Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Increasing leg strength

2456712

Posts

  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    IMO seated leg presses are a must. They really build the quads, glutes and hamstrings. Been spending at least four days a week in the gym for the past three months due to a bad crash and my legs are now bigger than they ever were!

    Personally I woudl avoid leg presses. yes they might build muscle but they are not very 'functional' and your leg/hip/back position is completely still during it. You don't want BIG muscles - you want strong muscles. Weight lifters stay at much the same body weight for their careers but lift progressively more every season getting stronger but not much bigger. Free weights have the benefits of providing core strength too
  • I don't agree. There is no reason why leg presses cannot be added to a workout routine. It's not an uncommon excersise in gym programmes for cyclists.
  • P_Tucker wrote:
    I think you'll find we have read it. Then we've read stuff from people who know what they're talking about.
    And this coming from another self proclaimed forum coaching expert......
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    The Bounce wrote:
    P_Tucker wrote:
    I think you'll find we have read it. Then we've read stuff from people who know what they're talking about.
    And this coming from another self proclaimed forum coaching expert......

    I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I just read books written by people that are.
  • gilesjukgilesjuk Posts: 340
    It's power to weight ratio. If you have just enough muscle mass and plenty of cardiovascular fitness you'll be fine.

    Have you noticed what the professionals do when they need to climb fast? they stand up! On hills the aerodynamics aren't quite so crucial as you'll not be going as fast as on the flat.

    If you want to bulk up then ride a singlespeed bike. Ideally a fixie as you learn to pedal smoothly. You can't wimp out on the hills either, you'll have to stand up or stop.
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    gilesjuk wrote:
    It's power to weight ratio. If you have just enough muscle mass and plenty of cardiovascular fitness you'll be fine.

    Have you noticed what the professionals do when they need to climb fast? they stand up! On hills the aerodynamics aren't quite so crucial as you'll not be going as fast as on the flat.

    If you want to bulk up then ride a singlespeed bike. Ideally a fixie as you learn to pedal smoothly. You can't wimp out on the hills either, you'll have to stand up or stop.

    Ugh. Im out, the stupid is too strong. do all the weights you want FFS
  • SlackSlack Posts: 326
    OP - if you have the strength to get out of bed in the mornings, then you have enough strength to pedal a bike.

    Your fitness is limiting your ability to climb hills. If you cannot turn the cranks to get up a hill, try using lower gears. It's about aerobic power/fitness, not how strong your leg muscles are. It comes from your core engine - heart and lungs!!!!
    Plymouthsteve for councillor!!
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,492
    Slack wrote:

    It's about aerobic power/fitness, not how strong your leg muscles are. It comes from your core engine - heart and lungs!!!!

    Sort of disagree here. I've been on more than a few week long climbing tours in the Colorado Rockies and can tell you, without a doubt, that leg strength plays a major role in climbing(at least for me). Add to this the fact that most pro riders(climbers included) have some major league thigh, calf, buttocks, and hamstring muscles with bunches of power and strength in them. Sure you need "heart and lungs" but the brunt of climbing still comes down to legs. Either that or I'm doing something terribly wrong out there.
  • Murr XMurr X Posts: 258
    The Bounce wrote:
    Murr X wrote:
    .

    Chris Carmichael a top cycling coach? :lol:
    a_n_t wrote:
    I love these threads :lol:
    I agree 100%!
    And your coaching credentials are :?:
    Well i did not coach Armstrong but then neither did Carmichael. The LA Carmichael connection is purely a business one with Ferrari being his coach as I have know for over a decade and was confirmed by Floyd Landis recently. Yes I believe him... Landis that is.

    Murr X
  • Murr XMurr X Posts: 258
    dennisn wrote:
    Slack wrote:

    It's about aerobic power/fitness, not how strong your leg muscles are. It comes from your core engine - heart and lungs!!!!

    Sort of disagree here. I've been on more than a few week long climbing tours in the Colorado Rockies and can tell you, without a doubt, that leg strength plays a major role in climbing(at least for me). Add to this the fact that most pro riders(climbers included) have some major league thigh, calf, buttocks, and hamstring muscles with bunches of power and strength in them. Sure you need "heart and lungs" but the brunt of climbing still comes down to legs. Either that or I'm doing something terribly wrong out there.
    Dennis with all due respect (again not very much here) that is complete nonsense. I do not have the time or energy to attempt to correct all the beliefs of those who can will not "see the light" but there is just so much wrong with what you posted - as in all of it garbage.

    Elite climbers sure as hell do not have big (or strong) muscles anywhere with many being almost as thin as elite distance runners, and it takes quite a uninformed person who would think that they do have big or strong muscles. Without exception they have an incredible sustainable power output though which is very different to strength and is all that matters in this sport.

    Endurance cyclists are very powerful yes but very strong? No. The word strong is misused in many sports cycling included and it is relatively few that require a great deal of strength. Weightlifting and powerlifting do require it while swimming, rowing, triathlon XC skiing etc do not.

    Murr X
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    In order to quell the obvious disquiet in the various camps....
    this weeks comic on page 45 has an article on cadences for higher power outputs... the upshot was low cadence group (60 ish) increased their climbing and flat road times over the hi cadence group after the control training period was over..
    There you go, that'll stand until CW publish another finding that hi cadences work better overall to give cyclists longer lives.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,492
    Murr X wrote:
    dennisn wrote:
    Slack wrote:

    It's about aerobic power/fitness, not how strong your leg muscles are. It comes from your core engine - heart and lungs!!!!

    Sort of disagree here. I've been on more than a few week long climbing tours in the Colorado Rockies and can tell you, without a doubt, that leg strength plays a major role in climbing(at least for me). Add to this the fact that most pro riders(climbers included) have some major league thigh, calf, buttocks, and hamstring muscles with bunches of power and strength in them. Sure you need "heart and lungs" but the brunt of climbing still comes down to legs. Either that or I'm doing something terribly wrong out there.
    Dennis with all due respect (again not very much here) that is complete nonsense. I do not have the time or energy to attempt to correct all the beliefs of those who can will not "see the light" but there is just so much wrong with what you posted - as in all of it garbage.

    Elite climbers sure as hell do not have big (or strong) muscles anywhere with many being almost as thin as elite distance runners, and it takes quite a uninformed person who would think that they do have big or strong muscles. Without exception they have an incredible sustainable power output though which is very different to strength and is all that matters in this sport.

    Endurance cyclists are very powerful yes but very strong? No. The word strong is misused in many sports cycling included and it is relatively few that require a great deal of strength. Weightlifting and powerlifting do require it while swimming, rowing, triathlon XC skiing etc do not.

    Murr X

    Hmmmmm, I must be doing something really wrong. It seems that my legs hurt the most
    during and after a ton of climbing. I think maybe your theory's are all Internet and book related and don't really relate to what it takes to climb a 25 mile long pass at 11,000 feet.
    I'll try thinking about what you have said next time I do bunches of climbing and try and convince my legs that they really don't need any strength to get over the top, after all, the Internet said they didn't.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,969
    dennisn wrote:
    Hmmmmm, I must be doing something really wrong. It seems that my legs hurt the most
    during and after a ton of climbing. I think maybe your theory's are all Internet and book related and don't really relate to what it takes to climb a 25 mile long pass at 11,000 feet.
    I'll try thinking about what you have said next time I do bunches of climbing and try and convince my legs that they really don't need any strength to get over the top, after all, the Internet said they didn't.

    Not sure the Colorado Rockies are an ultimate strength test - I've driven over a lot of them and recently ridden Mt Evans from the start of the toll road. That was 14 miles to 14,000 feet and didn't feel like a major effort on the legs. I find that I need a long ride and a very steep gradient to feel that my muscle strength is the limiting factor.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Keith47Keith47 Posts: 158
    Arrived a bit late to the party but here's my two penneth worth. As a competitive bodybuilder for 30 years I've built some seriously huge powerful legs, but the leg strength amounts to almost nothing when it comes to cycling uphill, it's cardiovascular conditioning (or lack of it to be precise) that determines how easily(?) you complete the climbs, something that I would never have believed before I began cycling. As my fitness has improved so has my climbing ability (slowly) improved. My leg strength has, by design, reduced by about 50% but I am getting up those hills significantly better.

    Fitness, IMO, is far more important than leg strength.
    The problem is we are not eating food anymore, we are eating food-like products.
  • cyco2cyco2 Posts: 593
    There are strong climbers and strong sprinters. Two entirely different athletes. Very rare to see a bunch winning sprint by a climber at the end of a TDF stage race. Very rare to see a sprinter winning a significant climbing stage in the TDF. However, it was allowed to happen this year. Cavendish cannot climb but must have amazing muscles. So must Cadell for climbing.
    I used to train with a British Hill Climb Champion before he discovered his talent. Then when on one occasion after he had been training for sometime for climbing I saw him climb again.
    It was an OMG moment. I realised then that the best athletes are born that way and we are lesser mortals struggling to keep up, but at a distance.
    ...................................................................................................

    If you want to be a strong rider you have to do strong things.
    However if you train like a cart horse you'll race like one.
  • neilo23neilo23 Posts: 783
    http://www.floridaracingmagazine.com/wp ... mpeago.jpg

    http://www.freewebs.com/cyclingfreak/Heras.jpg

    http://www.bicycle.net/wp-content/uploa ... age_16.jpg

    http://www.meteoweb.it/images/ciclismo1.jpg

    A few pics of some climbers and their "skinny" legs.

    I'm wary of getting involved in this argument, but I know for a fact that my legs were simply not strong enough to get up really steep hills when I started riding.
    One 500 metre, 15% ramp at the start of a local 5km hill (average 12% for the rest) was impossible for me to get up without standing the whole way.
    A good cyclist is strong enouigh to do that seated. I simply didn't have the strength to push the (smallest) gears round on that sort of incline, regardless of my aerobic capacity.
  • Murr XMurr X Posts: 258
    dennisn wrote:
    Murr X wrote:
    dennisn wrote:
    Slack wrote:

    It's about aerobic power/fitness, not how strong your leg muscles are. It comes from your core engine - heart and lungs!!!!

    Sort of disagree here. I've been on more than a few week long climbing tours in the Colorado Rockies and can tell you, without a doubt, that leg strength plays a major role in climbing(at least for me). Add to this the fact that most pro riders(climbers included) have some major league thigh, calf, buttocks, and hamstring muscles with bunches of power and strength in them. Sure you need "heart and lungs" but the brunt of climbing still comes down to legs. Either that or I'm doing something terribly wrong out there.
    Dennis with all due respect (again not very much here) that is complete nonsense. I do not have the time or energy to attempt to correct all the beliefs of those who can will not "see the light" but there is just so much wrong with what you posted - as in all of it garbage.

    Elite climbers sure as hell do not have big (or strong) muscles anywhere with many being almost as thin as elite distance runners, and it takes quite a uninformed person who would think that they do have big or strong muscles. Without exception they have an incredible sustainable power output though which is very different to strength and is all that matters in this sport.

    Endurance cyclists are very powerful yes but very strong? No. The word strong is misused in many sports cycling included and it is relatively few that require a great deal of strength. Weightlifting and powerlifting do require it while swimming, rowing, triathlon XC skiing etc do not.

    Murr X

    Hmmmmm, I must be doing something really wrong. It seems that my legs hurt the most
    during and after a ton of climbing. I think maybe your theory's are all Internet and book related and don't really relate to what it takes to climb a 25 mile long pass at 11,000 feet.
    I'll try thinking about what you have said next time I do bunches of climbing and try and convince my legs that they really don't need any strength to get over the top, after all, the Internet said they didn't.
    There is not much I can say that will change your mind. Believe me I was an experienced power meter user before I had ever used the internet and not many can say that (14 years PM use this year) though I am not longer a competitive athlete.

    I was motivated to learn, to go out of my way to know what was best for me and to implement the methods as best I could. There are few training methods that I have not tried for any length of time other than perhaps obvious silly ideas.

    The point is that I know what works and have done for quite some time and I am not the only one who does, what we (dare I say the smart ones) share is an ability to arrive at very similar conclusions and methods of training even if we got there via different routes. Now I could literally talk for hours about what works and what doesn't but when you have people that seem intent to push their ideas and shoot me down at any opportunity either to feed their ego or to push their inexperienced views I tend to lose the will to respond. I have no time for people who create problems just to please themselves especially when I am genuinely trying to educate the folk here as best as I can with what I know.

    I am not trying to feed my own ego here but I do not think you realize how much effort was put into training and performance enhancement by myself and people like me - I really don't think you realize at all how much goes into it. The only conclusion I can come to is that you are highly inexperienced in this field although have no problem giving worse than garbage advice, assuming that you know much that you really don't know and have not begun to understand or likely ever will.

    This forum has seemingly lost the free advice from very respectable coaches in Alex Simmons and Hamish Ferguson which is in all likelyhood probably due to some of the members taking great pleasure to shoot them down with their senseless and very often personal attacks, whilst not bothering listening to a word they say. It is not nice at all and I wish this behavior would stop.

    I wish you would genuinely try to understand what I am saying and why it has merit. I don't know if you are glancing over it or just assume it is wrong but you are not taking much on board on this topic of "strength" relating to endurance cycling and I can't bring myself to respond every time, but please think about what you are saying.

    BTW I have long held the view that a cyclist is not training (or understands training to any extent) unless they are training using power. For some power training is a real eye opener if they learn to use one properly and shows things they would otherwise not see. No coach no matter how good can make up for smart use of a PM.

    Murr X
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    dennisn wrote:
    I think maybe your theory's are all Internet and book related and don't really relate to what it takes to climb a 25 mile long pass at 11,000 feet.

    Yeah! Eggheads with their fancy pants book-learnin'.

    south-park-oreilly-factor-goobacks-redneck-douche.jpg
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    The bit that the "power" folk have never been able to adequately explain to me is which part of "power" they work on.

    Power (whether people like it or not) is the product of torque and cadence. You don't MEASURE power - you calculate it.

    I'm going to avoid using the word "strength" because it gets people all hot'n'bothered with some (to me at least) meaningless definitions. But, the only ways to increase power is to rev harder (the Formula 1 approach to power) or to increase the average torque applied.

    Revving harder is easy to measure - it's simply an increase in leg cadence and I can see why the heart and lungs would be key to this approach - but there's a limit to this approach.

    The other side is to increase the force applied to the pedals - either by applying it for more of the stroke or by simply applying more. The "applying more" force bit is what many people call "strength". For sure, this side also needs the heart and lungs to supply the muscles - but it also needs the muscles. Strong muscles aren't necessarily big muscles either.

    If one of the "power" proponents could articulate how they develop more power (through these two aspects) I'd be far more open to taking this on board. But normally the first reaction is to deny that power is a product of cadence & torque at which point they lose me completely because it just is.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    The bit that the "power" folk have never been able to adequately explain to me is which part of "power" they work on.

    Power (whether people like it or not) is the product of torque and cadence. You don't MEASURE power - you calculate it.

    I'm going to avoid using the word "strength" because it gets people all hot'n'bothered with some (to me at least) meaningless definitions. But, the only ways to increase power is to rev harder (the Formula 1 approach to power) or to increase the average torque applied.

    Revving harder is easy to measure - it's simply an increase in leg cadence and I can see why the heart and lungs would be key to this approach - but there's a limit to this approach.

    The other side is to increase the force applied to the pedals - either by applying it for more of the stroke or by simply applying more. The "applying more" force bit is what many people call "strength". For sure, this side also needs the heart and lungs to supply the muscles - but it also needs the muscles. Strong muscles aren't necessarily big muscles either.

    If one of the "power" proponents could articulate how they develop more power (through these two aspects) I'd be far more open to taking this on board. But normally the first reaction is to deny that power is a product of cadence & torque at which point they lose me completely because it just is.

    Lets settle a definition here - strength is defined as the maximum force your muscles can generate at zero velocity. The most common demonstration of strength is lifting weights from rest. If I can lift a maximum of 150kg on the leg press and Andy Schleck can't, I'm stronger than Andy Schleck. Agreed? Good.

    So tell me how often you use your maximum strength on a bike? How often are you generating the same amount of force with one leg that it would take to move a 75kg weight from rest? If you answered "never", you're not far off - all out standing starts on the track is the correct answer.

    If this doesn't work, try the weights analogy again. I can lift 150kg with a monumental forehead-vein bursting effort. Can I do it again with 0.7 seconds recovery? Of course not. Could I repeatedly do it for say 1800 reps (20mins at 90rpm). Of course not. So why does strength matter at all? How does it limit me on a bike?
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,492
    Murr X wrote:
    dennisn wrote:
    Slack wrote:

    It's about aerobic power/fitness, not how strong your leg muscles are. It comes from your core engine - heart and lungs!!!!

    Sort of disagree here. I've been on more than a few week long climbing tours in the Colorado Rockies and can tell you, without a doubt, that leg strength plays a major role in climbing(at least for me). Add to this the fact that most pro riders(climbers included) have some major league thigh, calf, buttocks, and hamstring muscles with bunches of power and strength in them. Sure you need "heart and lungs" but the brunt of climbing still comes down to legs. Either that or I'm doing something terribly wrong out there.
    . Without exception they have an incredible sustainable power output though which is very different to strength and is all that matters in this sport.

    Endurance cyclists are very powerful yes but very strong? No. The word strong is misused in many sports cycling included and it is relatively few that require a great deal of strength. Weightlifting and powerlifting do require it while swimming, rowing, triathlon XC skiing etc do not.

    Murr X

    Let's take it from the dictionary then.
    Strength - the state of being physically or mentally strong; power of exerting or withstanding pressure,
    Power - ability to do something; physical force,
    OK, so these two things have nothing to do with each other???? You don't need any strength(whatever that is, exactly) to help get you over a mountain??? None at all??? All that's required is power(whatever that is, exactly)? Nothing more??? The two are mutually exclusive of each other?? You use words like strength and power to describe exactly how you get over a hill or don't. Yet you fail to explain to anyone the difference between the two and why only power works yet strength doesn't. So forgive me if I come along and cast doubt on something that you haven't convinced me of. I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything except that there is a lot more going on in the human body and mind, during a big climb, than you will ever explain or let alone break down into
    a couple of words and then pick one over the other.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    P_Tucker wrote:
    The bit that the "power" folk have never been able to adequately explain to me is which part of "power" they work on.

    Power (whether people like it or not) is the product of torque and cadence. You don't MEASURE power - you calculate it.

    I'm going to avoid using the word "strength" because it gets people all hot'n'bothered with some (to me at least) meaningless definitions. But, the only ways to increase power is to rev harder (the Formula 1 approach to power) or to increase the average torque applied.

    Revving harder is easy to measure - it's simply an increase in leg cadence and I can see why the heart and lungs would be key to this approach - but there's a limit to this approach.

    The other side is to increase the force applied to the pedals - either by applying it for more of the stroke or by simply applying more. The "applying more" force bit is what many people call "strength". For sure, this side also needs the heart and lungs to supply the muscles - but it also needs the muscles. Strong muscles aren't necessarily big muscles either.

    If one of the "power" proponents could articulate how they develop more power (through these two aspects) I'd be far more open to taking this on board. But normally the first reaction is to deny that power is a product of cadence & torque at which point they lose me completely because it just is.

    Lets settle a definition here - strength is defined as the maximum force your muscles can generate at zero velocity. The most common demonstration of strength is lifting weights from rest. If I can lift a maximum of 150kg on the leg press and Andy Schleck can't, I'm stronger than Andy Schleck. Agreed? Good.

    So tell me how often you use your maximum strength on a bike? How often are you generating the same amount of force with one leg that it would take to move a 75kg weight from rest? If you answered "never", you're not far off - all out standing starts on the track is the correct answer.

    If this doesn't work, try the weights analogy again. I can lift 150kg with a monumental forehead-vein bursting effort. Can I do it again with 0.7 seconds recovery? Of course not. Could I repeatedly do it for say 1800 reps (20mins at 90rpm). Of course not. So why does strength matter at all? How does it limit me on a bike?

    And that's why I steer clear of the word strength because that definition is a complete nonesense. There's no sport that I can think of (not really even weight lifting ) that follows that definition of strength. Even Strongest Man competitions have people pulling trucks and lifting and carrying stones. It's the "zero velocity" bit that's at fault. So let's leave the term out of it because, if you define it as such, it's useless and has no contribution to the discussion.

    So power is all about the ability (as you rightly point out) to continuously apply force to do work. The analogy is lifting sacks of grain onto a table. There are many ways of doing it - lots of small sacks very fast or much larger sacks very slowly. The same goes with power on a bike: loads of torque at slow cadence or half that torque at twice the cadence - it comes to the same thing.

    My question is do you work on cadence to improve power or AEPF (torque). And is it the percentage of the revolution you look to improve on AEPF or the applied force? And if it's the applied force, what do you do to increase the force you are applying?

    For the Power Meter crowd, maybe just post the output of your Before and After power see we can see the components of the improvement.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    And that's why I steer clear of the word strength because that definition is a complete nonesense. There's no sport that I can think of (not really even weight lifting ) that follows that definition of strength. Even Strongest Man competitions have people pulling trucks and lifting and carrying stones. It's the "zero velocity" bit that's at fault. So let's leave the term out of it because, if you define it as such, it's useless and has no contribution to the discussion.

    So power is all about the ability (as you rightly point out) to continuously apply force to do work. The analogy is lifting sacks of grain onto a table. There are many ways of doing it - lots of small sacks very fast or much larger sacks very slowly. The same goes with power on a bike: loads of torque at slow cadence or half that torque at twice the cadence - it comes to the same thing.

    My question is do you work on cadence to improve power or AEPF (torque). And is it the percentage of the revolution you look to improve on AEPF or the applied force? And if it's the applied force, what do you do to increase the force you are applying?

    For the Power Meter crowd, maybe just post the output of your Before and After power see we can see the components of the improvement.

    Why is it nonsense? Just because it's not used in many sports (powerlifting obv, worlds strongest man is daft), its a workable definition of strength. Moreover, its exactly what lifting weights trains, which is of course the context of the original question.

    If answer to your strange power torque/cadence question, I don't think about it - I ride at whatever feels most comfortable (which is most likely a function of what cadence I normally ride). The limiting factor is (simplistically) how much oxygen I can get from the air to my muscles - it doesn't make a huge amount of difference whether I'm riding at 60rpm or 90rpm.

    Regardless, if I choose to move from 90rpm to 60rpm, thus increasing the force by 50%, the limiting factor is still how much oxygen I can get to my muscles. If you disagree with this, what exactly do you think the limiting factor is?
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    P_Tucker wrote:
    And that's why I steer clear of the word strength because that definition is a complete nonesense. There's no sport that I can think of (not really even weight lifting ) that follows that definition of strength. Even Strongest Man competitions have people pulling trucks and lifting and carrying stones. It's the "zero velocity" bit that's at fault. So let's leave the term out of it because, if you define it as such, it's useless and has no contribution to the discussion.

    So power is all about the ability (as you rightly point out) to continuously apply force to do work. The analogy is lifting sacks of grain onto a table. There are many ways of doing it - lots of small sacks very fast or much larger sacks very slowly. The same goes with power on a bike: loads of torque at slow cadence or half that torque at twice the cadence - it comes to the same thing.

    My question is do you work on cadence to improve power or AEPF (torque). And is it the percentage of the revolution you look to improve on AEPF or the applied force? And if it's the applied force, what do you do to increase the force you are applying?

    For the Power Meter crowd, maybe just post the output of your Before and After power see we can see the components of the improvement.

    Why is it nonsense? Just because it's not used in many sports (powerlifting obv, worlds strongest man is daft), its a workable definition of strength. Moreover, its exactly what lifting weights trains, which is of course the context of the original question.

    If answer to your strange power torque/cadence question, I don't think about it - I ride at whatever feels most comfortable (which is most likely a function of what cadence I normally ride). The limiting factor is (simplistically) how much oxygen I can get from the air to my muscles - it doesn't make a huge amount of difference whether I'm riding at 60rpm or 90rpm.

    Regardless, if I choose to move from 90rpm to 60rpm, thus increasing the force by 50%, the limiting factor is still how much oxygen I can get to my muscles. If you disagree with this, what exactly do you think the limiting factor is?

    No - weight training increases your ability to apply a force repetitively (sound familiar?). I think where this debate always goes wrong is that there's two ends of the scale - there's the low-effort high endurance end of the spectrum (Schleck) and, at the other end, there the high-effort low endurance (Hoy). Which puts out the highest power? Hoy every time.

    The limiting factor is either muscle fatigue OR your aerobic fitness. What limits your ability to do reps on a 200kg leg press? It's not your lungs or heart - it's your leg muscles fatiguing. It's the what's ultimately limiting else you'd be able to cycle forever at a certain pace (provided you were fed and watered).

    If I'm going up a steep hill, I can either choose a low gear and spin up (my HR and breathing shoot up) or I can grind a high gear at which point my legs give up. If I had "stronger" legs (through weight training reps, for instance), I could sustain the high gear grind longer. Equally, more aerobic fitness, I could maintain the spinning longer.

    I'm guessing that the optimum is to balance the two - an optimum amount of "dynamic strength" and an optimum amount of aerobic ability to support it. The bigger and heavier the rider and/or the shorter the duration, the more I'm guessing the "dynamic strength" matters. For a sparrow-chested TdF rider, I'm pretty sure the aerobic system is more important.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • lemoncurdlemoncurd Posts: 1,428
    I'm confused.

    - If strength isn't important then how come my legs are now much stronger than before I started cycling?

    - If aerobic ability is so important then why am I rubbish at running but I can cycle much faster than my mates that run marathons?

    - Do professional cyclists train using weights to increase their leg strength?

    Isn't it the case that great cyclists have strong legs (by whatever definition) and aerobic fitness and any form of exercise that increases the performance of either of these (without adversely affecting the other) is beneficial?
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    No - weight training increases your ability to apply a force repetitively (sound familiar?). I think where this debate always goes wrong is that there's two ends of the scale - there's the low-effort high endurance end of the spectrum (Schleck) and, at the other end, there the high-effort low endurance (Hoy). Which puts out the highest power? Hoy every time.

    The limiting factor is either muscle fatigue OR your aerobic fitness. What limits your ability to do reps on a 200kg leg press? It's not your lungs or heart - it's your leg muscles fatiguing. It's the what's ultimately limiting else you'd be able to cycle forever at a certain pace (provided you were fed and watered).

    If I'm going up a steep hill, I can either choose a low gear and spin up (my HR and breathing shoot up) or I can grind a high gear at which point my legs give up. If I had "stronger" legs (through weight training reps, for instance), I could sustain the high gear grind longer. Equally, more aerobic fitness, I could maintain the spinning longer.

    I'm guessing that the optimum is to balance the two - an optimum amount of "dynamic strength" and an optimum amount of aerobic ability to support it. The bigger and heavier the rider and/or the shorter the duration, the more I'm guessing the "dynamic strength" matters. For a sparrow-chested TdF rider, I'm pretty sure the aerobic system is more important.

    The limiting factor is local muscle fatigue only when the number of reps (be it lifting weights of riding a bike) is sufficiently low (and we are talking very low here - the only time it might be relevant in cycling is sprinting track events). What you (and dennisn amongst others) seem to be confused about is what actually causes the fatigue you feel in your legs when you're struggling up a big hill - its (simplisticslly) because of an increase in muscle pH due to an inability to provide enough of the required power output aerobically. Regardless of whether you are riding at 60rpm or 90rpm (contrary to what you insist). To repeat this again: the limiting factor in the type of cycling that we do is always how much oxygen you can get to your muscles.

    By the way, you can't just make up something called "dynamic strength" without explaining exactly what you think it is in relation to the energy systems of the human body,

    Okay, thats my final contribution. The stupid-retardant suit I bought specifically so I could come back to this thread isn't nearly up to the task, I can already feel it leaking FFS.
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    I think its pretty clear that cycling is basically an aerobic sport and thereby its a matter of how much oxygen & nutrition can be delivered to the muscles. The flipside of this is how much breakdown products yor muscles /body can put up with and how quickly these are cleared/and /or converted back to energy sources - mostly dependent on the blood supply network and prescence of appropriate enzymes.

    I have read that strength training (as oppossed to body building) affects the enzyme status in the muscles increasing lactate tolerance. That has been my experience too, but I'm a chubby 50+ female not an already well trained endurance cyclist.

    My best expereinces of long hard days in the saddle (in Alps & pyrennees) have been after winters of low rep weight training for back and legs and medium level intervals on the turbo (twice a week for 12 weeks).

    My absolute worst expereince was this year after paid for experienced coach led winter taining of half rate weight training, hours (3 times as many as usual!!!) of distance training and turbo sessions only just above distance level.

    I suffered like a dog. I could twirl at 100+RPM on the flat till the cows came home, but I lost about 8% of my average speed, and climbed worse than I did 10 years ago when I first got bitten by the cycling bug.

    I know what works for me. A combination of hill repeats and multi joint heavy strength training in the gym may well help the OP get to a point where they can develop further. If you lack the ability to even start getting up a hill you will never get up by simply trying hard. You perhaps need another approach to get started....
  • P_Tucker wrote:
    The Bounce wrote:
    P_Tucker wrote:
    I think you'll find we have read it. Then we've read stuff from people who know what they're talking about.
    And this coming from another self proclaimed forum coaching expert......

    I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I just read books written by people that are.

    What cycling training books have you read?
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    I was riding with an elite the other week, my legs had more muscle on than him, he flew up the hills and left me eating dust.

    I've got up hills faster than people who have more muscle than me.


    Am I going to start doing leg presses and find they help me at hills? I can't see it happening.
  • My absolute worst expereince was this year after paid for experienced coach led winter taining of half rate weight training, hours (3 times as many as usual!!!) of distance training and turbo sessions only just above distance level.

    I had a coach at the start of december last year and he prescribed no strength training workouts at all. Lots of core though
Sign In or Register to comment.