Sprinters have really big thighs

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  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087

    Bradley Wiggins in his peak road years had legs like a stalk. It didn't stop him winning a group sprint in Romandie or putting out 460 Watts for 50 minutes in the Olympic TT, or leading out Cav at the end of the TDF final stage.

    As has been covered multiple times on here - cycling 'power' (in road cycling terms) has nothing to do with 'strength' (muscle mass) and nearly everything to do with aerobic capacity. Even road sprinters are basically still endurance athletes compared to track riders.

    Pros do use the gym because they have time and it's a useful part of an overall training programme (in terms of injury prevention, and alleviating the impact of spending hours a day in a wholly unnatural sitting position).
    For the rest of the cycling world any time you've got spare would be best used in riding your bike more.

    The power is generated mostly in core and glutes. The legs simply transmit the power. It’s a bit like having a gigantic electrical power generation station. There’s no point in having it, if the high tension cables can’t transmit all the power. Likewise, there’s no point in having really good transmission infrastructure, if the generation station isn’t producing enough power to utilise it fully. If you have massive legs, but no power from the core and glutes, you’re just adding weight for no particular purpose. There is a German track sprinter with massive leg muscles, they are actually overkill, as he could never hope to produce the power to do them 100 percent justice. You also need to have good aerobic endurance, that’s how you keep the power coming.
    What would help is if muncher could actually manage to write in basic English.
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    webboo said:

    Bradley Wiggins in his peak road years had legs like a stalk. It didn't stop him winning a group sprint in Romandie or putting out 460 Watts for 50 minutes in the Olympic TT, or leading out Cav at the end of the TDF final stage.

    As has been covered multiple times on here - cycling 'power' (in road cycling terms) has nothing to do with 'strength' (muscle mass) and nearly everything to do with aerobic capacity. Even road sprinters are basically still endurance athletes compared to track riders.

    Pros do use the gym because they have time and it's a useful part of an overall training programme (in terms of injury prevention, and alleviating the impact of spending hours a day in a wholly unnatural sitting position).
    For the rest of the cycling world any time you've got spare would be best used in riding your bike more.

    The power is generated mostly in core and glutes. The legs simply transmit the power. It’s a bit like having a gigantic electrical power generation station. There’s no point in having it, if the high tension cables can’t transmit all the power. Likewise, there’s no point in having really good transmission infrastructure, if the generation station isn’t producing enough power to utilise it fully. If you have massive legs, but no power from the core and glutes, you’re just adding weight for no particular purpose. There is a German track sprinter with massive leg muscles, they are actually overkill, as he could never hope to produce the power to do them 100 percent justice. You also need to have good aerobic endurance, that’s how you keep the power coming.
    What would help is if muncher could actually manage to write in basic English.
    I'm not that optimistic
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601

    cemmac said:


    What i was thinking here is. If you train daily(every day) like MTB or Road racer, and after training eat proper food, chicken, fish, suplements whey, gainers, creatin, bcaa... you may get increase of muscles in thinhs and calfes..am I correct.

    Well, most elite riders train like that anyway. But the pic you posted is not compatible with endurance cycling. If you want to look like that, you are on the wrong forum.

    Not only in the wrong forum but the wrong sport. If you're serious, which I doubt, try bodybuilding. Also your knowledge of sports and nutrition is sadly lacking.
  • bobones
    bobones Posts: 1,215
    edited March 2021
    The science suggests that cyclists do benefit from strength training through weightlifting, and ultimately it's really the only way to significantly increase your peak power (the max power you can produce for 1 second in an all out sprint). Modern athletes like Van Der Poel do a lot of gym work to improve their ability to apply force through the pedals. Have a look at this:
    https://youtu.be/V88wwTCs680
  • MrsR
    MrsR Posts: 81
    cemmac said:

    How to achieve this, only with cycling?

    The image you have shown is almost certainly of a powerlifter who uses steroids. I follow a lot of weightlifters to understand the community, as a runner who understands the importance of the weights room for injury prevention and developing strength. It is so commonplace it is depressing. Sharps bins are often found in public gyms. There is a lot of research indicating how widespread the practice is and has become more common amongst the younger generations too sadly.

  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    edited March 2021
    bobones said:

    The science suggests that cyclists do benefit from strength training through weightlifting, and ultimately it's really the only way to significantly increase your peak power (the max power you can produce for 1 second in an all out sprint). Modern athletes like Van Der Poel do a lot of gym work to improve their ability to apply force through the pedals. Have a look at this:
    https://youtu.be/V88wwTCs680

    Peak power doesn't win races - average power does. IIRC, I think it was the Australian track team that discovered that, to their cost, at the Seoul Olympics. They trained exclusively for peak power and won nothing.

    The video quotes a lot of studies which are generally not considered valid, as the control groups usually ended up doing less training hours than the intervention group. Also, the guy in that video looks like he is squatting 90lb, so around 40kg. Not going to be seeing much in the way of hypertrophy at those weights...

    MVDP almost certainly spends time in the gym, but without knowing more detail, it's likely to be conditioning work, as opposed to strength work.

  • bobones
    bobones Posts: 1,215
    edited March 2021

    bobones said:

    The science suggests that cyclists do benefit from strength training through weightlifting, and ultimately it's really the only way to significantly increase your peak power (the max power you can produce for 1 second in an all out sprint). Modern athletes like Van Der Poel do a lot of gym work to improve their ability to apply force through the pedals. Have a look at this:
    https://youtu.be/V88wwTCs680

    Peak power doesn't win races - average power does. IIRC, I think it was the Australian track team that discovered that, to their cost, at the Seoul Olympics. They trained exclusively for peak power and won nothing.

    The video quotes a lot of studies which are generally not considered valid, as the control groups usually ended up doing less training hours than the intervention group.

    MVDP almost certainly spends time in the gym, but without knowing more detail, it's likely to be conditioning work, as opposed to strength work.

    :smiley: Nonsense. Peak power is an important component of a cyclist's performance potential. If you have two cyclists with the same threshold power, the one with the highest peak power (and hence max available power (MPA) at the end of a race) will most likely win the sprint, obviously! You need to get up to speed on the current science instead of perpetuating these myths that strength training is of no benefit to cyclists. Can you quote any scientific literature to support your opinion?

    Also, did you see the end of Strade Bianchi? What MVDP did on that final climb was nothing to do with average power.

    Skip to 4.45 to see MVDP in action in the gym
    https://youtu.be/65leyfd81dw?t=273

    "Road racing isn't a threshold test".
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    bobones said:

    You need to get up to speed on the current science instead of perpetuating these myths that strength training is of no benefit to cyclists. Can you quote any scientific literature to support your opinion?

    Nobody has said it's of 'no' benefit, but for endurance cyclists it is certainly of 'limited' benefit at best. The quote that Brian has copied upthread from Alex is pretty much the clearest explanation of the science involved, so read that at your leisure for more info.
    bobones said:

    Also, did you see the end of Strade Bianchi? What MVDP did on that final climb was nothing to do with average power.

    Regardless of what the guy says on that video you linked to, MVDP's attack was the result of an initially anaerobic, followed by VO2 max effort, not the result of increased leg strength. As I said, go back and read Brian's link from 5 Mar for a better explanation.



  • bobones
    bobones Posts: 1,215
    edited March 2021
    Your stance is that strength training is of "limited benefit at best", and you cite a post from 2011 to back that up, whereas I have shown you several current sources which indicate that it is of significant benefit, yet you just dismiss them all because they don't fit your almost religious beliefs on this subject.

    I didn't say that it was 'leg strength' that won the race, rather than strength training through weightlifting improves cycling performance significantly. The video I posted from Dylan Johnson describes the physiological mechanisms involved and it's really not all that hard to understand how it does make a difference, whereas as your stance defies logic. Would MVDP be doing all that strength training with weights if it was a waste of training time?

    I know you'll never admit that you're wrong, but anyone else can watch the videos I posted, read the papers mentioned, and make up their own mind.

    BTW, up to now, I have never done any weightlifting in my life, and I think I had the same belief as you: basically cycling was the best form of training to improve cycling performance. However, using Xert the past couple of years has opened my eyes, and I realise now that by not doing any strength training I am severely limiting my ability to improve my performance as a cyclist. Peak power is a big factor in your overall performance capabilities and strength training through weights is really the most efficient way to improve it. If you don't understand how peak power, as well as threshold power (and HIE) influences your ability to perform and recover, I suggest you do some research into Xert.


  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    edited March 2021
    bobones said:

    Your stance is that strength training is of "limited benefit at best", and you cite a post from 2011 to back that up,

    As far as I'm aware, human physiology has not changed in the last 10 years.
    bobones said:

    Would MVDP be doing all that strength training with weights if it was a waste of training time?

    Good question. Do you know what his 'strength' routine is? Squats? Deadlifts? How many reps? At what weights? There's a bit more to it than simply 'doing weights'.
    bobones said:

    I know you'll never admit that you're wrong, but anyone else can watch the videos I posted, read the papers mentioned, and make up their own mind.

    Science doesn't care what you 'believe'. I'm quite happy to have my mind changed, when the science changes. No offence, but it's going to take a bit more than some bloke on the internet for that to happen. Meanwhile, I'm not a sports scientist myself, but I'll happily align myself with accredited sports scientists and peer-reviewed studies.

    I'm not going to get into personal attacks on you, in a way that you seem happy to do to me, but it's ironic that you accuse me of being 'religious' about it, and then you start pushing Xert. That's all I'm gonna say ;)

  • bobones
    bobones Posts: 1,215
    edited March 2021

    bobones said:

    Your stance is that strength training is of "limited benefit at best", and you cite a post from 2011 to back that up,

    As far as I'm aware, human physiology has not changed in the last 10 years.
    But through science and research, our understanding of it has!
    bobones said:

    Would MVDP be doing all that strength training with weights if it was a waste of training time?


    Good question. Do you know what his 'strength' routine is? Squats? Deadlifts? How many reps? At what weights? There's a bit more to it than simply 'doing weights'.

    Dylan Johnson gives you a nice routine to follow in his video!
    bobones said:

    I know you'll never admit that you're wrong, but anyone else can watch the videos I posted, read the papers mentioned, and make up their own mind.


    Science doesn't care what you 'believe'. I'm quite happy to have my mind changed, when the science changes. No offence, but it's going to take a bit more than some bloke on the internet for that to happen. Meanwhile, I'm not a sports scientist myself, but I'll happily align myself with accredited sports scientists and peer-reviewed studies.

    Lol, but you're the bloke on the internet who's asking everyone else to believe what you say without one shred of evidence! Dylan Johnson is a professional cyclist and coach, and his video cites several peer reviewed scientific papers to back his argument. You have yet to post one to back up yours!


    I'm not going to get into personal attacks on you, in a way that you seem happy to do to me, but it's ironic that you accuse me of being 'religious' about it, and then you start pushing Xert. That's all I'm gonna say ;)

    Come on. It's a bit of as stretch to equate anything I said to a personal attack so I am getting out before Godwin's law comes into play :smile:

  • MrsR
    MrsR Posts: 81
    👀🍿
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    bobones said:


    Lol, but you're the bloke on the internet who's asking everyone else to believe what you say without one shred of evidence! Dylan Johnson is a professional cyclist and coach, and his video cites several peer reviewed scientific papers to back his argument. You have yet to post one to back up yours!

    Lol indeed. The are numerous threads and discussions on these forums relating to this topic going back several years, all with links to as much peer reviewed science as you can handle. If you’re genuinely interested in having a balanced view on the topic then I’m sure you’ll find them easily enough. I’ve got some of the links bookmarked, but I’m not home now until after the weekend.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,861

    bobones said:


    Lol, but you're the bloke on the internet who's asking everyone else to believe what you say without one shred of evidence! Dylan Johnson is a professional cyclist and coach, and his video cites several peer reviewed scientific papers to back his argument. You have yet to post one to back up yours!

    Lol indeed. The are numerous threads and discussions on these forums relating to this topic going back several years, all with links to as much peer reviewed science as you can handle. If you’re genuinely interested in having a balanced view on the topic then I’m sure you’ll find them easily enough. I’ve got some of the links bookmarked, but I’m not home now until after the weekend.

    Maybe you'll find my two favourites that I've quoted in the past (one involving Coach Ferg outing someone who was trying to sell some gizmo), but here's another explanation from Alex Simmons:



    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.