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Thread: Advice needed

  1. #1
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    Advice needed

    I have a question for you guys... I do a lot of strength training with weights. When I got into biking my wife made me promise not to lose too much muscle mass. My problem is this. I notice that my endurance suffers between lifting weights and mountain biking. When trying to do both I find my endurance suffers on rides when I try to ride at a decent pace. If I slow pedal than it's no problem- but then I get left behind on rides. So I guess my question is this. Can you weight train for muscle and still be a competent rider ? or do the 2 contradict each other and I should just accept the limits that each one has on the other. Are there any other weightlifters out there that also ride as well ? your input would be greatly appreciated

    I did a 50 mile ride a few weeks ago- but I didn't lift for 1.5 weeks before the ride. I did some good squats along with other leg excercises on Wednesday and I could feel it in my legs when I went for a ride today...

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    Plenty of cyclists lift weights. Competitive ones too, although I tend to think of that as more of a sprinter/trackie thing than a climber thing and as racers, mountain bikers tend to be more like a better-rounded climber, I think.

    Just be sensitive to scheduling. You ought to be able to be more explosive than your peers who don't pump iron, although if you're carrying extra bulk, climbs will always hurt. But, if your quads are fried from doing squats the day before, you're not going to be as fast as if you've had some more time to recover. I don't know how many days a week you're lifting, so finding a balance could be pretty easy or pretty hard. I'd say you can have one of them as an 'A' sport, but you ought to be able to maintain a pretty good physique, if not on a body builder or competitive lifting level, while riding bikes as an 'A' sport.

    How long have you been riding? "When I got into" sounds fairly recent, or else you wait a long time to resolve sports conflicts.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by cigarlover View Post
    I have a question for you guys... I do a lot of strength training with weights. When I got into biking my wife made me promise not to lose too much muscle mass.
    Tell him you are focused on riding now and try to convince him to ride with you rather then hanging out in the gym.

    Quote Originally Posted by cigarlover View Post
    My problem is this. I notice that my endurance suffers between lifting weights and mountain biking.
    If you want to be fast on the bike you will need to focus on the bike. Some time in the gym for upper body makes sense but you don't need to go crazy with it. Also after spending time outdoors you may be like many and start hating the time in the gym.

    Quote Originally Posted by cigarlover View Post
    If I slow pedal than it's no problem- but then I get left behind on rides. So I guess my question is this.
    Going slow is not fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by cigarlover View Post
    I did a 50 mile ride a few weeks ago- but I didn't lift for 1.5 weeks before the ride. I did some good squats along with other leg excercises on Wednesday and I could feel it in my legs when I went for a ride today...
    The problem with lifting using your legs is that you compromise and the strength gain is not specific to cycling. Your time is much better spent with sprints and/or hill repeats especially if your focus in longer rides. Some lifting with your upper body is cool but don't go overboard.
    Mark Farnsworth, Raleigh, NC
    http://farnsworthbikes.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Plenty of cyclists lift weights. Competitive ones too, although I tend to think of that as more of a sprinter/trackie thing than a climber thing and as racers, mountain bikers tend to be more like a better-rounded climber, I think.

    Just be sensitive to scheduling. You ought to be able to be more explosive than your peers who don't pump iron, although if you're carrying extra bulk, climbs will always hurt. But, if your quads are fried from doing squats the day before, you're not going to be as fast as if you've had some more time to recover. I don't know how many days a week you're lifting, so finding a balance could be pretty easy or pretty hard. I'd say you can have one of them as an 'A' sport, but you ought to be able to maintain a pretty good physique, if not on a body builder or competitive lifting level, while riding bikes as an 'A' sport.

    How long have you been riding? "When I got into" sounds fairly recent, or else you wait a long time to resolve sports conflicts.
    I've been riding for a little over a year. I've dropped from 245 to anywhere from 215-220. My endurance has improved very well compared to when I started. But , While working out I can feel the energy levels in my legs is gone very quickly while riding at any kind of speed. My normal rides consist of 15- 35 miles depending on where I'm riding at. I just recently started longer rides about 2 months ago going up to 30-35 miles. I also lift 3 days a week

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    Dirty South Underdog
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    Just stop lifting and start going to yoga 3x per week. In the meantime, show this page to your wife: dudes doing yoga
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    Brief detour: You've only been riding a year? Even if you keep doing exactly what you are now -- and slowly stretching ride length and speed -- you'll be amazed at where you'll be at this time next year. Enjoy the ride up the curve!

    That said, SERIOUS competitive cycling and weight training are probably not the best mix. My suggestion would be to amp up the cycling for a year, cut the weight program roughly in half, and see where you end up.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138 View Post
    Just stop lifting and start going to yoga 3x per week. In the meantime, show this page to your wife: dudes doing yoga
    I really should have known better than to click on a link that says "dudes doing yoga".

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    Cigarlover,

    I have had the same dilemma for that past several years. I have been riding since the mid 90's and lifting since the early '90s. I was able to balance the two because I made "lifting and getting big" a priority over being fast on the bike. Then my wife having three kids and having no time led to no biking and only lifting. I became the strongest I ever was and my dress shirts for work became too small. For some reason in June'09 I caught the riding bug again and my priorities reversed. At that time I was 215lbs on a 6' frame. I started training for endurance races such as 50 milers and 6 hour races. I have slowly lost muscle mass. I am now around 195 lbs. I am happy with my performance in my races but not with the lost of muscle mass. For you, I think it depends on how serious you are about performing well on your rides. These two activities do conflict. I have not been able to balance serious strength training( to get stronger and build mass) and being competitive at endurance MTB races. The bike training usually cooks my legs. The last few weeks I have been preparing for my last race on Nov 17th, which is now postponed due to damage from hurricane Sandy. After that race I am going prioritize lifting over biking until around April 1st. I think you should accept that there are limits if you are trying to do both. I am having trouble accepting it, especially since my co-workers keep saying I look thin. Which I feel is an insult for someone who love to lift. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead44 View Post
    Cigarlover,

    I have had the same dilemma for that past several years. I have been riding since the mid 90's and lifting since the early '90s. I was able to balance the two because I made "lifting and getting big" a priority over being fast on the bike. Then my wife having three kids and having no time led to no biking and only lifting. I became the strongest I ever was and my dress shirts for work became too small. For some reason in June'09 I caught the riding bug again and my priorities reversed. At that time I was 215lbs on a 6' frame. I started training for endurance races such as 50 milers and 6 hour races. I have slowly lost muscle mass. I am now around 195 lbs. I am happy with my performance in my races but not with the lost of muscle mass. For you, I think it depends on how serious you are about performing well on your rides. These two activities do conflict. I have not been able to balance serious strength training( to get stronger and build mass) and being competitive at endurance MTB races. The bike training usually cooks my legs. The last few weeks I have been preparing for my last race on Nov 17th, which is now postponed due to damage from hurricane Sandy. After that race I am going prioritize lifting over biking until around April 1st. I think you should accept that there are limits if you are trying to do both. I am having trouble accepting it, especially since my co-workers keep saying I look thin. Which I feel is an insult for someone who love to lift. Good luck.
    Thanks metalhead- that's exactly what I was thinking as well. I guess I'll have to settle for what it is because I don't want to stop lifting and I love to ride as well. And yes I have been there as well when I dropped from 245 down to what I am now- everyone said I was looking thin even though I still carry a good amount of muscle mass.. I just can't stop either one because of a passion for both

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