Maximum strength and cycling performance

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

  1. POGATA

    POGATA Member

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  2. An old Guy

    An old Guy Active Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by ric_stern/RST .

    You might think you mean strength, but you're wrong.

    Hill's Force-Velocity curve clearly shows that force is inversely related to velocity then you can't apply maximal force. The force you apply increase as you get fitter but again, that doesn't mean you've increased your strength. In fact, it's usual that in well trained endurance athletes that as they become fitter (applying a greater sub-maximal force) that their maximal force (strength) decreases due to contractile proteins being replaced by aerobic machinery.

    I've no doubt at all that if someone began polishing, then after a period of time they could polish harder, but that ain't strength.


    You write about the endurance athlete and claim that for the "usual" strength decreases. That simply indicates that those athletes may be willing to train in a manner that decreases their strength. That is much different than making a claim that additional strength would not benefit them. It also leave out the "unusual" endurence athlete whose strength does increase.

    You make a claim that increasing the force one can apply does not correspond to an increase in strength (maximal force that you can apply). But Hill's curve falls apart at the extreme. Consider isometrics. No need for velocity just force.

    Strength (force at zero velocity) is not a constant. Consider doing an isometric for different duration. I would expect that plotting force v. duration would look a lot like the usual power v. time plot for endurance athletes.
     
  3. An old Guy

    An old Guy Active Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by ric_stern/RST .


    I am going to appologize. If you find your definitions to be useful, you should use them. I should not object.
     
  4. POGATA

    POGATA Member

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    Pro cyclist wasting his time/energy in the gym, or confusing his competitors, or promoting a chain of gyms etc:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. fergie

    fergie Active Member

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    Probably all of the above.

    Simple answer, he doesn't know why he does weights. Probably told to by his coach.
     
  6. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy Active Member

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    Quote: That said - for those of us who are now cycling in to our 60s and 70s a little upper body training and core work should not be discouraged.
    Weights as a means of maintaining general health/physical condition should never be discouraged. However it really is challenging time wise to add gym sessions when you're younger, and eager to improve on the bike. A basic Pilates like routine (~20min) can do the job for those who would like to invest on health/general phys cond. The thing with weights, is that it takes very little to make a meaningful difference.
     
  7. POGATA

    POGATA Member

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    Or not!
     
  8. dot

    dot Member

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    the barbell seems quite light, he's doing high rep/low weight, pure anaerobic endurance. And you don't like that too? Well, at least Kristoff has proven he had done no wrong.

    I know that's useless to argue with you on weights but I think that quik squats/lunges produce stress that's quite hard to reproduce on a bike because of smooth nature of spinning. Sprints or uphill sprints never helped me as much as fast half-squats.
     
  9. POGATA

    POGATA Member

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    He started with 90 kg squats in october, and ended the two month period with 200 kg.
     
  10. POGATA

    POGATA Member

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    Pro cyclist wasting his time/energy in the gym, or confusing his competitors, or promoting a chain of gyms etc.
     
  11. fergie

    fergie Active Member

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    Is one athletes claims meant to impress anyone?
     
  12. POGATA

    POGATA Member

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    I've linked to several pros in this thread, who claim they spend time in the gym/lift weights.
     
  13. fergie

    fergie Active Member

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    Good to see you are so easily impressed. You must be a marketers dream.
     
  14. ira41

    ira41 New Member

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    As someone with recent experience adding weight training to the weekly routines I have some thoughts on the subject.

    Weight training is great if you are limited in time and cant do 10-20 hours per week on the bike.

    Weight training is great if you are over 40.

    I struggled to get my ftp over 220, then this fall/winter I only did weight training/stair machine with very limited riding. My FTP rose from 220w to 260w just off lifting weights and the stair machine at the gym.

    Sure if you have 20 hours per week to ride its probably best to just ride, but for those who are untrained and don't have that kind of time, weights help with pedal force and muscular endurance.
     
  15. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Well-Known Member

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    Ira, congrats on the improvement with the FTP, but I have to say I am still very skeptical about the gain through weightlifting. I've been heavily involved with strength training for over 30 years both on personal application and coaching others. What you are proclaiming does not make sense to me from what I understand based in general terms through the years.

    It certainly has not been the case in my own experience. Maybe you have been very blessed with a N=1 experience, but for most lifting is not going to transfer over to the bike. Well maybe for a revolution or two for a standing start, but FTP is endurance based duration and not a couple of revolutions.

    IMO - suggesting others to lift in terms of cycling performance is not good advice unless you have data for a study using quite a few athletes and not just based on 1.
     
  16. ira41

    ira41 New Member

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    Well keep in mind I didn't just lift weights I also spent a lot of time on the stair machine at the gym. Frankly I think some of my limiting factors for power previously was flat out muscle strength and VO2Max. When i compared my 5 and 20 minute power prior to joining the gym they were very close. by march they were nowhere near close. I think part of the issue is the comparison between trained athletes and guys like me who noodled around on his bike and was never very consistent. You sort of said it yourself, you weight trained for years and ride the bike, you likely were never really capped by strength or V02max.


    Another data point I think may shed light. Last year after I completed my first century I thought I was as fit as I had ever been. I decide to join my wife and go running. Now on most of my rides if I am killing it my HR is around 160, this is climbing way above threshold.

    Well I went out to run with the wife and within 15 seconds my HR was @ 165, this was telling me I had a very crappy V02 max.

    After lifting weights and using the stair machine, I can go for a run now and my HR is around 140.

    So my conclusion is there is a point in training where weight training helps, i'm sure the stair machine helped too, but I cant ignore I was simple able to ride harder gears with similar perceived effort after weight training and the stair machine.

    I doubt well conditioned athletes would have similar results.

    Last note I was doing moderate weight hi rep, as someone with previous double hernia surgery, I never do max weight or Heavy low rep stuff, too scary.
     
  17. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Actually we've been trying to tempt Felt for months to add VO2 work to his routine ;)

    But seriously, I'm not seeing a correlation to lifting weights and VO2 max. I have lifted lots of weights, done loads of stair master, and raced bicycles competitively. That's not to brag, simply to illustrate a frame of reference i.e. I'm not talking out my arse.

    I am however seeing a correlation between VO2 max and FTP, in fact coaches like Allen Hunter prescribe VO2 interval sessions to bump past FTP ceilings.

    VO2 training consists of doing 3-8 minute intervals at 90%+ max HR. I never once got up into that heart rate territory lifting weights, even doing weights for reps as high as 20-25, although I mostly stayed in the 4-12 repetition zone, and more specifically the 6-8 rep "body builder" zone. In fact , to make a confession, at one point when I was lifting weights I smoked over a pack a day, and while I was benching 200 for reps, and squatting 300 for reps, I couldn't even swim a single lap in an Olympic size pool without becoming completely winded. I still managed however to add almost 10lbs of lean muscle mass that year, while maintaining a steady 7-8% body fat. Now I'm speculating on this but while my max bench increased 50lbs that year, and my squat made similar improvements, I'd hazard a guess that if I had done an FTP test before and after, it would have actually gone down (I was neither cycling or stair mastering at the time), and this was spending one or two hours a day lifting with several sets per bodypart, not some BS 30 minute routine.

    Stair master, stair stepper, rotating stairs, or whatever variation of the movement, and whatever we decide to label it, works muscular endurance for a number of muscles synergistic to bike riding, as well as heart rate function to a high capacity and can easily induce heart rates into the sweet spot zone (75%-85% maxHR) for an extended period, and into the VO2 zone, which are both highly conducive to raising FTP.

    While your gains are worthy of praise, to combine stair master and weights into the same benefit category simply because both were done, and benefit occurred, may be somewhat misleading to other readers. It's almost like saying if English sailors had been given cheese along with limes, that cheese was partially responsible for curing scurvy.
     
  18. ira41

    ira41 New Member

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    I totally get what you guys are saying and I can only present what I've found based on my personal experience. I wish I could segment the weight training and the stair machine work I did, however I did them together most of the time. I do know when I first started the stair machine kicked my ass. after a few weeks it became 10x easier to put in work on the stair machine. I have to think this was due to a higher V02 based on the newer routines.

    The last thing I really expected when i got back on the bike was to actually be faster and have more power, but its simply the case. Granted I still had to work up to volume at the new intensity but I could do the new intensity. Now the same hills I used to avoid I can climb up pretty easily, I have to get to %8+ grades to be in climbs over threshold when I used to be over threshold anything around %6.

    Maybe it was all stair machine work, the unit I used was similar to this vs the one that looks like stairs. I'm not debating you guys because you simply know way more than I do, I have a couple of years down on the bike with any real training. I went from 140w FTP to 220 on the bike, struggled and went from 220w to 260ish in the gym almost exclusively, now whether the key contributor was weights or that stair machine I have no idea.

    http://photos.demandstudios.com/getty/article/176/13/dv154070_XS.jpg
     
  19. fergie

    fergie Active Member

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    If only there was some decent research comparing workloads between gym training and interval training. The only studies done on cyclists have added weights in the experimental group in addition to the cycling done by the control group so not really comparing apples with apples. But when you compare the gains from the strength trained groups in strength studies and the gains from the interval trained riders in those studies it becomes a little clearer where you should invest your training time.
     
  20. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Well-Known Member

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    I like that statement because if I read it correctly it implies the beauty (the efficiency) of sports specific training. Something I have liked for many years.

    I am always grateful when you drop in to chime in. Thanks for keeping us (me) on track for the sports science side of things.
     
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