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Anybody got any tips on a cycling specific weight training program? I'm only more confused after a Google search. Some say high weight, low reps. Others say since we don't use 100% of our power on the pedal stroke anyway, go with less weight and more reps. Others say there is no benefit at all to serious weight training and just work on your core and do some body resistance work (i.e. sit-ups, pull-ups, etc).

Being a climber at heart (but not in body), I'm thinking squats would be good to incorporate, especially in the off-season, but right now I'm not seeing anything that says that's absolutely true. Some are saying that going out and doing big gear mashing on hills is better work than squats. And I also see that yet others say the weight training won't help the riding, but is good for cyclists in order to increase bone density since ours is a fairly low impact sport.

I know my core needs work, but it's hard to motivate myself to do much about it.

Thoughts, tips, et cetera would be greatly appreciated.
 

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IF you decide to do squats, be extra careful with form. Bad form can = injured knees at least according the the trainer I used to use some time ago. Motivation is my problem. Finding some reason to be busy ( and I am) is way too easy to do.
 

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Last month the speaker at our bike club meeting was a dean for the National University of Health Sciences, and a chiropractor who serves primarily professional athletes. One of his better known patients is Christian Vande Velde, who placed 4th, 11th, and 8th in the TdF for various teams. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Vande_Velde

He suggested some core strengthening exercises for cyclists which were simple and involved very light, 1 to 5 lb weights.

With one hand on a table or the back of a chair for support, bend from the waist slightly to assume approximately the same position you would have when riding. With a light weight (He suggested starting with 1lb and slowly working up to 5 lbs) hanging freely in the other hand, slowly lift it straight up to your shoulder, hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower it. Do that 10 times with each hand, for 3 reps.

Standing straight with a light weight in each hand, slowly raise 1 hand straight forward to shoulder height, then slowly lower it and raise it straight back to the rear as high as is comfortable. Do that 10 times with each hand. Repeat 3 times.

Standing straight with a light weight in each hand, slowly raise both hands straight forward to shoulder height. Keeping your hands at shoulder height, move your arms around to the side and back as far as is comfortable, than slowly move them back down to the side. Do that 10 times and repeat for 3 reps.
 

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IF you decide to do squats, be extra careful with form. Bad form can = injured knees at least according the the trainer I used to use some time ago. Motivation is my problem. Finding some reason to be busy ( and I am) is way too easy to do.
+10 for this. I injured my knees doing barbell squats -- as did my co-worker. When I was in physical therapy I met 2 or 3 other guys who were there because of squats.
 

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Two skinny J's
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Chris Carmichael in the Time Crunched Cyclist advocates strength training and conditioning for life to live a long and healthy life and not as a cycling specific workout. He deals with core and total body workouts.

Bicycling Magazines Training Techniques mentions the fact that strength training is a great aid in fighting injury and upper body fatigue- shoulders and neck.

Serious Cycling by Edmund Burke advocates the same and adds cycling specific routines that to me look pretty close to Carmichael's routines. It is broken down into groups. Transition, Foundation, Basic strength, power and peak.

Core strength might include reverse crunch, back extensions, windshield wipers, etc.
Strength conditioning might include Squats, push ups, lunges and bench press.


I have personally been doing a total body strength and conditioning routine 3 days a week and started jogging. I can feel the different muscle groups in everything I do. My goal is not cycling specific as much as it is general overall fitness. I have a small interest in trying some yoga as well but that remains....just an idea!
 

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Pilates and yoga would serve you well, probably more than weight training would. Delivering oxygen-rich blood to your muscles is more important than muscle size.
 

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Those are great supplements, and I've seen a ton of people have a lot of success with the two. The tricky part is the amount of repetitive stress the lower body gets from the legs only moving in one plane of motion in the saddle, and programming the right exercises to address this.

Since cycling tightens the hip flexors and quads and shuts down the glutes, its all hands on deck to correct that.

I used Pilates to get rid of some low back issues I had about a two years ago. The flip side was that I lost a lot of top end power as a result, in addition to a reduction on the amount of pushups I could do and it took me a lot longer to build that part of the motor.

My back flared up on me again last year, and using kettlebells, I got back on my bike in half the time of the work done using Pilates. The KB swing motion also put me further ahead in my training schedule (about two months) on my 3-5 minute threshold intervals without actually having to ride.

Saved me a ton of time on an indoor trainer over the winter, and we all know how much fun those rides are!
 
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