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strength and conditioning advice

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 993 ✭✭✭ Ryder


    hi....just looking for some advice about my routine. Mid 30s, 87kg, cyclist. Have 2 one hour sessions a week to do weights. Goal is to improve overall conditioning.
    Current routine is
    Dumbell clean and press.
    Dumbbell press on gymball
    Bulgarian squat
    bent over row
    Each done 10 X 3

    Between each set, take 2mins break and do....gymball curls
    Supermans
    Bicycle crunch
    Side plank

    Plan on doing 3 months of the above and then drop one session a week and increase cycling

    Any exercise I should add?, would front squats be better than bulgarians and finally......10 X 3 or 5 X 5 or much difference?

    Thanks


Comments



  • Stick to the single leg work in terms of squatting: much more applicable to cycling!

    Rep wise, I'd do 3x5s on most things, particularly if your doing big distance on the bike but it won't really matter.




  • I'd have to disagree with the the suggestion of sticking with one leg work. Cycling is quad dominant, it also does not require a whole lot of the same degree of stability that single leg work develops. While I am a huge fan of single leg work I do not think that they carry the same degree of importance for a sport like cycling as opposed to field sports - GAA, Rugby, soccer etc.

    My opinion would be front squats, back squats and trap bar deadlifts. Also in my opinion I would continue to concentrate on an abbreviated programme but would change the exercises. I personally would choose:
    - Squat
    - Deadlift or Trap Bar Deadlift if available
    - Standing Shoulder press (Barbell or dumbbell)
    - Bench Press
    Personally I'd choose barbell for all exercises starting out as progress can be quicker with barbell as opposed to dumbbell which generally has limited incremental progressions.

    This recommendation is based on my believe that you probably want to gain some overall strength and increase performance in your sport but also want a favorable change in your body composition.

    There's nothing groundbreaking about what I'm recommending, many other would recommend similar I'm sure, but its the basics that make the difference. I also base my recommendation on the presumption that you have the equipment available to you.




  • I'd stick to back squat as I think it is a better overall exercise for leg power. You want to get stronger rather than bigger so stick to low rep sets and gradually increase weight over time. I'd also swap standing barbell press for the swiss ball dumbell press. Same applies to the curls. Add pullups and bench press. I wouldn't get too creative after that.

    If you haven't already done so, search Joe Friels blog for base training. You want to be doing base 1 and possibly base 2 at this time if the year. Base 1 is where the strength training is at.




  • Bulgarians are as quad dominant an exercise as FS. The added stabilising effect is a positive, not a negative. Stick to the single leg work.




  • Why not vary your workout between unilateral and bilateral work instead of sticking to one thing gents?

    OP yes cycling is quad dominant which is why you probably won't need too much extra work on your quads in a training cycle. I've personally witnessed a sprint cyclist squat 140kg (horribly) in his first ever squat session. It was a bit of a horror show and I was NOT training him, but he had massive leg strength despite having never squatted properly before.

    What cyclists don't necessarily have is a good ratio of quad/hamstring strength. The lack of compensating force from the hamstring in both cycling, daily life and gym work often leads to knee issues and hip issues. Cyclists also tend to suffer from a shortening of the hip flexors which in turn leads to back pain in a lot of older cyclists in particular.

    So in short I would recommend box squatting over front/regular squatting. Plenty of direct hamstring work, and single leg work though not for the reasons suggested above. In particular the Bulgarian squat can assist with the hip flexor issues.

    Remember that your PRIMARY goal for strength and conditioning is to enable as much pain free cycling as possible so as to actually improve the quality of your training in the saddle. Increased strength and power can come later or as a by-product.


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  • Thanks for all the replies.

    Probably should have said earlier that Im not cycling competitively at the moment....way too busy with work and kids. Do all my training at home so limited to dumbbells. Have longstanding lateral knee pain...prob ITB, so single leg squats are to build VMO.

    All the weights are the routine from when I was rowing. My main goals are to condition and increase upper body strength.

    Was just wondering if anyone saw any glaring problem/imbalance with the program or had a better suggestion.




  • not sure how to include a quote from everyone so I'll try to work around it. :)

    @j-fit: Yes Bulgarian split squats can be quad dominant but this generally depends, like most single leg exercises, on foot placement and a history of knee or groin injuries may dictate the foot placement.

    I guess at this stage we've a hypothetical argument but personally if I was training a cyclist who specified they wanted to do weights than I'd give them an abbreviated programme with a bi-lateral squat variation. Greater gains can be made in a shorter space of time. From my experience it is possible to get strong in a bi-lateral squat variation and then allowing for the time it takes to adjust issues like proprioception you can reasonably quickly see a decent transfer of strength in single leg exercises.

    Single leg exercises in my experience while undoubtedly helping with supporting muscles and stability do not have the same carry over in terms of overall lower body strength.

    But if I was asked to choose just one exercise for someone involved in some sort of sport other than cycling, which in my opinion does not require the knee to be particularly stable, than I would definitely choose a single leg exercise. In most situations a combination of both would be best.

    Thats my opinion this week but I'm always open to change it.

    The best point on all of this hypothetical argument has been made by Barry:
    "Remember that your PRIMARY goal for strength and conditioning is to enable as much pain free cycling as possible so as to actually improve the quality of your training in the saddle. Increased strength and power can come later or as a by-product."

    also the point about tight hip flexors could turn out to be particularly relevant and well spotted.

    @Ryder: your last e-mail clarifies things more. While I'm not going to diagnose your knee injury for you over the net you are on the right track with single leg exercises in order to build up your VMO. I'm betting that you have one leg more developed than the other, single leg exercises are ideal for this. (see I'm not totally anti-single leg work!!) Your also likely to need to work on other areas that are consistent with knee injuries. weak posterior chain; hamstrings and glutes. Stretching and foam rolling will also be needed. As pointed out by Barry, cyclists can tend to have particularly tight hip flexors, this combined with possibly a desk job or driving alot (I'm guessing here, you'll have to tell us more) will result in tight hip flexors.

    I'm not diagnosis your injury but some of the above will certainly help, best thing would be to see a good physio or sports therapist and work from there.

    Regarding your programme you are obviously limited in exercise choice and progression by the weight of your dumbbells but that does mean you cannot have a good programme with a combination of dumbbell exercises and bodyweight.




  • For me it all boils down to this - how much of a difference will increased maximal squatting strength make to an endurance cyclist? I'd guess not a whole lot.

    Contrast that with how much of a difference would a training approach from an injury prevention standpoint make, and I think it's clear what one should be doing.

    Or course that assumes being a better cyclist is the only goal...




  • I think the single leg stuff is very useful, but for me it's driven by the Mike Boyle/Strength Coach circle jerk. For me it's not a technique really, it's a USP for Boyle and his affiliates to take strength training expertise out of the hands of regular folk who are catching up with a lot of the coaching. It's very clever.

    Look at Boyle as a perfect example. 2 years ago they were "drawing in" and doing deep core activation on just about everything. Now by his own admission they did too much of that and now they do very little. He gave a lecture a while back on how by 2020 we'll have thrown out the notion of bilateral strength training. The single leg stuff is the same.

    I say this as someone who programmes in a load of single leg stuff. I think it's great especially for healthy knees and hips. Single leg box squats are great for dormant glutes for example. But a lot of strength in sport is expressed bilaterally, and I don't see the same improvements with unilateral movements over bilateral.

    Rant!




  • I think the single leg stuff is very useful, but for me it's driven by the Mike Boyle/Strength Coach circle jerk. For me it's not a technique really, it's a USP for Boyle and his affiliates to take strength training expertise out of the hands of regular folk who are catching up with a lot of the coaching. It's very clever.

    Look at Boyle as a perfect example. 2 years ago they were "drawing in" and doing deep core activation on just about everything. Now by his own admission they did too much of that and now they do very little. He gave a lecture a while back on how by 2020 we'll have thrown out the notion of bilateral strength training. The single leg stuff is the same.

    I say this as someone who programmes in a load of single leg stuff. I think it's great especially for healthy knees and hips. Single leg box squats are great for dormant glutes for example. But a lot of strength in sport is expressed bilaterally, and I don't see the same improvements with unilateral movements over bilateral.

    Rant!

    Sorry, this is off topic but....

    something is bothering me about all this Boyle/single leg stuff, the "bilateral deficit" and how the lower back is the weak point of the "two legged" squat. What's the point in, say doing single leg squats with 100kg on each leg? Were you to neglect the proper squat, the torso would only be exposed to 100kg of load, but the combined effort of the legs would be capable of exerting 200kg. Isn't that like tryin' to push a rope with a train?

    Also, I'm wondering how his athletes were doing their squats if their lower backs were getting ****ed up, sounds like they didn't learn how to use the abs/arse properly. A ****ty back squat is a different exercise to a good back squat!

    Also this "bilateral deficit" business is interesting, the hip position is likely to be different in a boylegarian squat and the rear foot takes some of the slack so that the movement in the hip may well be very different than a two legged squat. From what I can see, split squats are done with an near-upright torso and upright tibia, a position which is impossible to achieve if something isn't supporting you from the rear were you to attempt it in a "bilateral" squat. Also, I've seen a video of his athletes attempting hang cleans and snatches. If that's any way representative of his attention to movement then I'm not surprised he's ****ing people up with two-legged squats. Also, he looks shifty.

    /hatersgonnahate

    Edit: I should mention that I did find split squats great for some imbalance issues and as assistance.


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  • I think the single leg stuff is very useful, but for me it's driven by the Mike Boyle/Strength Coach circle jerk. For me it's not a technique really, it's a USP for Boyle and his affiliates to take strength training expertise out of the hands of regular folk who are catching up with a lot of the coaching. It's very clever.

    Look at Boyle as a perfect example. 2 years ago they were "drawing in" and doing deep core activation on just about everything. Now by his own admission they did too much of that and now they do very little. He gave a lecture a while back on how by 2020 we'll have thrown out the notion of bilateral strength training. The single leg stuff is the same.

    I say this as someone who programmes in a load of single leg stuff. I think it's great especially for healthy knees and hips. Single leg box squats are great for dormant glutes for example. But a lot of strength in sport is expressed bilaterally, and I don't see the same improvements with unilateral movements over bilateral.

    Rant!

    Boyle can really be full of sh*t at times. I think he's just read a bit too much about internet marketing.

    It's the whole SPP/GPP thing again tho I think. Like you should be trying to mimic sporting movements in the weight room. Just makes no sense. It's one of the reasons why the stability sh*t annoys me so much.

    Dead Ed wrote: »
    Sorry, this is off topic but....

    something is bothering me about all this Boyle/single leg stuff, the "bilateral deficit" and how the lower back is the weak point of the "two legged" squat. What's the point in, say doing single leg squats with 100kg on each leg? Were you to neglect the proper squat, the torso would only be exposed to 100kg of load, but the combined effort of the legs would be capable of exerting 200kg. Isn't that like tryin' to push a rope with a train?

    That truly annoys sh*t outta me too.




  • Look guys as soon as you get the Gray Cook FMS level 36 qualification- how to diagnose ingrown toenails from the way a guy steps out of his car- then you'll understand the bilateral deficit. Good news is that it's only $2,500 for the seminar. Oh but you have to have done the previous 1-35, but luckily you can do those over the same weekend for an additional $15k, but make sure you have the RKC lined up in advance... and so on.

    /hate

    I'm sure the reason I don't dig on this bilateral deficit thing is because I'm not smart enough, but it seems to me Dead Ed just drove his bus through the gaps in the theory.




  • Look guys as soon as you get the Gray Cook FMS level 36 qualification- how to diagnose ingrown toenails from the way a guy steps out of his car- then you'll understand the bilateral deficit. Good news is that it's only $2,500 for the seminar. Oh but you have to have done the previous 1-35, but luckily you can do those over the same weekend for an additional $15k, but make sure you have the RKC lined up in advance... and so on.

    /hate

    I'm sure the reason I don't dig on this bilateral deficit thing is because I'm not smart enough, but it seems to me Dead Ed just drove his bus through the gaps in the theory.

    I think Gray Cook is the only guy that beats Boyle when it comes to the sales pitches. It's nothing short of shameful and anyone who is a member of strengthcoach.com will by now be more than familiar with Boyle's "I don't usually promote products but this one yada, yada" emails.

    Having said all that he isn't pushing the single leg stuff for the good of his health and if it wasn't at least as effective as bilateral squatting you can safely assume he would have scrapped it given that he IS responsible for the athletic success and well being of many a sportsman and woman. I haven't abandoned bilateral but his unilateral arguement makes ample sense and I've seen too many people benefit from a unilateral approach to oppose the stance. It's safer, seemingly more applicable to field sports and in my opinion more challenging.




  • duplicate




  • J-Fit wrote: »
    "I don't usually promote products but this one yada, yada" emails.

    :D

    just to be clear, I think everyone needs more single leg work in their programmes for a variety of reasons, but I don't think the bilateral deficit is a main player in that.




  • Dead Ed wrote: »
    From what I can see, split squats are done with an near-upright torso and upright tibia, a position which is impossible to achieve if something isn't supporting you from the rear were you to attempt it in a "bilateral" squat. Also, I've seen a video of his athletes attempting hang cleans and snatches. If that's any way representative of his attention to movement then I'm not surprised he's ****ing people up with two-legged squats. Also, he looks shifty.

    /hatersgonnahate

    Edit: I should mention that I did find split squats great for some imbalance issues and as assistance.

    If you are talking about seeing RFE split squats from boyle, he doesn't teach them that way, he thought them to me with torso lean and a positive shin/tibia angle. Dont get defensive just stating the way he thought me them.




  • Banks wrote: »
    If you are talking about seeing RFE split squats from boyle, he doesn't teach them that way, he thought them to me with torso lean and a positive shin/tibia angle. Dont get defensive just stating the way he thought me them.

    You're jumping the gun on him there a little and in my opinion just trying to make it known that you trained under Boyle. Well done you!




  • J-Fit wrote: »
    You're jumping the gun on him there a little and in my opinion just trying to make it known that you trained under Boyle. Well done you!

    Good man....




  • Banks wrote: »
    Good man....

    Cheers bro.


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