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JazzCatDRP
10-28-2009, 10:03 PM
I'm fairly new into the lifting game (about a year) and recently got back into an old passion of mine, cycling. I would like to get out on the bike several times a week, but I worry how to balance cycling (which is a pretty killer leg workout, obviously) and squatting.

How should I structure this so I can do both? If I hit the bike on my off days, I worry about overtraining my legs, but if I hit the bike the same day I hit the weight room, I don't get much of a workout on either.

Any other cyclists out there that have managed to balance this?

Sensei
10-28-2009, 10:18 PM
What are your goals?

How many hours/miles/days per week do you want to ride?

How much are you squatting now? How much do you want to squat (and by when)?

JazzCatDRP
10-28-2009, 10:32 PM
I do 3 sets of 5 reps of 185 now, increasing by 2.5 pounds every few workouts. I would like to get back to cycling 50-100 miles a week split up in 3 rides or so, with the occasional 100 miler.

My goals with squatting aren't concrete. I just want to keep getting stronger slowly and surely. If I had to set a goal, it'd be nice to get to 225 within the next 6 months.

Thanks for the help, Sensei!

rbtrout
10-29-2009, 09:51 AM
I suggested this to a co-worker who's a cyclist. He was riding Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (some times on Sundays). Saturdays were always a longer, harder ride for him since he had more time. I suggested that he squatted on Wednesdays and ride very easy on Thursdays. Thursdays would help stretch the legs out from the heavy leg work on Wednesdays. He didn't like squats, but hit it hard with leg presses and then rode easier on Thursdays. I had him do (warmups, of course) 4-5 sets of heavy work and then finish it off with 1-2 sets of 20 reppers at about 50%. It worked well for him and his power went through the roof on his rides.

After about 6 weeks, he mentioned that the hills he had on his ride were much easier and the long, flat stretches were easier to keep a faster pace.

manowar669
10-29-2009, 10:28 AM
I've found that I can't bike and squat at the same time. I was squatting 3x per week and trying to ride 3+ days per week (both mountainbiking and on the road). I started only squatting once a week, but a 5x5 instead of 3x5. My legs never recovered (I need about 4 days to recover from a 5x5), and everything suffered. I had to decide to give up something, so I drop the squats completely during cycling season (roadbiking anyway, I mountainbike year-round). And pick it back up in the darker months (switching now). I still deadlift, and everything else, just not squats. I'm 5'6", 175lbs now (lean cycling weight) and squat over 350 in the spring. I'll bulk (to about 190-195lbs this year) until cycling starts up in the spring, then switch to cycling and lean out again. I'm also 40 years old, and probably need more recovery time than youngsters.

JazzCatDRP
10-29-2009, 02:58 PM
When you get back into squatting after taking the cycling season off, how much time does it take to get back to the weight levels you were at before?


I've found that I can't bike and squat at the same time. I was squatting 3x per week and trying to ride 3+ days per week (both mountainbiking and on the road). I started only squatting once a week, but a 5x5 instead of 3x5. My legs never recovered (I need about 4 days to recover from a 5x5), and everything suffered. I had to decide to give up something, so I drop the squats completely during cycling season (roadbiking anyway, I mountainbike year-round). And pick it back up in the darker months (switching now). I still deadlift, and everything else, just not squats. I'm 5'6", 175lbs now (lean cycling weight) and squat over 350 in the spring. I'll bulk (to about 190-195lbs this year) until cycling starts up in the spring, then switch to cycling and lean out again. I'm also 40 years old, and probably need more recovery time than youngsters.

mr handy
10-29-2009, 05:31 PM
I cycle as well, and I am new to lifting. I have been having a hard time with the scheduling. It would seem that the day after a squat session either no cycling or a slow pace recovery ride would be best. I don't fine a problem cycling on back to back days, and I would rather ride one day and squat the next, rather then squat one day and ride the next. I think as I get back onto the bike with the temps now starting to drop out of the 90s here in Florida. I will drop to squatting 2 days a week and try to ride 3 days a week or more. If it comes to a day that I am supposed to squat and my legs are toast, I will drop the squats, and if it's a riding day, I will either drop the ride or do an easy recovery paced ride.

I think you have to be mindful that if you are supposed to squat the next day it is not a good idea to do sprint drills or a century. It might even be best to do a lot of riding one week and then squat 3 days the following week with only recovery paced riding.

Keep us posted on what you find to work well for you, and I will try to do the same as my milage begins to increase. and remember, be safe out there on the road.

J.C.
10-30-2009, 08:47 AM
I read somewhere that even recreational cyclists and runners are now recommended to do at least one heavy weight-training session a week to help preserve muscle mass. So it will definitely help and not hinder.

But I'm curious about this too because I've moved to a new city (which is full of hills) and I cycle everywhere now. The gym I'm trying to join is awesome but about 5 miles away, so I'm looking at a ten mile round trip on strength days. I've done it once so far and I'm really not looking forward to that on a heavy squat or SLDL day. I don't own a car so I'm not really sure about this and how it will affect me.

mr handy
10-30-2009, 09:15 AM
A Lot of the studies I have been seeing lately are in regards to cyclists and bone loss. Cycling is a non weight bearing exercise and cyclists tent to not want to add bulk. This has the tendency to allow the bones to adapt to the non weight bearing activity and reduce in density, increasing the chance of broken bones, especially in a sport that has a very good likely hood of the rider hitting the deck.

Drummer, 5 miles is not that bad a of a distance, if you are worried about using to much energy on the way to the gym, take an extra few minutes to get there, think of it as your warm up cardio. If your worried about the ride home, don't be afraid to use the granny gear. Spin a small gear on your way home and most likely it will actually help your recovery and increase blood flow to your legs... that doesn't mean it will be an easy 5 miles.

J.C.
10-30-2009, 06:10 PM
The main problem are the hills. 5 miles in itself is fine but the way there is 90% up-hill on a lowish incline and then a nice steep downhill just before the sports centre. The way back, I immediately have this massive steep hill which will be horrible, but then after that I can mostly freewheel and cycle easy until the last couple of minutes before my house where I have a hill again.

I get what you mean tho. I think I'll just suck it up and see. I enjoy cycling but I've had heavy leg days where I can barely walk afterwards, so a hilly 30 min warmup is excessive and a 20 mins cycle back isn't going to be fun. Those two sessions together will be a workout in itself!

Sensei
10-30-2009, 10:02 PM
I do 3 sets of 5 reps of 185 now, increasing by 2.5 pounds every few workouts. I would like to get back to cycling 50-100 miles a week split up in 3 rides or so, with the occasional 100 miler.

My goals with squatting aren't concrete. I just want to keep getting stronger slowly and surely. If I had to set a goal, it'd be nice to get to 225 within the next 6 months.

Thanks for the help, Sensei!
My suggestion would be to try squatting twice/week, with your heavier session being early in the week and a lighter session 2-3 days later. I'm just assuming that you will have 1-2 longer rides on the weekend, and 1-2 rides during the week. If you have to drop a squat session every so often, then do it.

manowar669
11-03-2009, 10:36 AM
When you get back into squatting after taking the cycling season off, how much time does it take to get back to the weight levels you were at before?

Maybe 4-6 weeks. The first week really sucked last year due to severe DOMS after 3x5s twice that first week. So this year I'll ease back into it with 2x5 once the first week, then 3x5, then 3x5 twice/week. Weight will go up really fast, and I'm back to going for PRs fairly quickly, of course I'm eating more than in the summer as well. The extra bodyfat I might accumulate helps me stay warmer on cold nights, since I'm keeping the thermostat low to save money on heating costs. Leaning out in the summer lets me stay more comfortable when heat/humidity has me sweating my arse off.