T Nation

Advice for Returning to Lifting?


#1

I've been training for endurance cycling for a few years now but now I'm lacking the motivation to get out on the road alone every day. Over the past year I've started strength training again at a gym and I've really enjoyed the atmosphere.

I feel like I need a new challenge so I'm planning to take a period of time away from endurance training and really see what I can do with my physique. I used to strength train consistently years ago so my technique and understanding of training is good. Current stats:

6'1", 167lbs

Bench press: 215x3
Chins: BW + 22lbs for 3 sets of 8
Seated dumbell press: 70lb DBs for 3 sets of 5
Hang power clean: 155x3

Any advice on how to shift focus? How to approach training for lean mass for someone in my position? I'm lean but want to incorporate some interval training to maintain cardiovascular fitness so that I can get back to cycling when the time comes. Thanks for any help.


#2

Hi buddy.
I enjoy a bit of road biking myself.
My advice to you, is that if you plan to return to the bike I would atleast include 2 bike rides a week. Stopping bike riding altogether will make the return to the bike very difficult.

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#3

That's funny. I've been lifting for a while and decided to buy a road bike to work on my endurance and conditioning :slight_smile:
Mostly hills and sprinting interest me. I like the idea of adding mass to my legs while improving my conditioning (both aerobic and anaerobic). Any tips you can give me on that subject would be awesome.

Anyhow, for someone just looking to add some mass and strength over the short-term, there are some good no-fuss options. My favorite is to keep your routine basically the same, but ratchet the weight upwards without trying to stay in a particular rep range. After you get to a weight that you can't lift for 3 reps, drop it down to ~70% of your new max and start over. Using this method, the hypertrophy, power, and strength phases are a no-brainer.

  • EAT
  • Work everything. Do not leave any muscles out.
  • When working above 7 reps per set, go to complete failure (don't stop until the bar stops moving)
  • When working 5-7 reps, stop at the last rep you can complete
  • When working below 5 reps, stop one rep short (leave one rep in the tank)
  • EAT
  • Get enough sleep
  • EAT

#4

I like the idea of increasing weight and progressing through rep ranges as a way of keeping the stimulus fresh. One aspect I'm not sure of is how to divide up movements/muscle groups into a weekly routine. I already have relatively big legs and I'm training mainly for aesthetics so I want to prioritise upper body. Any suggestions?


#5

It really depends what your goals are. If you want to get fit on the bike, I'd just start off riding around a couple of times per week. Make it fun and train on varied terrain (include flats, hills, etc). Learn how to corner, descend, and get comfortable riding in the drops, on the hoods and standing. If you haven't done much cycling before you may find it feels as though your legs hurt and 'give out' before you feel much of a cardiovascular workout. If you're consistent you'll find this corrects itself over time as the muscles adapt. I wouldn't try any structured intervals to start. The great thing about cycling is that if you ride on varied terrain, there's a big natural variation in your power output, so it's a bit like doing unstructured intervals all the time. Also, if you have a cycling club nearby, get in touch with them and go out on some group rides. It takes time to learn to ride in a group, so let everyone know you're new to it so they can help you stay safe.

All of the above assumes you're new to riding. If you have more experience let me know and I might be able to help with more advice on training structure.


#6

Sounds like push/pull/legs/push/pull would be the ticket for you if you didn't want to do a BB-style split. Nothing wrong with a BB split either, BTW. Just pick something and hit it hard. Consistency and hard work trump all else.


#7

Yeah, my neighborhood is VERY hilly. I use literally every single gear I've got. There's one hill I haven't even been able to climb in 1-1 (my Nemesis), and several short straights where I can grind out the big gears. I have no idea how fast I can go, but I could go faster with taller gears for sure. Might look into upgrading later just cause I love to haul ass.

Virtually no experience other than neighborhood riding on BMX and MTB. I'm just having fun with it. Not planning on doing anything serious with it at all, but I like to get the most out of my hobbies.

Learning how to properly set the bike up right now. Probably doesn't matter much since I'm not gonna be riding hundreds of miles a week but again, if something's worth doing, it's worth doing right.