Author Topic: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness  (Read 3053 times)

cometworm

Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« on: May 30, 2008, 06:53:49 pm »

Having joined a new gym this week, I got a programme set up by one of their trainers. And it seems to be geared towards the "get big fast" protein-shake drinking types normally hanging around the free weights. Problem is, I don't want to be big (I'm already too big for a cyclist or a rock climber :-( something which I told him at the time).

Does anyone know how heavy (in terms of my single-repetition max) and how many (reps, sets) I should be doing? What do others do for bike-specific and cross training weights? There always seems to be people with medical and/or sports science type knowledge on here... :-)

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2008, 07:19:19 pm »
Good question, one I have been pondering myself. I am doing gym work to build my leg and hip strength after my lay off. I believe I am a stronger rider than I was before, due to the weights and stationary bike work I believe. I have no idea what the experts would prescribe, my program is designed by my physio for my rehabilitation. I don't know what the particular exercises are called, I do ones for my quads, one leg at time, 3x30 reps at 14kg. Hamstrings, one at a time 3x30 reps at 21 kg, hip adductors 3x30 reps at 25kg, hip abductors 3x30 reps at 20kgs.  Not bike specific but it seems to work. I also use the cross trainer ski type machine, 20 minutes in my fat burning zone, five minute periods alternating forwards and backwards. I also do hilly intervals on the stationary bike for 20 minutes again keeping my HR at less than 130 and rpm at 90-100, currently I need level 12 for this. FInally I do hip/core exercises which is like pilates or yoga, very slow, controlled movements designed to promote control rather than strength. Again  not to help my cycling as such but to make be 'normal'.

annie

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2008, 08:50:55 pm »
What exercises have you been given, how many times a week are you intending to do the programme?

Are there a mixture of free weights, assisted and stability ball/mat exercises?

I go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week, on top of the CV work I alternate on the larger muscle groups, so chest, back and shoulders in one session and abs, legs and back in another.  I break this down so that I follow the programme for 6 weeks and then change it depending on where I see my weaknesses etc.

I do the majority of my weights on the stability ball.  Bicep curls normally 8kg each weight, chest press 12 kgs, squats with 15kgs and so on.  I do however often drop the size of the weights and do more reps.  I spend a lot of time doing the 'plank', including side planks and do all my push ups and press ups on the ball.  I do knee raises and leg raises on the bars and concentrate on not using any momentum but going for control and technique. 

cometworm

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2008, 10:36:52 pm »
The exercises focus on the traditional male preoccupations: three exercises each for chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders/back plus some squats, lunges and ab stuff. It seems a bit ridiculous for someone who says they're a cyclist first, a climber second and a runner third to do 30 minutes of chest, bicep and triceps stuff?

andygates

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Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2008, 10:40:55 pm »
Arm and chest stuff no, that's climbing - but where's the forearm work and shouldn't a smorgasbord of dips and chins feature strongly?
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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annie

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2008, 07:19:59 am »
The forearm exercises are very simple indeed, your personal trainer could show you how to do those, if you don't already know.

To improve your core stability you could do the majority of your weights on the ball, do remember to lower the weights on the ball though. 

I have numerous books that I would be happy to lend you should you wish?

It is important to still cover the major muscle groups but there are other ways this can be done without pumping up like the big guys.

I also use a band instead of weights, much more fun and not as easy as it looks.  Did the personal trainer make use of the medicine balls as well?

What are you hoping to achieve and how many times a week will you be visiting the gym?

What CV work did they give you to do?

Have you access to a skipping rope?

Sorry for all of the questions.

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2008, 08:00:39 am »
Lots of reps at lighter weights will improve tone without bulking you up. What that means for you is down to you and your trainer; for me it means sets of 20/30 reps; weights vary depending on what I'm doing.

Fewer reps at higher weights is what builds muscle. Good for leg work if you are trying to build Hoy Quads or the like.

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2008, 08:40:35 am »
It depends on what you want to do as  a cyclist of course. As Chris S says, it you want to be a track sprinter, first get some fast twitch muscles then do heavy weights, if you just want to do core strength and upper body support work then you don't really want to put on weight in muscle. The magazines have this sort of stuff in particularly in the winter. BTW the issue of C+ month before last had a piece on core strength exercises, I neglected to get it, does any one have it who can scan it and email it to me ?

annie

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2008, 10:39:58 am »
It depends on what you want to do as  a cyclist of course. As Chris S says, it you want to be a track sprinter, first get some fast twitch muscles then do heavy weights, if you just want to do core strength and upper body support work then you don't really want to put on weight in muscle. The magazines have this sort of stuff in particularly in the winter. BTW the issue of C+ month before last had a piece on core strength exercises, I neglected to get it, does any one have it who can scan it and email it to me ?

Yes I have that, will happily send it to you.

cometworm

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2008, 11:36:04 am »
To improve your core stability you could do the majority of your weights on the ball, do remember to lower the weights on the ball though. 

Yup, a fair few of the exercises are on the ball, and the ab stuff is using a medicine ball. So all good there.

Quote
What are you hoping to achieve and how many times a week will you be visiting the gym?

What CV work did they give you to do?

Have you access to a skipping rope?

I'm looking to continue the process of getting down to race weight (about half a stone less than currently, which is down a stone from peak in January). The climbing is because I need to get ready for a trip in July to Chamonix or Zermatt... in terms of cycling, I'm looking to do a long distance race with my club next year, and am a little behind on my fitness.

This summer I will be going once or twice a week to the gym, plus one or two sessions running, one or two sessions climbing and lots of cycling (being unemployed I have lots of time on my hands!).

The CV work he figured I would do without him, as I told him I was a cyclist and runner, but I got a little suspicious when the warmup then consisted of an 8 minute interval (1 min on, 1 min rest) rowing session? This doesn't sound like a good warmup to me.

annie

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2008, 11:46:29 am »
I don't like the sound of that warm up session either.  I normally warm up on one of the cross trainers for 5-8 minutes, stretch, go out running and come back to do my weights or if I am working in the gym will spend 20 minutes on the fixed wheel bike alternating between one leg drills and some speed work.

I am trying to work out when you will get in a rest day? 

cometworm

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2008, 12:38:38 pm »
I am trying to work out when you will get in a rest day? 

As I said, being unemployed I have a lot of time on my hands :-) I will do two sessions per day, so have got time for a rest day. I will also be doing a fair amount of travelling, hence the "one or two sessions" of weights and climbing, which aren't that easy to do if I'm in the wrong place.

Do you have any links to the books you were talking about? I might just construct something from my "library" (i.e. Joe Friel, a couple of "training for climbing/mountaineering" books plus a Norwegian book on training for cross-country skiing, cycling and running ("Best i Birken" in case anyone is interested :-) ...

annie

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2008, 01:56:31 pm »
I am trying to work out when you will get in a rest day? 

As I said, being unemployed I have a lot of time on my hands :-) I will do two sessions per day, so have got time for a rest day. I will also be doing a fair amount of travelling, hence the "one or two sessions" of weights and climbing, which aren't that easy to do if I'm in the wrong place.

Do you have any links to the books you were talking about? I might just construct something from my "library" (i.e. Joe Friel, a couple of "training for climbing/mountaineering" books plus a Norwegian book on training for cross-country skiing, cycling and running ("Best i Birken" in case anyone is interested :-) ...


Sounds good to me.  If you don't always have access to weights might I suggest a Theraband thingy, weighs next to nothing and has many uses.  A stability ball can be inflated in a matter of moments.  It is just a case of making use of the things you have available.

Some of the books I have are as follows:

Get on the ball for great Abs by Lisa Westlake

The Fitball Workout by Jan Endacott

Stronger Abs and Back by Dean and Greg Brittenham

Abs on the Ball by Colleen Craig

Several books by Anita Bean

Your First Triathlon  by Joe Friel.

Annie

cometworm

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2008, 05:12:09 pm »
This seems OT, but an article I found on weight training for climbers covers a lot of this. After all, rock climbers have a similar incentive to maximise strength-to-weight ratio. Neil Gresham is the guru above all gurus in the climbing training world. Like Joe Friel squared :-)

http://www.planetfear.com/article_detail.asp?a_id=202


mattc

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Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2008, 06:06:38 pm »
This seems OT, but an article I found on weight training for climbers covers a lot of this. After all, rock climbers have a similar incentive to maximise strength-to-weight ratio.

<physics pedant>
Actually cyclists need POWER-to-weight, cos we're trying to move.

(though of course the 2 are related in human muscles ...)
Has never ridden RAAM
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mattc

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Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2008, 06:13:00 pm »
I spend a lot of time doing the 'plank', including side planks and do all my push ups and press ups on the ball.
Annie,
My physio thinks I am doing 3 plank variations every day. The reason I have slacked on this regime is that I find them VERY boring.

If you give me an exercise and say "work upto 30 reps" or "work upto 20kg" or similar, I can be motivated to do this. But tell me to "work upto staying like that for a minute" has no appeal. I get bored after 20 seconds even if it feels very easy at that stage.

Are there any more "dynamic" alternative for this core strength stuff. Or any motivational tips?
(I'm doing these to help keep my pelvis stable, but I couldn't give you any more details!)

I've been doing various exercises to get over injuries, on-and-off, for 15 years, and this is the first time I can't be bothered to do the things. :(
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2008, 07:32:23 pm »
I remember fidgetbuzz telling me his gym trainer in Australia could hold the plank for six minutes. My best is a about 45 seconds  :-[.

annie

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2008, 07:36:14 pm »
I spend a lot of time doing the 'plank', including side planks and do all my push ups and press ups on the ball.
Annie,
My physio thinks I am doing 3 plank variations every day. The reason I have slacked on this regime is that I find them VERY boring.

If you give me an exercise and say "work upto 30 reps" or "work upto 20kg" or similar, I can be motivated to do this. But tell me to "work upto staying like that for a minute" has no appeal. I get bored after 20 seconds even if it feels very easy at that stage.

Are there any more "dynamic" alternative for this core strength stuff. Or any motivational tips?
(I'm doing these to help keep my pelvis stable, but I couldn't give you any more details!)

I've been doing various exercises to get over injuries, on-and-off, for 15 years, and this is the first time I can't be bothered to do the things. :(

I agree, doing the plank can be very boring.  It helps if you can find a training partner, someone to motivate, I could do it over the net, we could have a bet as to how long we could hold it for.  Seriously though, side planks can be much harder I find.  I normally do a minute to 90 seconds for the front plank and a minute for the side plank, longer than that just isn't necessary as often technique starts to suffer.  If you find the plank boring then try doing it with alternate legs or on the ball.  Could you imagine there is a young woman just a few feet away and you are trying to impress her?

Sorry if this is not very useful stuff.  I do have some other exercises and shall be back after I have had my evening milky drink.


annie

Re: Cross training: weights for cycling fitness
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2008, 07:58:40 pm »
Matt, I think you can doo several other exercises to compliment the plank, I too would be bored if I did that everyday.

Have you used a fitball before?

If you balance on your knees with your fists turned up so that your thumbs are facing the ceiling then push forwards so that the ball moves away and you end up with your elbows on the ball, then roll back slowly, repeat this up to 12 times.  Keep your feet off the ground, it is harder then it looks.

Lying on your back with your shoulders on the ground and your hands by your side pop your ankles onto the ball and then raise your body off the ground, make sure you stay in a nice straight line, do not allow your bottom to drop or your back to arch.  If you are comfortable maintaining this position you can advance onto moving the ball towards your bottom, this also works your hamstrings.  Keep in a straight line with your arms on the floor.  To take this one step further then do the first part of the exercise with your arms raised in the air, I don't advise doing this until you are very comfortable on the ball and confident, it is much harder than it looks.  When you have mastered this exercise then incorporate the second part of moving the ball back towards you and away again with your arms raised off the ground.

I won't give you any more exercises just now but let me know how that goes.  If I am giving you exercises that you already know then I apologise. 

I think this will break up the monotony of doing the straightforward plank.

I have been giving this a bit more thought and if you are having problems with your pelvis and stability then the above exercise will be great but perhaps hold off on the 'raising arms off the ground' for now and concentrate on the other part of the exercise.  You can simply do the lifting off the ground, hold for 10 seconds, lower your bottom to the floor and raise again, this is much more comfortable then holding the position for a minute.