looks like a complete athlete, with an strong upper body
(he began with triathlon and does off-season upper body weights) while other cyclists
look real skinny and.. yes.. weak (upper body talking)

Personally, I like simetry, to be strong and at the same time flexible and have endurance and power.
So, maybe if I put muscle on my upper body, it's detrimental for my cycling-fitness, but not for my fitness. Not to mention that you can have a very strong upper body without looking like Incredible Hulk. It's just my opinion, I do cycling to be fit. I lift weights to be fit. I don't do anything to be cycling
fit, but.. know what? my VO2max now is 60 ml/kg/min, a pretty decent figure. From cycling.

Symetry and balance. Look at swimmers. They have it
 

ric_stern/RST

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BlueIcarus said:
Hi, just some humble opinion:

Do you want to be fit, or do you want to be cycling-fit?

It's not the same.

Armstrong looks like a complete athlete, with an strong upper body
(he began with triathlon and does off-season upper body weights) while other cyclists
look real skinny and.. yes.. weak (upper body talking)

Personally, I like simetry, to be strong and at the same time flexible and have endurance and power.
So, maybe if I put muscle on my upper body, it's detrimental for my cycling-fitness, but not for my fitness. Not to mention that you can have a very strong upper body without looking like Incredible Hulk. It's just my opinion, I do cycling to be fit. I lift weights to be fit. I don't do anything to be cycling
fit, but.. know what? my VO2max now is 60 ml/kg/min, a pretty decent figure. From cycling.

Symetry and balance. Look at swimmers. They have it

maybe looking fit is important to you -- but that's a different thing. the point is that it won't help your cycling fitness and will be detrimental in trained cyclists (as you are).

ric
 

BlueIcarus

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ric_stern/RST said:
maybe looking fit is important to you -- but that's a different thing. the point is that it won't help your cycling fitness and will be detrimental in trained cyclists (as you are).

ric

Yep, feeling fit is important to me. I'm a freediver (breath-hold diver) and must be quite fit anaerobically and aerobically to enjoy this activity. I just wanted to point out the difference
between cycling for a fitness regime or put a fitness regime in order to cycle better. It's not clear in which category the thread starter falls. At least to me. At the last case,
of course:

- Any weight you put on your body not oriented to produce power on the bike, is detrimental to biking. Weight Lifting is one of this.
- If you overnumber your fast twitch fibers, no space left for slow twitch.. so you have to decide your proportion (ok, maybe this is genetical, but also trainable) of these based on the time span of your goal race.

And well, Ric is a trainer and knows more lot about this. He'll tell better in both cases. In my case, I can't drop weight lifting. It triggers my endorphine system. Also I think the release of Growth Hormone has something to do with the way I feel afterwards (in a 24 hour range after lifting).
 

ric_stern/RST

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BlueIcarus said:
- Any weight you put on your body not oriented to produce power on the bike, is detrimental to biking. Weight Lifting is one of this.
- If you overnumber your fast twitch fibers, no space left for slow twitch.. so you have to decide your proportion (ok, maybe this is genetical, but also trainable) of these based on the time span of your goal race.

the forces required for endurance cycling performance are really low to moderate such that untrained, sedentary, age, gender, and mass matched healthy controls are on average no weaker than elite cycling counterparts.

because the forces are low and practically anyone can meet them, addining additional mass to yourself that doesn't help is just dead weight. furthermore, the increase in muscle cross sectional area means there's also a decrease in muscle mitochonria and capillary density decreasing aerobic fitness.

of course this only applies or matters if bike performance is important to you.

ric
 

Carrera

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The whole issue of how you can combine weight-training with cycling is a tricky issue. I agree with what you say about balance and proportion but I find that when I cycle my body starts to adapt by shedding some muscle and also shedding fat. When I weight trained exclusively I put fat on far more easily and muscle piled on as well.
Doing both activities creates a kind of tug of war and very few people could get the balance right.
What I'm not clear about is whether slow and fast twitch fibres can be developed simultaneously or whether only one group will dominate.
Some books say the fittest cyclists have skinny legs due to the endurance fibres that dominate. But can you have both sets of fibres in your legs for multipurpose performance? Even the experts seem confused over that issue.
As far as I know Lance only weight trains in Winter but I don't see how it can possibly work in his case since he cycles at least 3 hours every day. To my mind that would seem like totally negating the leg-press sessions he does beforehand. The only way the legs will respond to resistance training is via break down and rest but LA doesn't appear to rest.


BlueIcarus said:
Hi, just some humble opinion:

Do you want to be fit, or do you want to be cycling-fit?

It's not the same.

Armstrong looks like a complete athlete, with an strong upper body
(he began with triathlon and does off-season upper body weights) while other cyclists
look real skinny and.. yes.. weak (upper body talking)

Personally, I like simetry, to be strong and at the same time flexible and have endurance and power.
So, maybe if I put muscle on my upper body, it's detrimental for my cycling-fitness, but not for my fitness. Not to mention that you can have a very strong upper body without looking like Incredible Hulk. It's just my opinion, I do cycling to be fit. I lift weights to be fit. I don't do anything to be cycling
fit, but.. know what? my VO2max now is 60 ml/kg/min, a pretty decent figure. From cycling.

Symetry and balance. Look at swimmers. They have it
 

BlueIcarus

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Maybe LA's does only recovery rides after weigth training? I think doing an around 120 bpm bike ride after weights not a difficult thing...

I notice the same muscle losing effect with cycling. Sorry but I don't want to loose muscle. They help me in my normal life. Also to swim faster. For me, the key for not putting on fat with WT is to do circuit-weight-training. Harde definition and functional strength
 

Carrera

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The only way the two can be done together, in my view, is to do a moderate cycle ride first and then follow with a weight session. If squats are involved the following day should be a rest day for growth. Then the day that follows the rest day can allow a harder cycle ride.
However, what a lot of sportsmen seem to do is a session of weights followed by cycling every day - allowing no possibility of recuperation. To me that doesn't seem viable.
I agree that some people don't feel 100 per cent doing only cycling. In my own case I find that I lose too much weight and then I don't have the same kind of energy and power or I get joint pains. If I'm losing more weight than I want to I'll step up the weights and eat more. I don't think it's true that being lighter means being better on a bike. I've found my own performance has improved on occasions due to gaining a small amount of weight (if the extra pounds give me greater energy in the long run).
However, I don't expect to lift heavy weights if I'm doing a lot of miles as well so I just maintain what muscle mass I can - I now weigh around 180 or less.
On a final note, I also discovered I lose far more fat if I do longer cycle rides around 3 hours for less sessions per week as opposed to riding more often but for far shorter periods. Over the past few weeks my metabolism has started to really speed up and I'm eating far more.


BlueIcarus said:
Maybe LA's does only recovery rides after weigth training? I think doing an around 120 bpm bike ride after weights not a difficult thing...

I notice the same muscle losing effect with cycling. Sorry but I don't want to loose muscle. They help me in my normal life. Also to swim faster. For me, the key for not putting on fat with WT is to do circuit-weight-training. Harde definition and functional strength
 

Aztec

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Carrera said:
The only way the two can be done together, in my view, is to do a moderate cycle ride first and then follow with a weight session. If squats are involved the following day should be a rest day for growth. Then the day that follows the rest day can allow a harder cycle ride.
However, what a lot of sportsmen seem to do is a session of weights followed by cycling every day - allowing no possibility of recuperation. To me that doesn't seem viable.
I agree that some people don't feel 100 per cent doing only cycling. In my own case I find that I lose too much weight and then I don't have the same kind of energy and power or I get joint pains. If I'm losing more weight than I want to I'll step up the weights and eat more. I don't think it's true that being lighter means being better on a bike. I've found my own performance has improved on occasions due to gaining a small amount of weight (if the extra pounds give me greater energy in the long run).
However, I don't expect to lift heavy weights if I'm doing a lot of miles as well so I just maintain what muscle mass I can - I now weigh around 180 or less.
On a final note, I also discovered I lose far more fat if I do longer cycle rides around 3 hours for less sessions per week as opposed to riding more often but for far shorter periods. Over the past few weeks my metabolism has started to really speed up and I'm eating far more.
The original poster doesn't need to worry about adding weight. At 6-1, ~14Xlbs, he's a skinny, skinny dude. He isn't going to gain much weight even if he ONLY lifted and never rode a bike -- the genetics ain't there. So, I'd say lift all you want for your upper body (and maybe even some for the lower body for awhile). When it's time to get serious about cycling success, then limit the upper body work to something that won't take a big bite out of your recovery, etc., from riding, and don't touch any weights below the waist.
 

Carrera

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Put it this way. When I was a kid at school I was so skinny there were girls who called me "special branch". I was none too happy about the situation, especially in view of the fact no team would willingly choose me for football games.
I recall squatting in front of a big mirror and seeing my skinny body looking back at me. People would tell me there was no way I'd ever not be skinny, no matter how much I squatted. Don' know how it happened but one day I was squatting in front of the mirror and suddenly noticed I wasn't skinny any more - the opposite in fact.
Basically I don't care how skinny a guy is as correct squatting will put meat on anyone.
What happens in my own case, though, is I have a very light bone structure and a dominant ectomorph trait. Genetically I'm favoured for cycling and not weight-lifting but my problem is that endurance training makes me lose weight rapidly. I feel I have to try and control and moderate the weight loss via some weight work but I'm aware most people don't need to bother with any of that. I'm sure there are loads of people on this forum who need never touch a weight, can cycle miles every day and maintain sufficient mass and energy to cycle at optimum level. I think Lance Armstrong must be in that category. If you consider the miles he puts in per week yet he weighs the same as a normal, adult male (average weight being 12 and a half stone for a healthy adult). I bet he's baloon in weight if he stopped cycling.
It seems to me everybody is different so it's kind of important to try and figure out what works best for yourself, what weight you feel you need to be for best performance and how often you should ride and the most appropriate intensity level. The idea of an ectomorphic cyclist and an endomorphic cyclist doing the same rountine seems a bad one to me. Both cases and body types are so different and no text-book program can suit everyone. This is just my view of course.




Aztec said:
The original poster doesn't need to worry about adding weight. At 6-1, ~14Xlbs, he's a skinny, skinny dude. He isn't going to gain much weight even if he ONLY lifted and never rode a bike -- the genetics ain't there. So, I'd say lift all you want for your upper body (and maybe even some for the lower body for awhile). When it's time to get serious about cycling success, then limit the upper body work to something that won't take a big bite out of your recovery, etc., from riding, and don't touch any weights below the waist.
 

Roadie_scum

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BlueIcarus said:
Armstrong looks like a complete athlete, with an strong upper body
(he began with triathlon and does off-season upper body weights) while other cyclists
look real skinny and.. yes.. weak (upper body talking)

I think we're looking at different photos. You do mean Lance Armstrong don't you? He's not exactly muscle bound even if his build isn't as slight as some...
 

velomanct

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the reason so many pros, including armstrong look like they have huge leg muscles is because their body fat percentage is so low. they barely have any fat on them, which excentuates their muscles. it's the same idea with body builders.
 

Carrera

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You're right. I saw Lance Armstrong on TV prior to the tour de France being interviewed by Alastair Campbell. The latter seemed a giant compared with Lance and seemed taller as well as far heavier.
Of course, there's always a difference in bulk when someone is in competition training. In the off-season many of these guys pile a few pounds back on.
For cyclists it doesn't matter how you look so long as performance is good.
I don't think we'll ever see mucle-bound cyclists either. I also think it would be kind of amusing to see Arnold Schwarzennegger competing against LA on a tour climb but I rate Arnie's chances pretty slim.


Roadie_scum said:
I think we're looking at different photos. You do mean Lance Armstrong don't you? He's not exactly muscle bound even if his build isn't as slight as some...
 

velomanct

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Carrera said:
You're right. I saw Lance Armstrong on TV prior to the tour de France being interviewed by Alastair Campbell. The latter seemed a giant compared with Lance and seemed taller as well as far heavier.
Of course, there's always a difference in bulk when someone is in competition training. In the off-season many of these guys pile a few pounds back on.
For cyclists it doesn't matter how you look so long as performance is good.
I don't think we'll ever see mucle-bound cyclists either. I also think it would be kind of amusing to see Arnold Schwarzennegger competing against LA on a tour climb but I rate Arnie's chances pretty slim.
armstrong would beat arnie in a sprint too. not to mention i doubt arnie has spent much time on bike. armstrong can put in a decent sprint (i.e. tour of georgia). if armstrong wanted to he could train more for sprints and be alongside pettachi at the finishes.
 

dtaffe

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David,

If I can make a suggestion, I would recommend that you buy "The Cyclist's Training Bible" by Joe Friel and read it. Twice. I've read a bunch of the threads on this list about the use of weights in cycling, and I'm frankly unimpressed; people are so entrenched in who's right and who's wrong, that study results are interpreted and reinterpreted to suit each side's point, and any worthwhile information is lost in the war of words.

From your post it sounds as though you are interested in racing bicycles and want to know how you can get better at it. Cutting through all the **** here about whether weights help or harm cyclists, whether you can gauge fitness without a power meter, or whether or not you're getting enough protein in your diet, you first need to understand the specific demands of bike racing. Friel does a good job laying out (with plenty of references for those of you demanding scientific proof) the specific demands of different types of races (RR, crits, TT, stage races, euro vs american style races, etc.) and follows with a well-designed plan to help you assess your strengths and weaknesses, then lay out both short and long term plans to address them as they relate to the type of racing you're likely to be doing. From my own experience (all I have, lacking fancy degrees and credentials), I increased my average pace for a 30-40 mile solo ride from 15-16 to 19-20 mph in three months following his guidelines (something I'd been unable to do in any of my previous 15 years of riding.) For what it's worth, he advocates a weight regimen as part of an overall training plan, but generally limits this to early season (November - February, here in NH, USA.) He is an advocate of power meters, but works with HRMs for those unable to afford or justify the cost. I'd be happy to fill in a little more about the program, although I freely admit the ideas are not mine; they are simply the principles I learned reading his book and from subsequent informal study.


David_Lawton said:
I'd first like to say that I did some searches on this board and found some great information especially from ric. Thanks! But it left me with a few questions. I'm 6'1, 141-144; low muscle mass. I'm building my aerobic base at the moment; low intensity for an hour or so. Well in the article it said that for relatively untrained people weight lifting can provide benefits. How do I know exactly how much weight lifting I need before I plateaue? Can lower and upper body weight lifting be done on the same day if I'm doing low intensity aerobic workouts?
 

dtaffe

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Jun 15, 2004
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No, the reason so many pros look like they have huge leg muscles is because they have big-ass legs. They look ripped because they have very little fat, but that is not why their legs look big. Haven't you ever since some scrawny dude with no muscles and no fat? He had a washboard stomach, but he didn't have big legs. Body builders reduce fat to accentuate the definition of their muscles, they lift weights to make them bigger.


velomanct said:
the reason so many pros, including armstrong look like they have huge leg muscles is because their body fat percentage is so low. they barely have any fat on them, which excentuates their muscles. it's the same idea with body builders.
 

David_Lawton

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Jul 17, 2004
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I do have the "Cyclists Training Bible" and a couple others. There's so much to read I guess I havn't got to it yet. What pages are you talking about? Since this is my first year, should I concentrate on just riding to get a good aerobic base or is it good to throw in weight training?

dtaffe said:
David,

If I can make a suggestion, I would recommend that you buy "The Cyclist's Training Bible" by Joe Friel and read it. Twice. I've read a bunch of the threads on this list about the use of weights in cycling, and I'm frankly unimpressed; people are so entrenched in who's right and who's wrong, that study results are interpreted and reinterpreted to suit each side's point, and any worthwhile information is lost in the war of words.

From your post it sounds as though you are interested in racing bicycles and want to know how you can get better at it. Cutting through all the **** here about whether weights help or harm cyclists, whether you can gauge fitness without a power meter, or whether or not you're getting enough protein in your diet, you first need to understand the specific demands of bike racing. Friel does a good job laying out (with plenty of references for those of you demanding scientific proof) the specific demands of different types of races (RR, crits, TT, stage races, euro vs american style races, etc.) and follows with a well-designed plan to help you assess your strengths and weaknesses, then lay out both short and long term plans to address them as they relate to the type of racing you're likely to be doing. From my own experience (all I have, lacking fancy degrees and credentials), I increased my average pace for a 30-40 mile solo ride from 15-16 to 19-20 mph in three months following his guidelines (something I'd been unable to do in any of my previous 15 years of riding.) For what it's worth, he advocates a weight regimen as part of an overall training plan, but generally limits this to early season (November - February, here in NH, USA.) He is an advocate of power meters, but works with HRMs for those unable to afford or justify the cost. I'd be happy to fill in a little more about the program, although I freely admit the ideas are not mine; they are simply the principles I learned reading his book and from subsequent informal study.
 

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