Phillip asked in SportsCycling · 1 month ago

Does weight training (upper body and lower body) affect your cycling ability?

Does weight training affect your cycling performance (uphill and downhill?) I understand that muscles require oxygen and having a lot of muscle mass affects performance in long distance cardio but does hinder your performance times when riding a bike?

If it does or doesn’t please send some suggestions on what works well for improving short distance sprint times and long distance cycling 

6 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    If you look at the pros, they're all legs, with no chest and twigs for arms. That's because any extra mass is weight they have to carry up the climbs, and climbs are where most races are won or lost. That doesn't mean they ignore upper body strength, but it does mean that they train their core and upper body for endurance not bulk and gross strength. So do they use weights? Yes, but there are different goals for different muscle groups, and it's only *part* of the training.

  • 1 month ago

    Different sports use weight training in different manners.  So one type of weight training may benefit cycling performance  while another type could hinder cycling performance. Bottom line it depends on what type of weight training you're doing. 

    Source(s): Motorized bicycle owner and builder.
  • 1 month ago

    Anonymous wrote, "Cyclists only want to build up muscles that are needed to ride a bike. Any other muscles are useless. "  I've never heard such bullsh*t in all my life.  Yes, many cyclists do use weights.  But a lot has to do with what type of cycling.  Track cyclists (on a Velodrome - found mostly indoors) bulk up in a gym much like weightlifters do.  They need that extra bulk to ride a bike with only one high gear.  

    Distance cyclists also use weights, but in a different manner.  They often use much lighter weights at higher reps.  Here's just one link I found.  https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/the-best-streng...

  • 1 month ago

    yes its affected by cycling beacause its provide whole body exercise

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Weight training is useless because the key to riding fast is moving your legs as many times per minute as possible. It is a term called pedaling frequency or cadence. That is why cyclists start the year training on a bike in a low gear so they can achieve high pedaling frequency right away.  Cycling computers tells you what pedaling frequency or cadence you are doing to help you train to ride faster. As they gain strength, they move to higher gears while maintaining the same pedaling frequency to build muscles.  Cyclists only want to build up muscles that are needed to ride a bike. Any other muscles are useless, since muscles use oxygen. Bicyclists want to ride without incurring oxygen debt, which increases lactic acid. Lactic acid in high levels can disable muscles, slowing down riders while they get rid of the lactic acid. Sprinting incurs oxygen debt and that is why you only see cyclists sprint near the end of the race.  

    That is why cyclists do not train in the weight room. They only train outdoors on a bike or they ride on stationary bikes indoors. They only train their legs to make sure they move fast and smoothly. Muscles are also heavy. Cyclists with unneeded muscles will weigh down the bike and that wastes oxygen and energy while reducing endurance. Another key to riding fast is aerodynamics. Road racers will keep their head and upper body low to reduce wind resistance. Less wind resistance means the legs do not have to work as hard to move the bike plus rider. Instead of lifting weight, a cyclist is better off practicing aerodynamic postures.  Long distance bike riding is a lot like long distance running. You only see very slim long distance runners. None of them look like sprinters, who have massive leg muscles. Ignorant morons give me thumb downs.  LOL even velodrome riders have to move their legs fast to win. Having muscles that move with more force makes no difference if they cannot move the legs fast. Even when people ride uphill, putting the bike in a low gear and moving your legs fast is much better than using a higher gear and using muscles to overcome gravity. 

  • 1 month ago

    You can have all the upper body & leg strength in the world.  Doesn't mean squat unless you also have a strong core.  Quote, "Although your legs provide the most tangible source of power, the core muscles—the muscles that support your spine—are the vital foundation from which all movement, including the pedal stroke, stems."

    https://www.bicycling.com/training/a30878632/ab-ex...

    Or as Graeme Street, founder of the Cyclo-CORE training program and a personal trainer in Essex, Connecticut said. “It’s like having the body of a Ferrari with a Fiat chassis underneath.”  

    Being an old fart afflicted with 'degenerative disc disease' in the lower back, I can state with 100% certainty these easy-to-do core exercises work for improving distance! 💪  Sprints (intervals) help increase both power and endurance.  https://www.bicycling.com/training/g20027530/quick...

    Hope that helped.     

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