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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arkansas
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    99

    Winter gym exercises for building cycling muscles?

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    I am setting a goal of riding a full Century on June 7th. It is our annual charity bike event to benefit cancer patients families. I trained for the metric century last year and it was rained so I decided not to ride. Right now it is too cold and dark for me to ride after work and I have other obligations on most weekends. I have joined a new gym here that will offer my normal water aerobics classes I usually do in the winter/spring and they will offer a spin class. My brother's riding group can ride year round (Houston) and he is already faster than I am. He has offered to ride with me (he did his first century this summer). One of the ladies I ride with suggested that I concentrate on building leg muscle this winter. Do you ladies have any suggestions for gym work that would help me this winter prepare for the century? Do I need a cycling specific workout? I also have another 40lbs to lose before my doctor will be happy. Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    9,324
    I work out with a personal trainer 3 times a week, but I have to say, that for cycling, there really is no substitute for time in the saddle.

    I'd focus more on making spin class a priority and losing the weight. I would also put some time into developing core strength. A century is a long time to be on a bicycle and you'll want your abs and back to be strong.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    I would add to focus on making sure you are balancing your leg work - to work the muscles that don't get worked when cycling (i.e., glutes). You might be able to save yourself some problems that way (says the person who is working on re-training the butt muscles to actually do some work!).
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    5,897
    +1 to what they said.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
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    A good glute exercise is step ups. The higher the step, the more the glute gets engaged. Step up and step off with the same leg, then repeat with the other leg. You can make this harder by adding weights.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    247
    I recommend New Rules for Lifting for Abs as an excellent general strength training plan. Incorporate 2 lifting sessions a week and keep going to spin class.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arkansas
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    Quote Originally Posted by roo4 View Post
    I recommend New Rules for Lifting for Abs as an excellent general strength training plan. Incorporate 2 lifting sessions a week and keep going to spin class.
    Is that a video or a book?
    You don't have to be the fastest to go the distance.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    247
    Book by Lou Schuler. I think the title is stupid (Abs!) but the training routines are great. He has written several New Rules of Lifting books. My second fave is New Rules of Lifting for Women, but I like the emphasis on core and his updated plan in Abs a little better.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    20
    I just joined a gym to take advantage of the spin classes for the winter. Oh my God!! it is really hard, I thougt I was fit from riding my road bike, but that first spin class knocked me out. I'm going to keep going and hope I improve. right now I am the slowest in the class.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    247
    The image of being the slowest in a spin class kinda cracks me up. You know, since the bikes don't move.

    I know what you mean, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Custardcup1 View Post
    I just joined a gym to take advantage of the spin classes for the winter. Oh my God!! it is really hard, I thougt I was fit from riding my road bike, but that first spin class knocked me out. I'm going to keep going and hope I improve. right now I am the slowest in the class.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,367
    Another option might be to purchase a "canned" training plan specifically designed to get in shape for centuries. I don't know of any specific ones, but I do know that if they are available for the mountain bike world, they must be for the road bike world. These kind of plans are usually based on something like 12 weeks, with cycle specific workouts on the bike for building cadence, endurance and stamina, plus off the bike stuff to balance in it. I know LWcoaching has great mountain bike plans... there must be something out there.

    Spin classes are great, but they aren't necessarily long term goal oriented.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    On my bike
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    2,505
    Whatever you do (steps ups, squats, etc) you want to go in the 12 rep range and work on power - pushing as powerfully as possible to mimic the type of muscles used in cycling. The heavy, 6-8 rep sets won't do you much good for cycling. I do like steps ups, as Veronica said, because they are single leg exercises and your weaker leg won't be able to just go along for the ride (tee hee, pun intended.)
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,811

    Smile winter training for a century

    I would at some point fairly soon, sit down and figure out how many weeks before June 7th you are going to have when you can do long rides and build up saddle endurance. Unless you are capable of maintaining a 15 mph + the whole ride, with no stops and in all conditions, (which I am not), no matter how you work it, you are looking at at least 6 hours of saddle time, hard on both the nether regions and the body/core. You will probably find that in addition to spin classes and exercises you will need to spend quite a bit of time on an indoor trainer. Mind numbingly boring and maddening as it is, there is nothing like your own bike and bike seat in a stationary trainer to use to build up TITS (time in the saddle) endurance. In this case,extended time at a comfortable cruising speed, resistance and a lot of good music or videos to keep you occupied are suggested.

    As I train for long distance and endurance riding in the winter, my goal is to be able to do 6-8 hours without stepping off the bike at more than 10 minutes for every 20 miles.

    Admittedly I tend to do 40-75 mile long training rides at least once a week . I live in Houston and can get out since I am retired. Riding the bike is primary exercise between twice weekly training sessions with a trainer at the gym so don't get to heavy handed with it but do try to build up at least a 2-4 hour TITS time with no speed onus or penalty but simply riding in the saddle in time extended blocks before you really ramp it up outdoors in the spring.

    It takes a lot off work but it is so worth it. The thrill will continue for every century you do.
    marni
    Katy, Texas
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,565
    I have read through the other responses and agree with what has been said here. I'd like to add my philosophy of the 3 S's. Stability, Specificity and Speed. In that order. You want to start from a stable base of support, glutes, abs and core in general. Then add movements that are specific to cycling like step-ups and lunges and only add speed once you've gained good control in the first two categories.

    Here's an example. Do a squat with a depth that simulates the range of motion required through the pedal stroke, for many that would have the thigh at horizontal at the bottom of the squat. If you can't hold your weight balanced on your heels and keep your knees turned out, you don't yet have "Stability" and need to work on that first, once the movement is stable (with no collapsing in of the knees) then you can switch to lunges or step ups which are more specific to cycling because it is one leg at a time. When you can do those exercises with control, then you add some speed to the movement to generate power.

    If you skip the stabilty and specificity steps you can set yourself up for injury in the speed phase.

    And of course, time in the saddle is as specific as it gets.

    Good luck and have fun.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    99
    Quote Originally Posted by marni View Post
    I would at some point fairly soon, sit down and figure out how many weeks before June 7th you are going to have when you can do long rides and build up saddle endurance. Unless you are capable of maintaining a 15 mph + the whole ride, with no stops and in all conditions, (which I am not), no matter how you work it, you are looking at at least 6 hours of saddle time, hard on both the nether regions and the body/core. You will probably find that in addition to spin classes and exercises you will need to spend quite a bit of time on an indoor trainer. Mind numbingly boring and maddening as it is, there is nothing like your own bike and bike seat in a stationary trainer to use to build up TITS (time in the saddle) endurance. In this case,extended time at a comfortable cruising speed, resistance and a lot of good music or videos to keep you occupied are suggested.

    As I train for long distance and endurance riding in the winter, my goal is to be able to do 6-8 hours without stepping off the bike at more than 10 minutes for every 20 miles.

    Admittedly I tend to do 40-75 mile long training rides at least once a week . I live in Houston and can get out since I am retired. Riding the bike is primary exercise between twice weekly training sessions with a trainer at the gym so don't get to heavy handed with it but do try to build up at least a 2-4 hour TITS time with no speed onus or penalty but simply riding in the saddle in time extended blocks before you really ramp it up outdoors in the spring.

    It takes a lot off work but it is so worth it. The thrill will continue for every century you do.
    there for a half second I had forgotten what TITS was.......thanks for the help ladies. I am waiting on our new LA Fitness to open up (they said Oct 15th and STILL not open . When they open we will have water aerobics again as well as a spin class (which I have never done but the ladies I am wanting to ride with suggested). I am looking forward to those....sort of. I am thinking about getting with a personal trainer as well to work on leg and core strength. I will also figure out how many weeks I will have to ramp up before the ride. Pray for me.

    As much as I dislike riding on my trainer I will be switching out to the trainer this week, just too cold and dark after work to ride. Thanks for the training tips.
    Last edited by lgibster; 12-11-2013 at 01:37 PM.
    You don't have to be the fastest to go the distance.

    2013 Specialized Ruby Elite Compact Apex
    2013 Giant Avail

 

 

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