Weight Training

Strength Training May Reduce Deaths from Heart Attacks and Cancers

A recent study of almost 30,000 older women followed for 12 years shows that those who did strength training had fewer deaths from heart attacks and all causes than those who did not lift weights (J Am Heart Assoc, Oct 31, 2017;6(11)). Another study that followed 80,306 adults for two years shows that people doing both strength training and aerobic exercises had a 30 percent reduced rate of death from cancers and all causes (Am J Epidemiol, Dec 12, 2017).

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NSAIDs May Prevent Benefits of Lifting Weights

Exercising against resistance strengthens muscles and bones, but taking non-steroidal pain medicines such as ibuprofen after lifting weights may prevent bones from becoming stronger (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, April 2017;49(4):633–640). Aging weakens bones to increase risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures. The most effective way to strengthen bones and prevent this increased risk of bone fractures is to exercise against progressive resistance (Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2009:1510–30).

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Strength Training to Complement Cycling

Editor's Note: Following up on Gabe Mirkin’s article last week Sarcopenia (Muscle Loss with Aging) LInked to Inflammation Coach John Hughes responds to a reader’s question with specific recommendations about the benefits of strength training to complement cycling, and how best to do it. Of course, strength training also helps slow muscle loss as we age. Coach Hughes' recommendations are general enough to be of value to all of us roadies.

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Muscle Loss from Inactivity: 34 Percent in Just Two Weeks

A study from the University of Copenhagen shows that wearing an immobilizing knee brace for just two weeks caused men in their 20s to lose 22 to 34 percent of their leg muscle strength, while men in their 60s lost 20 to 26 percent (Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, June 26, 2015). It took them six weeks of exercising on a bicycle 3-4 times a week to restore the leg muscle size and ability to exercise, but even that did not fully restore the leg muscle strength. This study shows that:

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How Soon Can I Ride After Strength Training?

I'm working on strength training to improve my leg strength. I assume that the principle for weight lifting — one should rest 48-72 hours between workouts for best strength gains — applies. If I do that, then there's hardly any time for cycling! So what's the effect of doing a ride the day after a leg workout? Does it undermine the progress I'd like to make? 

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How Does Strength-to-Power Conversion Work?

You told this to a reader who wants more power: "Fixing this problem starts with a winter weight program. Then in the spring, you convert the new strength into cycling-specific power with short, hard intervals on hills. Begin these by using a big gear at a low cadence, then progress to smaller gears and a cadence over 100 rpm." Why does this work?

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