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  1. #1
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    Weight lifting

    Before I got into mountain biking I spent alot of time in the gym lifting weights. I was never a huge guy or anything but about 15 years ago I started to ride all the time and ditched the gym. I went from no cardio to being able to go on long rides.

    Sometime a few years ago getting my official weigh-in at the doctors I was surprised how little I weighed, though I was definitely a lean, mean, bike riding machine.

    Anyways the weights, they called to me, and I always meant to go back one day. Now I just ordered a pretty nice squat/bench rack, adjustable seat and a barbell. Just need some plates and before long will be able to squat, press, deadlift, row, etc. Add in some dumbells eventually.

    Wondering how this will effect riding, but overall should be a positive, and it will be great to have the option.

  2. #2
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    Yeah, lift. Legs too.
    I find that if i don't lift forum mtb , or ski season, i get progressively weaker in my legs.

    And i ride 12 hours a week and ski 100 days a year.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    Yeah, lift. Legs too.
    I find that if i don't lift forum mtb , or ski season, i get progressively weaker in my legs.

    And i ride 12 hours a week and ski 100 days a year.

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    How are you measuring your leg strength?

    I work with a couple of pro-cyclist and the typical weight training pattern is gym during the winter and nothing during the race season.

    Interestingly Quad diameter is usually at its largest at the end of cycling season. Peak stomp force on the bike is at is best (as is overall riding performance) but strength in the gym is at it lowest.

    To me the question is does going to the gym make you better at cycling (or skiing) or does it just make you better at going to the gym.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  4. #4
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    Weight lifting

    The first year I did Stronglifts 5x5 over the fall and winter, I noticed a huge difference once spring rolled around. I was shocked (in a good way) to find that I was able to climb and ride in a much higher gear. My cadence dropped on the climbs and flats, my speed increased noticeably, and I had newfound strength to be able to pedal almost continuously on rides. I ended up increasing my ring size by 4 teeth that spring because I was no longer using any of the lower gearing, even for technical climbing. I have never looked back.

    In addition to the physical strength gains, lifting has been essential for my mental well being during the biking off season (I live in a place with 4 seasons - winter is not gentle, snow or temp wise).

    Since that breakthrough year, I have continued with the same pattern - I have been doing Stronglifts 5x5 (or a variant) from from October to May or June. Unfortunately, the last couple of years I have suffered a few setbacks injury-wise as I ventured into increasingly heavier lifting.

    I am just about to launch into the lifting this year. Before I do so, however, I am meeting with my physio this week (who is the physio for the CDN Olympic speed skating team, who came highly and unanimously recommended to me years ago by friends and acquaintances in the Ironman crowd - he is an avid and skilled mountain biker, and we have become friends over the years). Through his guidance, I hope to be able to get some pointers to avoid the nagging issues and setbacks that have plagued me the last couple of years. He knows me and my body very well and will be able to offer lots of dos and doníts, in terms of form, intensity and otherwise.

    With the 5x5 (or any strength based variant), itís all about compound exercises. Squat, deadlift, rows, bench, and overhead press. Really looking forward to it this year but hoping I can stay healthy to the end.

    This will be the first time in 8 years that I wonít be commuting daily through winter, since I am working from home indefinitely. Iím going to try fat biking 3-4 times a week instead, in addition to lifting. Looking forward to it.

    Here is part of my modest home gym i have set up in a small area of my basement, that I invested in 20 years ago. It has never gathered dust too long and has proven to be one of the best purchases I have ever made.



    Good luck with your lifting.

    Edit: I should have mentioned that I obviously defer to LMN on all this. He is light years ahead of me on training, and probably pretty much everyone else on this forum as well. Respect.
    Last edited by mtnbkrmike; 10-26-2020 at 08:22 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Yeah. Getting old so do need to do strength training just on general principles. For years I had a routine of going to the gym 2-3 times/wk. Found it easier to stick with than working out at home. Ditched my weights and bench when relocating and covid hit so now I'm wait lifting. Waiting for something to change. Need to get back into it.
    What, me worry?

  6. #6
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    I've been weight lifting for 30 years. Was into power lifting and bodybuilding before getting really into Mountain biking. I find having more strength helps with just about every aspect of the sport. Helps with peddling and bike control.

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    IDK what others would say, I ride only for fun but I am pretty serious about it and tend to get in good shape in the riding on-season.

    One thing I personally find lifting legs the most helpful for is early season. The reason being, even at the very beginning of my riding season, if I slow down a little I can always recover from a cardio/wind standpoint. But if my legs are shot, they're shot, and I can do whatever the hell I want and I am not going to recover during the ride.

  8. #8
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    I lift in the 'off season', as it were. If you don't go chasing max reps every time and bulk right up, you'll find that lifting brings many positives to riding and general conditioning.
    Last edited by Crankout; 10-27-2020 at 08:08 AM.
    Adapt or be miserable.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Yeah. Getting old so do need to do strength training just on general principles. For years I had a routine of going to the gym 2-3 times/wk. Found it easier to stick with than working out at home. Ditched my weights and bench when relocating and covid hit so now I'm wait lifting. Waiting for something to change. Need to get back into it.

    Ditto...had a solid regular gym routine with weights, stretching and core but it's not as motivating in the basement.
    Adapt or be miserable.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    Ditto...had a solid regular gym routine with weights, stretching and core but it's not as motivating in the basement.
    I got tired of waiting for cages and machines, the restricted hours, the drive time to and from, and the inability to crank my music. Not to mention the cost. I need zero motivation to work out. I am thinking about my next workout as soon as I finish the current one.
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  11. #11
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    Nice setup, I'll post up some pics in a month or so when everything is ready. Definitely will be a mental benefit as well.

    I am actually looking forward to not dealing with the gym, especially now. The older I get the more I want to retreat to the middle of nowhere...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    ... Not to mention the cost....
    Benefit of Medicare Part C "Silver Sneakers" program; free health club membership. Trust me; I'd rather be young and have to pay for membership than be old and get it for free.
    What, me worry?

  13. #13
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    I've been lifting weights since i played sports in HS and college. It's just part of my daily routine. When I trained for a 50 mile mtnb race 2 years ago i worked with a trainer who had me lifting 4x weekly. it makes sense to have strength in order to move a 25-30lb bike over rough terrain and up hills. In the book 'The Art of Resilience" by Ross Edgly he goes into detail about using weight training for endurance sports. I started building a small home gym when the c-virus started shutting things down. I'm finding I don't miss the gym. I highly recommend powerblock adjustable dumbbells. Great way to have an entire set of weights and take up hardly any space.

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    I came (back) to mountain biking after dedicating most of my 40s to powerlifting and getting as big and strong as I could. As I approached 50 I was starting to feel the impact of lifting heavy on my joints (as well as a lifetime of board sports and general wear and tear) and gave up the pursuit of absolute strength in favor of general fitness and well being. I lift and ride several times per week each. Iím pretty fast for a gym rat and pretty strong for a biker, but wonít win any awards in either any time soon. Iím fine with that though and appreciate the extra mass and bone density in case of a crash. Honestly I think combining both is the best way to approach things when my only goal now is to remain as active and healthy for as long as I can.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    How are you measuring your leg strength?

    I work with a couple of pro-cyclist and the typical weight training pattern is gym during the winter and nothing during the race season.

    Interestingly Quad diameter is usually at its largest at the end of cycling season. Peak stomp force on the bike is at is best (as is overall riding performance) but strength in the gym is at it lowest.

    To me the question is does going to the gym make you better at cycling (or skiing) or does it just make you better at going to the gym.
    It depends on the skill level.
    A beginner, intermediate athlete will benefit greatly from weight lifting.

    An elite athlete will benefit more from skill development, ie riding.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    Ditto...had a solid regular gym routine with weights, stretching and core but it's not as motivating in the basement.
    It's not?



    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Weight lifting-20201027_083811.jpg  


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ostrichsak View Post
    It's not?



    Not for me; I'm better off going to the gym.
    Adapt or be miserable.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    Not for me; I'm better off going to the gym.
    Until said gym is closed because COVID. That's what motivated us to build out our own basement gym and I couldn't be happier we did. #thanksCOVID

  19. #19
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    I am all for lifting along with biking, I did various sports through high school and college and enacted that type of training mentality as part of my lifestyle. Exercise and lifting specifically are staples in my routine and help with both physical and mental health.

    As for home gym, I have a small home setup but prefer to workout away from home. Some good wireless noise canceling headphones drown out the other gym goers (and the terrible music) and my gym time is my time so phone goes on do not disturb. If Iím home the wife or kid can always come down into the basement. Thats just my personal preference ymmmv

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Yeah. Getting old so do need to do strength training just on general principles. For years I had a routine of going to the gym 2-3 times/wk. Found it easier to stick with than working out at home. Ditched my weights and bench when relocating and covid hit so now I'm wait lifting. Waiting for something to change. Need to get back into it.
    Us older guys need to lift...

    I do upper body to supplement my riding.

    Mix of barbells, dumbbells & body weight stuff.

    Plus, it's coming up to Summer!!

    Sun's out, guns out

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  21. #21
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    I'm always impressed when people are able to lift and ride hard, as I never really could figure it out. Back when I was in shape and racing, I tried pushing through gym time on multiple different occasions but the soreness always affected my riding to the point that I would quit after a month or two. I really never had an off season. Even when I lived in a place with horrible winters, my brain wouldn't allow me to watch sports and lift weights for 6 months out of the year. I ended up running or riding through the snow, and then suffering in horrible pain trying to pedal with the massive soreness from squat day.

  22. #22
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    nice home gym! My basement ceiling isn't high enough for a cage like that. trouble now is finding plates...talk about turning lead into gold.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    I'm always impressed when people are able to lift and ride hard, as I never really could figure it out. Back when I was in shape and racing, I tried pushing through gym time on multiple different occasions but the soreness always affected my riding to the point that I would quit after a month or two. I really never had an off season. Even when I lived in a place with horrible winters, my brain wouldn't allow me to watch sports and lift weights for 6 months out of the year. I ended up running or riding through the snow, and then suffering in horrible pain trying to pedal with the massive soreness from squat day.
    What doing Crossfit for a number of years has taught me is that days off are the enemy. You will be far more sore if you take days off versus just getting some good mobility/stretching in before a workout the next day and hit another workout. You may be sure (especially during the warmup) but the soreness would have been far worse the rest of that day and the next day or two if you took the day off. Get moving and get the blood flowing and you'll find that after a few weeks the soreness doesn't hit nearly as bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata View Post
    nice home gym! My basement ceiling isn't high enough for a cage like that. trouble now is finding plates...talk about turning lead into gold.
    Thanks. Still a work in progress but it's 90% of the way there. I'm SO glad we opted for taller ceilings on all levels when we built this house but now I wish I had done 10ft or even 11ft ceilings in the basement. As it is, I can double under but no RX wallballs or muscle ups. With the equipment we have we can do most every WOD as programmed for two people which has been amazing.

    It's been a rough 6-months or so trying to gather everything during the leanest supply of gym equipment in human history. Slowly but eventually the workouts became less and less modified as we accumulated more and more gear. There's still a couple of things I'd like to add when they become available but I can get some killer workout sessions in in my own home which is even better now that there's snow on the ground. No snow or pandemic is going to keep me from working out every day.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    I'm always impressed when people are able to lift and ride hard, as I never really could figure it out. Back when I was in shape and racing, I tried pushing through gym time on multiple different occasions but the soreness always affected my riding to the point that I would quit after a month or two. I really never had an off season. Even when I lived in a place with horrible winters, my brain wouldn't allow me to watch sports and lift weights for 6 months out of the year. I ended up running or riding through the snow, and then suffering in horrible pain trying to pedal with the massive soreness from squat day.
    One thing that i read about and it works for me.

    Squats, or any leg work: two sets of 5 reps each at heavy weight, and you will not be sore.

    Warm up before, but not lifting. Run out light bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    I'm always impressed when people are able to lift and ride hard, as I never really could figure it out. Back when I was in shape and racing, I tried pushing through gym time on multiple different occasions but the soreness always affected my riding to the point that I would quit after a month or two. I really never had an off season. Even when I lived in a place with horrible winters, my brain wouldn't allow me to watch sports and lift weights for 6 months out of the year. I ended up running or riding through the snow, and then suffering in horrible pain trying to pedal with the massive soreness from squat day.
    Frequency is key. I squat 3 times per week (as part of my full body workout) and never get sore. Sure, the first couple sessions can be crippling, but after that, DOMS is a distant memory.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKelley View Post
    Frequency is key. I squat 3 times per week (as part of my full body workout) and never get sore. Sure, the first couple sessions can be crippling, but after that, DOMS is a distant memory.
    Correct DOMS is an inflammation response to new stimulus. Im only sore if I take a lay off of 2 weeks, or introduce a new exercise. I hit legs twice every week.

  27. #27
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    Used to lift free weights, but never felt 'fit' until I started doing more bodyweight workouts. Over time, I began feeling better with less free weights and more bodyweight, and now only use free weights at the conclusion of my workout as a supplement. I fail to see how being able to bench press 350 will make me a better rider. However, my pushup/pullup/crunch routine definitely has.
    Do not take anything I post seriously. I don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    Actually, it is a joke. Well, the workout is pretty solid but that dude is a joke. I used to watch that channel years ago mostly because of Magga Braco (...mmmm ...Magga ). I also really appreciated the approach of cinematography blended with audio that was ahead of it's time for editing on a YouTube fitness channel. It had a good vibe and was entertaining. But, a while back, he created some click bait idiotic video bashing on Crossfit and certain movements he deemed "unsafe" or "dangerous" with idiotic reasoning and "facts" to support this claim. I have no patience for people who bash other people's methods of fitness and activity especially when it's blatantly to drive clicks (read: money) and get people worked up. Our nation is entirely too unfit to be bashing anyone's choice in fitness or potentially scaring them away from getting off of the couch. Until I just clicked your link now (not knowing what/who it was) I hadn't watched another of his videos. Hopefully you didn't just break my YouTube algorithm so it goes back to suggesting his videos all the time again.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ostrichsak View Post
    It's not?



    That is impressive....damn.
    Adapt or be miserable.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    That is impressive....damn.
    The hundred pairs of shoes lined up is impressive, in and of itself.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    That is impressive....damn.
    Thanks. I've found that having a nearly fully equipped basement gym to go to helps to motivate at 5:00am.

    I've also done some more work since that photo to tidy up the messy cables and a few other small upgrades here and there.

    The next items are to get that battle rope in the background anchored into a wall and attach some sheets of particle board on the wall to the right of the window/dumbbell rack for handstand pushups next to where the rower currently is. I've also got that ancient android tablet that we use for a timer on a bracket that I will probably also mount someplace higher to make it easier to see from all areas and may do something similar with that dry erase board as well.

    There will be more improvements/additions over the months to follow (a ski erg would be a nice addition for instance) but they will come much slower as I'm going to wait for the budget to replenish after the hit it took this year building this bad boy out.

    Well worth it though IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    The hundred pairs of shoes lined up is impressive, in and of itself.
    Haha! The sad part is that other than that white/pink pair of Lifters in the back left corner those are all mine. Sadder yet, I've got probably 2x more not pictured. I'm in the process of acquiring some sort of rack(s) for all of our gym shoes to live on downstairs but those were the ones that were in a bench that I wanted to free up for my actual daily-worn shoes. Now that we had a home gym it seemed wise to move all of our gym-related shoes downstairs and free up some precious shoe storage area on the main living level of the house. Early on in our Crossfit days we clearly fell for the "look good, train good" addiction of clothes buying that Crossfitters are known for.

  33. #33
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    A couple of MTB specific training programs are Fit4Racing (lighter program is Fit4Riding) and Derek Teel from Dialed Health.

    Derek Teel was on the Downtime podcast, and I thought it was really interesting. You can listen to that here:
    https://www.downtimepodcast.com/dialed-health/

    The Strength Factory also has some good stuff. This episode called "how to shred until your 70" talks a lot about mindset/longevity for cycling as well as strength training:
    How to Shred Until You're 70 (And Beyond) - Downtime Podcast

  34. #34
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    As an over 40 trainee, I am proud to still perform leg development exercises on a regular basis.

    My favourites are:

    * Squats
    * Trap-Bar Deadlifts
    * Single Leg Split-Stance Squats with Rear Foot Elavated

    I do my own program and adjust it as I need to.

    If you are fortunate enough to have room for a home gym (and especially a squat rack, a barbell, some plates, a bench, and perhaps some dumbells), there is no downside to implementing this in your life.

  35. #35
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    Hmmm, lift a few cylinder heads into place a week, install a transfer case and transmission here and there. Plenty of various weights to lift into place and get paid for it!
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

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