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  1. #1
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    Upper body weight lifting okay for a "rest" day?

    Getting ready for the 'cross season, I've started to get serious about laying down some rubber. The last two weeks have felt incredibly good, but today was an obvious sign of being overtrained (bonky feeling, lack of desire, wanting to stop on climbs that I usually destroy, etc.) I don't feel sick or injured, but I definitely know when it's time to back off.

    I've lost 5 lbs. of the total 20 lbs. I need to get rid of before Fall, so I'm happy with that.

    Anyhow, I wanted to get your guys' input on upper body weight training during a rest day (or two). I don't really kill the heavy stuff, but just light and fast reps with moderate weight without doing anything on the cardio equipment - completely upper body stuff for about 45 min.

    What I'm really asking, is if this weight "pumping" can be classified as active recovery - especially when it's not over-the-top exhaustive lifting?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You might as well do some heavier weights to get some actual upper body strength benefit from it. If you are simply doing active recovery...go for a walk.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny K View Post
    You might as well do some heavier weights to get some actual upper body strength benefit from it. If you are simply doing active recovery...go for a walk.
    I am a former competitive bodybuilder, so I gain weight from weight lifting way too easily. I am a very muscular guy who needs to maintains my upper body strength without packing on muscle weight.

    This is me when I do "heavier weights", as you say. Not exactly how I want to be during the CX season. I am about 20 lbs. less, now.

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  4. #4
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    Depends on your goals, genes, diet, age, meteb, training ect. Not exactly sure what you're askin but for me I do best with 2 days off in a row each week from everything except maybe light cardio to avoid overtraining and get a good recovery to come back stronger. Even if your genetically prone to bulk up you can help control that with diet. Lifting heavy isn't needed to get in shape for xc but whole body heavy lifting, like squats or dead lifts, will stimulate your central nerves system more which will speed your metab, and boost your testosterone level so you can train harder and recover faster so 1 day a week of that type, or a little of that on each day of training can help. But you're right to train your slow twitch muscle fiber with lighter, higher reps workout to help achieve your xc goals.
    Look at type of training along with rest as strength and/or stamina control, and diet as size control.
    It's so much easier and faster to control weight with calories than exercise. It only takes a few minutes to eat, but those same calories will take hours to burn. You don't wanna eat so little that it effects your training, strength or stamina but you get the point.
    Would recommend you get your 2 days off in a row, train hard 2 days, then 1 day light, then hard for another 2 which makes a week. On your hard days do some days interval type, and some long steady, and some mixed. On your mid week light day, ride a few maybe 5 miles to a spot in the park and do some dips, push-up, sit-up, pull-up, or variatons of each, circuits type training and then ride home. Because again, body weight exercises use more muscles per exercise as compaired to most barbell/dumbell moves, and exercises where your body moves through space stimulate your body more to adjust to ALL the damands you put on it.
    Last edited by theMeat; 07-04-2011 at 09:58 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    Even if your genetically prone to bulk up you can help control that with diet.
    This is my curse when it comes to cycling - so I have to REALLY watch my diet. I am also a vegetarian, so don't ask me how I bulk up so much eating vegetables.

    What you said was spot-on; I guess I really have to give it a try and see how I feel. I end up getting a big upper body pump when hammering singlespeed climbs, so I guess it all depends on how I feel in the gym tomorrow.

    You were also spot-on regarding weight pumping and keeping my metabolism sped up on a day where gym workout would only burn about half the calories compared to a full-fledge ride.

  6. #6
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    As far as cutting down your weight.... Since I'm gathering that you're already controling diet and training hard, If your eating 3-4 meals a day you might wanna try adding a few meals to make it 5-6 a day without increasing your calories per day to speed metab. And/or do some not to intense cardio for no longer than an hour pre breakfast to start cutting into stored energy (fat) right away, since you're running off your food energy for the first 20-30 minutes at mostly all other times you exercise.
    Both these "tricks" shouldn't hinder your training and may even help.
    Last edited by theMeat; 07-05-2011 at 12:03 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Typical active recovery for a cyclist is spinning. i.e. low resistance. Some have recommended doing off bike stuff you consider fun - basketball, running, swimming, etc. - that is also done lightly. I can kinda see your dilemma about bulking up. Good attribute for body building but not for cycling. However, if your lifting is light and not done to exhaustion, you will not likely bulk up. Alternatively, if you really want to work on strength, you can use a pure strength program in which you lift heavy with few reps (3-5), never to exhaustion, and with complete recovery between sets. Strength adaptations are mostly neuronal and will not bulk you up much, if at all, even with your genetics.

    Hope this helps.

    Larry

  8. #8
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    I'm not sure about your calorie intake but if you're training hard and bonking you may want to consider upping your calories. People generally begin to bonk when they are over training, and you may be surprised to see that you even start losing more weight quicker by increasing your calories and giving you're body the necessary fuel that it is asking for. I'm sure you're probably already a member, but if not you should ask your question on the bodybuilding.com forum, lots of knowledgable guys familiar with all aspects of fitness on that site.

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