Hypertrophy on the bike - possible? (very long)



WarrenG

New Member
Sep 8, 2003
1,063
0
0
velomanct said:
Another thing to know is, you loose leg speed(explosiveness) sooner than strength. This is part of the reason why you can produce more sustained sprint power going uphill than you would a on flat. If you want confirmation of this, do a 20 second long sprint up a 16% grade. It hurts, a lot. I can actually average 50% more power doing that, compared to a 200meter.

I''m able to produce more watts (according to the PM) when doing sprints on the flat. The likely reason is because I can produce more power at 120-130 rpm's than I can at 90 rpm's. I almost never go over 1100 watts during a 20" uphill sprint but in a 15-20" sprint on the flat 1200+ isn't uncommon for me. YMMV. On the track it doesn't matter if you can do your highest power at 90 rpm's because you'll lose anyway, so I train to be better at the cadences that matter more on the track.
 

velomanct

New Member
Dec 21, 2003
1,054
0
0
WarrenG said:
I''m able to produce more watts (according to the PM) when doing sprints on the flat. The likely reason is because I can produce more power at 120-130 rpm's than I can at 90 rpm's. I almost never go over 1100 watts during a 20" uphill sprint but in a 15-20" sprint on the flat 1200+ isn't uncommon for me. YMMV. On the track it doesn't matter if you can do your highest power at 90 rpm's because you'll lose anyway, so I train to be better at the cadences that matter more on the track.


Well that's a good example how we are different. I wish I could produce the same power on the flats as I could during a hill sprint, it would be insane. I would be much more inclined to race track.
My obsolute best peak wattages have come at 110rpms, during accelerations on slight downhills. Although I have gone very high(~1900) even at 80rpms during overgeared flat accelerations. Once I go above 120rpms my power drops like a rock.

I think I "suppose" to be a slow twitcher. Ectomorph, doesn't build muscle easily. It might explain why I have **** power when cadence is high. It's not that I can't pedal fast, I can do 220rpms on my rollers, I just have no power above 120.
 

acoggan

Member
Jul 4, 2003
3,047
18
0
velomanct said:
I wish I could produce the same power on the flats as I could during a hill sprint

Are you comparing seated vs. seated, or seated vs. standing? Standing will almost always allow somebody to make more power, albeit only briefly, because it allows you to transfer energy liberated via contraction of upper body muscles to the pedals. When you're seated, your hip joint can't move nearly as much, which means that the ability to generate power at the crank using your upper body muscles is extremely limited (although when sprinting in the saddle up to 10% of power may come from muscles acting on/above the hip joint, since we can squirm on the saddle a bit).
 

velomanct

New Member
Dec 21, 2003
1,054
0
0
acoggan said:
Are you comparing seated vs. seated, or seated vs. standing? Standing will almost always allow somebody to make more power, albeit only briefly, because it allows you to transfer energy liberated via contraction of upper body muscles to the pedals. When you're seated, your hip joint can't move nearly as much, which means that the ability to generate power at the crank using your upper body muscles is extremely limited (although when sprinting in the saddle up to 10% of power may come from muscles acting on/above the hip joint, since we can squirm on the saddle a bit).


I compare them seperately. Even in a flat sprint when I am standing, I can't do near as much power as I would on a hill, standing. The same goes for seated, always higher during an uphill sprint.
 

bikeguy

New Member
May 31, 2004
655
2
0
dot said:
I don't know about short sprints but I know that repeated climbing standing on very big gear (50-60 rpm) on steep off-road 1.5 min climb (20-25% I think) brings excelent hypertrophy. For last 7 years I've known a guy who is a cross contry racer. He is 79 kg and 183 cm. He is lean for his weght but his thighs and calves are HUGE. This exercise is his favourite. He can do it for 1.5 hours (up to 30 times) for three consecuitive days. And with this weight and muscles he regularly beats any MTB-racer here except 3-5 top really professional world class racers (he is local semi-pro). No matter is it STXC or six hour marathon.

79 kg and 183 cm is huge? Hmmm.. ever seen Curt Harnett's thighs? Hint: he's the world record holder in the 200 meter TT. Question: why would you need big thighs for endurance MTB racing? Do you think your MTB racer would have bigger thighs if he dropped MTB racing and started doing back squats or leg presses?

Here's an example of what happens when you stop lifting weights and continue cycling: me. Used to be 83 kg, now at 73 kg. Used to deadlift 200 kg for reps (at 76 kg, heavier bodyweights were when I started squatting a lot and doing incline dumbbell presses), now have trouble pulling 140 kg. My vertical jump is down about 15%. I can do 10 chinups, could do 30+ when I was deadlifting heavy. I still have high, brief, sustained power, i.e, ability to run up a flight of stairs very quickly, or hill sprint on the bike. Most of my cycling workouts are about 1 hr in length, on the bike I usually ride at 60-80 rpm. Sustained 1 hr power has moved up substantially since I dropped weightlifting. I'm not convinced weightlifting per se worsens endurance performance, but heavy lifting particularly if it indiscriminately packs on mass (deadlifting and squats come to mind, or any upper body work) will worsen endurance cycling performance because that extra mass needs oxygen even if it isn't involved in the cycling motion. Track cycling is a different matter altogether.

-Bikeguy
 

Billsworld

New Member
Sep 6, 2005
804
0
0
velomanct said:
I compare them seperately. Even in a flat sprint when I am standing, I can't do near as much power as I would on a hill, standing. The same goes for seated, always higher during an uphill sprint.
I think that the body responds to the stimulus of basic movements such as the squat and DL differently than the bike. I am not sure I would debate this with AC, but it has been said that the body responds with natural increases in hormones . (I know this is not new info to you) I am new to the sprinting, but I know at your age you will grow. If you feel like this is your weakness you should keep up the lifting and plyos all the time in conjunction with sprinting. I heard from someone that saw J Staff doing huge gear standing starts with a 50 lb weight vest at the track in LA..... Good topic Veloman:)
 

Trainingwheelz

New Member
Sep 16, 2005
35
0
0
Why are you seperating speed (in this case pedal speed) from the power equation? Remember that power is force X speed. Of course the other half is force and it's quite obvious that this is what you mean you lack when you complain about flats...the terminal force is reached when velocity is maxed and you feel as if there is no where else to go. And there is no where else to go. The chain goes limp and you simply have juiced the bike for everything she's got. But I think you have trouble decerning your 'max' effort up a hill because you haven't reached your max speed and so feel as though you need more muscle mass to reach your max power. But you have! working against gravity and pushing with great force all equals the max effort you have over the distance you have chosen. Rember, as I touched on earlier in the thread I explained the diffeence between training with HR v training with RPE, one has trouble decerning his 'max' effort up a hill because pedal cadence is so low and HR so high compared to flat riding. I think that muscular strength endurance and not hypertrophy is paramount when suceeding in the mountains. Take for example the size of Vino's legs vs. the size of Lance's legs ......Vino got dogged in the mountains.

Thanh.

Ian

velomanct said:
Well that's a good example how we are different. I wish I could produce the same power on the flats as I could during a hill sprint, it would be insane. I would be much more inclined to race track.
My obsolute best peak wattages have come at 110rpms, during accelerations on slight downhills. Although I have gone very high(~1900) even at 80rpms during overgeared flat accelerations. Once I go above 120rpms my power drops like a rock.

I think I "suppose" to be a slow twitcher. Ectomorph, doesn't build muscle easily. It might explain why I have **** power when cadence is high. It's not that I can't pedal fast, I can do 220rpms on my rollers, I just have no power above 120.
 

velomanct

New Member
Dec 21, 2003
1,054
0
0
Trainingwheelz said:
Why are you seperating speed (in this case pedal speed) from the power equation? Remember that power is force X speed. Of course the other half is force and it's quite obvious that this is what you mean you lack when you complain about flats...the terminal force is reached when velocity is maxed and you feel as if there is no where else to go. And there is no where else to go. The chain goes limp and you simply have juiced the bike for everything she's got. But I think you have trouble decerning your 'max' effort up a hill because you haven't reached your max speed and so feel as though you need more muscle mass to reach your max power. But you have! working against gravity and pushing with great force all equals the max effort you have over the distance you have chosen. Rember, as I touched on earlier in the thread I explained the diffeence between training with HR v training with RPE, one has trouble decerning his 'max' effort up a hill because pedal cadence is so low and HR so high compared to flat riding. I think that muscular strength endurance and not hypertrophy is paramount when suceeding in the mountains. Take for example the size of Vino's legs vs. the size of Lance's legs ......Vino got dogged in the mountains.

Thanh.

Ian
Let me restate that I have obsolutely zero interest in endurance, or doing any effort longer than a minute. So, when you speak of Lance and Vino, it is not relavant. When I say 'uphill sprint', I am talking pure max effort for 5-30 seconds.

Concerning my difference in power on the flats compared to the uphills, part of it might be mental. I just prefer uphill sprints to flat sprints. Self-fulfulling prophecy? maybe.

I was mentioning leg speed because we all have a certain optimum range for producing the most power, in different situations.
 

Trainingwheelz

New Member
Sep 16, 2005
35
0
0
But the title of your thread concerns hypertrophy. I'm simply questioning your motivation for hypertrophy.

Ian


velomanct said:
Let me restate that I have obsolutely zero interest in endurance, or doing any effort longer than a minute. So, when you speak of Lance and Vino, it is not relavant. When I say 'uphill sprint', I am talking pure max effort for 5-30 seconds.

Concerning my difference in power on the flats compared to the uphills, part of it might be mental. I just prefer uphill sprints to flat sprints. Self-fulfulling prophecy? maybe.

I was mentioning leg speed because we all have a certain optimum range for producing the most power, in different situations.
 

velomanct

New Member
Dec 21, 2003
1,054
0
0
Trainingwheelz said:
But the title of your thread concerns hypertrophy. I'm simply questioning your motivation for hypertrophy.

Ian
A larger muscle will produce more force(and therefore more power), during an explosive effort, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL. I'm not looking to be a gorilla, I just would like to add about 20lbs of muscle to my skinny frame, over the next few years.

Just reread my first post. That was why I put the disclaimer in the begining of my post, because I knew people would start talking about endurance and asking me why I want to get bigger.

Forget all this over analyzing. Take two people. both 6'2". one is 175lbs, the other is 200lbs, both have 8% body fat. Who will be more powerful? (sprint)

See, that is all I am getting at.

I suppose this is not exactly the right forum this type of discussion.
 

WarrenG

New Member
Sep 8, 2003
1,063
0
0
velomanct said:
Forget all this over analyzing. Take two people. both 6'2". one is 175lbs, the other is 200lbs, both have 8% body fat. Who will be more powerful? (sprint).


In the example I gave earlier of the two best sprinters in my age group one can see that being bigger does not mean FASTER. Ability at certain cadence ranges can matter more.

You also have to accelerate that larger mass, and it may be harder to spin at higher rpm's with heavier legs.

The real goal isn't how high you can get your power in a sprint, it's how fast you can go and how long you can go fast enough.

For sprinting, speed objectives are very important.

Focus _your_ training on what will help _you_ go fast.
 

Billsworld

New Member
Sep 6, 2005
804
0
0
WarrenG said:
In the example I gave earlier of the two best sprinters in my age group one can see that being bigger does not mean FASTER. Ability at certain cadence ranges can matter more.

You also have to accelerate that larger mass, and it may be harder to spin at higher rpm's with heavier legs.

The real goal isn't how high you can get your power in a sprint, it's how fast you can go and how long you can go fast enough.

For sprinting, speed objectives are very important.

Focus _your_ training on what will help _you_ go fast.
Good points, The big peak does seem to net you more mph/speed though. ( at least it does for me)
 

WarrenG

New Member
Sep 8, 2003
1,063
0
0
Billsworld said:
Good points, The big peak does seem to net you more mph/speed though. ( at least it does for me)

Maybe. Think about the effort you use to accelerate rapidly from 25mph to 35mph and compare that to the effort to come out of a draft at 34mph and then accelerate up to 37mph. Also consider how many races you'll win with a brief peak at 37mph vs. a longer sprint at 36mph.
 

velomanct

New Member
Dec 21, 2003
1,054
0
0
In most sprints, absolute power usually wins. The biggest limiter is the wind, not my bodyweight, although it does matter. If I were to gain 20lbs, my frontal area would be almost the same.

There are always expections, but in general, a larger rider with more muscle will outsprint someone with less muscle. If that weren't the case, track sprinters would all look like roadies. How can you argue with that?
And if I were to put 10lbs of muscle on my skinny legs, do you REALLY think it's going to hurt my ability to pedal fast? Come on.

Like I said before, I'm not looking to be huge. I just don't look like a sprinter at all right now.

BTW, last summer when I gained 15lbs, and was 190lbs, I set PB in all kinds of sprints. Power went up 200watts over my previous best. And I was significantly faster up my 16% hill sprints. Unfortunetly, I lost some muscle this past fall because of a back problem, so now I'm back in the upper 170s.

I am thinking long term with my training. If I wanted to be at my best this summer, I wouldn't be looking to gain weight. But in the long run, the added muscle will enable me to break through previous best performances. I can cut down very easily too, if I feel I am too heavy.

Did you know petacchi has a 5 second power of 24w/kg? Yes, that is the top of the column, which "should" make him a world class match sprinter. But he's not, and he would lose in a sprint against a 200lb+ match sprinter who can do 24w/kg. This is a good example of why power to weight is not the most important for a sprinter. I'm not saying it means nothing and to be a 250lb monster. But absolute power is the most important, in most cases, during sprints.

As for accelerating during a sprint, once you go above 30mph, weight is not that important at all. It's nearly all wind. The rate of acceleration is so much slower that being 30lbs less is not going to make any real difference.

Besides, I just want to hit mega watts :D
 

WarrenG

New Member
Sep 8, 2003
1,063
0
0
velomanct said:
In most sprints, absolute power usually wins. The biggest limiter is the wind, not my bodyweight, although it does matter. If I were to gain 20lbs, my frontal area would be almost the same.

There are always expections, but in general, a larger rider with more muscle will outsprint someone with less muscle. If that weren't the case, track sprinters would all look like roadies. How can you argue with that?
And if I were to put 10lbs of muscle on my skinny legs, do you REALLY think it's going to hurt my ability to pedal fast? Come on.

I've been faster than lots of guys who were bigger than me and I have been slower than some guys who were smaller. I have learned not to judge a sprinter by how they look.

Go to analyticcycling.com and do some calculations for power and speed using different body sizes. You'll see part of why a smallish guy can beat a bigger guy in a sprint even though their power can be 100+ watts different. There was a smalish Japanese guy at Masters Worlds last year who was really fast, in part because he had his chin only 2 inches above his bars while going 38+mph.

Try putting 10 pounds on your legs and then going for a little spin on your trainer at say, 100 rpm's.

Like I've said, don't worry about adding weight of any particular amount, just focus doing the training that will make you fast. If you gain 10 pounds or no pounds doesn't determine whether you're fast or slow.

And if you want to be a good sprinter you're going to have to figure out how to sprint fast on the flats, not just on hills.
 

velomanct

New Member
Dec 21, 2003
1,054
0
0
acoggan said:
Got a source?
No, not a good source other than a magazine article. I read that his peak was 1800w, and he would do 1600w over the final 10 seconds. That would equal 1700w for 5 seconds, at 73kgs, well, it's 23.3w/kg. Just a rough estimate.
 

Felt_Rider

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2004
3,257
54
48
WarrenG said:
I've been faster than lots of guys who were bigger than me and I have been slower than some guys who were smaller. I have learned not to judge a sprinter by how they look.

Go to analyticcycling.com and do some calculations for power and speed using different body sizes. You'll see part of why a smallish guy can beat a bigger guy in a sprint even though their power can be 100+ watts different. There was a smalish Japanese guy at Masters Worlds last year who was really fast, in part because he had his chin only 2 inches above his bars while going 38+mph.

Try putting 10 pounds on your legs and then going for a little spin on your trainer at say, 100 rpm's.

Like I've said, don't worry about adding weight of any particular amount, just focus doing the training that will make you fast. If you gain 10 pounds or no pounds doesn't determine whether you're fast or slow.

And if you want to be a good sprinter you're going to have to figure out how to sprint fast on the flats, not just on hills.
Ahhh....you beat me to it. :) I was going to post something similar.

Same in the gym. I have had training partners that out weigh me by almost 100 pounds and yet they could not hang with me on leg day and yet I have trained with guys with bird legs that have surprised me by doing a full squat over 500 lbs. It is very unpredictable as to who has the strength and who doesn't based purely on visual muscle size.

My legs are pretty big for my size with over 20 years of training in the gym and yet skinny guys can out sprint me and out endure me any day of the week if they are a seasoned cyclist. My leg strength has only helped me on a few occassions on the bike and most of that was mt. biking where I had to power over a log going uphill or power through a near crash.

Also putting on 20 pounds of muscle is a very difficult task. My body type is closer to mesomorphic and yet it is and has been a lifelong struggle to put on lean muscle. When I started adding mass to compete in bodybuilding I would sleep or minimize movement as much as possible, other than weight training, in order to save calories so that I could bulk up. For example, a lot of guys will gain 20 to 30 pounds of bulk weight in order to hopefully keep 10 pounds of lean mass when they start dieting to lean down.