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Off the Bike Training

Mike Willcox1Mike Willcox1 Posts: 311
edited September 2007 in Training, fitness and health
It has been categorically stated on this forum that any Improvement in power is due to improved CV and metabolic systems (whatever that means), and nothing whatever to due with improved muscular endurance.

The value of core stability in cycle racing and other sports is advocated by many coaches and cycling publications.

Are they all wrong?

Are there no off bike activities/exercises that can benefit a rider's ability to ride the bike further or faster than they could otherwise achieve by riding the bike?
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  • Are there no off bike activities/exercises that can benefit a rider's ability to ride the bike further or faster than they could otherwise achieve by riding the bike?

    Didn't Fausto Coppi once say "Ride a bike,Ride a bike,Ride a bike"?
    Why waste time doing other training when you could be out on your bike?
    If your aim is to be "fit" then certainly get down the gym, do some swimming, do some running, play 5 a side football, play squash,etc and you'll be fit all overand will be able to turn your hand to a lot of things.
    However, if you're serious about being a better cyclist, then ride a bike as much as possible and structure your training. The best cyclists I know are the ones who ride a bike a lot, not who get down the gym or do an alternative form of exercise
  • Somebody ought to tell Tim Don that he doesn't know what he is talking about.

    see http://www.malehealth.co.uk/userpage1.cfm?item_id=1691
  • Somebody ought to tell Tim Don that he doesn't know what he is talking about.

    see http://www.malehealth.co.uk/userpage1.cfm?item_id=1691

    most runners could do with using a Swiss Ball to help their core stability as they have bad postures and this leads to poor running styles. A swiss ball would help them enormously as would plyometrics.

    How has it specifically helped him with his cycling?
    Last time I looked this was a cycling forum, not a running or tri-forum.
  • Mog UkMog Uk Posts: 964
    Somebody ought to tell Tim Don that he doesn't know what he is talking about.

    see http://www.malehealth.co.uk/userpage1.cfm?item_id=1691

    Interesting article....

    Dodgy hair do though.....
  • Somebody ought to tell Tim Don that he doesn't know what he is talking about.

    see http://www.malehealth.co.uk/userpage1.cfm?item_id=1691

    most runners could do with using a Swiss Ball to help their core stability as they have bad postures and this leads to poor running styles. A swiss ball would help them enormously as would plyometrics.

    How has it specifically helped him with his cycling?
    Last time I looked this was a cycling forum, not a running or tri-forum.


    Lance Armstrong is (was) a cyclist and a pretty good one I believe.

    Quote.

    Preparation for the July tour begins in the preceding November. Armstrong spends months riding high weekly mileage at low intensity, ‘focusing on reinforcing the efficiency of his pedal stroke and integrity of his aerobic system,’ in the words of his coach, Carmichael. For these long rides his cadence is mostly in excess of 110 rpm.

    He complements this base training with strength work. The energy demands of endurance cycling inevitably result in lost muscle mass, which the strength training restores. But you have to get it just right: excessive weight gain through strength training can put a cyclist at a disadvantage. Armstrong, for instance, is said to enjoy a 10kg weight advantage over his fierce rival Jan Ullrich for the same power output, which helps him dominate in the mountain stages. (No wonder, then, that Armstrong is so meticulous with his diet – even weighing the exact amount of food that he needs to refuel his body after training.) Strength improvements result less from hypertrophy than from neuromuscular conditioning.

    Armstrong’s training regime is highly geared to injury-avoidance. Cycling is a hugely repetitive activity, while riders have to sit in the same position for hours on end. Muscle imbalances and joint restrictions are bound to develop. So, in keeping with Carmichael’s dictum that: ‘You should be an athlete first and a cyclist second’, Armstrong dedicates the months of September and October to keeping balance within his body. He plays golf and basketball to facilitate core stability muscles and non-cycling muscle groups. His gym work prioritises stability through the trunk and pelvis.

    While 2003 was not a great year for Armstrong, he came back with a vengeance in his 2004 Tour de France performance, and by now will have started his long build-up to an attempt at an unprecedented seventh tour victory in 2005.

    Sport science evolves through champions and champions evolve through sport science. We can all learn from the Lance Armstrong story.

    Unquote.
  • "Are there no off bike activities/exercises that can benefit a rider's ability to ride the bike further or faster than they could otherwise achieve by riding the bike?"

    er no ... riding a bike is generally good for erm ... riding a bike :lol:

    search specifity of exercise
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    It has been categorically stated on this forum that any Improvement in power is due to improved CV and metabolic systems (whatever that means), and nothing whatever to due with improved muscular endurance.

    Are they all wrong?
    Hopefully Ric will correct me if I'm wrong but 'muscular endurance' an out moded term basically refers to metabolic fitness so it absolutely does have a lot to do with Power output
    Are there no off bike activities/exercises that can benefit a rider's ability to ride the bike further or faster than they could otherwise achieve by riding the bike
    Using the specificity model no other exercise is going to make you really good at cycling apart from cycling. But clearly if you show good fitness levels in other aerobic sports (running and rowing) there will be some degree of cross over.
  • I beleive that the Swedish cyclist Ljungskog used to train in the winter by - running & skiing. She won one (or more?) World champoinships by NOT RIDING HER BIKE at certain times of the year. How much better would she be/ have been if she had just ridden her bike? WHo knows - how much better than world Champ can you be?
    I think there are several speed skaters that have successfully crossed over to cycling and done quite well even tho' they have not spent hours/years on bikes.
    As with most things you need to see the whole picture/person. I'm sure RST guys are well up on the latest science but science is not everything especially when it is isolated from real life.
    I'm sure that having strong, stable core, ligaments, tendons/insertion points etc is of importance in sport and life generally. I believe that this can be achieved in several differnt ways -including riding your bike or weight training - and that moderate weight training as part of a well-planned programme will help many intermediate cyclists. So I guess I'm (reluctantly?:wink :) 'with' Mike1 on this. RST will continue to disagree no doubt. We can agree to differ. :)
  • Toks wrote:
    It has been categorically stated on this forum that any Improvement in power is due to improved CV and metabolic systems (whatever that means), and nothing whatever to due with improved muscular endurance.

    Are they all wrong?
    Hopefully Ric will correct me if I'm wrong but 'muscular endurance' an out moded term basically refers to metabolic fitness so it absolutely does have a lot to do with Power output
    Are there no off bike activities/exercises that can benefit a rider's ability to ride the bike further or faster than they could otherwise achieve by riding the bike
    Using the specificity model no other exercise is going to make you really good at cycling apart from cycling. But clearly if you show good fitness levels in other aerobic sports (running and rowing) there will be some degree of cross over.

    I wouldn't worry too much about what Ric says. He is so caught up in objective data he can't see the wood for the trees.
    i.e. the bigger picture
  • rowers,runners and X country skiers can achieve very high V02 max- which is great for cycling in terms of performance.The technique ie pedalling is neuro-muscular trained and can take a whilst to develop.

    have you how slowly sometimes runners pedal ?

    it would be interesting too see how fast a kenyan long distance runner would be after riding
    for a year.
  • It has been categorically stated on this forum that any Improvement in power is due to improved CV and metabolic systems (whatever that means), and nothing whatever to due with improved muscular endurance.

    i presume by muscular endurance you mean the ability to keep doing something that is 'hard', e.g., time trialling, or climbing a hill. In that case you're talking about metabolic issues (i.e. lactate threshold), which in turn are rate limited by cardiovascular issues (i.e. VO2max).
    The value of core stability in cycle racing and other sports is advocated by many coaches and cycling publications.

    unlike other sports, cycling is a gross motor control sport where the limbs are constrained by the pedals and handlebars and you sit on a saddle.
    Are they all wrong?

    yes
    Are there no off bike activities/exercises that can benefit a rider's ability to ride the bike further or faster than they could otherwise achieve by riding the bike?

    there are several activities that i can immediately think of that help improving cycling are done off the bike.

    1) eating well
    2) rest/recovery
    3) decent analysis of your training

    Of course, the other point is that if you can't cycle (e.g. inclement weather) then any exercise is better than no cycling

    ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • Mike - didn't Lance also say he was looking to do all sorts of things for a year once he retired - off-road motorbiking, rock climbing, surfing,etc as he said (something along the lines of)
    I couldn't do all that sort of stuff when I was racing as it would lead me to develop muscles that would have been useless on a bike?
    He was that committed to be a top cyclist that he only did workouts that wouldn't give him one extra ounce of muscle that wasn't needed on his body.
    I've read that stuff before from Chris Carmichael and it seems aimed at the Lance wannabe more than a detailed insight into his training regime. Next you'll be telling us that Carmichael was his no 1 coach and not Dr Ferrari....
  • He complements this base training with strength work. The energy demands of endurance cycling inevitably result in lost muscle mass, which the strength training restores. But you have to get it just right: excessive weight gain through strength training can put a cyclist at a disadvantage. Armstrong, for instance, is said to enjoy a 10kg weight advantage over his fierce rival Jan Ullrich for the same power output, which helps him dominate in the mountain stages.

    In the actual medical controls, the masses of both riders tend to be the same, or often with Ullrich less than Armstrong.
    (No wonder, then, that Armstrong is so meticulous with his diet – even weighing the exact amount of food that he needs to refuel his body after training.) Strength improvements result less from hypertrophy than from neuromuscular conditioning.

    Notwithstanding the fact that Carmichael wasn't really Armstrong's coach (it was Ferrari), neuromuscular gains that occur (which carmichael is advocating) only occur at the joint angle and velocity that they are trained at. This is a well established phenomenon with data dating back on this a long way. Given that you can't weight train at ~ 100 revs/min, he's talking nonsense.
    Armstrong’s training regime is highly geared to injury-avoidance. Cycling is a hugely repetitive activity, while riders have to sit in the same position for hours on end. Muscle imbalances and joint restrictions are bound to develop. So, in keeping with Carmichael’s dictum that: ‘You should be an athlete first and a cyclist second’, Armstrong dedicates the months of September and October to keeping balance within his body. He plays golf and basketball to facilitate core stability muscles and non-cycling muscle groups. His gym work prioritises stability through the trunk and pelvis.

    there's no evidence to support this.

    ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • I beleive that the Swedish cyclist Ljungskog used to train in the winter by - running & skiing. She won one (or more?) World champoinships by NOT RIDING HER BIKE at certain times of the year. How much better would she be/ have been if she had just ridden her bike?

    Exactly. we don't know if she was good because of, or in spite of her training.

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • I wouldn't worry too much about what Ric says. He is so caught up in objective data he can't see the wood for the trees.
    i.e. the bigger picture

    Think what you like, but you're completely wrong.

    ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • I wouldn't worry too much about what Ric says. He is so caught up in objective data he can't see the wood for the trees.
    i.e. the bigger picture
    :lol: you are kidding, right?

    Mental exercises can be done off bike and can help some riders improve their on bike performance.

    Planning/preparation for an event can be done off bike and help improve performance (e.g. reccie a course, plan strategy/tactics).

    Weight training at the gym can help some riders improve their performance but this is mostly confined to track match sprinters and time triallists (1000m and less).

    Other off bike training that would help reasonably well trained cyclists would be used for recovery/rehabilitation from injury.

    Some off season cross training may be useful to help some cyclists mentally "recharge" after a hard season, maybe spend more time with loved ones and help to build desire to train hard again.

    But in general, nothing beats riding a bike to improve your ability to ride a bike.
  • [Armstrong’s training regime is highly geared to injury-avoidance. Cycling is a hugely repetitive activity, while riders have to sit in the same position for hours on end. Muscle imbalances and joint restrictions are bound to develop. So, in keeping with Carmichael’s dictum that: ‘You should be an athlete first and a cyclist second’, Armstrong dedicates the months of September and October to keeping balance within his body. He plays golf and basketball to facilitate core stability muscles and non-cycling muscle groups. His gym work prioritises stability through the trunk and pelvis.

    there's no evidence to support this.

    ric[/quote]

    Winning the TDF many times over may be not enough evidence for you but it sure is enough for me.
  • [quote="Mike Willcox1"

    Are there no off bike activities/exercises that can benefit a rider's ability to ride the bike further or faster than they could otherwise achieve by riding the bike?[/quote]


    no!
  • I wouldn't worry too much about what Ric says. He is so caught up in objective data he can't see the wood for the trees.
    i.e. the bigger picture

    Think what you like, but you're completely wrong.

    ric

    I will believe what I like and continue to train in the way I know works for me.
  • I wouldn't worry too much about what Ric says. He is so caught up in objective data he can't see the wood for the trees.
    i.e. the bigger picture

    Think what you like, but you're completely wrong.

    ric

    I will believe what I like and continue to train in the way I know works for me.

    So be it. You can think what you like, along with the world being flat. It's up to you.

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • I wouldn't worry too much about what Ric says. He is so caught up in objective data he can't see the wood for the trees.
    i.e. the bigger picture

    Think what you like, but you're completely wrong.

    ric

    I will believe what I like and continue to train in the way I know works for me.

    So be it. You can think what you like, along with the world being flat. It's up to you.

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

    Ric

    Everyone know the earth is flat. Come on now! :D
  • [Everyone know the earth is flat. Come on now! :D

    let me quote some link that proves otherwise, hang on.....
  • Lance Armstrong is (was) a cyclist and a pretty good one I believe.
    Quote.

    Preparation for the July tour begins
    [...]
    Sport science evolves through champions and champions evolve through sport science. We can all learn from the Lance Armstrong story.

    Unquote.

    Hi Mike

    I'm afraid to say there is more myth in that long quote about Armstrong than there is truth. Let's debunk a few things.

    1. His weight for a start. 10kg lighter than Ullrich? That is a myth. Armstrong was mesured by Ed Coyle five times in his lab

    November 1992 he weighed 78.9 kg (That was pre-cancer)
    November 1999 he weighed 79.7 kg (that was after his first T de F win)
    The lowest weight Coyle recorded for Armstrong was in September 1993 -- 75.1kg

    Armstrong never raced with his weight below 74 kg. Coyle suggested that Armstrong's weigh dropped to 72-74 kg, but Coyle never measured this, it was only reported to him.

    Armstrong weighed the same before and after cancer.

    Ed Coyles' scientific paper on LA is available free from this page
    http://www.the-aps.org/press/journal/05/10.htm or download a pdf here:
    http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/98/6/2191

    2. Carmichael his coach? Well who knows what Carmichael was up to. But we know what Dr Ferrari was up to and we know Armstrong, Hincapie and Landis paid him for advice. We know that Ferrari said on record that use of EPO was safe and we know that Ferrari was convicted of sporting fraud in Italy.

    3. Ed Coyle in the above paper suggests that Armstrong between 1993 and 1999 improved his steady state power by 18 percent. In his pre-cancer Tours he was consistently 5 or 6 mins behind the winner of a 50k ITT. Post-cancer he was winning the same ITTs. That's a 10 percent improvement for a flat ITT. Does anyone really believe that was the result of efficiencies gained? Or because he played golf?

    Bin
  • Bin

    The surest and unfairest way to score points in a debate is to rubbish your sources of information or to take them out of context. What I should also add is that it is ridiculous to may a statement of fact and then when questioned about it to then justify that statement by saying there is no evidence to support it. Logically If there is no evidence to support it then neither is there any eveidence to refute it. Makes sense to me.

    There is another one . I'm right and you are wrong and because I know I'm right then you are an idiot. It would be nice to have you are wrong because........ and I respect your opinion.

    I seems to me that there is a distinct lack of contributions to the training forum now and that is because people are scared of getting ridiculed. I've seen posts where the response is limited to .... You are wrong and the implication behind it because I am who I am don't dare to question me. A little humility would not go amiss. Me I don't give a censored for reputations and I speak plainly. I may be wrong but I have the right to say it.

    I didn't say shoot but you know what I mean.
  • Hi Mike

    I'm sorry it was not my intention to attempt to ridicule what you said. I responded to a post where you pasted in part of a long hagiography about Lance Armstrong.
    http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/lance-armstrong.html
    The article it was from does not, in my opinion, contribute to any understanding of training. To put it bluntly, the article was utter censored , spin, all part of the Armstrong and Carmichael myth factory. I far as I'm concerned it needed to be challeged for what I believe it is.

    If I post something to this forum I expect it to be challenged. Over the years I've learnt a lot from people challenging my views. As a result I believe I have a better understanding about training and have made improvements in a sport I enjoy.

    You asked a question, you didn't like the responses. You pasted an article that I thought was rubbish and I said so. Deal with it. :twisted:

    Bin
  • binlinus wrote:
    Hi Mike

    I'm sorry it was not my intention to attempt to ridicule what you said. I responded to a post where you pasted in part of a long hagiography about Lance Armstrong.
    http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/lance-armstrong.html
    The article it was from does not, in my opinion, contribute to any understanding of training. To put it bluntly, the article was utter censored , spin, all part of the Armstrong and Carmichael myth factory. I far as I'm concerned it needed to be challeged for what I believe it is.

    If I post something to this forum I expect it to be challenged. Over the years I've learnt a lot from people challenging my views. As a result I believe I have a better understanding about training and have made improvements in a sport I enjoy.

    You asked a question, you didn't like the responses. You pasted an article that I thought was rubbish and I said so. Deal with it. :twisted:

    Bin

    The title of the thread is "Off The Bike Training". Please refer to my OP.
    In this context I quoted the article because it states that Lance Armstrong undertook core strength exericises during the off season. Are you saying that this is censored ?

    You have the advantage of me regarding the background of the article. I have just taken it on face value. If Lance Armstrong did not do core strength exercises in the winter season then it is indeed a censored article, but if he did then you are out of order ridiculing the other stuff about him playing golf etc. and using that as a means of beating me over the head about him doing core strength exercises.

    I'm a big boy by the way. What makes you think I can't deal with it?

    If you read the posts that I make you will come to the conclusion that I'm not after winning any popularity contest. If you take a contentious point of view you must expect to take flak, and I frequently do.
  • I seems to me that there is a distinct lack of contributions to the training forum now and that is because people are scared of getting ridiculed. I've seen posts where the response is limited to .... You are wrong and the implication behind it because I am who I am don't dare to question me. A little humility would not go amiss.

    My feelings entirely. Have an opinion - express it for what it is - an opinion. Support it with evidence if you wish but there is no need to be blunt/rude/unpleasant. If certain contributors said to my face what they wrote I'd have left the room blubbing :oops:

    This is a forum after all - for public discussion , not dogmatic diatribes

    here's hoping the 'atmosphere' on training will improve -with or without using power meters ( :wink: did I write that?)
  • If certain contributors said to my face what they wrote I'd have left the room blubbing :oops:

    i don't know if that includes me (you've pointed this accusation at me before), but if it does, i can only apologise, however, i believe you're not quite getting my style of writing.

    It's certainly not dogmatic ("arrogant assertion of unproved or unprovable principles") because there is evidence to support my statements (that is, i tend not to express an opinion on something [to do with coaching etc] unless it is well grounded with lots of scientific support - in other words i'm presenting what the vast majority of the research shows).
    here's hoping the 'atmosphere' on training will improve -with or without using power meters ( :wink: did I write that?)

    And, then you write something like that

    Anyway, i'm off on holiday in a bit :-)

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • Have a nice holiday Ric
    Warm? with a bike or not?
    (BTW the Oxford Dictionary includes the words authoritative and arrogant under its explanation of dogmatic)
  • Have a nice holiday Ric

    thanks.
    Warm?

    i doubt it. (unless ~ 18oC or less counts as warm)
    with a bike or not?

    definitely not. but we may go swimming every day.

    ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
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