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  1. #1
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    Winter Conditioning: How best to maximise Weight and Hill training into program (?)

    OK. It is winter, and I want to plan the next three months of conditioning, to lead into the spring. I want to include leg / core based weight training with a combination of mileage, "slope reps" and such in the programmee. Are there "A" grade trackies out there who could provide insight into "what works" (for one session per day only please ?? (cos there aint much out there written by truly fast guys for us "enthusiastic up and commers)

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    There are plenty of A-Grade trackies on this board Believe it or not, there are national and international level racers here (not me, though ).

    What is your goal? For example:

    - I want to be a track all-arounder and be competitive in Omnium type events.
    - I want to be a track enduro and focus on longer races (15KM and longer) and/or pursuits
    - I want to be a track Sprinter focusing on events 1KM or shorter.
    - I want to race track to supplement my Road/Criterium racing.

    Also: What other training/racing will you do?

    - I'll race CX and MTB this winter
    - I'll race indoor track (foot racing) this winter.


    Also, you are asking for a training program. Training programs are very individual things and are also very complex with micro (short term) and macro (long term) goals. So, us writing a few sentences won't get you 3-6 months worth of instructions.

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    hi, and thanks for replying. I am 56 years old, and racing in Wellington NZ in the Open "B" grade. The goal is to be a track all-rounder, and aim to be competitive in the local club Kieran, and scratch races under 3 kms - and to be in with a chance for medals at NZ Masters Games and Age Group Track nationals in February. Also to do the ocassional crit.

    Only other training is weights. After 25 years away and after 6 months, I am 3 x 3 rep squatting with 100 kg, followed by "power" single leg press, hamstring curls, and deadlifts / core work.

    My real interest, is for the next 3 months buildup phase, i.e. August, Sept and October, for main events in Jan / Feb 2016. Specifically, I would really appreciate comment as to optimum / good order to do Weights / easy rides / slope & flat intervals / rest days i.e. how to most optimally sequence the day by day / weekly training activities.

    Is this useful for comment?

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHRB45 View Post
    hi, and thanks for replying. I am 56 years old, and racing in Wellington NZ in the Open "B" grade. The goal is to be a track all-rounder, and aim to be competitive in the local club Kieran, and scratch races under 3 kms - and to be in with a chance for medals at NZ Masters Games and Age Group Track nationals in February. Also to do the ocassional crit.

    Only other training is weights. After 25 years away and after 6 months, I am 3 x 3 rep squatting with 100 kg, followed by "power" single leg press, hamstring curls, and deadlifts / core work.

    My real interest, is for the next 3 months buildup phase, i.e. August, Sept and October, for main events in Jan / Feb 2016. Specifically, I would really appreciate comment as to optimum / good order to do Weights / easy rides / slope & flat intervals / rest days i.e. how to most optimally sequence the day by day / weekly training activities.

    Is this useful for comment?
    Yes, that's a great comment.

    You have a good sense of what info you need. Unfortunately, you are asking for a lot

    But, I'm not going to shoo you off I'll write from a higher, non-specific level:

    I'm not familiar with your level of fitness or racing experience. Nor am I familiar with your body type (stocky or lean) or inherent talents (sprint or endurance by nature).

    All of these affect how you should train. Naturally strong guys (like me) would benefit from losing weight. Naturally lean guys would benefit from adding some muscle.

    Generally, rank beginners (not you) will get faster from simply doing anything regularly. Be that commuting to work, lifting weights, racing, etc... You seem to have passed that stage. If you were a newbie racer, I'd suggest that you
    - Ride your bike as much as possible
    - Race as much as possible.
    - Clean up your diet
    - Etc...

    But, I suspect that you are past that stage. What sucks is that what's after that stage is kind of a stagnant limbo of progress. You try and work yourself hard. But, you aren't sure if it will yield results and you don't know what buttons to push to get the desired result in the first place. "Do I do hill repeats? If so, how many? How often? How steep? How long?" "Do I lift weights? Do I go for high weights and low reps or low weights and high reps? What lifts? Lift before or after bike days?" "How do people train and have a normal life with work and family?" I could go on.

    I suspect that you are wise enough to know what you don't know and that the best use of your time is to not waste it with trial-and-error. You want to know what *will* give you results

    Coaching isn't rocket science. Especially for the levels that you and I race. I've had some world-level coaches over the past few years and I've learned a lot. I've also coached myself (based on their programs) and had similar (and better) results. I also learned that you can't get blood from a turnip (meaning world-class coaching still couldn't make me fast)

    So, I said all of that to say this, you may be ready for some personalized track specific coaching, and by extension, the training programs. By "track specific" I mean that you'd do well to pick a coach that has a lot of track training and racing experience. 9/10 road coaches will probably say, "Sure, I can write a track program for you! (how hard can it be?)". But, you'll get more from a track-focused coach.

    These days with internet, IM, video chat, free skype/gChat/iChat international calling getting a quality coach from a different area (or even country) is VERY feasible. I'd say that maybe half, if not more, of that track coaching that happens, does not happen in person. The key is good communication. The athlete has to be good at telling the coach what's going on with him/her and the coach has to be a good listener and adjust the program.

    There are lots of anecdotal track "workouts" out there. But, those aren't "programs". Workouts span anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of weeks. Programs span anywhere from months to years.

    Sorry to ramble

  5. #5
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    "How best to maximise Weight and Hill training into program"

    I'll give a brief response since we seem to be in the same category: namely, 50-something focused primarily on track. First, I came from a purely roadie background. And, in fact, did almost exclusively climbing rides. Then I found track, then I found weights... and now I do no climbing whatsoever. I honestly see no need for hill repeats as a trackie who lifts.

    I lift 3x per week. Year round. I'll skip Friday if there is a race I care about.

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    Winter (or off season is a better term, since track season is winter here!) is a good time to push heavy things. The endurance won't fade much and you can bring it back closer to the season easily, now is a good time to work on building strength, working all of the muscles that don't see enough use during race season. Then as the season approaches try to turn it into power and speed and get that endurance back.

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    When I was being coached, we had zero prescribed hill work... like ever. Power was built in the gym.

    I agree with Carleton and I'd say a coach knows best. FWIW I was coached by Lee Povey and I'd say the dude knows what he's doing. The improvements I made with him over the course of 8~9 months were pretty insane.

    Like Carleton said, athlete feedback to the coach is the best he can get and will help with programming, so even a long distance coach is possible.
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    Seeing as how you didn't include sprints in there, I'll call you an endurance sprinter. From what you say, your focus isn't doing a F200 at your absolute best andd running sprint tourneys. Keirins are a slightly different beast where more endurance can win you races over pure sprinters if the pace is kept high. I would forget about the hill stuff too. In the weights room, I'd not really concentrate on doing all out strength work like countless deadlifts and squats. I'd still do them perhaps once a week, but I'd work on power and plyo stuff too so that you got strong without being too heavy. Things like power cleans, jump squats, box jumps will get you strong and firing. In the short time you've got to build something up if you haven't got it already, I think that may work better for you than just training heavy in the weights room.

    Rather than the hills, I'd take a good look at UpUpUp and do trainer work, focusing on the strength capacity drills and the speed endurance stuff.

    Also, assuming you have a season similar to ours, if you have regular racing starting in October-ish then race the hell out of your bike and do some maintenance weights and short road/crit style racing.

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    Hey thanks for your reply Vance Mac. Appreciated. Interesting that you do weights 3 x per week. Presumably you sufficiently recover (being 50 something) ?? Interesting that you dont see the need for hill repeats. Have you found "slope (steady state) reps" say, between 30 secs and 2 mins to be of value for your conditioning / Power endurance (pre race season) phase?

    Out on interest also: Presumably you are a "high performing Master". Hey, Am interested to know what sort of weights / x bodyweight is considered a worthy goal for a 50s plus master (?). Me? I have only recently cracked my bodyweight for reps of six, but am now climbing towards 1.5 x bodyweight (56 year old) - and am following squats with "single leg (power) r press" .. Gottcha re power cleans (which I started recently), and the need for Jump squats and such.

    Hard to pass on wisdom I know - but am real interested in "principles". Cheers.
    Last edited by DHRB45; 07-23-15 at 01:26 AM.

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    Really appreciate your reply too brawlo. Thanks for the comment on hills. Have you found "steady state" (big gear) reps, say between 30 seconds and 2 minutes - on Slopes to be of value in your conditioning / buildup periods please ??

    I note your reference to UpUpUp / strenght capacity drills and speed endurance, and shall take a good look.
    Cheers.

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    Thanks for your reply Carlton. Really appreciate your insight. Yes, I can see that you are Very Pro coach. Gottcha on that - and am working on it as we speak. The voice of wisdom recognised Over and above that, I am really interested in, how do I put it; "principles which work" - particularly with respect to the next 3 months "buildup" / preseason. There really is bugger all on the internet / library / kindle. shame, cos there is so much about running and such ..

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHRB45 View Post
    Thanks for your reply Carlton. Really appreciate your insight. Yes, I can see that you are Very Pro coach. Gottcha on that - and am working on it as we speak. The voice of wisdom recognised
    Just to clarify: A coach isn't necessary. It's just a shortcut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Just to clarify: A coach isn't necessary. It's just a shortcut.
    Yes, like I said to DHRB45 on his FB post...

    Get a coach. Cookie cutter approach using generic test plans or training schedules without customising to your specific needs is like taking pot shots in the dark. You may hit something if lucky but reality you are wasting time and bullets...

    No idea of his strengths or weaknesses. May not be fitness rather technique or racecraft limiters due to only having raced 3 years.
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    If you're at the Haitatai velodrome, have you had a chat to Gary, who coaches the windy wheelers bunch? He coaches the kids but would be the best place to start, and there are some other folks in Welly who Ive had a bit of coaching from in the past (don't really want to chuck their names up on the inter webs because I haven't spoken to them in a while) and if you really want the full experience, Hamish Ferguson does tailored coaching programs for trackies in NZ.
    One reason there isn't a whole lot of info online is that there are already a lot of good resources that people would just be duplicating, for (in publishing terms) a really small audience. A lot of the training track sprinters do is interdisciplinary, (weight training) and there are vast resources out there in the weight training world on how to increase strength for athletic performance, and a lot of the rest is experience racing.
    Track enduro racing is basically short, high intensity, very tactical road racing on a velodrome, and as such road racing and high intensity road intervals are good training for this type of thing - like Brawlo said, the best thing you can do is ride the hell out of your bike, do the winter race series, and as many crits as you can.
    Wellington has great hills, which are great for the roadies - track cyclists aren't shy about adding mass, which is why they get into the gym to do their strength work.
    One coach I know in Welly proscribed one of my mates 12-15 repeats of the Steep side of Makara peak up to Karori, church to the powerlines, so there's always that. If you want some really good power climbs though, the roads out Eastbourne/Days bay way, was where I used to go - short and steep as all buggery, but the benefit was you didn't have to climb for half an hour to get to the steepest pitches, which would happen a lot in Wellington (Weld St, for instance, or road to the golf ball from the Brooklyn turbine).
    And - sorry, this is really important, should have mentioned it earlier, get up to Wanganui as often as you can - they have the 250 timber velodrome out there, some strong riders, and you can even race for cash money at their summer carnivals. Experience on a properly steep, fast outdoor track that doesn't have Haitaitai's long, windy as s*** straights, against strong riders, will do you a world of good and get the blood pumping.
    Goddammit I miss that place.

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    Thanks for the reply Minion1. All good stuff. And thanks for the coach names. All good stuff. Still dont know why there isnt more info tho - given the volumes of "how to go faster" stuff in the kiwi / american / aussie / british bike mags. And NZ has several of the worlds best trackies right now - but sweet zilch, even in the NZ Bike (official) mag. I just dont get it .. and with the next 3 months conditioning time coming up. ANYway. I appreciate all the comments about the value of weights (great, am onto that side of things, being an ex. NZ junior powerlifter) and hear the "coach" message load and clear. And, with the World Masters Games in New Zealand next year ..

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Well, if you are an ex powerlifter, then you are probably familiar with training in big blocks of Strength then Power. Strength is moving heavy things. Power is moving heavy things quickly. But, if you can't move X kg slowly, you certainly can't move it quickly This is why Strength is the foundation of Power.

    With track racing it's similar. The 4 major components in track cycling are:

    Strength
    Power
    Endurance
    Top Speed

    Strength takes the longest to build and it takes the longest to fade. Then power, slightly quicker to build than Strength and quicker to fade. And on down the line. Top Speed is the fastest to build and fastest to fade (like a matter of a couple of weeks). This is why this is done during the lead up to major events.

    If you are shooting for Masters Games next year, then you have time to go through several strength-building cycles, then transition into power, etc...

    But, if you are shooting for your big event of this year in 3 months, it may not suit you to go into several big strength building cycles as you may not have time to translate that into power and plan a peak and all of that in time. Maybe just work with the strength you have and work on Power, Endurance, and Top Speed over the next 3 months.

    Then you have to factor in recovering after the race year, mapping out an annual plan for next year and the big quarterly and monthly training blocks...

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Then there is nutrition and weight management.

    Unlike powerlifting, Power is not the keystone metric. Power/Weight is.

    So, a racer can gain speed by increasing power, decreasing weight, or both.

    What you (obviously) don't want to do is increase power and increase weight (like powerlifters can do and win). Or, decrease power and decrease weight (like mountain climbing roadies do).

    Many racers plateau when they get close to being as strong and powerful as their body will allow. Then the figure out that if they lose several lbs/kg that they get faster, *even* if they lose some small amount of strength in doing so.

    It's very difficult to eat like a bird when you are doing tough training and racing leading up to a big event. Many racers will focus on losing weight 6-9 months out from their big event. Then allow themselves to eat when the training volume gets high during mid season.

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    If you read through enough of that stuff, the latest and greatest training tips, you'll begin to see a lot of the same info being repeated - there are always a lot of new entrants into the road and mtb market, who find that stuff useful, but when you get past a certain point you won't find much new or useful training advice there.
    In reality, a lot of the training advice, when stripped back to the fundamentals, is pretty much identical to what Carleton posted above - organise into blocks, probably do 3 hard weeks then one easy week, start with the base attribute for the type of riding you'll be doing (strength or endurance) and build on your abilities from there.
    I actually like the fact that Track cycling is a little out of the cycling mainstream, because you have to learn by doing - since there isn't a huge amount of training advice out there, you have to just get out there and get it done. You'll learn a lot about how you respond to the training you do very quickly, and tactically you'll pick a lot up racing 4 or 5 races a night rather than once a week on a road bike. And you can sit round and talk smack in-between times too, which is even better.
    Last edited by Minion1; 07-24-15 at 03:18 AM. Reason: sense.

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    Sorry my comment above was meant to be a reply to DHRB45 wondering aloud why there isn't more info available on track racing while there's tons of training advice for road and MTB riders. I'll learn how to use the internet one day guys, I promise!
    Also a lot of that training advice is marketing. Not really training advice that will develop better cyclists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Well, if you are an ex powerlifter, then you are probably familiar with training in big blocks of Strength then Power. Strength is moving heavy things. Power is moving heavy things quickly. But, if you can't move X kg slowly, you certainly can't move it quickly This is why Strength is the foundation of Power.

    With track racing it's similar. The 4 major components in track cycling are:

    Strength
    Power
    Endurance
    Top Speed

    Strength takes the longest to build and it takes the longest to fade. Then power, slightly quicker to build than Strength and quicker to fade. And on down the line. Top Speed is the fastest to build and fastest to fade (like a matter of a couple of weeks). This is why this is done during the lead up to major events.

    If you are shooting for Masters Games next year, then you have time to go through several strength-building cycles, then transition into power, etc...

    But, if you are shooting for your big event of this year in 3 months, it may not suit you to go into several big strength building cycles as you may not have time to translate that into power and plan a peak and all of that in time. Maybe just work with the strength you have and work on Power, Endurance, and Top Speed over the next 3 months.

    Then you have to factor in recovering after the race year, mapping out an annual plan for next year and the big quarterly and monthly training blocks...
    Yes,I am an ex powerlifter - ex NZ junior rep level - but it was 35 years ago haha. We didnt (knowingly) work on "power". What I understand about power, I have gleaned recently from a couple of the top US (running) sprinter websites. So yes, the principle of developing strength first, and transitioning into Power by way of "fast" and lighter weights registers: i.e. jump squats, power single leg-press, and power cleans to fire up the neuro / muscular side of things.

    It would be interesting to know thoughts on the value of "power single leg-press" in a schedule. i.e. using a medium weight, and trying to push the thing as hard, as fast and as far as possible. Emulating sprinting on the pedals I guess.

    Here's a thing; running sprinters do work on "knee lifts" with weight to strengthen the poasis muscle. Makes sense; working the quads with squats and such, working the "posterior chain" muscles with deadlifts of some sort, hamstring curls and such. But how many cyclists work on the "knee lifts" ? A key part of the muscleature surely? Thoughts please? (I have doubled what I could previously do for reps, using pulleys and ankle strap**. It must surely contribute to the sprint cycling capability or .. (?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minion1 View Post
    If you read through enough of that stuff, the latest and greatest training tips, you'll begin to see a lot of the same info being repeated - there are always a lot of new entrants into the road and mtb market, who find that stuff useful, but when you get past a certain point you won't find much new or useful training advice there.
    In reality, a lot of the training advice, when stripped back to the fundamentals, is pretty much identical to what Carleton posted above - organise into blocks, probably do 3 hard weeks then one easy week, start with the base attribute for the type of riding you'll be doing (strength or endurance) and build on your abilities from there.
    I actually like the fact that Track cycling is a little out of the cycling mainstream, because you have to learn by doing - since there isn't a huge amount of training advice out there, you have to just get out there and get it done. You'll learn a lot about how you respond to the training you do very quickly, and tactically you'll pick a lot up racing 4 or 5 races a night rather than once a week on a road bike. And you can sit round and talk smack in-between times too, which is even better.
    Thanks for that Minion1. Certainly, I learnt last year the value of having an easy week following 3 weeks or so of intensive training: I went into chronic training overload, kept going, and then got to the point where couldnt keep going, threw the bike aside, and didnt climb back on or 6 or 7 weeks. Whoops, half the racing season gone. Big lesson learnt there.

    OK, back to the value of "steady state slope reps". Seems that none of you yankie boys do them. But physiologically, dont they have a similar effect to Big Gear reps on the flat ? Do you guys find "big gear interval work" of value? Cheers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DHRB45 View Post

    It would be interesting to know thoughts on the value of "power single leg-press" in a schedule. i.e. using a medium weight, and trying to push the thing as hard, as fast and as far as possible. Emulating sprinting on the pedals I guess.

    Loaded sled work. Like a scrum machine, shove it from one end of the room to the other.

    Here's a thing; running sprinters do work on "knee lifts" with weight to strengthen the poasis muscle. Makes sense; working the quads with squats and such, working the "posterior chain" muscles with deadlifts of some sort, hamstring curls and such. But how many cyclists work on the "knee lifts" ? A key part of the muscleature surely? Thoughts please? (I have doubled what I could previously do for reps, using pulleys and ankle strap**. It must surely contribute to the sprint cycling capability or .. (?)
    From memory the only work the 'recovering' leg does is get out of the way - thanks to power meters, there's been a fair bit of work done on where the power comes from and basically very little comes from the leg in it's recovery phase
    GPZZL.gif

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minion1 View Post
    From memory the only work the 'recovering' leg does is get out of the way - thanks to power meters, there's been a fair bit of work done on where the power comes from and basically very little comes from the leg in it's recovery phase
    GPZZL.gif
    Gotta be more to it than that; pedalling in "powerful" circles and such. Presumably, this graph shows the % of the pedal stroke used by the respective muscles. We dont know for sure, cos it doesnt have any supporting commentary. It could well be that the "green muscle - psoas muscle is used at a greater intensity than we give it credit for. Maybe: after all, it is a key contributing component of the "Posterior chain". I am not a specialist though.Just trying to figure it out

    One further thought: Eddy Dawkins (New Zealand) recently completed a championship flying 200 using - wait for it - a 56 x 12 gear. I reckon thats one heck of a lot of "Posterior chain" leg up-lift at play there (which must include the Poasis / knee lift musclature surely ??
    Last edited by DHRB45; 07-26-15 at 04:03 PM.

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    Pulling up has been shown as a waste of energy. Focus more producing more power on the downstroke

    Much research has been done in particular by James C.Martin. Search for journal articles with his input.

    Effect of Pedaling Technique on Mechanical Effectiveness and Efficiency in Cyclists HOMAS KORFF, LEE M. ROMER, IAN MAYHEW, and JAMES C. MARTIN 2007

    http://www.researchgate.net/profile/...CoverPage=true

    Cyclists’ Improvement of Pedaling Efficacy and Performance After Heavy Strength Training - Ernst A. Hansen, Bent R. Rønnestad, Geir Vegge, and Truls Raastad 2012

    http://brage.bibsys.no/xmlui/bitstre...pdf?sequence=1
    http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHRB45 View Post
    It would be interesting to know thoughts on the value of "power single leg-press" in a schedule. i.e. using a medium weight, and trying to push the thing as hard, as fast and as far as possible. Emulating sprinting on the pedals I guess.
    I actually incorporate Power Single Leg Presses in my program. I find them to be very useful! They are functionally similar to Step Ups, but using a 45 degree leg press sled, you can add more than your body weight and have a more controlled movement.

    Single Leg Press (for strength) and Single Power Leg Press (for power) are the basis of the program that I created for myself. I can't say that it's *better* than traditional squats and power cleans. But, I *can* say that it is not worse

    I personally think it's better being that we use our legs independently of each other when we ride our bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by DHRB45 View Post
    Here's a thing; running sprinters do work on "knee lifts" with weight to strengthen the poasis muscle. Makes sense; working the quads with squats and such, working the "posterior chain" muscles with deadlifts of some sort, hamstring curls and such. But how many cyclists work on the "knee lifts" ? A key part of the muscleature surely? Thoughts please? (I have doubled what I could previously do for reps, using pulleys and ankle strap**. It must surely contribute to the sprint cycling capability or .. (?)
    I did train knee lifts for strength using a hip flexor machine one season. I was maxing it out after about 2-3 weeks.



    My goal was to have my hip flexors aid with turning over big gears during standing starts and getting the bike up to max speed. (like others above) I can't say that it made my cycling any better. I'd recommend such as a supplemental exercise. Basically: Train these muscles so that you don't pull one one day and be sidelined by a small muscle tear, but don't expect any notable performance gains.

    As mentioned above as well, at high cadences, the real goal is to keep your back leg from being dead weight that works against the front leg.
    Last edited by carleton; 07-24-15 at 09:08 AM.

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