Monday, December 8, 2008

Weight training for cyclists, do train like a bodybuilder PLEASE!

Ahh, the offseason, the time of year when the focus is shifted from biking to activities that have cross in the name and have nothing to do with biking. Crosstraining, cross-racing, crossdressing, and cross-examining the training plan. Cross-examining the training plan as the cold grasp of winter closes in would not be complete without wondering how to integrate weight training in to the quest to be faster. Each fall the minions make the great migration to sites such as RoadbikeRider to climb the mountain and beg for the regurgitated annual advice on how to train with weights. A betting man would be wise to take a bet on if Chris Carmichael will have a piece on weight training in the upcoming issue of Bicycling magazine.

Advice will vary, but all the publications seem to agree that cyclists should not make the mistake of training like a bodybuilder. Conspiracy theory or lemming-mentality, it's because of this that the lemming must jump off the bandwagon. Please, those of you that are going to hit the gym this winter, do train like a bodybuilder. All year long we cyclists are hitting our legs hard and doing nothing for our arms. What results is big ol' legs, a huge head, and tiny flat shoulders. Perfect if you are a professional cyclist, bad if you aren't making money as a rider and are trying to land dates.

One of the popular cycling publications had an entire article on a survey of women and the body types they found attractive. The writers were frankly surprised that women didn't prefer the huge head, tiny shoulders and arms, and ripped legs of a cyclist's body. Frankly the lemming was surprised to hear that someone was frankly surprised to hear that women do not overwhelmingly prefer the physique of cyclists.

The grand poobah of cycling, Lance Armstrong, knows this. Look at him on the podium, then look at him after he retired. He didn't maintain his tiny, flat shoulders and arms, the dude is ripped, and he now has shoulders and arms to complete the package. He didn't care if he gained 10-15lbs, he knows he can still crush Chris Carmichael in a mountain bike race. That's how you date an Olsen twin(s) and hang out with Matthew McConaughey folks!

Of course there are those of us who say we wouldn't want to date an Olsen twin while our wives are listening, and really don't have interest in hanging out with Matthew McConaughey. For those of us life is about balance, and doing 3-4 months of "curls for the girls" in the gym this winter isn't going to wreck our weekend cycling career, it's probably going to enhance the rest of our life. So throw some pullups in there too, eat some protein beyond your 4:1 recovery drink, do train like a bodybuilder this winter!

Tyrannasaurus-like arms

Big legs, tiny arms, now extinct

Unproportionate forearms
Can crush a can and shoot spinach 2 feet in the air and catch it in his mouth

Always has to fight another guy for his chick


Anonymous said...

In a word: NO!

I speak for myself here: I'm trying to get my body fat percentage down, and my strength up. Why? Power to Weight Ratio, that's why. Unnecessary mass that doesn't help turn the pedals faster in a big gear is just going to make it that much harder cranking my bike up the mountains. You're obviously not a cyclist of any sort or you'd understand this.

BikeLemming said...

Obviously.... :) Satire is lost on some people. Getting your body fat percentage down is admirable, I'm not telling you to gain a bunch of fat and ride. I'm saying the 10-20 lbs of muscle a person could gain to make their shoulders and arms not look ridiculous would well be worth it in terms of life away from cycling. We're not pros, we're not paid to have huge heads and tiny little shoulders...

Anonymous said...

It depends on your goals in life. If "going faster" is more important than "hitting chicks", then well, you know what to do -- shave those disproportionate legs.

If you want to "hit chicks", go to your neighborhood bar.