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Good strength training workout + recovery ride yesterday.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

April
23
2013

I took Sunday off from exercise, and so yesterday I wanted to get a good weight training workout in.

I was feeling mostly recovered from Saturday’s 100 KM mountain bike ride, but still not quite back to 100%. I decided to do a weight training workout with moderate to light weights, but somewhat higher volume than usual:

45 pound plate

3 x 20 DB lunges
3 x burnout (to failure) body weight chest dips
3 x burnout (to failure) wide-grip pull-ups
4 x 20 ab roll-outs

My legs were feeling about 80%, so I mainly focused on upper body. The DB lunges definitely woke my legs up, but they were fairly light. Good workout.

Later in the day I was in the mood to ride, so I jumped on the trainer and did a light 45-minute recovery ride. My legs felt good, but man was I saddle sore. By the end of the ride I couldn’t wait to get my aching butt off the bike!

I’m probably going to get a hard ride on the trainer in today. Just two more workouts in the training program I’m currently following, and I want to wrap it up this week. Next week I’ll re-test my FTP and start the next training program. I’m very curious to see what my new FTP is. I feel I’ve made some nice improvements over the past couple of months.

John Stone Fitness Comments

4 Responses to “Good strength training workout + recovery ride yesterday.”
  1. John, what are your thoughts about strength training for roadies? Most road cyclists I’ve heard from seem to feel that it does no good, unless you focus exclusively on sprinting. Some even argue that muscle bulk gained from training with heavy weights is detrimental, due to the added mass you’ll have to move with every pedal stroke. That may very well be true, considering that at a cadence of ~90 rpm, you’re not actually putting much force into each pedal stroke, so a sizable gain in strength may not pay any dividends.

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    • I’m not qualified to fully answer your question, but I can comment on a couple of the things you said.

      Adding any appreciable amount of muscle is very difficult, even when doing everything “right”. Simply doing strength training workouts is not going to “bulk” you up. This is a very common misconception. In order to add muscle mass one must do weight training–optimally weight training that is optimized for hypertrophy–while eating a caloric surplus. Adding muscle mass takes a long time, and a considerable amount of focused effort.

      The above is a gross oversimplification, but it’s enough to make my point.

      The extreme cardio that most cyclists perform on a nearly daily basis in and of itself would prevent hypertrophy. Personally I’ve lost a tremendous amount of size since I became more serious about my riding, and I’ve never stopped weight training.

      I do feel strength training is important to cyclists. Cycling is not just cruising along at 90 RPM. I had to switch my training program up quite a bit from my bodybuilding days, but I feel that strength training has benefited my cycling. My leg strength and stamina are two of my strongest assets on the bike, and I attribute those strengths, in large part, to years of weight training.

      I agree that muscle bulk is not beneficial to cyclists, or at the very least has quickly diminishing returns. That’s probably why you don’t see many cyclists with “bodybuilder” physiques. So it’s important to note I’m talking about strength being beneficial, not size. There are “small” guys who are remarkably strong, and huge bodybuilders who are surprisingly weak. An old saying that bodybuilders throw around all the time is, “It’s not how much you can lift, it’s how much you look like you can lift.”

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  2. John, you’ve no doubt noticed the tree-trunk thighs on some of the serious roadies. I don’t know what kind of training they’ve done to acquire them, but I can only assume that much of it is devoted to endurance training.

    I was never able to achieve that degree of hypertrophy, even in the days when I was doing sets of 500 lb squats, 620 lb leg presses, and eating three times as much as I do now. Perhaps it’s just a matter of genetics. I’m really enjoying road biking again after taking a year off from it, so I plan to resume training on the leg press to see if it will improve my overall performance. It should at the very least improve my sprint times.

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