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hellosunshine
11-05-2006, 11:17 AM
as part of my winter training ive been told to do "light weights with lots of reps"..........so,how can you tell if the weight is light/too light etc etc AND why not weights that make you strain more?is it the basis that we need muscle but not too much bulk????

lph
11-05-2006, 12:48 PM
as part of my winter training ive been told to do "light weights with lots of reps"..........so,how can you tell if the weight is light/too light etc etc AND why not weights that make you strain more?is it the basis that we need muscle but not too much bulk????

Well, I'm hardly an expert on this, but I'm a climber and have asked around for my own weight training, and what I've been told is as follows:

You should always "train until failure". That is, lift those dang things until you just can't lift them one more time, and do a total of 3 sets with a minute of two of rest between each.

Given that you're training til failure, you adjust the weights according to the effect you want. Light weights = lots of reps (20+) = endurance and little bulk. Doesn't build much pure strength, though. Very heavy weights = very few reps (2-4) = max strength, and, they claim, not much extra bulk. Tricky if your technique isn't perfect. And then the middle range (5-15 reps) builds most bulk.

Take with a grain of salt :cool:

tattiefritter
11-06-2006, 01:12 AM
as part of my winter training ive been told to do "light weights with lots of reps"..........so,how can you tell if the weight is light/too light etc etc AND why not weights that make you strain more?is it the basis that we need muscle but not too much bulk????

I wonder about this myself as being female its very very difficult to build muscle bulk no matter how heavy you lift, in fact its actually difficult for most males. When I can be bothered doing weights I lift quite heavy for low reps as I want strength (why else would I lift weights?).

For a good discussion of women and weight training without the bull, have a look at http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/index.php it'll amuse as well as inspire you and probably answer most questions you have.

Dogmama
11-06-2006, 03:47 AM
Ditto that website. Krista has some good advice.

Do NOT lift to failure. Your last rep (lift) should be difficult but the form should still be excellent and you should feel like you could have lifted once or twice more. If you get sloppy, you can get hurt. Remember that muscles build faster than tendons & ligaments. People will often get joint problems because they are lifting too heavy in the beginning.

If they want high reps, that usually means 15. I personally lift like that only on my light, recovery days. Other than that, I lift between 6 - 12 reps depending on the day. For example, one day I might lift 6 reps and 4 sets, the next day 10 reps and 5 sets, etc. At 15 reps, I'd probably lift 2-3 sets. I pre-plan all of this, so I know exactly what I'm doing when I hit the gym.

lph
11-06-2006, 05:23 AM
Hey, good site! "Mistressing the pullup", cool. Like I said, take my "advice" with a grain, or maybe a handful of salt. I never have the guts to really lift to failure anyway.

Re: adding bulk - I agree, doesn't happen easily. It took a while, but years of rock climbing have finally put some pretty impressive biceps on me. Which most of the time I love, but come party time and slinky sleeveless dresses I try to refrain from crossing my arms. Just looks too weird :D

indysteel
11-06-2006, 06:07 AM
I just met with a trainer at the Y to build a cycling-specific resistance training program. He essentially said what lph and Dogmama have already said. High reps/low weight build muscle endurance, while low reps/higher weights build strength. I'm doing the latter right now with my lower body because of my fitness goals, but I will probably incorporate some endurance resistance training too, especially as next season approaches. Neither program is supposed to build a huge amount of bulk, but I expect to see some modest changes in the size of my legs. When I finally graduated to heavier weights in my upper body routine, my muscle size did increase a bit. I'm actually using lower weights again because I don't really want bigger arms.

Kate

tattiefritter
11-06-2006, 06:30 AM
Climbing is definitely good as overall body conditioning. I do a bit of climbing, mainly indoor these days - I find bouldering and trying to climb the overhanging routes to be a good workout. When I'm climbing regularly I don't tend to worry about weights so much. I also have fairly decent biceps from climbing (and forearms like Popeye) but I have a nice layer of lard covering them so it doesn't look too weird on me.

I would also second the advice about looking after your tendons and ligaments they take a long time to heal. I was getting right back into weights a few months ago but had to stop because I got tendonitis in my elbow which seemed to hurt no matter what lift I did. It also affected climbing and riding - road riding more than MTB. The tendonitis was not actually caused by lifting weights but when I was learning to pull manuals on my mountain bike! I was doing it wrong and doing something really silly with my right arm and ended up hurting it. It is still not quite right and I hurt it in May.

Kimmyt
11-06-2006, 08:43 AM
Climbing is similar to weight lifting in that you can injure yourself fairly easily with overtraining. The key is to work 'opposites', which I have read is 'the new thing' in working out. The theory is that if you overdevelop a set of muscles ("Push" muscles vs. "Pull" muscles) then you are in danger of hurting yourself.

Climbing, cycling often utilize more of your "Pull" muscles, whereas Lifting traditionally focuses on your "Push" muscles (there are exceptions, of course). It's the same reason that when you do your core training you not only focus on your abs, but on your back muscles.

K.

Dogmama
11-08-2006, 03:37 AM
Kimmy, you're right on. That is one reason why weight lifters have shoulder problems - they're focused on the mirror muscles (i.e., chest) doing too many bench presses and they need to be doing more pulling/back work. Guess nobody clued them in that a broad back can disguise a wide butt. We've known that for years!

I think Indysteel has it right. Heavier weights now and taper off to lighter weights/more reps when cycling season approaches. Here is another tip: when you start your lighter weights/more reps, keep your rest periods between sets short. You will teach your muscles to recover quickly (think: rolling hills) and it becomes almost an aerobic workout.

han-grrl
11-08-2006, 07:44 AM
Bulking up
the fact is, muscle requires lots of food to be built up. The art of bulking up is very challenging. it takes a lot of patience and time. The fact that some people feel they ARE bulking up is actual more like their fattening up (sorry for the lack of politically correctness there). They are eating unhealthily simple as that.
some of the pumped up feeling during exercise is simply fluid coming into the muscles. that dissipates after an hour or so.

What weights to use. General conditioning is typically any where from 10-20 reps of an exercise. that being said, if all you can do are 5 pushups, then thats what you start with. you want good form from beginning to end.

Muscle Failure
you want a nice challenge to the muscle, but you don't have to take it until you can't lift any more. you want to take it until you can't lift any more PROPERLY. there's a subtle difference. you will usually know because you will start to compensate (like arching your back to throw the back in, or swinging the body...stuff like that).

Remember the purpose of training is to apply the stress to the body that the body adapts to. Then you apply a new stress (ie heavier weight, more reps etc). thats progressive training. in order for this to be effective, exercises must be structured, other wise your body has nothing to adapt to. you have to remember to change your routine every couple of months.

hope that helps

hannah

hellosunshine
12-01-2006, 11:48 PM
what about leg weight when youve no gym access,im doing arm weights and feling stronger,but how inmportant is the leg press etc,and when you do a weight session,how long do you do it for?i say ive 5 different arm exercises and do 40 reps each at the moment.

Dogmama
12-02-2006, 04:48 AM
Legs -

Lunges - walking and static. Static lunges can be done forward, backward to the sides & at angles. Hold bottles for weights if you need to.

ATG (A$$ to Grass) squats. Squat until your butt hits your heels. I'm not getting into the knee debate. If it hurts your knees, don't go so far down. If this is too easy, do 1 1/4 squats - squat, raise up about 6 inches then go back down. Now stand. Repeat. Cuss.

If you have access to a swiss ball, there is a killer hamstring exercise, but it's a bit involved so I'm not going to post unless you want.

kelownagirl
12-02-2006, 10:01 AM
That's an awesome website - thanks for the link! I was looking for a good site for women and weightlifting and all I could find were the body building sites which just weren't what I wanted.

I only have hand weights 2, 3, 5, 8 lbs. Are they heavy enough? Right now, in my current "weak" state, I mostly use the 5 and 8 lbs ones. Should I get a bar and weights?

Dogmama
12-02-2006, 06:10 PM
What exercises are you doing now?

kelownagirl
12-02-2006, 06:27 PM
Mostly focussing on upper body ones - standard biceps, triceps, shoulder, back etc. I guess I should stick wth the 5 and 8 until it's too easy and then get a bar with something heavier. I've been reading that site more carefully - it's got some great advice!

Dogmama
12-03-2006, 04:11 AM
The website you're referring to is Krista Dixon, right? If so, it's a good one, I agree.

Rather than a bar, I would get another set of heavier weights. A bar makes your arms & shoulders move in one plane. Not good. With regular weights, you can slightly adjust the plane of movement to accomodate any shoulder, elbow, etc. issues you might have.

Let's take shoulder work, for example. Free weights also allow you to adjust your hand position. For example, an overhead shoulder press can be done only one way with a bar. With weights, you can push overhead with your hands facing each other, push one at a time or angle them out slightly. Also, you can do side lateral raises with weights (to hit the medial head of the deltoid).

Don't forget the good old standbys like push ups. Those work your core as well as your chest, triceps and anterior deltoid. Varying your hand position lets you hit different areas.

kelownagirl
12-03-2006, 08:24 AM
OK thanks Dogmama. I will look at more hand weights instead. I've been doing pushups as well. I suck at them. I cannot believe how weak I am. I can only do one real pushup. I struggle to do 10 girly pushups. And yes, it's Krista's website that was suggested earlier. :)

aicabsolut
12-04-2006, 11:34 AM
Bulking up
the fact is, muscle requires lots of food to be built up. The art of bulking up is very challenging. it takes a lot of patience and time. The fact that some people feel they ARE bulking up is actual more like their fattening up (sorry for the lack of politically correctness there). They are eating unhealthily simple as that.
some of the pumped up feeling during exercise is simply fluid coming into the muscles. that dissipates after an hour or so.

What weights to use. General conditioning is typically any where from 10-20 reps of an exercise. that being said, if all you can do are 5 pushups, then thats what you start with. you want good form from beginning to end.

Muscle Failure
you want a nice challenge to the muscle, but you don't have to take it until you can't lift any more. you want to take it until you can't lift any more PROPERLY. there's a subtle difference. you will usually know because you will start to compensate (like arching your back to throw the back in, or swinging the body...stuff like that).

Remember the purpose of training is to apply the stress to the body that the body adapts to. Then you apply a new stress (ie heavier weight, more reps etc). thats progressive training. in order for this to be effective, exercises must be structured, other wise your body has nothing to adapt to. you have to remember to change your routine every couple of months.

hope that helps

hannah

Of all the things that have been posted so far, I agree with this post the most. (I've studied weight training in college and have had to incorporate weight training for functional fitness in a variety of sports--endurance or sprint-based). Here is my long, very opinionated take:

I want to add that bars are good for a limited number of exercises (chest press, deadlifts, upright rows, sometimes biceps and triceps), but they are something you don't really need. I find they are only essential for proper upright rows and when you need to lift the amount of weight where it really helps to get both hands on the thing, as opposed to having to stabilize two independent, heavy dumbbells. With the weights you've been lifting so far (up to 8lbs), bars are completely not necessary. (I'm referring to bent or straight bars where you add disc weights, not the lightweight things for stuff like a bodypump class).

If you've still got access to your bike during the winter, then you don't need gobs of weight training for them. Lunges and squats and even things like kickboxing can get you by. A stability ball can help you do some more things. TheraBands can let you target specific smaller muscles, like those in the calves.

For upper body training at home, I can get by with 8s, 10s, and 15s. In a strong phase (where I really keep up with it), I need some 17.5s, 20s and 25s. 3-5s are good for shadowboxing, which build up your shoulders, arms, upper back, and lats really quickly.

I'm not an advocate of 'endurance weight training' because it's still weight training, so it's really not getting those slow twich muscles much. You know that to get your legs in endurance shape it takes hours and hours on a bike. And it's very aerobic. Lifting is generally anaerobic, so IMO, lifting 20+ reps is a waste of time unless you're merely trying to maintain and going to a higher weight could cause a soft-tissue strain

[example: I lift approx 130lbs on an adductor machine. I can do 20-25 reps easily. Any heavier, and I'm going to pull a groin overcoming the static friction. But this is as strong as I need to be here anyway. To build endurance strength of these muscles, I've got to ride horses without stirrups for hours, which is made easier by being able to essentially hold my body weight with these muscles alone.]

To build strength, generally stay within the 8-12 range. To maintain / improve strength slowly, 12-20.

Whether you "bulk up" depends a lot on your body composition. Those of you who are great natural climbers are probably not going to get a significant increase in cross-sectional mass. Those who are natural sprinters probably will. Even though lifting is anaerobic and tends to enlist fast twich fibers, natural endurance athletes just won't build as much fast twich muscle as the sprinters. I think a lot of it depends on how your body likes to work (you will adapt to lifting like you adapt to anything else--if your body is more efficient enlisting and creating more cross-sectional mass then you'll build it. If it's not, you probably won't get as strong or as big as them.

If you're lifting to maintain, such that you aren't able to steadily increase your weight and/or reps with training, then you aren't going to be building much mass--or much strength--either.

But if you're going to LIFT, high rep/low weight is kind of a waste. If you really want to train for muscle endurance, get on a bike trainer, swim endurance sets, run like a marathoner. Lifting is for strength, injury prevention, and bone health.

tattiefritter
12-05-2006, 01:38 PM
thanks aicabsolut, what a comprehensive reply!

I do so need to get some weight training done again (note to self: pull finger out!), particularly to strengthen my calves, lower back and glutes. I will be doing some squats with light weights for starters as even though it won't tickle my quads it works all the other little stabilising muscles really well, which helps me on the bike.

kelownagirl
12-05-2006, 04:19 PM
I agree. I'm going to print out all this stuff. Thanks!

Bad JuJu
12-12-2006, 11:41 AM
Lifting is for strength, injury prevention, and bone health.

I'm no expert, but this is why I lift--for strength and bone health. Read Strong Women, Strong Bones by Miriam Nelson and work up to heavier weights if you want to protect your bone density, especially as you age.