Strength and cycling controversy

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

  1. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    If he can do it for 5 s, then his neuromuscular power is indeed comparable to that of the best match sprinters in the world.
     


  2. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I was about to answer Solar Energy's question and see that you have.

    A weighted bar or sitting in a leg press the legs become isolated so that the legs are the primary muscles involved. On squats you have a lot of minor involvement or secondary involvement from stabilizing muscles in the torso which are your core group, but they are also supported by the skeletal structure so the legs are still are the primary group.

    You cannot mimick the same on the bike because there are other factors involved like hand grip strength, arm strength and the moment of force is not the same as well as some other differences. You only have to move the pedal a few inches so it has a very limited range of motion compared to a full squat.

    This also carries over to a comparison between squats and leg press. Just because someone can leg press 1000 lbs doesn't mean they can squat 1000 lbs. This has been true for me. I can train with 1000 lbs on the leg press because I have short legs and my range of motion is limited compared to someone that is 6'5". I can do 1000 lbs x 6 reps (legs touching my chest), but on squats (hamstrings touching calves) the max. weight for 6 rep range (in my prime) would be approximately 405 lbs. The difference being the range of motion and on leg press the legs are even more isolated than squats where you have to stabilize the bar. In summary I cannot see how to relate compare cycling to squats with all the factors involved for each. (I hope that I did add more confusion to you question)

    That is why I am skeptical about this discussion and I am in agreement with ric even though I am on the complete opposite side of training interests. To build strength, power, endurance or stability comes from sports specific training for what ever sport or event you are training. I have said this before that I am not seeing my gym trained leg strength being utilized unless I am on the mountain bike and then I have felt my upper body and lower body strength being used in volatile explosive movements like powering over rocks and roots while climbing or stabilizing the bike on hard volatile descents by controlling the bike with explosive bursts of strength. These are very minute bursts of explosive strength that may last for milliseconds of time similar to the bursts of strength in a bench press or squat. They are not the exact same, but I have seen the benefit of having that explosive strength available. Now on the flip side of this a skilled mt. biker can often use finesse and skill to avoid these obstacles so for them the strength level does not have to be compared to mine. If I were a competitive mt. biker I would again take skill over strength because the skilled riders are faster. A standing start for a sprinter perhaps uses this momentary explosive strength, but again one would have to find a way to harness this strength and apply it to the pedals with the weakness factors involved like how much you can pull on the handle bars and push in that very short range of motion creating a maximum amount of force. I will leave the sprinting discussion for the experts.
     
  3. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    To me gym movements feel very different , especially when the weights become heavy. The weight is distributed accross the "power zone" differently. I find the force for a standing start to be more isolated to the quads. On a squat or lp, it seems to be distributed more . Sorry no study to back me up:)
     
  4. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    Not to mention the variations in foot position and bar placement on the shoulders. The seat position and foot position on the LP all change the emphasis of what moves the sled or bar. In the gym people can choose a position that best suits personal mechanics. It usually will look nothing like the force needed to move the pedals
     
  5. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    84-90 inch gear for 25m standing start tests...

    That's a poor test to conclude how much stength is needed by an individual to do an entire kilo or 2-3 laps of a team sprint.

    A small gear like that doesn't need nearly as much strength to get up to speed. From much experience with standing starts I can say that technique is more important for gears that are below the gear most riders would use to start AND finsh the total event with their best time, unless it is a rider using a small gear who can spin at relatively high cadences for the duration of the event. For most amateur kilo and team sprint riders this is not the case. They will use lower rpm's to finish and more strength to get the gear up to speed.
     
  6. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    Wow! You jumped across a very wide chasm for that opinion! If your wife could have produced more absolute power for the event she could have been faster than the lighter rider.

    The ability to produce higher absolute power is why we usually see large riders doing well in the kilo and 2nd and 3rd position for team sprint. Their weight penalty is offset by their ability to produce higher power for the whole event. Spend 10-20 days at track events watching various kilo and team sprint riders. Look at the results.

    ...Still trying to think of a guy under 195 pounds who has won the masters nat's kilo in the 45-49 group during the last 6-7 years... Any at Elite Worlds?
     
  7. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    I agree that gym movements feel different. Part of the reason(s) is that during a standing start you need good coordination of several muscle groups, each doing their part, and none being a weak link in the chain that is the total of a good standing start.

    This could be due in some part because of the relative stength of all of your different muscle groups involved in a good standing start. I think that as you do a few more months of standing starts and your mechanics improve, along with the weaker muscles in your body getting stronger, you'll start to feel the strain more equally distributed across your arms, trunk and legs.
     
  8. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    Jan does some weight/strength training in the gym, but most of his strength training is done on the bike with low cadence, high resistance intervals on hills. Same as Lance.
     
  9. K50

    K50 New Member

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    Indeed he is, but he explains so much more about strength, muscular endurance, diet, cardiovascular health, and all the same principles that have been discussed in this thread. And maybe with strength training component would be better suited to dm69 anyways.
     
  10. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    I am thinking that its a firing pattern thing. At least thats the excuse I give myself when I look at the lame start #s:) New bike is out of the box and going to be assembled. Pista Concept w/ front 4 spoke and rear disc. Racing starts on the 9th:D
     
  11. 6002

    6002 New Member

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    Wondering also, how much of this discussion can be attributed to co ordination, and natural cycling technique?

    As we have seen, some riders look beautiful while pedalling on a bike, and some are total power mongers.
     
  12. K50

    K50 New Member

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    Yup! It's not all about physical ability, but talent and technique, and also intelligence.
     
  13. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    Rut-roh. You're in deep now. You have eliminated all the possible bike excuses. That only leaves...


    Yes, firing pattern, coordination, mechanics... After you do 20-30 starts in training you'll feel pretty confident applying ALL the strength and power you have available. Then you'll get even better at it.

    Are you doing the lunge start yet?
     
  14. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Not an opinion: a fact.

    Or if she could have lost ~25 lbs w/o reducting her absolute power...it's still an issue of W/kg, not just W.

    What the results show is that you need to produce a very high W/kg for a short period of time in order to get up to speed quickly. A high absolute power alone won't do it if you weigh too much.

    That's because to generate a very high W/kg for a short period of time you need a LOT of muscle, which means that you're likely to be large...but W/kg is still a better indicator than W alone.
     
  15. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    You're confusing strength and power: if the gear is larger you'll accelerate more slowly because your power will be compromised, not your strength.
     
  16. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    It takes more strength to start in the bigger gear. Less strength to start the smaller gear. If you are not as strong you will have to offset your lack of strength to start the bigger gear by using higher cadence later on.
     
  17. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Member

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    Weigh too much, you mean like all the 200 pound guys winning the events? In fact, there are plenty of guys I race with who have better w/kg than me but they don't go faster for the opening lap of a team sprint. The factor of weight differences of 20-30 pounds all but disappears within the first 60-100 meters of the events, and then it is absolute power as the most important factor for the rest of the race. You really need to watch, and time some laps of kilos and team sprints, as well as watching many, various combinations of riders doing the team sprints, IF you are truly interested in knowing what is important for the event(s).

    Since we know you have never done the events, nor have you watched dozens and dozens of different riders doing the events I've mentioned, all you have is your "data" and your opinion, so let's see this data of yours that you base your opinion on.

    Show us all the results I asked for. Here. Now. Specifics. And not another silly study using gears too small and for only 25 meters WRT to events lasting 10 to 40 times longer than that. The mere fact you think such a study is relevant indicates your lack of understanding about the event(s).
     
  18. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    That's an interesting comment. A given rate of acceleration (delta KE over time) would require the same power no matter what gear was used. The only difference would be the torque (force) requirement for different gears.
     
  19. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    I never thought the cheapie bike was much of a limter once I upgraded the wheels. The concept is a much nicer bike though , and If I had to guess a total of 5 lbs lighter. I dont know what a lunge start is, but I got a much longer list of excuses than that:)
     
  20. serendipity

    serendipity New Member

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    I picked up on this thread awfully late in the game and I will admit that I did not have the time or attention span to read through all of the posts. However, I did read through enough to get the general jist that most cyclists have determined that resistance training offers little benefit to cycling training. I want to post some "food for thought" for everyone to mull over.

    Possible benefits of strength training for endurance athlets:
    (1) Preventing muscular imbalance from developing between opposing muscles. Muscle imbalances can result in chronic injuries that are difficult to treat. An obvious example is the quadricep/hamstring imbalance that can develop in cyclists. The proper balance between muscles around a joint is especially important for maintaining joint stability.

    (2) Maintaining bone density and connective tissue that play an essential role in mineral distribution, functional integrity, joint stability and restistance to tension. Performance athletes place huge demands on their bodies, which can collapse under the pressure unless general health is maintained.

    (3) Preventing overuse injuries (refer back to #1 and #2, which both play a role in the development of overuse/chronic injuries).

    (4) Possible changes in muscle fiber recruitment. Cycling and other endurance activities specifically train slow-twitch muscle fibers and often do not put enough load on any specific muscles to recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers. There, however, is potential for these fibers to aid the related muscle during a steep climb or sprint finish if they are trained effectively. It is possible to train them only under heavy loads - for instance high weight, low rep squat or deadlift. Thus, during a short period of high intensity cycling it is possible to take the load off already fatigued slow-twitch muscle fibers while fast-twitch muscle fibers that are otherwise relatively unused are recruited.
    *I need to do some more research in this area though since I have heard conflicting viewpoints.

    (5) Exercise economy. Ride or run faster using less energy. Training the upper body can be beneficial to improving the overall economy of an endurance athlete even though it may not play a primary role during the endurance activity. In addition, core stabilization is essential in delaying overall fatigue to the body.

    Like I said this is just some "food for thought". I personally lift 2 X per week and my times have reduced remarkably since I started doing triathlons 2 years ago. Between the endurance training and lifting, something seems to be working!
     
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