Lousy conversion from gym to bike


New Member
Jan 10, 2011
I've got a bit of an issue that I just can't figure out. I've tried searching for this, but just found lots debates over whether or not to be lifting or not.

On the debate about whether or not lifting in the gym actually converts to power on the bike, let's just say that for me, it definitely does not.

I have enormous leg strength, leg pressing 1100 pounds and squatting 425 pounds.

My bike numbers are kind of pathetic by comparison. My FTP is about 250 watts. My best 5-second power is only 1060 watts and max instantaneous power of 1199 power. (according to my PowerTap).

I realize that leg strength has little to nothing to do with FTP, but with that kind of leg strength, I'd expect to see a better sprint numbers through.

I've tried plyometrics and jump squats, I've tried doing more 5-second sprints (with 5 minutes between) for about six weeks with no results yet.

Does anyone else have any ideas or resources that they could point me towards?
Originally Posted by tomw1974 .

...Does anyone else have any ideas or resources that they could point me towards?
Standing starts, motorpaced sprints, downhill sprints, team leadout work, little ring sprints, big ring sprints... basically more time working the specific joint angles and muscle recruitment patterns that sprinting on a bike demands. Sounds like you've got more than enough muscle, the trick is to apply that muscle to the job of sprinting and that means doing the work on the bike.

IME, sprinting for many riders is as much learned as trained in the pure muscle strength sense. IOW lot's of reasonably fit riders struggle with sprinting not because they're too weak but because they go about it all wrong, don't engage their upper bodies well, try to stand too tall out of the saddle like they're climbing a steep grade, don't attack the first pedal strokes with everything they've got, try to sprint in too large a gear, don't wind it out all the way to the line with leg speed, etc. A few technique sessions often adds hundreds of watts to their sprints by just learning how to explode into a sprint and wind it to the line.

If you live anywhere near a velodrome try to get over to some organized training sessions. That's a great place to learn to put more speed in your riding. If not try to find an experienced team mate or coach you can work with in the field to polish your sprint technique. But personally I'd lay off the squats, the plyometrics, and the leg presses your limiter is almost certainly NOT leg strength with the kind of weights you're squatting, get on the bike and work on the actual job of sprinting.