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Increasing leg strength

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  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,492
    amaferanga wrote:
    dennisn wrote:
    Let me get this straight. McEwen wins 12 TDF stages, Paris-Nice, and 12 Giro stages to name but a few. Doesn't he have way to much muscle mass to even be able to finish races like these, let alone win? Or was it because these races were really short? And he did it with all that muscle mass hindering him?

    That's absolutely right dennis.


    Now censored off and stop posting your trolling dribble on this thread. You can't really be as stupid as your latest posts suggest.

    Well, I guess I'm pretty stupid then. So can YOU answer my questions about why McEwen was able to win all those races? Or did he really win them? To hear some people talk sprinters / track racers don't really count. Nothing to do with cycling there. I also wonder if the sprinters have to ride a bike the whole race or do they simply ride a bus to the 1Km to go banner and duke it out from there? This would explain how the are able to win stages of Grand Tours that can be upwards of 100 miles. Not riding the whole thing. Of course, I should have known. I'm curious as to how a guy with that much muscle has the ability to even finish a long race let alone win. Ahhh, but I forget, they're sprinters and are different. Not climbers, who are the real racers. Sprinters aren't "REAL" endurance riders like you and I.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    The Bounce wrote:
    amaferanga wrote:
    That's absolutely right dennis.


    Now censored off and stop posting your trolling dribble on this thread. You can't really be as stupid as your latest posts suggest.
    Pretty unnecessary really. :roll:

    Dennis has been posting the same dribble for years. All he ever does is blindly argue a point without ever expressing an opinion so it's impossible to tell if he's just stupid or if he just likes a good argument. He's probably getting bored now that the discussions of Lance have died down.
    More problems but still living....
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    dennisn wrote:
    amaferanga wrote:
    dennisn wrote:
    Let me get this straight. McEwen wins 12 TDF stages, Paris-Nice, and 12 Giro stages to name but a few. Doesn't he have way to much muscle mass to even be able to finish races like these, let alone win? Or was it because these races were really short? And he did it with all that muscle mass hindering him?

    That's absolutely right dennis.


    Now censored off and stop posting your trolling dribble on this thread. You can't really be as stupid as your latest posts suggest.

    Well, I guess I'm pretty stupid then. So can YOU answer my questions about why McEwen was able to win all those races? Or did he really win them? To hear some people talk sprinters / track racers don't really count. Nothing to do with cycling there. I also wonder if the sprinters have to ride a bike the whole race or do they simply ride a bus to the 1Km to go banner and duke it out from there? This would explain how the are able to win stages of Grand Tours that can be upwards of 100 miles. Not riding the whole thing. Of course, I should have known. I'm curious as to how a guy with that much muscle has the ability to even finish a long race let alone win. Ahhh, but I forget, they're sprinters and are different. Not climbers, who are the real racers. Sprinters aren't "REAL" endurance riders like you and I.

    What's your point?
    More problems but still living....
  • MccariaMccaria Posts: 869
    edited August 2011
    McEwen - 5'7 and 67kg. Not exactly carrying that much excess weight

    Should have at least gone with Greipel 6' and 81kg
  • PseudonymPseudonym Posts: 1,032
    dennisn wrote:
    I also wonder if the sprinters have to ride a bike the whole race or do they simply ride a bus to the 1Km to go banner and duke it out from there? This would explain how the are able to win stages of Grand Tours that can be upwards of 100 miles. Not riding the whole thing. Of course, I should have known. I'm curious as to how a guy with that much muscle has the ability to even finish a long race let alone win. Ahhh, but I forget, they're sprinters and are different. Not climbers, who are the real racers. Sprinters aren't "REAL" endurance riders like you and I.

    Dennis - you get the difference between a 'sprinter' and a 'sprint specialist' do you..?

    Compare the physique of a roadman sprinter like McEwen to a track sprinter like Hoy if you don't.....
  • Pseudonym wrote:
    Dennis - you get the difference between a 'sprinter' and a 'sprint specialist' do you..?

    Compare the physique of a roadman sprinter like McEwen to a track sprinter like Hoy if you don't.....
    Wrong issue.

    Instead of hopping on the 'let's bash Dennis' bandwagon, you should go back and read all of the comments in this thread from the experts, real or otherwise, which prompt him to keep asking. And he keeps asking because it's never answered. You and others may not like his attitude or how he's asking but it's a valid question.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,492
    C'mon guys. Call me what you will but how does a guy built like McEwen pull off a win in a 100 mile race while having muscles that most of you claim hinder him at long distances?
    How does that work into your theory of muscle mass being a deterrent? Simple question, yet no one has stepped forward. You all steer around the issue by calling me an idiot, troll, nutcase, fruitloop, and a few others. OK, I'm all those things. I admit it. Now help me out with a question. I get the impression that a few of you would look at a picture of him and, not knowing who he was, state that you're a better cyclist than him simply because he's got muscle. And what about Cadel? While not as muscular as Robbie he still carries his fair share of a body and has legs that anyone would be proud to own? Yet he wins the TDF over all the skinny dudes(if you will) who were supposed to clean his clock? How could something like this happen? It can't, according to some. Have any of you ever stopped to think that maybe, just maybe McEwen has found out what works for him(and I doubt it's vanity as one of the "coaches" claims - vanity doesn't win races). Maybe, just maybe Andy Schleck has found what works for him. But to make blanket statmements that this works and that doesn't, for everyone, is stupid. :wink::wink:
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    The Bounce wrote:
    Pseudonym wrote:
    Dennis - you get the difference between a 'sprinter' and a 'sprint specialist' do you..?

    Compare the physique of a roadman sprinter like McEwen to a track sprinter like Hoy if you don't.....
    Wrong issue.

    Instead of hopping on the 'let's bash Dennis' bandwagon, you should go back and read all of the comments in this thread from the experts, real or otherwise, which prompt him to keep asking. And he keeps asking because it's never answered. You and others may not like his attitude or how he's asking but it's a valid question.

    Every answer to a question he's asked has been ignored. Why bother with the latest one, when the answer is patently obvious to anyone with half a brain?
  • P_Tucker wrote:
    Every answer to a question he's asked has been ignored. Why bother with the latest one, when the answer is patently obvious to anyone with half a brain?
    Suggest you look at the question just above this post then. Just proves you're not reading it either. Once again you contribute nothing to this.
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    The Bounce wrote:
    P_Tucker wrote:
    Every answer to a question he's asked has been ignored. Why bother with the latest one, when the answer is patently obvious to anyone with half a brain?
    Suggest you look at the question just above this post then. Just proves you're not reading it either. Once again you contribute nothing to this.

    I have looked, the answer is obvious to anyone with half a brain. Or do you disagree?
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,492
    P_Tucker wrote:
    The Bounce wrote:
    P_Tucker wrote:
    Every answer to a question he's asked has been ignored. Why bother with the latest one, when the answer is patently obvious to anyone with half a brain?
    Suggest you look at the question just above this post then. Just proves you're not reading it either. Once again you contribute nothing to this.

    I have looked, the answer is obvious to anyone with half a brain. Or do you disagree?

    OK, consider me having LESS than half a brain. Let's hear your ideas.
  • PseudonymPseudonym Posts: 1,032
    The Bounce wrote:
    Wrong issue

    well spotted - it is indeed the wrong issue. But it also happens to be the one that Dennis has latched onto.....which is why I addressed it.

    If I'd wanted to join in the 'Dennis bashing' I'd have waded in with something much more patronising than a simple question.....
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    dennisn wrote:
    P_Tucker wrote:
    The Bounce wrote:
    P_Tucker wrote:
    Every answer to a question he's asked has been ignored. Why bother with the latest one, when the answer is patently obvious to anyone with half a brain?
    Suggest you look at the question just above this post then. Just proves you're not reading it either. Once again you contribute nothing to this.

    I have looked, the answer is obvious to anyone with half a brain. Or do you disagree?

    OK, consider me having LESS than half a brain. Let's hear your ideas.

    Oh, I do, believe me.

    Anyway, McEwen is a road sprinter. In his PEER GROUP of WORLD CLASS cyclists, he is a poor climber and a poor time triallist, most likely because he spends a larger proportion of his training time than for e.g. a climber or a tester doing things that might promote sprinting speed (and as a side effect muscle growth). That is to say that he sacrifices a bit of aerobic fitness to get a better sprint. Why he chooses to do this is obvious - he wins races by hiding in the wheels for an entire race before using his superior sprint in the last 200m. He has no need to be the best climber or the strongest rouleur to win, he merely needs be adequate until the last 200m.

    So, if your riding involves sitting in on flat courses then sprinting, then by all means spend time doing sprint training at the expense of aerobic workouts. However, you won't be as good as climbing or testing as you could be - as McEwen, Cavendish etc ably demonstrate whenever the road goes upwards. Interestingly there have been instances of riders who've lost muscle and improved in other disciplines - Lance and Jalabert are the most obvious examples.

    Jesus. Wept.
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    By the way, if dennis isn't really this stupid and is just trolling, then I will concede that I have been beaten by a better man. Every post is about a millimetre short of the "too stupid to be real" line.

    Regardless, I can't wait for his response which will doubtlessly involve taking something out of context.
  • Perhaps the issue is big muscle vs efficient/fast muscle?

    Denis looks at a picture of Robbie and his big legs (or Cadel, etc) and wonders how they got that big without some sort of weight lifting. And then everyone is saying that you won't become a better cyclist by lifting leg weights, because it'll just add mass and slow you down. But how can this be so when all these pros have massive legs and win races?

    (I admit this seems like a bit of a contradiction).


    So - maybe what someone should explain is how can you have BIG muscles and still be a good cyclist? Because even a sprinter (like Cav or Robbie) still have to make it to the finish line to win - and get dragged along by the peleton for 200KM isn't as easy as it sounds.
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    So - maybe what someone should explain is how can you have BIG muscles and still be a good cyclist? Because even a sprinter (like Cav or Robbie) still have to make it to the finish line to win - and get dragged along by the peloton for 200KM isn't as easy as it sounds.

    I already have FFS
  • ptr_ptr_ Posts: 126
    Those that believe weights help will argue one way, those that don't will argue the other, no-one will change sides, but we'll fill up 10 pages of heated debate.
    :lol:
  • Perhaps the issue is big muscle vs efficient/fast muscle?

    Denis looks at a picture of Robbie and his big legs (or Cadel, etc) and wonders how they got that big without some sort of weight lifting. And then everyone is saying that you won't become a better cyclist by lifting leg weights, because it'll just add mass and slow you down. But how can this be so when all these pros have massive legs and win races?

    (I admit this seems like a bit of a contradiction).


    So - maybe what someone should explain is how can you have BIG muscles and still be a good cyclist? Because even a sprinter (like Cav or Robbie) still have to make it to the finish line to win - and get dragged along by the peloton for 200KM isn't as easy as it sounds.
    Because the hypertrophy associated with endurance cycling training (such as a professional roadie would do) is also accompanied by other helpful adaptations for endurance cycling performance, such as increased capillarisation and greater mitochondrial density (both the size and number of mitochondria).

    The hypertrophy from gym based strength training has the opposite effect on capillarisation and mitochondral density, and tends to reduce aerobic capacity per kg of muscle mass.

    It's called "mitochondrial dilution", which you can google, or here's a sample item to explain:
    http://www.wcracing.net/articles/seiler.pdf
  • Perhaps the issue is big muscle vs efficient/fast muscle?

    Denis looks at a picture of Robbie and his big legs (or Cadel, etc) and wonders how they got that big without some sort of weight lifting. And then everyone is saying that you won't become a better cyclist by lifting leg weights, because it'll just add mass and slow you down. But how can this be so when all these pros have massive legs and win races?

    (I admit this seems like a bit of a contradiction).


    So - maybe what someone should explain is how can you have BIG muscles and still be a good cyclist? Because even a sprinter (like Cav or Robbie) still have to make it to the finish line to win - and get dragged along by the peloton for 200KM isn't as easy as it sounds.
    Because the hypertrophy associated with endurance cycling training (such as a professional roadie would do) is also accompanied by other helpful adaptations for endurance cycling performance, such as increased capillarisation and greater mitochondrial density (both the size and number of mitochondria).

    The hypertrophy from gym based strength training has the opposite effect on capillarisation and mitochondral density, and tends to reduce aerobic capacity per kg of muscle mass.

    It's called "mitochondrial dilution", which you can google, or here's a sample item to explain:
    http://www.wcracing.net/articles/seiler.pdf

    Whilst I understand the principles, could you explain it in simple terms? Less jargon?

    Then Denis might also understand.


    (Something along the lines of - you can make your legs big by pumping them up in the gym, but they won't make you go fast on a bike - or you can ride loads and loads and as a result the muscles will grow and look big, etc)
  • Perhaps the issue is big muscle vs efficient/fast muscle?

    Denis looks at a picture of Robbie and his big legs (or Cadel, etc) and wonders how they got that big without some sort of weight lifting. And then everyone is saying that you won't become a better cyclist by lifting leg weights, because it'll just add mass and slow you down. But how can this be so when all these pros have massive legs and win races?

    (I admit this seems like a bit of a contradiction).


    So - maybe what someone should explain is how can you have BIG muscles and still be a good cyclist? Because even a sprinter (like Cav or Robbie) still have to make it to the finish line to win - and get dragged along by the peloton for 200KM isn't as easy as it sounds.
    Because the hypertrophy associated with endurance cycling training (such as a professional roadie would do) is also accompanied by other helpful adaptations for endurance cycling performance, such as increased capillarisation and greater mitochondrial density (both the size and number of mitochondria).

    The hypertrophy from gym based strength training has the opposite effect on capillarisation and mitochondral density, and tends to reduce aerobic capacity per kg of muscle mass.

    It's called "mitochondrial dilution", which you can google, or here's a sample item to explain:
    http://www.wcracing.net/articles/seiler.pdf

    Whilst I understand the principles, could you explain it in simple terms? Less jargon?

    Then Denis might also understand.


    (Something along the lines of - you can make your legs big by pumping them up in the gym, but they won't make you go fast on a bike - or you can ride loads and loads and as a result the muscles will grow and look big, etc)

    Hyper = over, beyond, excess
    Trophy = growth, nourrishment

    hypertrophy = muscles growing a lot bigger than they were due to exercise.

    Mitochondria is the stuff in your muscles that helps you convert food into energy. Or something like that. Kind of like solar panel cells. The more of them you have, the more energy you can create. Of course, 'more' here is used in a very general sense.

    Now bodybuilding grows your muscles, but it doesn't increase your levels of mitochondria that much. So you have more mass, but not so much more mitochondria: you can't generate energy for that long. Cycling, an aerobic activity, somehow increases the density of mitochondria - more of it packed into a certain volume of muscle, but it doesn't make you skinnier necessarily: it actually increases your muscle mass. Hence Gorilla Greipel. These guys are bulky enough; three caveats

    1) Low body fat levels exaggerate muscle tone and increase comparability relative to bona fide body builders
    2) They both look muscular but the type of muscle isn't the same.
    3) The sprinters are muscular but nowhere near as much as Hoy, Awang, etc.

    Because on the flat stages all these guys need to do is draft, their inferiority in sustaining power isn't important. In the last km their superior power allows them to wallop the weaker climbers/all-rounders. Except Cancellara, who is a god and came 4th after Cav in the last stage of this year's Tour.

    Edit: iIt should also be noted that higher weight is no real disadvantage when it comes to maintaining speed: it may increase road friction, but then friction is tiny on a bike. And they can maintain speed much more easily. When you consider that they're drafting most of the time, their weight makes no difference on a flat stage.

    Also, the correlation between 'looking muscular' and 'being a stage winner' is potentially determined by your genes, etc...
  • Whilst I understand the principles, could you explain it in simple terms? Less jargon?

    Then Denis might also understand.


    (Something along the lines of - you can make your legs big by pumping them up in the gym, but they won't make you go fast on a bike - or you can ride loads and loads and as a result the muscles will grow and look big, etc)
    Well I am using precise terminology in order to avoid the confusion that comes from lay use of terms like "strength".

    Tell us what part don't you understand, and I will try to explain.
  • rdtrdt Posts: 869
    Alex, be interested in your thoughts on the conclusions of this literature review from last year by Aagaard & Andersen :-

    Effects of strength training on endurance capacity in top-level endurance athletes

    Abstract
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20840561

    "The effect of concurrent strength (S) and endurance (E) training on adaptive changes in aerobic capacity, endurance performance, maximal muscle strength and muscle morphology is equivocal. Some data suggest an attenuated cardiovascular and musculoskeletal response to combined E and S training, while other data show unimpaired or even superior adaptation compared with either training regime alone. However, the effect of concurrent S and E training only rarely has been examined in top-level endurance athletes. This review describes the effect of concurrent SE training on short-term and long-term endurance performance in endurance-trained subjects, ranging from moderately trained individuals to elite top-level athletes. It is concluded that strength training can lead to enhanced long-term (>30 min) and short-term (<15 min) endurance capacity both in well-trained individuals and highly trained top-level endurance athletes, especially with the use of high-volume, heavy-resistance strength training protocols. The enhancement in endurance capacity appears to involve training-induced increases in the proportion of type IIA muscle fibers as well as gains in maximal muscle strength (MVC) and rapid force characteristics (rate of force development), while likely also involving enhancements in neuromuscular function."

    Full paper
    http://www.kif.unizg.hr/_download/repos ... rmance.pdf


    ...plus some original research by the same authors published earlier this year (sadly, Abstract only, full paper behind paywall, so not much to go on):-

    Effects of resistance training on endurance capacity and muscle fiber composition in young top-level cyclists.


    Abstract
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21362056

    "Equivocal findings exist on the effect of concurrent strength (S) and endurance (E) training on endurance performance and muscle morphology. Further, the influence of concurrent SE training on muscle fiber-type composition, vascularization and endurance capacity remains unknown in top-level endurance athletes. The present study examined the effect of 16 weeks of concurrent SE training on maximal muscle strength (MVC), contractile rate of force development (RFD), muscle fiber morphology and composition, capillarization, aerobic power (VO(2max) ), cycling economy (CE) and long/short-term endurance capacity in young elite competitive cyclists (n=14). MVC and RFD increased 12-20% with SE (P<0.01) but not E. VO(2max) remained unchanged. CE improved in E to reach values seen in SE. Short-term (5-min) endurance performance increased (3-4%) after SE and E (P<0.05), whereas 45-min endurance capacity increased (8%) with SE only (P<0.05). Type IIA fiber proportions increased and type IIX proportions decreased after SE training (P<0.05) with no change in E. Muscle fiber area and capillarization remained unchanged. In conclusion, concurrent strength/endurance training in young elite competitive cyclists led to an improved 45-min time-trial endurance capacity that was accompanied by an increased proportion of type IIA muscle fibers and gains in MVC and RFD, while capillarization remained unaffected."


    Cheers.
    ----
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    Because the hypertrophy associated with endurance cycling training (such as a professional roadie would do) is also accompanied by other helpful adaptations for endurance cycling performance, such as increased capillarisation and greater mitochondrial density (both the size and number of mitochondria).

    The hypertrophy from gym based strength training has the opposite effect on capillarisation and mitochondral density, and tends to reduce aerobic capacity per kg of muscle mass.

    +1 Alex - that's how I understand it aswell.
  • rdt wrote:
    Alex, be interested in your thoughts on the conclusions of this literature review from last year by Aagaard & Andersen
    Well I think first you have to remove all the references to running etc as they are not cycling. Then we look at those relating to trained cyclists (since just about any training improves performance in the under-trained).

    I think the strongest relevant reference they cite is the Rønnestad research. From memory, the experimental group (which did concurrent strength and endurance training) did more total training than the control group (no strength training), so drawing conclusions that it was the combination of S&E that led to improved performance seems, well, a little weak to me. Those that trained more improved more, so no surprise there. Problem with abstracts is not seeing the underlying data and methodology.

    The latest Aagaard study I'm not sure about, would need to review the whole paper. What I don't get from the abstract is suggests the endurance group showed improved economy, no change in VO2max but did not improve TT performance. That suggests their lactate threshold actually dropped. What on earth where they doing to have LT fall?

    End of the day, the evidence is equivocal, so people can continue this thread ad nauseum.
  • I just had another quick look at the Ronnestad paper.

    I find this bit interesting:
    "The findings of no significant difference between groups regarding changes in Wmax, power output at 2 mmol/L, and mean power output in the 40-min all-out trial may be interpreted as adding strength training does not improve long-term endurance performance. However,...."

    However we don't like that finding and so we'll put another spin on it, lol.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,661
    ptr_ wrote:
    Those that believe weights help will argue one way, those that don't will argue the other, no-one will change sides, but we'll fill up 10 pages of heated debate.
    :lol:
    I underestimated.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    edited August 2011
    Perhaps the issue is big muscle vs efficient/fast muscle?

    Denis looks at a picture of Robbie and his big legs (or Cadel, etc) and wonders how they got that big without some sort of weight lifting. And then everyone is saying that you won't become a better cyclist by lifting leg weights, because it'll just add mass and slow you down. But how can this be so when all these pros have massive legs and win races?

    (I admit this seems like a bit of a contradiction).


    So - maybe what someone should explain is how can you have BIG muscles and still be a good cyclist? Because even a sprinter (like Cav or Robbie) still have to make it to the finish line to win - and get dragged along by the peloton for 200KM isn't as easy as it sounds.
    Because the hypertrophy associated with endurance cycling training (such as a professional roadie would do) is also accompanied by other helpful adaptations for endurance cycling performance, such as increased capillarisation and greater mitochondrial density (both the size and number of mitochondria).

    The hypertrophy from gym based strength training has the opposite effect on capillarisation and mitochondral density, and tends to reduce aerobic capacity per kg of muscle mass.

    It's called "mitochondrial dilution", which you can google, or here's a sample item to explain:
    http://www.wcracing.net/articles/seiler.pdf

    Whilst I understand the principles, could you explain it in simple terms? Less jargon?

    Then Denis might also understand.


    (Something along the lines of - you can make your legs big by pumping them up in the gym, but they won't make you go fast on a bike - or you can ride loads and loads and as a result the muscles will grow and look big, etc)

    Hyper = over, beyond, excess
    Trophy = growth, nourrishment

    hypertrophy = muscles growing a lot bigger than they were due to exercise.

    Mitochondria is the stuff in your muscles that helps you convert food into energy. Or something like that. Kind of like solar panel cells. The more of them you have, the more energy you can create. Of course, 'more' here is used in a very general sense.

    Now bodybuilding grows your muscles, but it doesn't increase your levels of mitochondria that much. So you have more mass, but not so much more mitochondria: you can't generate energy for that long. Cycling, an aerobic activity, somehow increases the density of mitochondria - more of it packed into a certain volume of muscle, but it doesn't make you skinnier necessarily: it actually increases your muscle mass. Hence Gorilla Greipel. These guys are bulky enough; three caveats

    1) Low body fat levels exaggerate muscle tone and increase comparability relative to bona fide body builders
    2) They both look muscular but the type of muscle isn't the same.
    3) The sprinters are muscular but nowhere near as much as Hoy, Awang, etc.

    Because on the flat stages all these guys need to do is draft, their inferiority in sustaining power isn't important. In the last km their superior power allows them to wallop the weaker climbers/all-rounders. Except Cancellara, who is a god and came 4th after Cav in the last stage of this year's Tour.

    Edit: iIt should also be noted that higher weight is no real disadvantage when it comes to maintaining speed: it may increase road friction, but then friction is tiny on a bike. And they can maintain speed much more easily. When you consider that they're drafting most of the time, their weight makes no difference on a flat stage.

    Also, the correlation between 'looking muscular' and 'being a stage winner' is potentially determined by your genes, etc...

    Sorry (or maybe not) I've stayed away from this thread (it's a bit like missing episodes of a soap opera: you can dip in at any point and quickly pick up what's going on and who the characters are (won't say who Nasty Nick is :wink: )).

    Anyway, the stuff above begins to really explain what's going on. Saintdracula's style really works for the layman. Alex, whilst I don't doubt your expertise in this topic, you do tend to dip into the jargon too quickly for a lot of us who don't spend our lives looking at this stuff and we then have to spend our time on Wiki translating what you've written.

    But I think I'm understanding why the bigger muscles I've got from cycling (and I have got measurably (I just wish I had measured) bigger thighs and calves) aren't the same thing at all as bigger thighs & calves I might have got had I pumped iron in the gym (or, at least, so the theory goes). I am also stronger (by any definition you care to use) and, based upon the difference in the muscle composition above, I do see why gaining strength through the former muscle type is much better than muscle strength from the other type and how that allows you to generate endurance power (stop me if I've got any of this wrong).

    The final bit of the jigsaw for me, is that muscle mass (of the correct sort) is a compromise. You need to drag it around but you can only sustain its use for short periods (as the sprint specialists do) so, for most people, there's a real diminishing return for strength to a point that it peaks and then can potentially become a hinderance depending upon the type of cycling you're doing.

    Is that a fair understanding?
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    Perhaps the issue is big muscle vs efficient/fast muscle?

    Denis looks at a picture of Robbie and his big legs (or Cadel, etc) and wonders how they got that big without some sort of weight lifting. And then everyone is saying that you won't become a better cyclist by lifting leg weights, because it'll just add mass and slow you down. But how can this be so when all these pros have massive legs and win races?

    (I admit this seems like a bit of a contradiction).


    So - maybe what someone should explain is how can you have BIG muscles and still be a good cyclist? Because even a sprinter (like Cav or Robbie) still have to make it to the finish line to win - and get dragged along by the peloton for 200KM isn't as easy as it sounds.
    Because the hypertrophy associated with endurance cycling training (such as a professional roadie would do) is also accompanied by other helpful adaptations for endurance cycling performance, such as increased capillarisation and greater mitochondrial density (both the size and number of mitochondria).

    The hypertrophy from gym based strength training has the opposite effect on capillarisation and mitochondral density, and tends to reduce aerobic capacity per kg of muscle mass.

    It's called "mitochondrial dilution", which you can google, or here's a sample item to explain:
    http://www.wcracing.net/articles/seiler.pdf

    I would have thought McEwen and other sprinters have some hypertrophy thats not as a result of endurance training, but as a result of sprint training. This would explain why sprinters tend to have bigger legs than their non-sprinting peers (AFAIK theres no suggestion that sprinters train more in absolute volume) and also why they tend to be poor climbers - they've got a similar (possibly slightly worse) engine carrying around some extra fast-twitch muscle.

    Out of interest, other than the extra weight and loss of endurance training time, is there any penalty for having slightly bigger "sprinters legs"?
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    P_Tucker wrote:
    Out of interest, other than the extra weight and loss of endurance training time, is there any penalty for having slightly bigger "sprinters legs"?

    There must be an aero impact too with thicker legs
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    P_Tucker wrote:
    Out of interest, other than the extra weight and loss of endurance training time, is there any penalty for having slightly bigger "sprinters legs"?

    There must be an aero impact too with thicker legs

    Indeed
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