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Weight Training?

I want to build up some muscle how will the extra few pounds of muscle effect my speeds on the bike?
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  • carrockcarrock Posts: 1,275
    If lower body muscle, may help your speed

    If upper body, may hinder your speed slightly

    Unless you're a pro cyclist, I'd say any slight loss of speed is worth adding a bit of muscle.

    Apart from competing in the tdF, I can't think of a single situation where I'd pick Andy Schleck's physique over a weight trained muscular physique
  • t.m.h.n.e.tt.m.h.n.e.t Posts: 2,265
    The exact same way carrying any other type of excess weight would effect your speed.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    carrock wrote:
    Apart from competing in the tdF, I can't think of a single situation where I'd pick Andy Schleck's physique over a weight trained muscular physique

    Err how about a 4th cat race?
  • Rob.MRob.M Posts: 88
    Are you proposing to build muscle whilst looseing fat? If you are then I would have thought that the extra power can only be an advantage.
    It's never too late to become what you might have been...........
  • t.m.h.n.e.tt.m.h.n.e.t Posts: 2,265
    Rob.M wrote:
    Are you proposing to build muscle whilst looseing fat? If you are then I would have thought that the extra power can only be an advantage.
    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?
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    carrock wrote:
    Unless you're a pro cyclist, I'd say any slight loss of speed is worth adding a bit of muscle.

    You do realise, even for amateurs, the fastest rider wins the race?
  • t.m.h.n.e.tt.m.h.n.e.t Posts: 2,265
    Tom Dean wrote:
    carrock wrote:
    Unless you're a pro cyclist, I'd say any slight loss of speed is worth adding a bit of muscle.

    You do realise, even for amateurs, the fastest rider wins the race?

    And standing in a gym like a curlbro going 5x10 10kg curls isn't going to help your cycling ability one bit!
  • Rob.M wrote:
    Are you proposing to build muscle whilst looseing fat? If you are then I would have thought that the extra power can only be an advantage.
    I dont want to lose fat as I am quite low anyway and want to bulk a bit maybe 7lbs or so. Im not really competing much but I like to be as fast as I can be.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    I like to be as fast as I can be.

    This is not compatible with bulking up. Why do you want to gain weight?
  • t.m.h.n.e.tt.m.h.n.e.t Posts: 2,265
    Rob.M wrote:
    Are you proposing to build muscle whilst looseing fat? If you are then I would have thought that the extra power can only be an advantage.
    I dont want to lose fat as I am quite low anyway and want to bulk a bit maybe 7lbs or so. Im not really competing much but I like to be as fast as I can be.

    Can't recall source
    People seem to agree on this. Well the study said that approximately 0.4g of glycogen was added with every 1g muscle in their subjects, on average.

    And remember that 2.7g of water binds 1g of glycogen. So if you add like 0.5lbs of dry muscle a week (the most you can gain in a week, unless ur a newbie), you will see an additional 0.2lb from glycogen and .5lbs from the water with glycogen, for a grand total of 1.2lbs.

    Do you still want to be fast?
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    If you want to be fast then work on riding your bike rather than adding muscle. If you are riding your bike alot, adding muscle could be tricky.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,109
    Tom Dean wrote:
    carrock wrote:
    Unless you're a pro cyclist, I'd say any slight loss of speed is worth adding a bit of muscle.

    You do realise, even for amateurs, the fastest rider wins the race?

    The key there is amateur isn't it? I'm not getting paid to cycle, so whilst I train hard and watch what I eat, yes I think upper body strength is healthier than looking like a Wiggins or Schleck. I can't believe many girls out there would find Rasmussen attractive to look at either.

    Like I said, if you get paid for this then fair enough, but when you do it just for fun there are limits. I'm 57kg btw so hardly carrying that much weight.
  • t.m.h.n.e.tt.m.h.n.e.t Posts: 2,265
    phreak wrote:
    Tom Dean wrote:
    carrock wrote:
    Unless you're a pro cyclist, I'd say any slight loss of speed is worth adding a bit of muscle.

    You do realise, even for amateurs, the fastest rider wins the race?

    The key there is amateur isn't it? I'm not getting paid to cycle, so whilst I train hard and watch what I eat, yes I think upper body strength is healthier than looking like a Wiggins or Schleck. I can't believe many girls out there would find Rasmussen attractive to look at either.

    Like I said, if you get paid for this then fair enough, but when you do it just for fun there are limits. I'm 57kg btw so hardly carrying that much weight.
    You mean upper body mass right? Because muscle strength is different entirely :P
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,109
    With any kind of reasonable distance on the bike each week it's going to be tough to build much bulk, but that doesn't mean that some upper body strength and fitness isn't good for your health and general well being.

    I'd hazard a guess that for many amateur cyclists if they really wanted to lose weight then losing fat should be more of a concern than gaining a bit of upper body strength.
  • t.m.h.n.e.tt.m.h.n.e.t Posts: 2,265
    phreak wrote:
    With any kind of reasonable distance on the bike each week it's going to be tough to build much bulk, but that doesn't mean that some upper body strength and fitness isn't good for your health and general well being.
    It's either. Your calorie intake goes towards actual gain made by cycling or calorie intake goes towards building of new muscle tissue. Untimately it's incredibly tricky to balance but can be done.
    I'd hazard a guess that for many amateur cyclists if they really wanted to lose weight then losing fat should be more of a concern than gaining a bit of upper body strength.
    Yet building/maintaining muscle is also handy when attempting to lose weight. Muscle is metabolically active = more calories burned,but not by a particularly large amount per kg muscle.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,109
    As an example, just by virtue of the swimming they do, a triathlete will have more upper body strength than the average cyclist, but you couldn't really say they're very bulky. Just think some folks pretend they're like the pros when they're really not.

    Besides which, the average race in the UK is more likely to favour a Greipel than it will a Schleck, just seems a bit daft to me that folks think doing a bench press now and then is going to wreck their cycling.
  • t.m.h.n.e.tt.m.h.n.e.t Posts: 2,265
    phreak wrote:
    As an example, just by virtue of the swimming they do, a triathlete will have more upper body strength than the average cyclist, but you couldn't really say they're very bulky. Just think some folks pretend they're like the pros when they're really not.

    Besides which, the average race in the UK is more likely to favour a Greipel than it will a Schleck, just seems a bit daft to me that folks think doing a bench press now and then is going to wreck their cycling.
    <is a triathlete in training :lol:
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Surely the only reason you'd want to build upper body strength if you're a cyclists is for vanity reasons then?
  • t.m.h.n.e.tt.m.h.n.e.t Posts: 2,265
    styxd wrote:
    Surely the only reason you'd want to build upper body mass if you're a cyclists is for vanity reasons then?
    FTFY
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,109
    That's assuming that having upper body fitness has no general health benefits. Not sure that's the case.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    phreak wrote:
    That's assuming that having upper body fitness has no general health benefits. Not sure that's the case.

    What general health benefits would it provide for an already fit cyclist?
  • Well the last few races ive done the guys that have won it have much more muscle than me, I would be quite light, I have come in the top 60 out of 300 of my last race in the cycling element, That is why I am considering the muscle gain.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,109
    Apart from stress probably the biggest cause of time off work is a bad back. I'd imagine having a strong core would help with that quite considerably.

    I say again though, I'm not talking about having Arnie style muscles here, but surely anyone can see there's a big difference between a Greipel or a Boonen and Schleck? Those big roulers must be carrying a fair bit of muscle as they certainly aren't carrying much fat.

    Also, as I said previous, most UK races seem to be criteriums or time trials. Hardly the domain of the whippet thin mountain goat. I've done weights since my swimming days. Lighter now than I've ever been and seem to pass most people going uphill on my training rides *shrug*

    Sure I could probably lose even more weight by stopping the gym work, but are the bragging rights at your local 10 that important, really?
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Well the last few races ive done the guys that have won it have much more muscle than me, I would be quite light, I have come in the top 60 out of 300 of my last race in the cycling element, That is why I am considering the muscle gain.

    You should concentrate on training to get faster, rather than training to look like the fast guys.
  • Good point, The top guys also had TT bikes, should I go for the Aero bars on my road bike?
  • Rob.MRob.M Posts: 88
    Tom Dean wrote:
    Well the last few races ive done the guys that have won it have much more muscle than me, I would be quite light, I have come in the top 60 out of 300 of my last race in the cycling element, That is why I am considering the muscle gain.

    You should concentrate on training to get faster, rather than training to look like the fast guys.

    He is, maybe that muscle gain will give him a bit more power.....
    It's never too late to become what you might have been...........
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Good point, The top guys also had TT bikes, should I go for the Aero bars on my road bike?
    Yes, better still, go for a full TT bike!

    I guess we are talking triathlon here :oops: :wink: the muscly guys probably get it from swimming rather than gym work, Hit the pool
  • Its duathlons but I think the guys are members of triathlon clubs, I dont really want to spend the 2 grand for another bike as I spent about 1500 on my current carbon bike. I might just take swimming up as apposed to doing the weights as I find the weights boring and I do not think I could keep that up long term.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    If you are already getting top 60/300 vs full aero setups, I imagine adding clipons will move you up a good number of places.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    As you are a triathlete, then yes you are going to have to modify your bike - more cash.
    Deep section wheels to hold top end ,do all your training rides at 23-24 mph...
    one speed .. one goal... 20km and you done dusted for your bike leg.
    Call it more strength if you like.
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