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Gym work

DE6MamilDE6Mamil Posts: 9
edited September 2018 in Training, fitness and health
Morning All

Since getting "in to" cycling over the past few years, it's become that I pretty much only cycle and have dropped running and the gym work that used to be quite heavily in to. I can't see me ever returning to liking either running, or the gym, over cycling, however, I have noticed that cycling only(and sitting at a desk) has reduced my core strength and weakened areas such as hip flexors and lower back.

As such, I'm thinking of re- introducing a weekly run and still have all of my free weights/ barbells/ dumbbells/ squat rack etc in my garage. If I was to re- introduce gym work, with cycling in mind, what moves have you found good and what set/ rep ranges? I don't want to put weight on, now that I'm 2 stone lighter than I was a few years ago.

Should I just do a full body compound session with the big moves like deadlift, squat, press, clean, rows, incline bench and some core work? I was thinking of upping rep ranges to 2 x 20 rather than strength based ranges like I used to (5 or 3 x 5). Any advice appreciated on what has worked (or not worked) for you.

Thanks

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,411
    Depends what your goals are. If you are after 'overall' fitness or conditioning then by all means do all of those things you mention. If your intention is to specifically improve your cycling performance, then additional core and strength work is unlikely to give you anything extra that more cycling won't.
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 2,048
    edited August 2018
    I think a bit of cross training is good for most people.
    I do a bit of running with the dog and some kettlebell / sandbag work for overall conditioning and core and also because I have some back trouble if I do nothing.
    I generally do large compound exercises - KB swings and sandbag squats / cleans and generally aim for reps in the 10-15 range and it works for me.
  • Vino'sGhostVino'sGhost Posts: 4,129
    i found core work has solved lots of niggling back injuries i was prone to. It's also improved flexibility and performance.

    I swim once or twice a week and get to a Pilates class when i can and usually manage a spin once a week. I do these things because ive found they improve strength and flexibility without adding bulk, i also enjoy them. As a result i frequently "train" twice a day though the gentle swimming and spin don't detract from the available energy to train. The otehr good news is that these extra activities can be done before the working day for me. The cycling or turbo sessions at lunchtime or early evening.

    Obv if I'm getting close to a target event i knock it back a bit but would still swim a couple of times a week (breast stroke not crawl) because it stretches and mobilises things whilst supporting.
  • CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
    Personally I would say cycling is one of the best CV exercises out there. However, beyond that it does not tick all the boxes in terms of general fitness / well-being. In fact it is possibly detrimental to things like flexibility and posture.

    Whilst many other forms of exercise will not benefit your cycling per se they will help with your overall fitness and, have the bonis of extending your cycling career / reducing injuries.

    As for weight training, I'm a fan. I find it quite meditative and prefer not to have arms like a girl :) From everything I've read upping the reps is definitely not the way to go if you are aiming to improve your cycling. There is no way you can emulate the demands of cycling using weights - 3 reps or 20 reps is still in a different order of magnitude to what is involved in cycling.

    Weight training for cycling should focus on strength, so aim for high weights, low reps. Compound exercises are the way to go. I'd also recommend not neglecting the upper body, particularly pull ups / pull downs to strengthen back and arms as I find this really helps with hard climbing and sprinting.

    There are plenty of arguments for not doing weight training (and I probably wouldn't if I didn't like it). The chief point being the amount of force required to turn a pedal is pretty negligible compared with those involved in doing weights.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,885
    imo with a desk job, for overall strength/fitness some regular weight training makes sense

    based on physio/rehab i've had after two different injuries, and the ongoing 'maintenance', i'd also work in plyometrics, and if you aren't running make sure you do enough impact generating activity to maintain bone strength
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Thanks for the responses everyone - I think I'll start with a core/ pilates class next week that I've found and take it from there.
  • Cycling doesn’t require a huge amount of strength. If you’ve got enough core strength to hold a riding position comfortably, that’s sufficient. Endurance and fitness are more important, if you’re purely interested in the cycling. If you want to run and do weights as well, that’s fine, it’s not strictly necessary to improve your cycling performance though, unless you’re primarily doing track based cycling, or you want to compete at the higher levels of the sport, where strength and supplemental fitness training are a good idea. Even then I’d recommend swimming rather than running, as it’s low impact, and you’re temperature is better regulated by the water.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,252
    Worth adding that running is good for bone mass/density, so worth doing a bit for that.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,666
    Lunges - with barbells
    Reverse lunges - with barbells
    Plank
    Swiss ball stretching
    Bicep curls - with barbells
    Sitting V balance - static
    Sitting V balance - alternate arm/leg push/pulls
    Balance board - various two legs and one leg
    Squats

    Core strength helps with cycling. A coach once said to me "no point in having the biggest gun if you are firing it off a canoe"
  • Navrig2 wrote:
    Lunges - with barbells
    Reverse lunges - with barbells
    Plank
    Swiss ball stretching
    Bicep curls - with barbells
    Sitting V balance - static
    Sitting V balance - alternate arm/leg push/pulls
    Balance board - various two legs and one leg
    Squats

    Core strength helps with cycling. A coach once said to me "no point in having the biggest gun if you are firing it off a canoe"

    That coach told you bicep curls were good for cycling?
  • Craigus89 wrote:
    That coach told you bicep curls were good for cycling?

    Wouldn't be my advice. Definitely substitute this for rowing/pull downs. Bit of bicep strength is actually of some use for climbing / sprinting - but much more useful as part of a compound movement that simulates pulling on the bars...
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