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Thinking about doing direct leg work again.

Saturday, July 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


45 pound plate
Not too long after my cut ended I decided to stop doing direct leg work. The reason I made that choice is because the recovery time was keeping me off the bike for too long. The problem is I’ve noticed a loss of leg stamina when I’m actually riding, and I’ve also noticed that I feel the rides more the next day. Last week I rode on Monday, took a day off on Tuesday and then I rode Wednesday and Thursday. Yesterday my legs felt pretty fatigued from the back-to-back rides, which is silly because I only rode a total of like 13 or 14 miles. Granted those miles were on dirt and I was pushing hard, but still…

Aside from all of that, I miss leg training. I like it.

I’m not really sure what to do here. Generally if I train legs I’m off the bike for at least two days following the workout due to DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Maybe I should do a lighter workout just so I’m getting some direct work in, but not enough to really destroy my wheels?

Avoiding direct leg work has allowed me to ride more often, but I feel that it’s also hurting my performance. Maybe not terribly (I’ve set 4 new personal records over the past couple of weeks, after all), but I’m definitely feeling the difference.

I’m sure some of you mountain bikers or roadies out there have faced this leg training issue during the riding season. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments section.

John Stone Fitness Comments

5 Responses to “Thinking about doing direct leg work again.”
  1. I NEVER ride hard or at race pace two days in a row. I try and ride every other day and do upper body resistance training on the off days. If I ride hard two days in a row I feel fatigued and it takes longer to recover. Last season I rode whenever I had a chance, often two days in a row, and I would get pretty fatigued, this year the every other day has worked well, I’ve managed to feel good for close to ten weeks of racing and training hard.

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    • Thanks Craig. Some of the feedback I got on FB mirrors this, and it’s possible that the two back-to-back short-ish, but hard, rides were part of the problem. I think I’m going to start incorporating recovery rides into my rotation instead of feeling like I need to be out there killing it all the time.

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  2. I was facing the same issue, having recently gotten back into serious weight training. My past experience has been that doing 4-5 heavy sets of leg presses requires 3-4 days to recover from. As we all know, the DOMS on the second day can be particularly severe. The problem of course is that such long recovery periods would severely curtail my riding.

    It may be a bit premature, but I may have found the solution. On Saturday I purchased a product from GNC called “Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60”, which the (very attractive) woman behind the counter assured me would reduce my recovery time to no more than 24 hours. I was highly skeptical, but thought it at least worth trying. It’s a fine powder that you mix with water, to be ingested within half an hour after completing your workout. Armed with a bottle of this stuff, I headed to the gym on Monday night and did five sets of ten reps, going to failure on every set. To my amazement, I woke up on Tuesday without feeling as if my thigh muscles had been put through a shredder. There was some amount of DOMS, but not even enough to stop me from riding. This morning (Tuesday) the pain had actually decreased, just when it should have been much worse, judging by past experience. It’s too early to tell yet whether the 30% increase in muscle growth advertised on the package is to be believed, but even if the product only does what its done so far, it will have been worth the purchase price. What I don’t know yet is whether it will permit me to increase the frequency or intensity of my workouts, or whether that would ultimately overtax my recuperative abilities. I’ll have more to say on that score once I find out.

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