Is strength training mandatory?

I did go to the gym for 2 months and now I am taking my strength training only to a maintenance phase. I am starting to wonder if strength training is really necessary as I am starting to lose motivation for it.

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If you’re over 50, yes :grinning:. Seriously though I’ve done weight training sporadically a lot of my adult life, I just wish I’d kept it consistent.

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For good overall health you should do some sort of weight bearing exercise. Cycling is a non-weight bearing sport meaning your body weight is being carried by the bike and your muscles are not carrying much at all. For strong bones and tendons you need to offset non-bearing sports with something else. Working out is not your only choice but its obviously a good choice none the less.

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only if you want to be strong and fast and healthy

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Been strength training twice a week for about a year now. Its not the most enjoyable exercise I do but I feel much more rounded out on and off the bike. When im mountain biking or out of the saddle on my road bike I feel more in control and balanced. I think you should keep going. Try to get to 5 months before you dismiss it.

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Yes, it is mandatory.

Scientific studies show that spouses of cyclists who don’t strength train are more likely to practice abstinence with said cyclists.

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If you are losing motivation, consider other forms of strength training for variety. If you doing the same thing over and over, it will get dull for most people. If you are using machines, move to free weights. Look into TRX, pure body weight work outs, kettle bells (watch your form), vary between high rep and low rep weighs, do drop sets, switch to a cable machine, etc. There are lots of ways to stress the muscles.

Also, make sure you are hitting all the muscle groups. Work those abs; work those shoulders. The less sexy muscle groups are important to being balanced.

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Do calisthenics (push-ups, pull ups, dips, etc…) count as weight bearing exercise? Or does it have to be with weights?

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Body weight workouts definitely can count as weight bearing. Of course there will be limits based on one’s size, but do a couple of handstand pushups and report back :slight_smile:

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Does plyometrics count as weight bearing for the lower body?

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thx guys… I think I need to stick to strength training. The biggest challenge for me is to go to the gym early in the morning so that I can use the squat rack :frowning:

I knew it would be squats! So, you don’t feel like lifting today? In the words of Mehdi:

Lift anyway. It doesn’t matter how you feel. Motivation is over-rated

:sweat_smile::+1:

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Last season I completely neglected strength training in favor of more saddle time. Although i was a little lighter and a little faster I felt terrible and ended up with with some muscle imbalances that caused a lot of discomfort. Being a little more “well-rounded” has been sooo much better for me this year. Granted, I’m not a racer trying to squeeze out every w/kg i can.
Side benefit, you don’t look quite as ridiculous naked :).

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Plyometrics are great weight bearing exercise. Jumping is good for your bones and increases neuromuscular strength. You don’t have to do a lot and it can be fun.

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Also, you may want to read the book Maximum Overload. He advocates fewer sets and not as many reps.

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I’ve been guilty of being overly reductive, but I like to think of it like:

No one’s ever really said, “Wow, I’m just too fit overall.” You’re not going to ‘accidentally Arnold’ and get huge. Even adding 5lb of muscle is some decently serious work. Now flipped around, “do you need strength training,” that’s a more complicated question. But in terms of adding strength here and there, it’s not going to cause problems. Even just another 20 min for a few sets 1 or 2x/week will, at worst, give you the health benefits of some resistance work.

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Motivation is over-rated

Yep, discipline beats motivation every day :weight_lifting_man: :biking_man: :+1:

BTW, that is also how I found myself in a state of stress fatigue… :grimacing:

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If you enjoy it, do it. If you have some issues that strength training will correct, do it. If nether of those apply, then maybe don’t do it. It’s absolutely not mandatory. As an additional data point, I am able to race competitively as a cat1, and I haven’t done any strength conditioning since long before I started cycling. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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Yes, absolutely. It is one of those “necessary evil” things you as an endurance athlete must do.

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:sweat_smile:

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