Weightlifting and biking

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    • #68904

      I’m a weightlifter (4 days a week) on top of mountain biking, and I’m curious as to other people’s experiences in doing both. I’ve been lifting for coming up on 7 years, and mountain biking just as long. I’m definitely a “hard gainer,” so increasing in size is particularly difficult, especially as the summer comes around and I’m on the bike any day I’m not in the gym.

      Not complaining, though – I’ve found that weight lifting has definitely made me a better mountain biker, as I seem to have more control over the bike, though I’m starting to look like the letter Y (legs can’t get any size because of the biking!). The best part of this is that I tend to just eat all day long – I don’t think my metabolism really stops anymore.

      Anyone else do both? The biggest con on the biking side is being tired the day after the weights, and the biggest con on the lifting is that I’m tired because of the biking. Such a viciously fun circle!

    • #68905

      Yeah me too about four or five days a week. Lifted for fifteen years or so then that tapered off as the riding kicked in taking every spare moment. Now riding the single speed regular cycle training does not really work well. One long single speed ride will spank ya for three or four days. I’m a hard gainer, not a mutant and have C.O.P.D. (Could not walk a block in 1986)
      So heres what i’m doing ->;
      Ride Sunday hard at least three hours,
      Monday .5 hr eliptical trainer hill climb 14 to 16 the bike for .5 then 1.5 hrs yoga,
      Tuesday .5hr eli hill leval 20 then bike .5 hr squat machine 300 on sled 4 sets of 100 balistic-then on to Back.
      Wednesday eli 14-16 .5 then bike clean and jerk with cable then cable pulls kinda like climbing out of saddle.
      Thursday yoga only
      Fri and Sat off or yoga
      Do abdominals three to five days per week. Then fourth week lazy around cause I might be over my hill some.

      Single speeding is so different than sitting and spining it’s almost like a long hard weight lifting day. Any ideas post em

      Riding is life all else is waiting

    • #68906

      I was a bodybuilder and now after 15 yrs back on the mountain bike.
      im 5-8 240 pounds = easy gainer 😉 i accomplished what i wanted and now on to the mtb.Bad part is now i need to loose 60 pounds so i can ride more efficiently . i still lift but only to enhance riding not to get big.
      moral even if the extra weight is muscle it is still extra and will slow you down! i am currently down 12 pounds and riding a cannondale prophet 1000

    • #68907

      Weight lifting, ugh *shudders*.

    • #68908

      I’m with you. I lift 4-5 days a week and try to ride about the same. If there’s a solution to the "always tired for the other activity" problem then I don’t know what it is. I love riding and I love lifting, so I guess I just have to suck it up and understand that I’m going to live in a permanently sore state…

    • #68909

      Do you need a lot of upper body strength for mountain biking or should I not worry about it.

    • #68910

      IMO, for the type of riding that most people do upper body strength is not a factor. If you do lots of challenging downhill or difficult technical riding (up/down big drops, etc.), then yeah, it would help.

    • #68911

      As mentioned above, you will find that lifting and biking are pretty much opposing forces when considered in an overall fitness regimen…just as much as if you were to put Tinker on a bench with 300 racked and Schwarzenegger(Circa 1980) on a bike at a 24hr burn you would probably find both would be a pretty sad spectacle! For all of us not regularly appearing in "Mountain Bike" or "Flex", the well-rounded moderation of both sports are a huge BENEFIT to us….think of that the next time you’re in the gym and see all the "I SO HATE THIS" 😠 looks coming from all the sheep on the treadmills and exercise bikes!

      That being said, you really have to consider your priorities. Are you training for a big race or 24hr event? Are you struggling to keep up with your weekly ride group? Are you in any weightlifting events or do you have specific lifting goals(body measurements/body weight/lift weight) you are trying to meet?

      I’ve seen the comments about the "per week" schedules…I think what should really be considered is the seasonal aspect of both sports. During the late spring/summer/fall maybe focus on your riding as being the primary and weightlifting to be the "support" activity. In the late fall/winter/early spring weighlifting with aerobic(spinning, elliptical, etc) to maintain your stamina but also to build muscle.

      This is not to say you completely "shelve" one or the other…just modify your workout or ride to complement each other. Maybe also consider within the course of a month have your weightlifting scheduled to reduce your ride-day soreness. Save your "Power Weeks" (High weight/Low reps) to a week where you’re not riding as much. Say, if the weather is bad or schedules do not permit the time for rides.

      The muscular bulky guys(except for you anomolies out there – I hate you..ha) are 9 times out of 10 going to fade before the 160lbs 5’11" rails. Just because we’re towing the extra 20-30lbs of bar brawl whoop@$$ muscle that we deem as a fair trade-off. Last time I saw 199 was when I had rotovirus, let me tell you…NOT a weightloss option! 😉

      As far as the benefits of muscle…I see it in more indirect ways. I have been in some wrecks before where I thought – I should’ve been carted out of here after that. The #1 mountain bike break? Collarbone…. You get some mass and ligament/tendon strength around those exposed parts like your shoulders, wrists, forearms, etc. I think you will be a healthier rider who will spend less time laid up with a crash related injury and you will also enjoy a better overall physique…’cause let’s just agree that the "day after the Tour de France" look is not very appealing at the pool or beach unless you have the jersey and the boy band bank to back it up!

    • #68912

      sounds like a great plan
      you will be heavier but also have stronger legs for the hills

      i have been doing both for a while (5’7" 193 lbs) and don’t plan on changing training routine anytime soon

    • #68913

      Given that this topic is about weight lifting and cycling I will give my learning experiences that may relate to some people interested in not only recreational muntain biking but also racing. The problem with most people lifting weights and cycling is that they do not lift weights in such a way that benefits cycling. Most individuals played high school/college sports and was a part of some kind of training program involving weights. Although these program are great for those particular sports, i.e. football, they may be counter productive for cycling. For example, 2 yrs ago my weight was approx 195lbs @ 5’9" I did like most of the post here, lift weight 4-5 times a week, and tried to ride just as fequently. Although I got faster and was strong I never reached my full potential. Having learned from some people and reading different reference books, I learned that for cycling you have to lift weights and do excercises that benefit you in regards to cycling. Those bicep curls that you are doing in front of the mirror admiring the pump does not do a thing for cycling!!! For cycling you have to do more compound excercises such as squats, leg presses, lunges, bench press, bent over rows etc. These excercises work 2 or muscles in conjunction with one another to give you a more complete workout. And forget lifting heavy. That is only good short burst on a bike, which in a training program you only lift heavy 4-6 weeks in the off season. You only want to target a specific muscle i.e. triceps, biceps etc if it is a week area for you. Also do full body workouts they make for less time in the gym and more time on the bike. For me this has worked. I am faster and leaner (which I was not fat to begin with, I was a running back in college) as a result of training smart and looking for help. The result for this year…I am down to 167 lbs and blazing fast. Can’t wait until the first race 😎 . Did I mention diet? That is another topic all by itself.

    • #68914

      jUAN-GEAR.. i work as a medic in placer county. I see lots of folks with chron. bronchitus and emphysema. I have never seen anyone improve to the level that you have. How in the heck did you do it ? was it the riding ?

    • #68915

      Wow, two years later and still getting hits on this thread! The advice given after the original post definitely came to a natural fruition — the two can be quite beneficial, but it’s true to say they kind of cause the body to be a bit confused on what to do!

      That being said, I’m down to 3 days a week at the gym, 2-3 nights on the drums (cardio, baby!), and at least one day a week on the trails. All in all, I may not have a ton in life, but I’ve got my health! 😆

      Ride, lift, drum… it’s all sweat. 😼

    • #68916

      I’ve realized that mountain biking IS a workout for the upper body as well as lower. Especially charging down hills and over tree roots and stuff really works the sholders.

    • #68917

      another aspect of lifting that i didn’t see discussed is the ‘rehab’ side of lifting…. improving low back muscular endurance…. shoulder health…. correcting quad/hamstring imbalance

      for the ultra-specialist, being a humpback with supertight hip flexors and short/tight hamstrings is the look they are after (for performance sake) but regular joes need to be aware of correcting the issues hours in the saddle can bring….

    • #68918

      well I dont do weightlifting only, I do combinations, bike and weightlifting, but what I recommend to do is if you want to bike, and bennefit from it just do bench presses, military press, bicep curls and abs, and squats, if you are starting, dont increase weight on the bar, just do more reps, this are the best things to do for freeriding and DH biking, but biking helps as cardio, and increses your stamina, but if you want to increase more your stamina add running or jogging to your routine.

    • #68919

      The best way to avoid the “too sore all the timeâ€

    • #68920

      I work out and mt bike, sometimes both in the same day. I weightlift 3 times a week but not to get bigger, just to maintain at near 40 years old. I bench over 300 and that’s good enough for me. Lifting heavy is tough on the shoulders so I don’t get too carried away. I do find it difficult to work my legs in because they end up too tight and it hurts my riding. I try to ride 3 times a week and I love both riding and lifting. They make me feel good and keep me feeling young. I’m 5’9" and 240lbs. but not fat. I could stand to lose a little weight but I like my sweets so that makes it tough.

    • #68921

      I was going to recommend James Wilson but he has already posted some good info. As a pro racer with 21 years of mountain bike riding, training and racing I haven’t met anyone with the grasp of how to strength train for mountain biking as James has. Definitely check out his programs.

    • #68922
      "cujo" wrote

      I work out and mt bike, sometimes both in the same day. I weightlift 3 times a week but not to get bigger, just to maintain at near 40 years old. I bench over 300 and that’s good enough for me. Lifting heavy is tough on the shoulders so I don’t get too carried away. I do find it difficult to work my legs in because they end up too tight and it hurts my riding. I try to ride 3 times a week and I love both riding and lifting. They make me feel good and keep me feeling young. I’m 5’9" and 240lbs. but not fat. I could stand to lose a little weight but I like my sweets so that makes it tough.

      That’s me almost exactly, except for the 5’9" part! But the sweets comment is dead on! Weird…

    • #68923

      Hey guys, I’ve been weightlifting for about 6 months on my Bowflex Power Pro, and I can bench about 170 pounds. I’m up to 200 pounds on my legs. Is there anything I should be doing to supplement my diet to further muscle enhancement? Nothing drug related, I mean as it pertains to my regular diet. I eat no fast food. My regular diet includes a breakfast of white Japanese rice with a couple of steamed pork buns. My typical lunch is also white rice, with a can of lean Chunky soup poured over it which typically can hold me for the rest of the day. I’m a night owl, so I eat my lunch around 9pm. I go to sleep around 7:30am. Is there anything I should include in my diet? I regularly eat apples, and I drink V8 Fusion for a vegetable and fruit supplement as well as ingesting multivitamins and Omega-3 complex. I also eat 3 slices of high fibre bread before I go to sleep. If anyone here can add anything or suggest something different, I’m very open. Thanks in advance!

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