T Nation

Neglecting Leg Weight Training


I am at the gym on an average of 4-5 days concentrating on my upper body. I tend to neglect my legs. I feel that mountain biking, racquetball, and spinning is enough to keep them strong. Is there any real downfall in choosing not to use weight training... other than looks?



The hormonal response of your body (GH etc) is more or less proportional to the amount of muscle mass that you use when exercising

if you neglect your lower body, it will slow down your overall process


Why the hell are you spinning for?


you legs will have no explosive strength, only endurance, and will be puny and small, also most leg exercises strengthen the core muscles like lower back and hip muscles


because i hate running and its a great cardio workout for a mountain biker who cannot hit the trails every week. I am getting back into racing.


Other than neglecting the exercises that will have the most carry over to your sport, no. Well that and being embarrassed to wear shorts.

Little story, My bench was stuck FOREVER when I did stupid newbie workouts and NEVER squatted or anything, once I started squatting I benched a 25lb PR a month after starting to squat and deadlift.


You know you can do cardio with weights too.


funny, i know 2 guys who are also into mountain biking, one of them racing on national level

ALL the do is train legs, everytime they lift, you have to force them to do some upper body work

they say it makes them too heavy and they dont want to drag around all the 'useless' weight


That is weird


The only cyclists that should be doing their training in the weight room are track sprinters (Unless a power meter and a set of rollers are part of your weight room). Any USCF certified coach, or {cyclist,mountain biker,track sprinter} can tell you this. I think cyclocross training for elite caliber cyclists that focuses only on preparation for the cyclocross season should include some olympic lifting and plyometrics, but many coaches disagree, often in Dutch.


My Bnech went up 40 lbs in 3 months last year when I couldn't squat or DL due to an ankle injury. You should definitely be squatting and deadlifting though.




I disagree that the only cyclists that should train in the weight room are sprinters. It depends on what kind of mountain biking this kid is into. If he's doing any sort of technical XC courses or if he ever has the desire to do freeride courses, then weightlifting will help him greatly when it comes to controlling his biking.

For all the Volume you get from doing other shit with your legs, you should be fine with one leg day that consists of hard ass work and is removed from any running or biking that you do. Don't ride before you lift legs or the day you lift legs and if you do ride the day after you lift legs, go really easy and don't push yourself at all. Without leg training, everything will stall.


If you're gonna race again, your upper body better be light as not to unnecessarily tax your lower body when you bike. Making your lower body stronger will help you race.


Alright, I'm going to have to go ahead and question your credibility with this statement. What is your cycling background?


It just depends on your goals. If you just want to maintain what you have and these activities do it for you, there's no reason to change.

It's important to note that the activities you mention won't build significant strength.


I've done 2 century rides, 2 Olympic length triathlons, 1 summer of racing on a track, but mostly I've been biking XC through Tsali and the mountains of NC for years and even though I've stopped biking as much as of late in order to swim collegiately, I still do a fair amount of biking.

But seriously, there isn't any sport where squatting won't help you. Use of load and volume may vary greatly for different athletes, but squats will still help.


So not much credibility. Yeah, squatting may help climbers marginally - but do you honestly think they are worth implementing in ones training over hill repeats and a big gear (what T-Nationers refer to as HIIT)? Obviously not, ever.

I know dozens of elite level cyclists, hell there are three national champs in my household. One of them is a current US nat'l champion. I know it may seem amazing to a triathlete, but not a single one of these guys touches a weight year round.


Why are you on this site?


You're saying all this without knowing what discipline the guy competes in though... you find me an Elite level DH/4X racer who DOESN'T use weights and I'll eat my hat.