Maximum strength and cycling performance

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by dominikk85, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. dominikk85

    dominikk85 New Member

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    Do you think that maximum strength is important for cycling performance especially if we are talking about speeds of 30+ MPH?

    what do you recommend to get the kind of pedalling power to push 30+? does squatting or leg pressing help?
     
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  2. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Does it look like Brad muttochops Wiggo has done a single squat (or pushup for that matter) in his entire life? At some point I could squat 350+lbs and 250 on the hack machine for reps. I still cannot manage 30mph for more than a minute or so. The reason for that is I never spent nearly as much time on the bike as I should have.

    Which guy looks like he does (and he did) tons of squats and presses? Which guy could move the bike faster over any substantial distance?

    [​IMG]
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    To get the kind of pedaling power to push 30+ I recommend building an larger aerobic engine via as much sub-ftp work as your schedule and/or desire can handle, skipping the weights altogether. But that's just my opinion.
     
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  3. dominikk85

    dominikk85 New Member

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    I get what you say but I'm not talking about extended periods here. first you have to be able to push 30+ for a short moment. aerobic endurance is not helping you in that department. later of course when it comes to sustain that velocity you are right of course then the strength won't help you much and it is all about endurance.

    but what do you do to get that kind of velocity in the first place? how do you improve maximum speed?
     
  4. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Somebody posted an energy damand curve for the pursuit event sometime back - it's probably easily accessible on the internet, but for an event that took only a little over a minute, the demands were still mostly aerobic. I know, hard to believe.

    To get to that velocity, at the risk of sounding facetious, just use your gears. Others may have differing opinions but you'll probably find the vast number of folks with coaching experience on the forum, and those who simply enjoy induging in the detail of training will likely share my opinion about time spent on weights. If anything track guys use weight training to initiate the roll quickly on a big gear. It may just come down to your goals as a rider.

    Most of the time spent in the gym by guys who ride for a living is to strengthen the core.
     
  5. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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  6. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    The power required to go 30 mph on the flat with no wind is in the 400-500 watt range. Just about anybody can produce that many watts for a short duration. Not many can produce that many watts for 1 hour. It's about sustainable power, not strength.
     
  7. frost

    frost Member

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    In the first place? Take a very critical look at your riding position. At such speeds almost 90% of all resistance comes from air. To get and especially maintain such speeds require very aerodynamic position (obviously in addition to good power).
     
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  8. dominikk85

    dominikk85 New Member

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    so are you saying that any rider can ride 30 mph for a few hundred meters?

    A well trainined rider of course can do that easily but a lot of beginners can't even do that at full sprint.
     
  9. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    If they start the sprint by coasting down a hill until they reach 30 mph and then punch it then they can ride at 30 for as long as they can maintain 400-500 watts; which for some might be less than a few hundred meters. I'm nothing special and I can hold 450 watts for 60 seconds on an average day; which would allow me to cover about 800 meters.

    Now if you asked me to start from a standing start and ride at 30 mph, I would need to exceed 400-500 watts for a good duration in order to accelerate to 30 mph in a reasonable amount of time. That is much harder.
     
  10. frost

    frost Member

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    That's a very good point!
     
  11. dhk2

    dhk2 Well-Known Member

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    You improve maximum speed and maximum power output with specific training. Weightlifters train with progressive resistance by adding weights and moving them slowly. But since power is a product of both force and leg speed, you'll need to train with progressive applications of force and speed (cadence). Suggest you focus on training max leg speed (cadence) rather than just trying to push harder.

    You can add a set of accelerations to your normal ride, say 5-10 short intervals, with recovery spinning time in between. Pick a comfortable gear, say 39/19, and accelerate gradually and smoothly in the saddle up to a cadence of 130-140 or higher. Hold the cadence for a few seconds, then back off when you start getting winded. You'll know right away if you picked a gear that's too easy or too hard. If you can do that kind of cadence smoothly in your starting gear, go up a cog for the next interval, When you arrive at a gear that's tough, ie, you can only reach say 100 rpm rather than your full cadence, that's the one you need for your training.
     
  12. dominikk85

    dominikk85 New Member

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    that makes sense.

    what do you think about jumping to improve power? Speed skaters are doing a lot of jumping to strengthen their legs and speed skating and cycling is considered very compatible (see clara hughes, christa rhothenburger or eric heiden)
     
  13. POGATA

    POGATA Member

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    Does it look like this guy did leg presses etc?
    [​IMG]
     
  14. dhk2

    dhk2 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I used to coach speedskating, and agree the two sports are somewhat complimentary. Our speedskating kids who rode in the summer were generally pretty fast right away. The ability to jump (ie, standing broad jump) does seem to correlate roughly with sprint speed on skates; that was even used to "test" or rank kids in one summer weekend camp. But we didn't train standing broad jumps, preferring instead to use various side slides, "duck walks", or side hops up to platforms in the summer "dry land" training sessions. Walking uphill sideways while down in the skating position was used as well to mimic the skating workload.

    But although speedskating and cycling positions look similar, remember that the skater is supporting his bodyweight all the time and pushing laterally outwards vs the cyclist who is sitting down and spinning a crank. As a result, I'd think training time for cycling is much better spent on the bike....it's that old "specificity of training" maxim again. Spinning a crank at 110-130 rpm is a much different motion than any kind of jumping or speedskating. We're not training to press our bodyweight (plus cornering g loads) on one leg: we just need to spin the cranks fast in a decently-large gear. After all, if you can spin up a cadence of 130 in a moderate 39/13 gear, you're already over your 30 mph goal speed.
     
  15. POGATA

    POGATA Member

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    Norwegian TT-champ(http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/norwegian-road-championships-2012/elite-men-time-trial/results) used to be a quite successful speedskater(http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reidar_Borgersen).
     
  16. fergie

    fergie Active Member

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    Tell that to Chris Boardman. He sat on 35mph for 60min during his world record ride. The real kicker is that when he set the 4000m record in 1996 his average speed for 4min 11sec was less than 1kph faster than what he sustained for an hour. Boardman never did weights and it is claimed his peak power was below 900 watts.

    It's an aerobic sport unless riders like Boardman have some sort of freaky anaerobic system that can be sustained for 60mins.
     
  17. POGATA

    POGATA Member

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    According to Chris Boardman, in the book "The Complete Book of Cycling", he did lift weights because his muscle mass was extremely low and his power was suffering.
     
  18. frost

    frost Member

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  19. dominikk85

    dominikk85 New Member

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    maybe. but still speedskating certainly correlates better with cycling than tennis or so:). Speed skaters are also known too do a lot of cycling in the offseason (with the invention of the inline skates that became a little less but they still do a few thousand miles on the road every year).

    that means they already have a lot of cycling training which makes the transition to the sport easier. A lot of speed skaters have excelled in road and track cycling. you could probably take any olympic speedskater and he would do very well in cat2 races right away.

    on average speed skaters are more muscular than road cyclists though because they have a lot of static holding and single leg squatting their bodyweight hundreds of times. their events are also shorter (3 to 15 minutes some sprints even shorter) so they are more like the individual pursuit guys than road guys.
     
  20. dhk2

    dhk2 Well-Known Member

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    dominick, afraid I've lost your point here. If your saying speedskating is "closer to" cycling than running, and makes a fine cross-training sport in the winter, no disagreement there. If you're saying that cyclists should be training in speedskating to go faster, totally disagree. The way to go faster on the bike is to train on the bike, not in a different sport.
     
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