More strength training nonsense.

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by fergie, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. fergie

    fergie Member

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    Ran this past some Rowing and Kayacking coaches and they disagree about the strength demands impossed by their sports.

    In much the same way people claim cycling is a strength based sport when the examination of a power file will show that any event over 30seconds is hardly related to strength.

     
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  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    That article seems to be refering to strategies regarding the effective training of strength and endurance - but not concurrently, due to the 'interference phenomenon', not whether strength training has any place in the sport.
     
  3. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    There are a lot of people who believe that cycling is indeed strength based. I am one of those.

    I guess one way to demonstrate that cycling is strength based is to put a long distance runner (someone who can run several hours a day - the same length of time a bicyclist might ride) on a bicycle and see how he compares to bicyclists.

    But it all depends on how you define strength and how you bicycle.
     
  4. fergie

    fergie Member

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    Swampy, I was referring to this line...


    I and many other coaches who understand the demands of the sport would beg to differ.

    If you looked at the power file for a cyclists riding for seven hours you would see a power average at around 10-20% of their maximal power. Doesn't really meet the criteria for strength.

    Comparing a runner to a cyclist both riding bikes for a similar duration would only confirm the specific adaptations to imposed demands principle.
     
  5. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Gotta agree with that statement, it's probably at the root of all the strength training debates. The term 'strength' is very clearly defined among exercise physiologists and sports scientists as your peak generated muscle force at zero velocity. And that's what conventional strength training and muscle hypertrophy target. Given that definition cycling in events over a minute or so are clearly not 'strength' limited as pedaling at even world class sustainable power requires nowhere near your peak muscle contractile force or even anywhere near a rider's body weight that they comfortably carry around all day when off the bike.

    But English language uses the term 'strength' a lot more generally and we commonly say things like 'that rider is so strong he just crushes them on the hills' or other similar broader uses of the term which really confuses the discussion.

    Bottom line, it takes roughly 25 kg or 245 newtons (55 pounds) of average pedal force or using published force distribution curves approximately 490 newtons (110 pounds) of peak peak pedal force per pedal stroke to sustain 400 watts with 175mm cranks pedaling at 90 rpm. For a reasonably sized 150 pound rider that's world class sustainable power but for that same 150 pound rider the average pedal force is a little more than a third of their body weight and the peak forces closer to two thirds yet they have they clearly have far more strength in the defined physiology sense as they carry their 150 pounds around all day, up and down stairs without troubles. The limiter isn't strength per the rigorous definitions, it's the ability to fuel and deliver O2 to the muscles and rapidly convert fuels to ATP/ADP. More time strength training in the gym won't help that as the athletes add a few percent to their peak contractile force which is already in excess of what they use or need while on the bike.

    Standing starts for events like the Kilo and pure short event match sprinting, perhaps but even then many coaches and increasingly national organizations are suggesting on bike strength training to train the specific muscle recruitment patterns, joint angles and skills demanded by those events instead of training in the squat rack and then working to transition those non specific gains to the bike.

    -Dave
     
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  6. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    "Currently,
    concurrent strength and endurance training has become essential to optimizing
    athletic performance in middle- and long-distance events."


    Any references cited for this statement given by the researchers?
     
  7. fergie

    fergie Member

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    No, as is fairly typical the evidence provided for that assertion is gains in physiological parameters like economy and efficiency, however no real gains in actual performance are recorded. This is where cycling has a real advantage where we can measure actual performance on the bike on the road, off road or velodrome.

    In the sport of Canoeing and Kayaking where athletes compete over distances of 500m to 2000m the strength demands would parallel the 1000m TT or Pursuit where the SRM data indicates that those who make use of their maximal power at the start die a painful death later on in the event. Both sports require a start from a dead stop. I expect white water Kayaking would be an exception but is any gym based exercise going to translate to the joint angles created in that event and are these specialists going to benefit more from time on the water and not doing this form a physical skills training un-fatigued from gym work?
     
  8. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh - should've known. The good ol' "belief-based" training protocols will never die...just gotta love 'em and the guys/gals that employ 'em/img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif...
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Strength training threads always end up really badly... almost as bad as peedling, pelling, peadling errr, threads on how to pedal 'correctly'.

    But do we really need a baited thread that's started off with references to sports such as rowing and canoeing?
     
  10. fergie

    fergie Member

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    On the behalf of cycling I am bragging that we have better methods for what is and isn't relevant to performance in the sport. You might think that observation of data from a Concept II erg may give the Rowers a bit of a heads up but nothing off the water in the same way as I can quantify any training ride and assess the demands of my goal events.

    Talking of pedalling some new research from Norway...

    LEIRDAL, S., and G. ETTEMA. Pedaling Technique and Energy Cost in Cycling. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 701–705,
    2011. Purpose: Because cycling is an extreme endurance sport, energy saving and therefore efficiency is of importance for performance.
    It is generally believed that gross efficiency (GE) is affected by pedaling technique. A measurement of pedaling technique has
    traditionally been done using force effectiveness ratio (FE; ratio of effective force and total force). The aim of the present study was
    to investigate the relationship among GE, FE, and a new technique parameter, dead center (DC) size in competitive cyclists.
    Method: Twenty-one competitive cyclists cycled for 10 min at approximately 80% VË™ O2max at a freely chosen cadence (FCC). GE, FE
    ratio, and DC size were calculated from oxygen consumption and propulsive force recordings. Results: Mean work rate was 279 W,
    mean FCC was 93.1 rpm, and mean GE was 21.7%. FE was 0.47 and 0.79 after correction for inertial forces; DC was 27.3% and 25.7%,
    respectively. DC size correlated better with GE (r = 0.75) than with the FE ratio (r = 0.50). Multiple regressions revealed that DC
    size was the only significant (P = 0.001) predictor for GE. Interestingly, DC size and FE ratio did not correlate with each other.
    Conclusions: DC size is a pedaling technique parameter that is closely related to energy consumption. To generate power evenly around
    the whole pedal, revolution may be an important energy-saving trait. Key Words: FORCE, PEDAL, EFFECTIVENESS, DEAD
    CENTER, EFFICIENCY

    Eur J Appl Physiol
    DOI 10.1007/s00421-011-1914-3

    Stig Leirdal · Gertjan Ettema

    Abstract Technique and energy saving are two variables
    often considered as important for performance in cycling
    and related to each other. Theoretically, excellent pedalling
    technique should give high gross efficiency (GE). The purpose
    of the present study was to examine the relationship
    between pedalling technique and GE. 10 well-trained
    cyclists were measured for GE, force effectiveness (FE) and
    dead centre size (DC) at a work rate corresponding to
    »75% of VO2max during level and inclined cycling, seat
    adjusted forward and backward, at three different cadences
    around their own freely chosen cadence (FCC) on an
    ergometer. Within subjects, FE, DC and GE decreased as
    cadence increased (p < 0.001). A strong relationship
    between FE and GE was found, which was to great extent
    explained by FCC. The relationship between cadence and
    both FE and GE, within and between subjects, was very
    similar, irrespective of FCC. There was no difference
    between level and inclined cycling position. The seat
    adjustments did not affect FE, DC and GE or the relationship
    between them. Energy expenditure is strongly coupled
    to cadence, but force effectiveness, as a measure for pedalling
    technique, is not likely the cause of this relationship. FE,
    DC and GE are not affected by body orientation or seat
    adjustments, indicating that these parameters and the
    relationship between them are robust to coordinative
    challenges within a range of cadence, body orientation and
    seat position that is used in regular cycling.
     
  11. fergie

    fergie Member

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    And some more studies showing no improvement in either physiological or performance parameters from using an independent crank system. But that is old news.
     
  12. leanman

    leanman New Member

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    post # 3 by an old guy..

    i'm lost in your comparison... comparing running to biking?? two completly different sports and muscle action..

    listen to either coach fergie, or andy coggan.

    heres a good read..

    Specific Muscle Fibre Actions
    One of the particular features of training for any sport is that the training effect is very specific to the sport and particular muscular action. This has been known by exercise physiologists for many years, but the full extent of the performance implications seems to have been slow in getting through to many racing cyclists and some coaches. What it means is that how you train muscles determines what they can do well. If you run it does not help cycling directly - we all know that and most people would put it down to using different muscles. But that is only partly true - you use almost all the muscles in your legs to run as well as cycle. The difference is the various muscle fibres are recruited in a different pattern or sequence, and building muscular fitness by running has very little specific carry over to cycling. When the British runner Sebastian Coe set the world record for 800 metres it is unlikely that he would have been able to ride a ten mile time trial at any more than a modest club time trial pace. But given some six months to adapt to a cycling action then the story would have been very different.
     
  13. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    I don't think Mr. Coe was asked to bicycle. To rely on a hypothetical seems to be a poor basis for an argument.

    There are certainly a lot of long distance runners who could be put on a bicycle to test the premis. Half marathoners (1 hour and change) doing a 40K time trial. 50 mile runners (5 hours and change) doing 100 mile road races.

    Peak zero velocity strength is not rigorous. One needs to specify a minimum duration for that test. How about an hour? Time trial length of time. Does strength by that definition correlate to actual 40K TT performance?

    Consider low cadence hill training (recommended by some coaches). Constant climb at a low cadence, maybe 30-40 (most coaches use higher cadence but). And high power output 100% of FTP for a short period - 5 minutes. The power output should be easy. The strength portion is what is being built. If you do it "right", the forces are near your peak muscle contractile force.
    While bike racing might not use the peak strength that one can sustain for a few seconds, it could use the peak strength that you can sustain for substantial portions of a race duration.

    ---

    I prefer to equate strength measures to power output measures. I think that is consistent with most people's casual usage of the word strength. But I can change.
     
  14. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Weights and pedaling styles are always entertaining topics with this crowd /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  15. leanman

    leanman New Member

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    when a friend that was a former reagional bodybuilding champ, and a very very good one at that, a natural, gave up 30+ years in that sport and took up cycling, he became a fair cyclist. he did continue to lift a bit a few days a week. maintaining what was 30 years of his first love, but not to the extent of the lifting slowing him down at all in his bike training/racing.. his new love... after a few years of doing lots of miles, training, racing he was still a fair cyclist.. however in the short stomps training , going all out in the 53x11from a dead stop for 10-20 seconds he wiped all us every interval..
    in the longer 5-6 minute intervals he was hurting, off the back but did finish 400 yds behind.... in races he either was pack, or dropped. he lost 30# of his bodybuilders look, but was still 5'9 165# of chissled look..

    so after years of bike training, he is great at 20 seconds and fair at a 50 mile road race.. all the weight training got him super strong at 10-20 seconds, but did nothing for him in a rr, even after years of training..
     
  16. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    leanman, that sounds just about like a description of me except for the racing part.

    I know if I stopped lifting I may excel a little more in cycling, but I have too many years invested to quit. I still enjoy lifting 5 days a week.
     
  17. fergie

    fergie Member

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    The exercise physiology definition of strength does not correlate to a 40km TT.

    Andy Coggan has written about SE training in the 2nd edition of Racing and Training with a Power Meter. How it does not recruit the IIx fibres. 100% of FTP is not a high power output. Usually around 30-40% of peak power. Even a 5min maximal effort is at best 40-60% of peak power (would expect Boardman with his peak power of less than 900watts would be in the higher range for his recently beaten 4000m record).

    I am not concerned how people misuse the term strength only how we ascertain the demands of the event, assess the riders capabilities and formulate a plan to get them from where they are to where they want to be on race day. At present there is no data to suggest that strength (ex phys definition) has anything to do with cycling and I can make a pretty strong case (with SRM files from several sprint cyclists) that the relationship between strength and sprint cycling is not as great as strength and conditioning coaches make it out to be.
     
  18. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    That could have been an interesting study - how come they didn't do it at a real world fast man wattage. Up next, another study showing the effects of training at speeds where the backwheel rotates the same speed as the average hamster wheel. Show me something interest like how do guys like Cancellara, wiggo, bobridge etc etc go about business...
     
  19. fergie

    fergie Member

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    Well guess who is on the CyclingNews forums going totally orgasmic about these studies claiming it's proving his claims all along that we should be training to pedal in a more efficient manner.

    But yes, I would much rather pursue what riders like Bobridge have done to raise their power from already World Class levels to World Best levels but someone is claiming that power is a non science based metric. Funny he hasn't proposed a better metric?
     
  20. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Lemme guess, it's the guy that invented the Force[] metric...
     
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