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Old 01-29-12, 05:02 PM   #1
Dudelsack 
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Trainers and leg strength

I weigh 205, my bent weighs 30, and I probably carry an extra 5-8 lbs. of sundries. Getting all of that up steep grades is an issue.

My granny gear is a 30X34 on a 26' wheel. I spin it out at 4 MPH. I'm not good enough to stay upright on my bent at such a slow speed. The lowest gear I can comfortably spin is my next-to-penultimate gear. It makes me nervous going up hills, especially since my bent is equipped with a redneck signal that goes off whenever I'm creeping up a steep grade.

I am using a Star Trak recumbent stationary bike. The best I can do now is 45 minutes on the Alpine Pass with a setting of 10 out of 20.

In order to get stronger legs, is it better to 1) crank up the level (resistance) for a shorter time, or 2) use a moderate amount of resistance for longer periods of time?

Although we have steep grades, in the Ohio Valley we have endless rollers. I've not done any climbs of a significant grade that go beyond about two miles of distance.

Sorry if this has already been covered but I didn't see any recent discussions along these lines.
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Old 01-29-12, 05:35 PM   #2
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If my math is correct it shows that your cadence is 58.5. I'd work on getting that up first. Unfortunately the Star Trak our Y has feels weird to me at higher revs.
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Old 01-29-12, 05:43 PM   #3
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I'm no expert, but I have stayed in a Holiday Inn!! Work on cadence and RIDE. Trainers will never totally get you ready for wind, road conditions, and the other "real world" variables. Bents are a different world. Ride more to build confidence. I can, of course, stand on the pedals on my diamond frame, but I feel your pain brother!
Oh, I also recently lost over 40 pounds. That makes a HUGE difference in my riding! 221-180.
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Old 01-29-12, 05:50 PM   #4
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Think outside the box... Try getting off the bike for a few workouts of deep lunges and/or running stands.
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Old 01-30-12, 08:15 AM   #5
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Good points everyone. Good points.

Unfortunately events have conspired against me and it's the trainer or nuthin this week.

Is it better to push the resistence up really high for short periods of time, or to do less resistence over a longer period of timie for leg strength? Intuitively it seems like I just ought to crank up the resistence, like training to failure, but much about this sport is counter-intuitive.
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Old 01-30-12, 10:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
Is it better to push the resistence up really high for short periods of time, or to do less resistence over a longer period of timie for leg strength? Intuitively it seems like I just ought to crank up the resistence, like training to failure, but much about this sport is counter-intuitive.
You don't need stronger legs. You need more power. With the low gearing you have available the amount of force you're applying to the pedals is very low.

You need to increase your power for the duration of the hills you plan on riding. If you have a 40 min hill, then I would work on 20 min intervals. Do 2x20 min intervals with a 5 min rest 3 or 4 times a week and you should see improvement. Go as hard as you can while still being able to complete the 2 intervals. When it starts to get easier, increase the resistance. You should set the resistance so you can maintain a comfortable cadence, which for most people is around 70-90 RPM while climbing.
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