When you are cooped up inside during the winter, it is easy to lose muscle mass. You don’t have to, though. You a do a weight-lifting regimen at the gym that focuses on aerobic strength instead of bulk so that you stay bicycle ready for when the warm days show themselves again.
If you can put your ego aside while other guys lift bigger, and do more reps, you will thank yourself in a couple of months when you don’t have the extra bulk that you have to try and pedal up that big hill. You aren’t looking to add weight, and muscle mass. You just don’t want to lose it.
You can tweak it as needed for your personal abilities, but here is a basic routine to keep you in the game.
1. Get warmed up:
Pedal an exercise bike, or walk on a treadmill for 10 minutes to warm up.
2. Start With The Leg Press:
You are going to do leg presses in a pyramid routine. Start with low reps and high weight. You want a high enough weight that you can’t do more than 7-8 reps the first set.
Rest 45 seconds and get ready for your next set.
You need to gradually decrease your weight so that on the second set you can do no more than 10-12 reps, 15 reps on the third set, and 20 on the last.
3. Follow With Squats:
You will need a couple of 45-pound plates and an Olympic barbell. You can use less weight, and work up to 135 pounds, but don’t exceed a total of 135 pounds on any given set. Your goal is 70 to 100 reps, in several sets.
4. Up Next Is The Stiff-Legged Deadlift:
You will again use the Olympic barbell, but this time we will use 25-pound plates for a total of roughly 95lbs. Your legs should be relatively straight throughout the exercise, with only a slight bend in the knee. You should stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and bend at the waist to grab the barbell palm down, lifting to a standing position.
Your goal is four sets of 10 reps.
5. Time For The Regular Deadlift:
This is very similar to the stiff-legged deadlift; only you will bend your knees. Your stance is the same, and your grip is the same, but at the bottom of the lift, your back should be parallel to the ground and knees bent. Lift with your legs as you straighten the back and legs into a standing position. Your goal is four sets of 10 reps.
6. Finish Up With A Cool down:
Pedal an exercise bike, or walk on a treadmill for 10 minutes, then stretch for 5 minutes to cool down.
Just like the other aspects of life, you need some change and variety in your exercise. If it is boring and old, you will not work out as efficiently.
Rather than being rigid with your weight routine or indoor trainer, you can find ways to give your body a full workout, while keeping your mind entertained thgrough other activities.
Try swimming laps one day, throw in a jog another, or try something new, like cross-country skiing or rock wall climbing.