brendanhousler

We've noticed a bunch of athletes commenting on the need for more upper body strength now that they've started racing gravel.

Our strength coach wrote a quick blog on the basics of strength training, as many of us aren't used to being in the gym.

As an athlete that was in the gym years ago, left, and am now back for life, I'd love to hear what the more seasoned riders are doing.  I've found 5 x 5 heavy strength workouts to be really helpful.

Thanks for your input!

https://www.evoq.bike/blog/2019/4/25/basics-of-lifting-for-the-all-around-athlete

Quote 0 0
Toadmeister
I’m a former weightlifter who took up biking, LOL.   I was a big guy.   I’ve been trying to slim down over the years cuz most that muscle mass has been a hindrance to biking for me (and to be honest so is my beer belly).   

That said, stronger is stronger and helps all around.  I’m no training expert however, so see a trainer if one is available.
Quote 1 0
mikeybikey
I highly recommend the book, Maxim Overload. It is a book specifically addressing weight training for cyclists. It has helped me immensely. 
Quote 2 0
brendanhousler

mikeybikey wrote:
I highly recommend the book, Maxim Overload. It is a book specifically addressing weight training for cyclists. It has helped me immensely. 
awesome thanks for the recommendation!


Brendan - http://www.evoq.bike

Quote 0 0
Koyote
We have long nasty winters around here, and I can only stand so much trainer riding - so I do spend time in a weight room from around November through March or so. Since you don't want to work the same muscle groups too much (esp not on sequential days), I rotate between working my legs, core, and upper body. The upper body is not essential to cycling fitness (even gravel riding, IMO), but it does help me to avoid that twiggy-armed cyclist look. 
Quote 0 0
Volsung
I always say that speed = strength applied quickly, so everyone who rides should lift.

I have the occasional heavy days but like 60% of the time I go for the heaviest i can hit 10 reps with, and another 10% of gym days I go for like 5x15 to just annihilate whatever I'm training.
Quote 1 0
brendanhousler
Volsung wrote:
I always say that speed = strength applied quickly, so everyone who rides should lift.

I have the occasional heavy days but like 60% of the time I go for the heaviest i can hit 10 reps with, and another 10% of gym days I go for like 5x15 to just annihilate whatever I'm training.
  thanks for this info! I hear 10 reps is more for hypertrophy; have you ever done 5rep max?

Brendan - http://www.evoq.bike
Quote 0 0
Scree
Squats have made the most noticeable improvement for me.
Quote 0 0
Toadmeister
Scree wrote:
Squats have made the most noticeable improvement for me.


Agreed squats are very effective for building both leg strength and power.   Only warning is they can be hard on the knees.

Personally I like power cleans ( also the modified clean and jerk) which build explosive power and also help work more of the upper body.   You can start light, I even skip the bar and just use a 45# disk for doing some quick and effective reps.   I don’t go heavy anymore.

Quote 0 0
BubbaS
I do sets with lower reps of 6 or sometimes less: I believe this is geared toward power development.

BS
Quote 0 0
jamesb39
Huge fan of weight training, especially for folks getting up in the years.  There's more to life than the bike and being strong is such a benefit to a healthy and vigorous lifestyle.  You don't need to get fancy, free weights, dumb-bells or kettle bells are a great place to start.  Starting Strength, The Barbel Prescription, or AndyBaker.com (my coach) are all great resources.   
Quote 1 0
brendanhousler
a friend of mine was doing cleans and jerks; I'll have to look into those; Thanks!
Quote 0 0
frontrangegravel
Toadmeister wrote:


Agreed squats are very effective for building both leg strength and power.   Only warning is they can be hard on the knees.

Personally I like power cleans ( also the modified clean and jerk) which build explosive power and also help work more of the upper body.   You can start light, I even skip the bar and just use a 45# disk for doing some quick and effective reps.   I don’t go heavy anymore.


Squats - hard on the knees is very debatable (and in fact is debated a lot everywhere that talks about lifting weights.) Technique is obviously important like any training, but if someone only gave me two options for workout, squats would prob be one of them. They're fairly simple compared to something like the cleans for someone without much experience. 
Quote 0 0
BubbaS
Clean and jerk, power cleans, snatches etc are very technical moves. If you do these poorly you are more likely to injure yourself than build strength and power. I would suggest that if you try these you get the assistance of a coach/ trainer or stick to simpler moves like squats, deadlifts, pushpress, bench press...

BS
Quote 0 0
seth_stambaugh
I do the big 3 (squats, deadlifts, bench press), plus some upper body and back lifts. Because I believe in cross training, I throw in swimming twice a week after a ride and I’ve had noticeable improvement on overall fitness and endurance on the bike. 
Quote 0 0
Volsung
Yeah I sometimes do reps of 3 if its heavy enough.  I always say if you can do 10 reps of it it's not all that heavy. 

Most people say more reps is really just for aesthetics and doesnt help much, but cycling is like 10 billion mini pistol squat half reps.

I agree with the comments here that fast lifts like clean and jerks, snatches, etc are a good way to tweak something.  I stick with slower, controlled lifts.
Quote 0 0