Cycling and Gym question

Jacqui

Active Member
Hi

Stupid I know but I have signed up to do a London to Paris ride in September . I started cycling again last year and have cycling on a regular basis since March . I also joined a gym to try and improve my base fitness.

I am I think fitter but the gym programme was changed recently and included more weights . While I know these will strengthen various muscles in my legs they are putting a lot of pressure on my already dodgy knees .

My question is this do you think it would be better to stick to cycling and just do some extra cardio in the gym untill after the bike ride or will the weights help in the long run ?


many thanks

jacqui
 

Garz

Squat Member
Location
Down
Only do the weights to improve on your current fitness. Try to do them days before your tougher rides so you get ample recovery. I would personally only do circuit style toning routines and core strength in the gym added to your cycling mileage. If you want to justify more time in the gym work on your flexibility and core to notch up the time in there, this will help improve your riding in the long term - heavy weights wont.

-edit-

Just to add most women are always paranoid about heavier weight adding muscle bulk, this wont happen unless your taking testosterone so don't be afraid to push yourself!
wink.gif
 

ChrisBD

New Member
Only do the weights to improve on your current fitness. Try to do them days before your tougher rides so you get ample recovery. I would personally only do circuit style toning routines and core strength in the gym added to your cycling mileage. If you want to justify more time in the gym work on your flexibility and core to notch up the time in there, this will help improve your riding in the long term - heavy weights wont.

-edit-

Just to add most women are always paranoid about heavier weight adding muscle bulk, this wont happen unless your taking testosterone so don't be afraid to push yourself!
wink.gif
I'd have to disagre with this statement. While taking any form of supplemental testosterone will undoubtably increase musscle mass and density; it is far far too broad a statement to suggest that lean mass or density only occures in those athlete's (female or not) activly using such substances. Geneticts, diet and type of exercise come much higher on the list for the vast majority of amaterur and pro sports people.

Certainly do weights to strengthen your core and build muscular stamina. Concentrate on exercises such as lunges, box step ups at high reps, and as has been said give your muscles time to rest between gym and road work outs.

Pilates and streching are also a great use of time in the gym, as are abdominal and lower back exercises.

Also use your time in the gym for alternative cardio training - cross trainers (eliptical machines) and swiming are great ways to build lung capacity without putting undue stress on joints or specific muscle groups.

To avoid any unwanted muscle mass gains ((if this is a concern) certainly stat clear of using testosterone doping) stick to higher reps and sets with light to medium weights (shape, strength, stamina - not bulk and power, which would be low reps, low sets, high weight) and maintain a clean healthy diet more akin to an endurance or stamina athlete than a highly caloroific and protein dense diet of a bodybuilder.

There are some great books out there which may help with your goals and give you more insight; in particular Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald, The Time Crunched Cyclist by Chris Carmichel and Weight Training for Cyclists by Ken Doyle.
 

amaferanga

Veteran
Location
Bolton
I think you'd benefit more from riding your bike on every available opportunity unless you feel you are already fit enough to do the bike ride in September. I've never lifted a weight in my life yet I cycle at a reasonable level. Nothing I've read leads me to think doing weights/gym work would improve my cycling in any significant way. In your case you (probably) need to build endurance - your performance on the ride is not going to be strength-limited.
 

Garz

Squat Member
Location
Down
I'd have to disagre with this statement. ..

Certainly do weights to strengthen your core and build muscular stamina...

To avoid any unwanted muscle mass gains ((if this is a concern) certainly stat clear of using testosterone doping) stick to higher reps and sets with light to medium weights...
What?

Your disagreeing with me to agree - strange.

rolleyes.gif
 
OP
J

Jacqui

Active Member
Thanks

I joined the gym to try and build up my general fitness in addition to the cycling but my main priority will be cycling between now and Sept . It does have a pool so fitting in some swimming and cycle there and back.

I am trying to do hills but am very slow and know I need to build up the distances .

Thank again.
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
Gym... that's my middle name.

One machine in the gym that is very often overlooked is the Rower. It is impossible to over exercise on a rower, even on the toughest setting.

The toughest setting is about the same as trying to get out to sea under the Golden Gate bridge on an incoming tide.

Most people who attend a gym walk straight past it because they DON'T know how to row.

1/ Start with the knees completely crunched and the arms straight and the handle as close as possible to the flywheel barrel.

2/ Straighten the legs.

3/ As the legs come to fully straight, continue a constant movement until the handle hits your chest with your torso leant back slightly ( spinae erector AND the dozens of individual little muscles that position the vertebrae on their disks ). You should feel a pull on the leg adductors at the front of the pelvis.

4/ From this position, you will need to give a little bit of muscle to bring the torso upright ( frontal abdominals ).


Variations are 'Canadian' paddling, where you hold the handle like a canoe paddle for four strokes left, and then swap to four strokes right, giving an abdominal twist with the stroke. This trains the obliques in a gentle manner.

Rowing, a 2.5 minute/500m pace on 'top notch' should get you from Portsmouth to Ryde in less than 20 minutes. Then you've got to row back :biggrin:, or swim the 3.0 km back.
 

SimonC

Well-Known Member
Location
Sheffield
Gym... that's my middle name.

One machine in the gym that is very often overlooked is the Rower. It is impossible to over exercise on a rower, even on the toughest setting.

The toughest setting is about the same as trying to get out to sea under the Golden Gate bridge on an incoming tide.

Most people who attend a gym walk straight past it because they DON'T know how to row.

1/ Start with the knees completely crunched and the arms straight and the handle as close as possible to the flywheel barrel.

2/ Straighten the legs.

3/ As the legs come to fully straight, continue a constant movement until the handle hits your chest with your torso leant back slightly ( spinae erector AND the dozens of individual little muscles that position the vertebrae on their disks ). You should feel a pull on the leg adductors at the front of the pelvis.

4/ From this position, you will need to give a little bit of muscle to bring the torso upright ( frontal abdominals ).


Variations are 'Canadian' paddling, where you hold the handle like a canoe paddle for four strokes left, and then swap to four strokes right, giving an abdominal twist with the stroke. This trains the obliques in a gentle manner.

Rowing, a 2.5 minute/500m pace on 'top notch' should get you from Portsmouth to Ryde in less than 20 minutes. Then you've got to row back :biggrin:, or swim the 3.0 km back.
I like using the rower at the gym.

Fan set to highest, then pace boat to 2 minute/500m pace and away.

Just under 7 minutes for 2000m is best ever, followed by a minor cardiac arrest.
 
OP
J

Jacqui

Active Member
I like the rower but only do about 1000 m . I think if I had gone to a school that had offered rowing it is something I could have enjoyed.

I am leaving Sept 1st and it is an open trip so lots of different charities I was speaking to somone in the gym who is leaving Spet 2nd and all of them riding for the British Legion .


I am looking forward to seeing some of the war cemeteries we go from Arras to Compiegne on the third day .

It is going to be tough but my Nana lost her husband and both her children to Huntington's disease so no matter how tough it gets it will be nothing compared to what she faced.I am hoping with six more weeks and new go faster bike I can build on the training I have done thus far and make it to the Eiffel tower.
 
Top Bottom