Weight training vs cycling?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by tomb, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. tomb

    tomb New Member

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    I think a combination of both can work wonders for your cycling. If you think when you cycle and stress your body to something that it is not used to then during recovery it will adapt and come back stronger. To continually get stronger you have to always keep pushing the boundaries. Now onto weights: when the body adapts to weights it develops more muscle to cope with the added demand. Inside the muscle are lots of cellular components, the main one is mitochondria, responsible for aerobic respiration. I will not go too scientific but this is where glycolysis, electron transport and the citric acid cycle take place to produce ATP for muscle contraction. Surely then if we combine with the right amount of weights and cycling ( long term aerobic exercise over many years causes many adaptations) then we will have more muscle with more mitochondria allowing ultimately more strength and aerobic power?
     
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  2. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    I'm somewhat pushed for time :-(, but those adaptations basically occur under aerobic type training (which weight training isn't). Weight/resistance training increases contractile proteins instead.

    Most people don't need to increase the actual volume of their muscles, they're strong enough. You need to increase your power output, either sustained for e.g., TTs or peak power for sprinting -- for endurance riders this can all be done without the use of weights.

    Ric
     
  3. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    True, with weight training and cycling you could have more strength and aerobic power! But would this make you a better cyclist? Perhaps not.

    You have mentioned two adaptations from training muscle size increases (hypertrophy) and increases in mitochondrial density. Excessive hypertrophy could be problematic for cycling in itself, imagine a body builder climbing. There are many other physiological adaptations that occur during weight and aerobic training, many are counterproductive.

    The key physiological factors that any endurance athlete needs to work on are:

    1. economy (the amount of energy you use for a given power output)
    2. VO2 max (the maximum amount of energy you can produce aerobicaly)
    3. Lactate threshold (maximum sustainable power output)
    4. Oxygen uptake kinetics (the rate at which your metabolism can adjust to your work rate)

    Obviously road riders need to add an ability to sprint, much of this is provided by glycolysis (anaerobic).

    Improvements in these are acheived by specific training, most of which is on the bike and aerobic. While weight training would cause reductions in all of the factors mentioned!
     
  4. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    oh man didn't we flog this to death last year?

    look up the thread on weight training so poor Ric doesn't get RSI!!!
     
  5. clever_guy

    clever_guy New Member

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    tomb;

    Depends what your goals are. It might be more accurate to think of "strength training" rather than "weight lifting" as such. An advanced strength coach can find ways meet your goals, with a variety of methods and routines. So say if pro-cycling is the goal, then any accompanying strength training must augment the specific training involved in cycling. This may focus on building aspects of strength, training to prevent injuries, or muscular endurance, without neccesarily increasing mass. Whereas if general fitness was the goal, then mass building may compliment the cycling goals.

    From the studies I have read there seems to be an indication that long distance running and cycling build different muscle fibers than that involved in lifting weights (ie body building, or powerlifting). Unfortunately no one really can say definatively if it is a disadvantage, or how much of a disadvantage it would be to combine both types of training for an elite level cycling athlete.

    There seems to be a feeling within the cycling community that specific training (spinning, intervals, etc.) will achieve faster results than augmenting with "weight training". At the same time there is a trend within the athletic community at elite levels, where athletes are getting larger and more muscular.

    Time will tell,

    -CG
     
  6. TREKRacer925

    TREKRacer925 New Member

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    Hey guys,

    just a thought: I think it might be worthwhile to consider the concept of catabolism here. Namely, cycling and the cyclist's average diet of a lot of carbs/little protein doesn't exactly cater to building any kind of muscle from weights. My brother did a ton of leg work in the gym this winter, but given that he hardly had enough protein in his diet, he made relatively no gains. I'm not sure if it's this "anti-bulking" mentality in cyclists, but eating at least 1-1.5grams of protein/lb--which is the necessary amount to overcome muscle catabolism--will not make you bulk up. Over the winter, I work out in the gym 3 times a week (abs onces a week) in the typical body building fashion (now I'm riding & doing leg work w/ faster & greater reps: 100 reps of 235 on the leg press machine). however, if any of you have every tried to really build muscle, you'll know how essential it is that you get you fair share of protein. so add cycling's anticatabolic effects on there, as well as the fact that most cyclists who do weight training probably don't get enough protein in their diets (for fear of gaining "bulk" or too much weight), and you'll realize that the reason they haven't been getting anything out of weight training is the fact that they're not supporting muscle repair & growth with their cycling diets. I think people seriously overestimate the possibility of putting on too much weight in cycling. I am just getting back into the swing of things, yet I am actually leaner around the abs than my brother (who goes for 3hr + rides 4-5 times a week).

    so if you consider that most cyclists don't eat enough to prevent catabolism, I think you'll have a pretty compelling reason why you're not seeing gains from weight training.

    I definitely agree w/ the other guys' points about doing leg work in the gym and performing more reps faster pace. however, I just think that most cyclists fail to realize that the 60/40 carb/protein diet (or just the greater carb than protein cyclist diet), is not suitable to support muscle growth from weight training. While this means that you will probably have to consume a ton of protein 1.5grams per lb to overcome the catabolic effects of cycling & weight training, I think it's worth a shot.
     
  7. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    The upper limit for protein intake is required for the guys who ride the Tour de France, ~1.8 - 2.0 g protein per kg body mass per day, i.e., 140 grams per day for a 70 kg rider. For weight training, and other sports you need considerably less.

    it should also be noted that large amounts of carbohydrates as required by cyclists, help 'spare' protein needs.

    apart from very restrictive diets most riders should have no problems whatsoever meeting protein requirements (including vegetarians).

    Ric
     
  8. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Protein needs must be one of the largest of the sporting myths!?!
     
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