Strength and cycling controversy

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by 11ring, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. K50

    K50 New Member

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    See post number 3 in this thread made by Ric Stern. He clearly answers your same questions. Basically, it resolves to: Training strength does not build endurance!The guy you mentioned is a sprinter. Not an endurance cyclist.

    There is no 'set value' where strength becomes more important than repetition value. That's why Lance Armstrong can put out 525W forever without ever touching the gym. It's not strength that's important. It's muscular endurance, anerobic capacity/ability...Read Ric's posts! He thoroughly explained all this already and much better than I can.
     


  2. K50

    K50 New Member

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    I'd take 'some coach on an internet forum's word' over yours any day. Ric knows what he's talking about.
     
  3. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    The ability to create force/power in the gym or on the bike is a good thing. The type of muscle(fast twitch) that creates the most force however is not the best for endurance events. Its basicly what your born with. Some people are born to be fast , some have better endurance(slow twitch), some a mix. The good news is both fiber types are adaptable. A while back Fergie posted an SRM file of a "pro roadie" that won his Natz in the kilo in 1.04. Peak power was 1500watts at 80kg+- :eek: Thats an example of a guy that has great ability to make power (most likely lots of fast twitch ) and has good endurance too. Then you have guys like Lance who can maintain a high average watt/power output for hours , but not able to make the big 1 minute or 5 sec average like Fergies boy. More slow twitch . Both examples are freaks, and make thier living on a bike . It is accepted that most people, (even untrained) have enough "strength" to pedal a bike if endurance cycling is the goal .Even though your legs are burning at times, the force required is not that high . The incraese in strength is only needed to start from a dead stop and sprint. Hope that helps
     
  4. RipVanCommittee

    RipVanCommittee New Member

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    Is 18 w/kg really a lot for 5 seconds?? I can do that (at 60kg, mind you), and no one calls me a sprinter! It seems to me there's a big divide between neuromuscular power and anaerobic capacity (of which kilo riders and sprinters have lots...and I don't!).

    On another point about 'gyming to improve performace', I'll say that I agree with everything that Ric says about lifting weights not 'directly' increasing performace. Still, even pro cyclists are not immune to the every day chores of life, and 2 30 minute sessions a week in the gym, along with 3 10 minute stretching routines, keeps me, and some of the atheletes I advise, from missing 2-3 days of training because of moving some sheets of plywood around, or doing some light gardening (true story! 2 hrs. of weed pulling made me too sore to really train for almost 3 days??)

    No one lives in a vacuum, so I wouldn't totally discount lifting and stretching as important to your performance, even if there's no 'direct' benefit.
     
  5. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Correct.

    Above some mimimum, there may indeed be a correlation between strength and time to fatigue during dynamic exercise...but you shouldn't confuse correlation with causation, just as you shouldn't confuse strength with power.

    This might help put things in perspective: even during the first 25 m of a standing start performed on a track, where the velocity of contraction is quite low and forces are extremely high (>100 kg), differences in strength between individuals only account for about 25% of the variation in performance (i.e., time require to cover that 25 m...about 3 pedal strokes).
     
  6. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    Armstrong goes to the gym in winter and occasionally at other times too. Mostly upper body, but not only upper body. He also uses training at very low cadence/relatively high force going uphill, as do countless other good bike racers.
     
  7. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    In a flat event like the kilo, w/kg is down the list of important abilities. Absolute power would be higher on that list.

    Some people have a hard time recognizing the benefits of training that isn't highly specific. Maybe this training is only worth a 1% (or less) improvement in performance. This amount of improvement matters to some people.
     
  8. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Two things (very briefly)
    1) i've always stated that weights don't help ECP. Bringing other activities into it just muddies the water. Getting run over by a car while out walking will ruin your cycling, but that doesn't mean we should sit in the house. so, sure you may have other activities, but i've stated for ECP, and you need should tailor the advice accordingly

    2) someone once suggested a very similar thing (about moving boxes of furniture while helping a friend move house). I know a few removal people, none of them, and no one they know goes and does weight training, i.e., they "train" simply by lifting the furniture etc in a way they feel comfortable.

    Maybe if 2 hrs of weeding makes you sore, you could either practice weeding on a more regular basis (specificity of training) or don't do it!

    Ric
     
  9. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    For a kilo, w/kg is a better predictor of performance than plain ol' watts, because:

    1) your inital rate of acceleration, which is critical to turning a fast time, is related to power/mass, not absolute power

    and

    2) although aerodynamic drag is not highly correlated with mass, there is some association, such that power/mass is a better indicator of power/aerodynamic drag than absolute power.
     
  10. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    As I remember it was the peak off a standing start. For me my Standing start is about 200 watts lower than peak. It propelled the rider mentioned to 40 mph off the start and a 1.04 kilo . . My Standing start is a tad below 1400 peak,(@85kg) and my best is 37 mph from 0mph .You should be able to catch fergies pro no problem.:rolleyes: Anyhoo I have sqatted and deadlifted (in a contest) over 600 lbs. each lift . Lifting is great.
     
  11. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Maybe not, but I bet that you've got a really good initial jump.

    I don't know if I'd call it "a big divide", but clearly they are different physiological traits.
     
  12. RipVanCommittee

    RipVanCommittee New Member

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    "Maybe if 2 hrs of weeding makes you sore, you could either practice weeding on a more regular basis (specificity of training) or don't do it!"

    I'll vote for the latter--my wife will vote for the former!

    While I agree that the best training for weeding is, well, weeding, and the best training for moving boxes is moving boxes, my own experience is that a light lifting/stretching routine is a little more practical than a periodized weeding/box moving protocol.

    As far as 'other activies muddying the waters', I think it's a little short-sighted to ignore life's other activies, as even at the elite level (at least at the U.S. domestic pro level), many "pro's" other job is doing house chores while their wife/significant other is actually earning a real living!!.

    I think the 'getting hit by a car while walking' is a bit of a straw man arguement....

    I agree with your point though that you should not plan your training with an *emphasis* on the 'other activities', but I also think that the associated costs with a light stength/flexibilty program are minimal, and worth the cost/time.

    Again, I'm not trying to pick a fight, as I'm appreciate of your very helpful insights into the whole strength/cycling performance issue. This is just my own practical experience (again, mine, and that of a few of the atheletes with whom I work).

    And speaking of weeding.....my weed farm desperately needs some attention, so I'm about to embark on some level 4 weeding.....
     
  13. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    Force high ...velocity low? If the force is high in trying start wouldnt the velocity of contraction in turn be high, as the need higher numbers of fiber to contract? In the first 25m, what accounts for the other 50% variation in perf.?
     
  14. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    Once past the first few pedal strokes the weight doesn't matter nearly as much because the rate of acceleration is fairly small. And then there are the remaining 900 meters left in the event.

    Your opinion is contradicted by the simple fact that good kilo riders tend to be among the largest and heaviest riders in cycling, and some that are not especially aero.
     
  15. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    You need to think in terms of time, not distance, and even a World Champion kilo rider will be accelerating rapidly for the first ~20% of the race. Moreover, it is largely the rate at which you can accelerate that determines your performance in the kilometer (and even more so, the 500 m contested by women, or the 250 m used by, e.g., the AIS to select riders for the team sprint).

    ...neither of which contradicts what I said. That is, just because somebody is large and heavy doesn't mean that their neuromuscular power is low when expressed in W/kg - in fact, the World Champion match sprinter who provided the data for the top row of my power profiling charts weighs nearly 100 kg. Moreover, whether someone is or is not "...especially aero..." doesn't change the fact that aerodynamic drag tends to correlate with body size, of which mass is one measure.

    One last comment: I am not expressing opinions here, but stating facts based on direct measurements.
     
  16. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    I'm talking about a 25 m standing start in an 84-90" gear here. Obviously, at the very instant the buzzer sounds and the timing gate releases, cadence is zero and the velocity of muscle contraction essentially so (I say "essentially", since if their hips rise and/or heel drops at all, there can be some extension of the leg even if the crank isn't turning yet). At that same instant, force is very high, presumably maximal. Force then falls off as the crank begins to turn...

    First, that should be 75% of the variation in performance...I double-checked Stone's paper and saw that they'd presented R values, not R^2 values.

    As for what accounts for the unexplained variance, it's probably a combination of factors:

    1) strength was measured in a variety of ways, but not on the bike itself...thus, specificity could be part of it.

    2) simple measurement error (in both determining strength as it was measured, and in timing the 25 m standing starts).

    The key point remains, however, that even in this situation, where you'd expect strength to be very important, there isn't a really high correlation with performance.
     
  17. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    Some guys finish better and win. The rate of acceleration falls off quite a bit early on and the rider's weight matters very little after ~100 meters even if they are still accelerating (slightly) on flat ground. I have experienced this first-hand in team sprint and match sprint events while racing with various riders who are masters National/World Champions in sprint, kilo, and pursuit.

    One person is not important for everyone else, and your little chart doesn't show their kilo times for each 50-100 meters of the actual event. How about you tell us the average and peak w/kg of the top 3 kilo riders in each age group at Masters Nat's or Worlds, or the top 20 at Elite Worlds? Or, you could actually watch them ride, their pacing, note how large they are, and how well they express peak power during sprints or kierins, if they even do either of those events.

    Very limited data doesn't make it "fact" about everyone. That you think it applies across a large number of riders is just your opinion.
     
  18. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    There is a difference between weight mattering very little, and weight not mattering at all. Moreover, even if weight per se doesn't have a huge impact (e.g., once you are up to speed), the fact that it helps account for differences in body size (and hence, e.g., in aerodynamic drag) makes power expressed in W/kg a better indicator than power expressed in absolute W.

    That W/kg is a better predictor of performance, even in a kilo, than W is a fact that applies across a large numbers of riders - just go read the relevant research.

    As for a given individual, then the answer is even clearer: all else being equal, a reduction in mass results in a faster kilometer time, albeit not by much (e.g., a 2% reduction in mass will only save a World Class kilo rider ~0.1 s). Ispo facto, W/kg is a better indicator of performance.
     
  19. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    i possibly agree with you. i've weeded and moved boxes before (not necessarily at the same time!) and not been sore afterwards (tired maybe, but not sore that i couldn't train the next day).

    conversely, i know many people that have a pretty sedentary life outside of their cycle training, i.e., they work in an office and do little manual work.

    as i mentioned i know plenty of people who don't do other activities that would leave them sore and unable to train the next day, so, unless people actually phrase a question along the lines of "what training should i do for cycle racing and weeding?". i'll only be answering what they ask for as i'm not a mind reader.

    I know you're not (trying to pick a fight). I'm just not guessing what people do in their spare time ;)

    Ric
     
  20. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    Apparently armstrong doesn't know anything ;) ...He would have won more tours and been a better cyclist if he DIDN'T do weight training :p :D ...MY ARSE!

    I dont know about anyone else around here but that 25kg's for each leg that he averages up those hills seems pretty massive to me...Take into account all the accelerations where the force increases and you have a lot of weight to push.
    I doubt someone who has a maximal leg strength of 30kg's will keep up.

    High repitition low weight strength training: good
    Flexibility training: good
    Low rep high weight strength training working on absolute maximum force: good (only if you're a sprinter) and if you race you would know that we all have to sprint!
    Weeding: BAD, EVIL very detrimental to cycling...this time should be spent resting :p
    Moving boxes: Good (only if there full of new bike gear or research papers on the effects of...to cycling :cool: ) but besides that its just too risky:eek:
     
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