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Off the bike strength work

GabboGabbo Posts: 864
edited February 2013 in Training, fitness and health
Interested to see what you guys do in order to maintain or even gain more strength in the legs.

My leg workout doesn't consist of any weight work as I have no access to a gym. Looks something like this:

- Holding wall squats at 90 degree's: 30 seconds, 45, 60, 60, 45, 30 x2 with 30 seconds rest between each hold and 3 minutes between each set
- Squat jumps with weight vest (ok, slight contradiction as technically you could call this weight work). No set amount of reps or sets for these. Depends on how legs feel after previous workout.
- Split squats. Still coming to terms with these, but persevering.
- Heel raises off step

That's about it - 1-2 times per week.

Really interested to see what kind of strengthening work you guys do off the bike and how often.
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Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    uh-oh...

    Just to add - I don't do any. Apart from bike riding. Although that probably doesn't even count as 'strength work'.
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    Imposter wrote:
    uh-oh...

    Just to add - I don't do any. Apart from bike riding. Although that probably doesn't even count as 'strength work'.

    I'm sure hill repeats counts as strength work, though.
  • Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    uh-oh...

    Just to add - I don't do any. Apart from bike riding. Although that probably doesn't even count as 'strength work'.

    I'm sure hill repeats counts as strength work, though.
    No, they don't. Mainly because they do nothing for your strength. Good for improving aerobic capabilities and hill climbing though (which is what matters).
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    uh-oh...

    Just to add - I don't do any. Apart from bike riding. Although that probably doesn't even count as 'strength work'.

    I'm sure hill repeats counts as strength work, though.

    Anything to back that statement up :?:
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    uh-oh...

    Just to add - I don't do any. Apart from bike riding. Although that probably doesn't even count as 'strength work'.

    I'm sure hill repeats counts as strength work, though.

    I think you may be confusing 'strength' with 'aerobic improvement'?
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    Imposter wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    uh-oh...

    Just to add - I don't do any. Apart from bike riding. Although that probably doesn't even count as 'strength work'.

    I'm sure hill repeats counts as strength work, though.

    I think you may be confusing 'strength' with 'aerobic improvement'?

    No, I'm not. If hills require a higher amount of power output then surely it is stressing the musculoskeletal system to a higher degree, thus improving strength. Of course it improves you aerobically too!

    Look at Phillip Gilbert during the WC attacking the last hill. Now tell me you don't require a good degree of strength to do that!
  • johncpjohncp Posts: 302
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    uh-oh...

    Just to add - I don't do any. Apart from bike riding. Although that probably doesn't even count as 'strength work'.

    I'm sure hill repeats counts as strength work, though.

    I think you may be confusing 'strength' with 'aerobic improvement'?

    No, I'm not. If hills require a higher amount of power output then surely it is stressing the musculoskeletal system to a higher degree, thus improving strength. Of course it improves you aerobically too!

    Look at Phillip Gilbert during the WC attacking the last hill. Now tell me you don't require a good degree of strength to do that!
    Your granny has the strength to do that - what she doesn't have is the aerobic and anaerobic capability
    Have a go with the search engine, this subject has been done very well many times
    If you haven't got a headwind you're not trying hard enough
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    Gabbo wrote:
    Look at Phillip Gilbert during the WC attacking the last hill. Now tell me you don't require a good degree of strength to do that!

    ok, here goes - "you don't require a good degree of strength to do that". There, I said it. Believe me, you really don't want to have this argument. :)
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    Johncp wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    uh-oh...

    Just to add - I don't do any. Apart from bike riding. Although that probably doesn't even count as 'strength work'.

    I'm sure hill repeats counts as strength work, though.

    I think you may be confusing 'strength' with 'aerobic improvement'?

    No, I'm not. If hills require a higher amount of power output then surely it is stressing the musculoskeletal system to a higher degree, thus improving strength. Of course it improves you aerobically too!

    Look at Phillip Gilbert during the WC attacking the last hill. Now tell me you don't require a good degree of strength to do that!
    Your granny has the strength to do that - what she doesn't have is the aerobic and anaerobic capability
    Have a go with the search engine, this subject has been done very well many times

    Nonsense! By your logic, Phillip Gilbert has a better aerobic capacity than the remainder of the field, right? For some reason, Purito Rodriquez seems to think that Gilbert had a better power to weight ratio than the remainder of the field. We all know that power is generated during concentric contraction of the muscles.

    What level have you studied this at?
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    Imposter wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Look at Phillip Gilbert during the WC attacking the last hill. Now tell me you don't require a good degree of strength to do that!

    ok, here goes - "you don't require a good degree of strength to do that". There, I said it. Believe me, you really don't want to have this argument. :)

    No, please fire away. That's arrogance and I want you to support your argument!
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Look at Phillip Gilbert during the WC attacking the last hill. Now tell me you don't require a good degree of strength to do that!

    ok, here goes - "you don't require a good degree of strength to do that". There, I said it. Believe me, you really don't want to have this argument. :)

    No, please fire away. That's arrogance and I want you to support your argument!

    ok, look. I'm new here and I therefore have no credibility, I'm not a sports scientist and I'm not a performance coach. If you haven't done a search yet, then this thread is a good place to start. Be warned though, it's a long one. So maybe you should have your tea first and then read it after.

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t/126133/g ... rove-power

    Seriously, if it was just about who had the strongest legs, then I'd be first in the queue for the gym tomorrow morning. I wish it was that simple.
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    the gains that are made in trained riders from weight training only increase sprint power. thus it won't make up for itself unless you can sprint up the hill

    What this guy said, is what I was referring to. I wasn't making out that climbing Mont Ventoux helps increase muscular mass, but we all know that having the ability to sprint up a hill at such a pace will require more strength than what your average cyclist has. Look at the muscular mass that a 100/200m sprinter has. I would put all my money on an unfit sprinter beating a well conditioned runner up a 400m hill. I was previously a sprinter and we use to do hill repeats in the winter as part of our strength training. To say muscular mass didn't improve is factually incorrect. The same can be applied to cycling. If you do hill repeats on a bike at maximum effort, you'll be causing micro-tears to the muscle fibres in your rectus femoris and whatever muscle groups have been stressed.

    If you don't require strength to cycle up a hill at a given pace, then lets see how a distance runner fares on a bike..
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    Imposter wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Look at Phillip Gilbert during the WC attacking the last hill. Now tell me you don't require a good degree of strength to do that!

    ok, here goes - "you don't require a good degree of strength to do that". There, I said it. Believe me, you really don't want to have this argument. :)

    No, please fire away. That's arrogance and I want you to support your argument!

    Seriously, if it was just about who had the strongest legs, then I'd be first in the queue for the gym tomorrow morning. I wish it was that simple.

    Since when did I state it was JUST about who had the strongest legs? Strength doesn't get you through in isolation. I am totally aware that having a decent aerobic capacity is essential.
  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,134
    There is no well respected study which finds that weight training has any noticeable benefit for cyclists(except short distance track sprinters and during standing starts)

    There is LOTS of evidence that riding your bike makes you better at riding your bike.

    The jury, i believe, is still out on the effectiveness of high gear /low cadence hill repeats as opposed to normal hill repeats.And i very much doubt ones strength is increased in this manner anyway.

    I too have no credibility apart from in my own mind, but believe me this subject has been done to death and the consensus remains the same.
    No doubt someone will be along shortly with the correct facts/terminology and very likely qualifications too.
    Death or Glory- Just another Story
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    mattshrops wrote:
    There is no well respected study which finds that weight training has any noticeable benefit for cyclists(except short distance track sprinters and during standing starts)

    There is LOTS of evidence that riding your bike makes you better at riding your bike.

    The jury, i believe, is still out on the effectiveness of high gear /low cadence hill repeats as opposed to normal hill repeats.And i very much doubt ones strength is increased in this manner anyway.

    I too have no credibility apart from in my own mind, but believe me this subject has been done to death and the consensus remains the same.
    No doubt someone will be along shortly with the correct facts/terminology and very likely qualifications too.

    Consensus means nothing if they have no credibility. Find a reliable source, then reference it. Same applies to me, but personally from previous experience I have noticed an increase in muscular strength when doing sessions such as the one I mentioned. Surely it's common logic, that when the muscular fibres have been stressed it promotes muscular strength through repair and regrowth. Sprinting up a hill (IMO) achieves this!
  • porker33porker33 Posts: 636
    There is a section on this in Wiggin's autobography.

    He mentions work in the gym and various exercises he started to use, to take him to the next level.

    Now, I appreciate he and his trainers will not have as much of an idea as most of the posters here, but thought I might mention it as an alternative viewpoint! :D
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Gabbo wrote:
    Consensus means nothing if they have no credibility. Find a reliable source, then reference it. Same applies to me, but personally from previous experience I have noticed an increase in muscular strength when doing sessions such as the one I mentioned. Surely it's common logic, that when the muscular fibres have been stressed it promotes muscular strength through repair and regrowth. Sprinting up a hill (IMO) achieves this!
    I don't think anyone said your gym routine would not increase your strength.

    Are you really suggesting increasing muscle mass improves climbing ability?
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    porker33 wrote:
    There is a section on this in Wiggin's autobography.

    He mentions work in the gym and various exercises he started to use, to take him to the next level.

    But it doesn't follow that it was 'gym work' that took him to the next level - only that he may (or may not) have spent some time in a gym.
  • Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    uh-oh...

    Just to add - I don't do any. Apart from bike riding. Although that probably doesn't even count as 'strength work'.

    I'm sure hill repeats counts as strength work, though.

    I think you may be confusing 'strength' with 'aerobic improvement'?

    No, I'm not. If hills require a higher amount of power output then surely it is stressing the musculoskeletal system to a higher degree, thus improving strength. Of course it improves you aerobically too!

    Look at Phillip Gilbert during the WC attacking the last hill. Now tell me you don't require a good degree of strength to do that!

    You don't require a good degree of strength to do that.

    Keep going though, if there's one thing the internet needs more of, it's people who are arrogant and wrong
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    lol, this is great.

    OP you won't win this one!

    Here is my findings, I used to be able to sqaut and leg press a fairly decent amount (180kg sqaut, few hundred kg leg press), now I would seriously struggle with 80kg sqaut and 200kg leg press, but I'm MUCH stronger in every time frame in cycling, my sprint is better, my 1 min is better, my 5 min is better, and my FTP is better. Lifting weights makes no difference. The forces involved in pedaling up a hill have been written out on here before by proper coaches, it was a tiny amount of force, squatting your own body-weight is more force than you'll likely ever produce on a bike (can't remember the number, but it made sense).
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    uh-oh...

    Just to add - I don't do any. Apart from bike riding. Although that probably doesn't even count as 'strength work'.

    I'm sure hill repeats counts as strength work, though.

    I think you may be confusing 'strength' with 'aerobic improvement'?

    No, I'm not. If hills require a higher amount of power output then surely it is stressing the musculoskeletal system to a higher degree, thus improving strength. Of course it improves you aerobically too!

    Look at Phillip Gilbert during the WC attacking the last hill. Now tell me you don't require a good degree of strength to do that!

    You don't require a good degree of strength to do that.

    Keep going though, if there's one thing the internet needs more of, it's people who are arrogant and wrong
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    uh-oh...

    Just to add - I don't do any. Apart from bike riding. Although that probably doesn't even count as 'strength work'.

    I'm sure hill repeats counts as strength work, though.

    I think you may be confusing 'strength' with 'aerobic improvement'?

    No, I'm not. If hills require a higher amount of power output then surely it is stressing the musculoskeletal system to a higher degree, thus improving strength. Of course it improves you aerobically too!

    Look at Phillip Gilbert during the WC attacking the last hill. Now tell me you don't require a good degree of strength to do that!

    Yet no one has come up and proved me wrong with a scientific structure to their argument. Well done

    You don't require a good degree of strength to do that.

    Keep going though, if there's one thing the internet needs more of, it's people who are arrogant and wrong
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    Gabbo wrote:
    Yet no one has come up and proved me wrong with a scientific structure to their argument. Well done

    In which case, I suggest you carry on with your strength work, secure in the knowledge that you are giving yourself a performance advantage that nobody else will have. You should have kept it quiet - we'll all be doing it now... ;)
  • Wiggins:
    We’re doing simple endurance rather than power work and building up slowly. I do a lot of core work and single-leg presses for the glutes but hardly any upper-body work. Because of that I look quite funny in the gym. I was there this morning doing my little 10kg weight for 50 reps while these huge panel-beaters were thinking, ‘Who’s this censored censored here?’ [Laughs] I couldn’t give a censored to be honest, it’s quite funny.
  • johncpjohncp Posts: 302
    From the same type of thread about 18 months ago viewtopic.php?t=12796394&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=80
    Alex Simmons said:
    "Physiologically & physically speaking:

    Strength is the maximal force generating ability of a muscle or group of muscles.
    By definition it occurs at zero velocity. However, practically speaking and in the context of the primary muscles involved in cycling, we can define strength as the maximal mass lifted in a one rep free standing squat.

    Power is the rate of doing work, or of energy transfer.
    It can be also defined as a force x velocity
    Power can refer to very rapid acceleration activities taking only fractions of a second or a few seconds (e.g. throwing, sprinting) or to much longer duration activities (e.g. endurance cycling, running, swimming).

    For a start, force and power are not the same thing. You can apply a huge force to something (e.g. push hard against a brick wall) but unless it is also moving, then you are applying no power.

    Also by definition, the greater the rate at which we do something, the lower the force we are able to apply. Even in maximal sprint efforts on a bike, there is a linear relationship between maximal force applied to the pedals and the rate at which we are pedaling.

    Typically, the forces involved in endurance cycling are sub-maximal, significantly so.
    e.g. even at 300 watts, at regular cadences and crank lengths, the average effective pedal force is less than 20kg, which means that regular cycling (a vast majority of which is performed < 300W) requires forces roughly an order of magnitude less than (i.e. 1/10th of) our strength.

    What matters is being able to apply such low forces repeatedly for long periods and our limiting factor for that is not our maximal force generation ability but rather the biochemical processes going on in our muscle cells, i.e. our aerobic metabolism (ability to turnover ATP).

    Increasing strength (i.e. maximal force generation ability) has not been conclusively shown to result in ability to increase our sustainable power, which isn't all that surprising since the physiological adaptations resulting from training that increases strength (e.g. enhancing neurological recruitment, but more importantly, increasing muscle fibre cross sectional area via hypertrophy and associated mitochondral dilution) run counter to those that improve our ability to turnover ATP (i.e. increased mitochondral density and capillarisation inside the muscles, reducing the cell diffusion distance and so on).

    The density of mitochondria (which are the energy plants inside our muscle cells) and the ability to readily exchange gases (O2 & CO2) and key metabolites (e.g. glycogen) is the primary limiting factor in endurance cycling.

    Fewer mitochondria per kg of muscle mass = lower sustainable power to mass.

    To increase strength (beyond an initial neurological improvement which occurs in the first few weeks of such training) requires hypertrophy, which in turns reduces our power to mass ratio.

    Now if one is talking about training (with weights for example) that doesn't increase strength, then that's not strength training, and it's a different discussion."

    I suppose if you're cycling routinely involves sprinting hard up short hills, then strength training as in squats etc, may help a bit. Having originally started off thinking that I needed strength to get up hills, I can see the truth in the above and personal experience bears it out - after 11 days going up big climbs in Mallorca I came back and, after recovering for a week or so, I was quicker up hills of all lengths than I've ever been before.
    If you haven't got a headwind you're not trying hard enough
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    Mind to elaborate on what you mean by neurological improvement. Improve what exactly? Proprioception? Firing of motor nerves? Improving latency time? What?
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    Thanks anyway :-)
  • Gabbo wrote:
    Mind to elaborate on what you mean by neurological improvement. Improve what exactly? Proprioception? Firing of motor nerves? Improving latency time? What?
    Weight training (done properly) leads to increased strength primarily via two mechanisms:

    i. neural adaptation improvements in synchronicity (simultaneous activation of multiple motor units) and activation (more force from the same muscle)
    ii. hypertrophy (increasing muscle cross sectional area) i.e. bigger muscles

    Of those, the neural adaptations are primarily responsible for most strength gained (at least in the short-medium term), however such gains don't translate well to other exercise modalities, as application of force is very dependent on the joint angles, speeds and other considerations specific to that modality.

    Hence when you want to best train for high force application in a given exercise modality (e.g. cycling), the very best training one can do is hard efforts that replicate that modality (e.g. sprints on a bike).

    While the neural gains from gym based strength training don't translate well to the bike, the hypertrophy aspect of strength gains do have a positive impact on cycling power (more muscle mass = more power in general), which is why track sprinters will seek to strength train for long enough to induce a hypertrophic response.

    However keep in mind the other consequences of the hypertrophic response from strength training that was pointed out in my previously quoted response (impacts that run counter to those desirable for endurance cycling performance, i.e. reduced rate of sustainable generation of ATP leading to decreased sustainable power to body mass ratio). IOW - name me one sprint cyclist who enjoys hill climbs?

    Added to this is another limiting factor - training long and hard enough in a gym in order to induce hypertrophy will mean you will be too fatigued to properly develop your aerobic capabilities, or lose a lot of valuable training time and simply play catch up when you do start to train properly.

    Of course, endurance cycle training also induces some hypertophy in slow twitch muscle fibres (as does sprint training in faster twitch fibres), so weight training per se is not necessary for this adaptation, you get it from doing enough hard cycling.

    Now all this is not to say you wouldn't do gym/strength training for other (valid) reasons. Rehab, enjoyment, general fitness, vanity, functional correction, better than doing nothing, a change up, and so on.
  • Gabbo wrote:
    Yet no one has come up and proved me wrong with a scientific structure to their argument. Well done

    And now, they have. Whilst managing to correctly use the quote function too.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    Gabbo wrote:
    Mind to elaborate on what you mean by neurological improvement. Improve what exactly? Proprioception? Firing of motor nerves? Improving latency time? What?
    Weight training (done properly) leads to increased strength primarily via two mechanisms:

    i. neural adaptation improvements in synchronicity (simultaneous activation of multiple motor units) and activation (more force from the same muscle)
    ii. hypertrophy (increasing muscle cross sectional area) i.e. bigger muscles

    Of those, the neural adaptations are primarily responsible for most strength gained (at least in the short-medium term), however such gains don't translate well to other exercise modalities, as application of force is very dependent on the joint angles, speeds and other considerations specific to that modality.

    Hence when you want to best train for high force application in a given exercise modality (e.g. cycling), the very best training one can do is hard efforts that replicate that modality (e.g. sprints on a bike).

    While the neural gains from gym based strength training don't translate well to the bike, the hypertrophy aspect of strength gains do have a positive impact on cycling power (more muscle mass = more power in general), which is why track sprinters will seek to strength train for long enough to induce a hypertrophic response.

    However keep in mind the other consequences of the hypertrophic response from strength training that was pointed out in my previously quoted response (impacts that run counter to those desirable for endurance cycling performance, i.e. reduced rate of sustainable generation of ATP leading to decreased sustainable power to body mass ratio). IOW - name me one sprint cyclist who enjoys hill climbs?

    Added to this is another limiting factor - training long and hard enough in a gym in order to induce hypertrophy will mean you will be too fatigued to properly develop your aerobic capabilities, or lose a lot of valuable training time and simply play catch up when you do start to train properly.

    Of course, endurance cycle training also induces some hypertophy in slow twitch muscle fibres (as does sprint training in faster twitch fibres), so weight training per se is not necessary for this adaptation, you get it from doing enough hard cycling.

    Now all this is not to say you wouldn't do gym/strength training for other (valid) reasons. Rehab, enjoyment, general fitness, vanity, functional correction, better than doing nothing, a change up, and so on.

    MODS: This reallly needs to be 'stickied' for future reference to stop confusion between disciplines.
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