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  1. #1
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    Weight lifting for legs

    Hi,

    Has anyone got any weight lifting programmes for legs, if possible one that can be done at home and not in a gym.

    Im 42 been racing around 10 years and want to have some more power, and something to do when its really bad weather outside or I only have 30-45 mins to spare. (For fitness level references I get into the top 10 in local MTB races and scrape top 20 in national events. Sub hour 25 mile TT and 21.30 min 10 mile TT)

    I would like more power and maybe a bit more definition (for vainty)

    Cheers.
    Trek Top Fuel - Santa Cruz Blur -Chinese FLYXII 29er

  2. #2
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    Check out Mountain Bike Strength and Cardio Training Tips and Programs, he has a workout called "No Weights, No Gym, No Problem" as well as some dumbbell/kettlebell workouts.

  3. #3
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    This question gets asked every winter. You might want to search for old threads. You can do plenty of body weight exercises that will torture your legs and even do on the bike workouts indoors on the trainer. If you use weights, learn proper form before you lift anything heavy.

  4. #4
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    Adding more muscle does not necessarily equate to more long term power.

    If you want to become more "defined", you need to strip the fat off of your body, not add more (IMO useless) bulk.

    I'd focus on making what you have more efficient, but that's just me.

  5. #5
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    you can keep the second objective you stated there but lifting to increase bike power is pretty useless and has been demonstrated quite a few times.

    With that amount of time and requirements, I'd hit some timed body weight circuit with explosive movements. Its very hard and good for conditionning. Here is what I did last winter, the goal is to do as many repetitions as you can within the 20sec bouts.

    20sec single leg jump L
    20sec single elg jump R
    10sec OFF
    20sec knee to chest jumps
    10sec OFF
    20sec jumped lunge
    10sec OFF
    20sec push up
    10sec OFF
    30sec plank
    10sec OFF
    REPEAT

    5min OFF

    repeat 2 more times

    just dont expect it to help your cycling

  6. #6
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    As Le Duke says definition is body fat. But, lifting can help you increase your metabolism and look better (toned)

    Leg exercises at home with lil investment - I would think #1 would be step-ups.
    Step-Up Strength Exercise - YouTube

    Joe Friels Training bibles address weight lifting - newer editions use low rep for max effort lifting

    Joe Friels blog addresses "Aging Athletes" - He adresses weight lifting in this article - Older athletes need it the older they get to help maintain muscle mass and bone density
    Joe Friel - Q & A: Recovery and the Aging Athlete

    If you are looking to squat, deadlift, I use Dr. Squat 5x5 calculator
    16 Week 5x5 Week Generator | Dr. Squat - Dr. Fred Hatfield

    Hunter Allen Winter Training Article - see 2nd paragraph about strength work on bike
    http://www.peakscoachinggroup.com/Ar...20Training.pdf

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    you can keep the second objective you stated there but lifting to increase bike power is pretty useless and has been demonstrated quite a few times.

    With that amount of time and requirements, I'd hit some timed body weight circuit with explosive movements. Its very hard and good for conditionning. Here is what I did last winter, the goal is to do as many repetitions as you can within the 20sec bouts.

    20sec single leg jump L
    20sec single elg jump R
    10sec OFF
    20sec knee to chest jumps
    10sec OFF
    20sec jumped lunge
    10sec OFF
    20sec push up
    10sec OFF
    30sec plank
    10sec OFF
    REPEAT

    5min OFF

    repeat 2 more times

    just dont expect it to help your cycling
    I agree about cycling performance to a point - I thought I heard a quote from Hunter Allen basically saying a 12 year old had enough muscle mass to put out a lot of watts (300w+?) @ FTP.
    I think it starts to get important as you get older, testosterone starts going down and you start losing muscle mass.

  8. #8
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    Whatever program you choose, make sure it includes ass to the grass squats. (and deadlifts of course!)

  9. #9
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    I would think at least match the knee angle you use on the bike

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    I would think at least match the knee angle you use on the bike
    Haters gonna hate.


  11. #11
    Ski N Bike Tech
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    Quote Originally Posted by voodoo5 View Post
    Haters gonna hate.

    Haha.

  12. #12
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    No Hate involved

    Quote Originally Posted by voodoo5 View Post
    Haters gonna hate.

    Just trying to help original poster the best I can. From what I understood he was a cyclist first.

    What I have learned on lifting.
    1. Try to mimic movement of activity.
    Per Joe Friel squat instructions "4. Squat until upper thighs are halfivay to parallel to floor about the same knee bend as at top of pedal stroke"
    http://www.trainingbible.com/pdf/Cyc...th_Program.pdf

    2. Don't get hurt lifting

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkongsfinger View Post
    Hi,

    Has anyone got any weight lifting programmes for legs, if possible one that can be done at home and not in a gym.

    Im 42 been racing around 10 years and want to have some more power, and something to do when its really bad weather outside or I only have 30-45 mins to spare. (For fitness level references I get into the top 10 in local MTB races and scrape top 20 in national events. Sub hour 25 mile TT and 21.30 min 10 mile TT)

    I would like more power and maybe a bit more definition (for vainty)

    Cheers.
    King
    I would look into obtain a copy of joe friels training bible - there is a good chapter about lifitng in there and when and how to apply various stages (muscular adaption, max strenght, etc). If you do, make sure you get newer version where he works up to 6rep maxes - vs older version where he is more 12-15 rep max.My third edition has the 6rep max plan BUT, MTB bible has a little different version. Pretty cheap for used copies on Amazon

  14. #14
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    I'll offer some unscientific anecdotal advice.

    -Skinny dudes seem to benefit more than mesomorphish type guys, or big guys. That could be because strength is a limiter with these guys.
    -Lifting seems to help more in cycling events with explosive moves: rolling terrain, cyclocross, crits, etc. Long climbs, probably not as much. The Andy Schleck type bodies seem to do better there, which doesn't need much lifting to develop.
    -About a year ago, someone posted a study with highly trained cyclist who did lifting SUPPLEMENTAL to riding. The riders who lifted did better. Makes sense since they did more overall work compared to the control group. Therefore, if you want to lift and want great cycling performance, it should be done SUPPLEMENTAL and not as a replacement to cycling hours.

    But at the end, everyone should do what makes them happy, especially us guys who don't get paid for riding. I'm definitely much happier lifting this time of year..........I just love it.

    Got some deadlifts, pushup, and pull ups in cross fit tonight; while basking in the glory of my first cyclocross podium this weekend!!! Couldn't be more pumped right now.
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  15. #15
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    Agrred lifting shouldnt replace cycling but should be an addition to the regular endurance training.

    The study you are refering to, Ponch, if its the one im thinking, is flawed, as it wasnt mention what kind of training the control group was doing.

    As for strength being a limiter, its fairly easy to demonstrate its not. In fact, the AEPF of pedaling at high wattage is quite low. I did a calculation a while ago and dont remember the exact data, but from memory it looked like this: to cycle at 700W at 90RPM you need to average 107lbs with both legs during the 360 degree of the pedal stroke. Less then you need to stand up from a sat down position or climbing stairs. (I could get the exact forumla but too lazy ATM).

    Finaly, just dont expect lifting to help your cycling. To get better at cycling, I cycle at specific power output/duration/cadence. BUT *disclaimer*, to remain healthy, I lift heavy stuff!

  16. #16
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    You asked about "at home" and "not in a gym", how about a home gym? Or at least a simple leg curl machine with weight plates. Check craigslist for used fitness equipment.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    The study you are refering to, Ponch, if its the one im thinking, is flawed, as it wasnt mention what kind of training the control group was doing.
    STUDY 1) Effect of heavy strength training on thigh muscle cross-sectional area, performance determinants, and performance in well-trained cyclists. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Mar;108(5):965-75. Epub 2009 Dec 4.

    Rønnestad BR, Hansen EA, Raastad T.
    University College, PB. 952, 2604, Lillehammer, Norway. bent.ronnestad@hil.no

    SUMMARY: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of heavy strength training on thigh muscle cross-sectional area (CSA), determinants of cycling performance, and cycling performance in well-trained cyclists. Twenty well-trained cyclists were assigned to either usual endurance training combined with heavy strength training [E + S; n = 11 (male symbol = 11)] or to usual endurance training only [E; n = 9 (male symbol = 7, female symbol = 2)]. The strength training performed by E + S consisted of four lower body exercises [3 x 4-10 repetition maximum (RM)], which were performed twice a week for 12 weeks. Thigh muscle CSA, maximal force in isometric half squat, power output in 30 s Wingate test, maximal oxygen consumption (VO(2max)), power output at 2 mmol l(-1) blood lactate concentration ([la(-)]), and performance, as mean power production, in a 40-min all-out trial were measured before and after the intervention. E + S increased thigh muscle CSA, maximal isometric force, and peak power in the Wingate test more than E. Power output at 2 mmol l(-1) [la(-)] and mean power output in the 40-min all-out trial were improved in E + S (P < 0.05). For E, only performance in the 40-min all-out trial tended to improve (P = 0.057). The two groups showed similar increases in VO(2max) (P < 0.05). In conclusion, adding strength training to usual endurance training improved determinants of cycling performance as well as performance in well-trained cyclists. Of particular note is that the added strength training increased thigh muscle CSA without causing an increase in body mass.

    Full Text: Effect of heavy strength training on thigh muscle cross-sectional area, performance determinants, and performance in well-trained cyclists - Springer

    "Training Endurance training consisted primarily of cycling, but some cross-country skiing was also performed (up to 10% of total training duration). Training duration and intensity were calculated based on recordings from heart rate (HR) monitors (Polar, Kempele, Finland). Endurance training was divided into five HR zones: (1) 60–72%, (2) 73–82%, (3) 83–87%, (4) 88–92%, and (5) 93–100% of maximal HR. An overview of the distribution of the endurance training into the five intensity zones for both groups is presented in Table 1. The duration of the endurance training and the distribution of this training within the five training zones were similar between groups."

    To the OP: The strength exercises performed were: half squat, leg press with one leg at a time, one-legged hip flexion, and ankle plantar flexion. (Looks like they varied the reps throughout study, max reps being 10. But only 3 sets of each exercise)

    For you guys who didn't quite get the SUMMARY, all it says is the guys who added lifting performed better on most the cycling power tests.
    Last edited by Poncharelli; 12-04-2012 at 08:18 AM.
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  18. #18
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    The Legs And Back workout in P90X is hard. You'll definitely feel it the next day. You don't need any machines or even heavy weights to do it. You might want to check it out. I do those videos when the weather sucks.

    Here is the Leg portion of the workout.
    Balance lunge - 25 reps each leg.
    Calf raise squat - Just lift anything you have.
    Super Skater - 25 reps each side.
    Wall squat - 90 seconds or more.
    Step back lunge - 15 reps each side.
    Alternating side Lunge - 24 reps.
    Single leg wall squat - One minute. Alternate legs every 10 seconds.
    Deadlift squat - 20 reps.
    Three way lunge with kick.
    Sneaky Lunge - 20 reps.
    Chair salutations - 2 reps for 30 seconds each.
    Toe roll iso lunge - 20 reps each side.
    Groucho walk - 45 seconds.
    Calf raises - 15 slow, 10 fast. Change feet angle each rep.
    Siebers speed squat - 30 reps per leg.

    Google the names if you don't understand the movement.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    Therefore, if you want to lift and want great cycling performance, it should be done SUPPLEMENTAL and not as a replacement to cycling hours.
    I hear you, but the problem I have is, I find this impossible to do. I've read in lots of places that riding makes you faster so if you want to get faster on the bike, ride. And when I lift legs, the fatigue I get from lifting limits my weekly riding hours as my legs need to recover. So while I would like to lift more ideally, I just can't get there without it effecting my time on the bike??

  20. #20
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    You're not going to be able to do hard leg workouts and hard riding. That's not going to happen. Most guys lift in the off season and do easy spins on the bike/trainer with some intensity occasionally.

  21. #21
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    their endurance training was mostly low end intensity stuff.

    FWIW I lift HEAVY stuff and hit the trainer with L6 efforts right after, my power output isnt affected whatsoever, YMMV

  22. #22
    DLd
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    The key is do the lifting on the same days that you go hard on the bike. Say you do a ride with intervals in the morning, either lift right after (already warmed up) or lift that evening. Then you have your normal recovery ride or day off the next day. Don't try to fit it in by lifting on your recovery days. Also start by adding just one set of each exercise and work up to more. Find what works for you without affecting your volume.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
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  23. #23
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    Good input, thanks guys.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    their endurance training was mostly low end intensity stuff.
    Yes, I noticed that too. They all did mostly Zone 1/2 endurance and weightlifting, and all subjects improved their power metrics. Awesome!!

    This study gets better and better every time I read it.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
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  25. #25
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    I just feel better lifting right now. I am not super fast nor do I race very consistently. I am 6'4" 165-175ibs during the year. I ride singlespeed 50 - 100miles. I feel for me that my legs seem to get tired and fatigued before I am aerobically taxed. I also like to ski tele and not get hurt when I crash. I think that leg exercises like squats and deadlifts are awesome full body exercises that recruit so much more than just your legs. Think core. I don't lift alot of weight either since I mostly just do it in the wintertime. You will be able to lift more very quickly but your tendons and ligaments are not strengthening as quickly as your musculature. Be careful.
    W/O weights try air squats , single leg squats, step ups and box jumps.

    Walt

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