Where does power come from?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Piotr, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Anyone can come on the forum. If they're going to tout their products they need to do it either as a paid advert, or with some in-depth follow up - which Frank does. He *tries* to make valid points for his products (which is fine), but ultimately, there's a dearth of scientific data to support his product (one study shows, i think, some increased efficiency) and no *good* anecdotal data to support his point (i.e., if PC's increased fitness 40% in average cyclists as Frank suggests, you'd have average cyclists turning pro and/or winning major events. This hasn't happened...).


    Andy Coggan and other emminent exercise physiologists have pointed out the holes with stuff that Frank quotes.

    It's a warning for others - so as to not spend their hard earned cash on something that cannot possibly deliver what it says (a 40% increase in power).

    The only way you'll get a 40% increase in power is if you are starting at a low fitness level and are aiming to get fitter (and even then you may not get a 40% increase)

    Ric
     


  2. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Because the "accepted definition" is inadequate for the purpose of cycling discussions. Using the "accepted definition" one can reach the conclusion that being weak makes no difference also (since strength makes no difference). So why train at all? Clearly the "accepted" definition is inadequate for the sport unless one is using it just to try to make others look stupid.

    So a modified definition may suit the argument better. In science, it is not so important as to what the definition is exactly but only that everyone knows what the definition is and how it is being used. That is what I tried to do, come up with a modified definition such that everyone would know what I was talking about. A measurement of muscle strength or force in association with various levels of endurance. strength ()!

    This discussion has essentially nothing to do with my product.
     
  3. vadiver

    vadiver New Member

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  4. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    After the semantic dust settles what I see is a battle between marketing and science sometimes marketing wins over science. I'm just glad Fday is selling clever looking bicycle cranks and not Vioxx.:)
     
  5. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    YOU'RE CONFUSING POWER WITH STRENGTH. DON'T YOU GET IT? ARE YOU REALLY THAT STUPID?

    To everyone else, apologies for shouting.

    Ric
     
  6. gaz147

    gaz147 New Member

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    I have to say, I've just read this thread, sat around confused, reread it and come to the same conclusion. Isn't everyone here stating the same thing - being able to maintain a specific power output over the relevant distance is what is important, whereas a one-off maximal effort (strength) is not. It's just that the other guy wants to define strength[x] as average power over distance[x]. I think :)
     
  7. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Indeed, why? :confused:
     
  8. vadiver

    vadiver New Member

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    When I was in high school we did a training excersise called a four minute mile.

    It consisted of doing 17, 100 yard sprints in a 14 seconds each. We got a rest of about 2 minutes between runs. If we took all of the 14 second runs we did about a four minute mile.

    But most people would not see this as a 4 minute mile. Should the definition of a mile be adjusted to suit our needs?

    credibility
     
  9. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    No I am not. I have defined strength () to be something specific. It is obviously related to power but it is not power per se. It is for this reason this is a better definition of strength, when it comes to cycling than what was put out before, even though the other definition is "generally accepted".
     
  10. jamesstout

    jamesstout New Member

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    it is power per se you cant just redefine a word to suit your purposes or language would serve no function i could say that for my purposes its better if dnf means 1st place then i won my last race....
     
  11. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    oh, man.. i'm actually wiping tears out of my eyes.. i was laughing so hard reading the last few pages...

    Fday... please, please tell me you are just yank'n their chains... you really have just redefined strength as power.. you do realize that don't you?
     
  12. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    I can only guess that you are intentionally being this 'stupid'. I am seriously doubting that this is doing your business any good whatsoever.


    Ric
     
  13. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Shouldn't you specify all the parameters, rather than just the number of reps, just to be clear for purposes of comparison? So, you could have strength (#reps, cadence, crank length) which would be useful for comparing between people who don't always pedal at exactly 90rpm with a vertical rise of 14". ;)
     
  14. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    The problem I have with your line of thinking Frank besides the definition thing is that there is no time element in your strength(5400) logic. I recently took a closer look at my power vs. pedal torque relationships. If I want to hold 350 watts in my typical gears and cadence I need to do one leg presses at a bit less than 50 pounds. Well I used to do gym work because I thought as you seem to that it would help my racing and I could regularly do one legged sets of 15 or more at 300 pounds on the leg sled. I'm certain I could do 50 pound reps indefinitely if I didn't worry about how fast I did them. I'm sure I could do a lot more than 5400 if I could rest, eat and drink between every one.

    What's become real clear to me from reading these forums and surfing Pubmed for exercise physiology abstracts is that cycling or other endurance sports have almost nothing to do with peak strength(standing starts and certain sprint events excluded) and almost everything to do with supplying energy to enable frequent and rapid muscle contractions at moderate to low forces. IOW for TT's and mass start racing what matters most is how well you train your body to get energy to the working muscles. The way I see it, that's what power training is all about. Focusing on the specific energy delivery systems that you'll draw on during your events. Increasing your single or 10 rep max won't help if the muscles are already strong enough, but you can't continually supply them with ATP at a fast enough rate.

    Your argument assumes a linear relationship between 1 rep max strength [your strength(1)] and the needs of a cyclist hours later [strength(5400)]. I don't see any published evidence that such a relationship exists, particularly if you remove any time constraints. Even weightlifting max one rep tables rarely extrapolate above 10 reps and even then warn about the lack of accuracy that comes from estimating one rep max from more than 10 reps. What makes you think you can relate your strength(1) to your strength(5400) or more importantly that your strength(5400) is defined and limited by your strength(1)?

    -Dave
     
  15. bighead_9901

    bighead_9901 New Member

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    Let me start out by saying I'm sorry if this sounds dumb and it probably will to most of you but I'm new to cycling and really want to understand. I have read most of the forums including the classic "gyming to improve power" and understand the difference between power and strength and how it relates to cycling but after reading this current thread and the previous ones I'm still confused. I have a couple questions which will hopefully help me to understand.
    The way I understand this is if a trained cyclist was to perform a leg exercise such as squats or leg presses he normally wouldn't demonstrate a signifcantly higher 1rep max (strength) than a normal healthy, trained noncyclist. If this is correct and I'm understanding then this is because cycling requires power, which is our ability to perform multiple reps with a light weight, not strength.
    So my question is what if I took a trained cyclist and instead of doing a 1 rep max had him perform a squat or leg press using 20%to 30% of his 1 rep max? Would this be Power or am I retarded? If this is power then is this where we would see a big difference between a cyclist and a healthy, trained noncyclist? Also if they performed 3 or 4 sets with minimal rest would a difference be seen?

    Please I admit in advance I'm not the smartest individual so just help me out here.
     
  16. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    First it would be more like 5 to 10% of the cyclists one rep max. But how much the trained cyclist outperformed the less trained person would depend on specific range of motion and how fast and for how long these sets were performed. If they did say three reps per minute I wouldn't expect the cyclist to shine since there's plenty of time for the trained or untrained body to resupply the working muscles between these light contractions.

    But make the range of motion similar to that of the cyclist on his bike with his typical leg angles and speed up the reps to emulate a cyclist's typical cadence and lastly continue the sets for time periods that represent a cyclist's strengths then I'd expect the cyclist to shine. IOW it gets back to specificity in terms of leg angles and how efficiently the cyclist can resupply his working muscles relative to the untrained test subject.

    Anyway, that's at least how I've come to view power and power training. I see it as a matter of how well you can resupply working muscles with energy so that they can fire again, and again, and again.... And that depends on how fast and how long you need to do it since the energy delivery mechanisms vary by intensity and duration. So if you're in a full out sprint and supplying your muscles anaerobically with phosphocreatine then you'd better have worked that energy delivery system, same goes for anaerobic glycolosis or the kreb cycle. They represent different fuels and different ways of getting energy to the working muscles so you have to train them all to be a versatile mass start cyclist.

    But none of them rely on peak strength beyond what a normally healthy individual is capable of(well maybe the purely anaerobic system you'd draw on in a very short standing start sprint). Well that's how I look at it, let the criticism begin :)

    -Dave
     
  17. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    All kidding aside, do not try to understand this conversation. Half of it is people being silly and the other half is people making things complicated out of principle because of past arguments/discussions. If you are new to cycling and want some useful advice, then check out the other threads and ignore the last couple days' posts here. Seriously.
     
  18. bighead_9901

    bighead_9901 New Member

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    Dave,

    Thanks I think it may actually be starting to come together just a little so here is my next question continuing with the same scenario.
    If I had them perform a set of box squats (great method for controling the range of motion) to a little above parallel and they both performed as many repetitions as possible in 3 minutes would I see a difference? Also for cycling I'm starting to think instead of using a percentage of their 1 rep max using a percentage of their body weight would be more accurate in relation to power and cycling. Also would there be a large difference in recovery and performance in additional sets?

    I understand the forces or strength required are very low for cycling but wouldn't there be an increase in an individuals ability to recover and perform multiple reps and sets at a percentage of their body weight even if it was as high as 50%?
     
  19. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    bighead_9901... the one thing you can get from this thread is that the best/easiest way to train your muscles for cycling at the precise angles, the appropriate torques, and rate of repetition is to simply get on a bike and pedal it. in the gym the best you can do is to recreate this exactly but more than likely you will not and will actually end up impeading you cycling abilities or not affecting them at all... that is unless you get on the cycle trainer at the gym and it is set up exactly like your road bike. the only people that squats are going to help are track sprinters up to maybe the kilo... maybe the dedicated road sprinter... for everyone else it's pretty much a complete waste of time.
     
  20. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    That's what common sense would suggest, but I really think this is an area where common sense falls short. If you realize that even the Tour de France's best hill climbers (very light, very fast in the hills) are putting out max pedal forces that are a very small percentage of their one rep max potential it becomes harder to justify the notion that stronger for a small number of reps means stronger for a large number of quick reps. I really think the quickness or the need to fuel the muscles for many very quick contractions with no rest is really the defining factor, not how strong the muscles are.

    I won't even try to answer your other questions, because again they try to test a cyclist's fitness by his or her ability to lift weights or to measure recovery during weight lifting. The point is that cycling fitness is not about strength so using a strength regime (box squats) to assess cycling fitness is missing the point. Think in terms of energy delivery to the working muscles, not in terms of how much weight someone can lift or how quickly they can recover from lifting weights.

    Someone posted in another thread a while back and it really stuck with me conceptually. I can't find the exact post, but paraphrased it read something like: Hypertrophy(power weight lifting adaptation mechanism) builds big thick slow muscles that are very strong but aren't efficient in terms of delivering energy for rapid and frequent contractions. Endurance training doesn't enlarge individual muscle fibers, but increases mitochondrial density and converts fiber types which results in many smaller, more efficient engines. It's those energy conversion engines which allow a trained cyclist to put out 350 watts or more for hours on end at 80 to 100 rpm.

    -Dave
     
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