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Old 01-16-07, 12:50 PM   #1
genericbikedude
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Leg Presses for Track

Hi Folks,

I'm up in the air about whether or not I'm going to take the track seriously next summer, but I go to a gym to lift weights to balance my upper body with my cycling muscles. Recently, I tried out the leg press machine, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I could do a max of around 280. While this probably can't be much for pros or serious amateurs, I'm wondering how to increase it, and what sorts of intensities/reps I should be focusing on for strength building. I've been doing 3 sets of 15 at 180 lbs, doing circuit training with upper body stuff, followed by a 6 mile fixed ride home in a 47x17. What do ya'll think? Should I lift more with fewer reps or vice versa? What can pros press?

Also, it seems like leg presses are great for the downstroke, but what (besides actually riding a bike in a stiff gear) can build muscles for the upstroke?

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Old 01-16-07, 02:26 PM   #2
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You can also do the calf lift (there are a few machines that accomplish that, such as one where you stand up, with weights somehow oriented on your shoulders and you stand on your toes then slowly let your heels down, and another that has you sitting with weights oriented on your knees where you do a similar motion). You can also do a hamstring lift (typically it is a machine that you lay down on and pull a bar, back towards your butt). also try reading through this site, has some good info on weight lifting http://www.ridethetrack.com/pdf/train_rodamaker.pdf
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Old 01-16-07, 02:36 PM   #3
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^^thanks. I actually did read that site, which prompted my questions here. Since I just simply don't have time for all the base miles, and my roots are in city riding anyway, I think that I'd be better off at sprint events than endurance ones. Another factor in favor of the sprint camp is my staus as ex-smoker (8 months yesterday). I don't know if I'll do what the guy says about not doing the base miles though -- I'm not going to cease commuting and taking fast pleasure rides just so that I somehow get faster on the track.

So right now its leg presses, the calf standing things, and the things where you bring your leg back to your butt. Anything else?
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Old 01-16-07, 10:14 PM   #4
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squats...I'd get a trainer or a good buddy who has weight lifting experience for this. Basically you stand in a cage with a big barbell on your shoulders and you dip down making about a 45 degree angle with your knees/legs and then lift back up. It really works your glutts (butt) and quads. I used to fence (as in sword play) in middle school (for about 60 months) which required hours of lunging. Needless to say when I took my first weight training in highschool i had a nice edge and qualified legs for doing some extreme squats because of all that lunging. Anyways, squating is one of the more dangerous excersises since it can really wreck your back which is why I recomend you get someone who knows their stuff to help you.

Way to go with quiting smoking!!! Smoking was never cool in my book (especially when I started riding), but I hear ya on the sprinting thing. After reading that article thingy I decided I should be more of a sprinter (altho the kilo sounds entertaining...) since I dont really like the whol endurance, pain for long amounts of time thing...
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Old 01-16-07, 11:58 PM   #5
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Work the abs to improve the upstroke. Hanging leg raises work the abs and a muscle that goes right down the center of the quad. Also leg curls for the hamstrings.

Basic workout

squats 3x6-10
front squats or leg press 3x6-12
leg curls 4x8-12
SEATED calf raises (I said seated)

ab work
deadlifts 3x8-10
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Old 01-25-07, 11:38 AM   #6
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For the leg press you should do one leg at a time and try to "throw" the weight. Just my two cents.
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Old 01-29-07, 07:24 AM   #7
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2 things....

1- Making the weighted excersize feel or come close to a cycling movment is proven to only work as a benifit up to 60RPM.

2. "throwing" the weight on a leg press, espessialy with one leg is incedible stupid. And extremly dangerous. You can tear your knee apart in a jiffy if one little misshap occurs. Im actualy supprised somone said that.

Your muscles wont grow differantly from it either. Stick to doing smooth controled reps. As you get stronger add on the poundage slowly. Instead of being a risk to the gyms insurance provider do some plyometrics. Now that **** is fun and works!


Leg wise its simple. Do all the basic leg excersises. Leg Press, Calf Raise, Leg Extention, Leg Curl, and Squat. I go up by 5 lbs a week in all my weights. You should focus more on reps rather than max lifts. It builds better, stronger muscle. For instance I can max lift just under 700lbs on a leg press but gain nothing from it. Instead I do reps in the 300's. Differant diciplins of cycling reqire differant amounts of muscle mass. If your a Cat 1 road racer dont build leg muscles like a kilo sprinter.

A good rule of thumb while figureing where your body sits is if you cant feel a burn by the last third of the set your lifting too light. But give it time, if youve never been on a gym program, or are new to that excersize you will ache for a few days regardless.

Last edited by CafeRacer; 01-31-07 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 01-29-07, 11:29 AM   #8
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I do presses, squats, leg extensions, calf raises, and hamstring curls. I reccommend adding some weight each time you go to the gym. I typically add about 5-10% per week as a general increase. I can press 550+ right now, and next week I am shooting for over 600. For squats, I can only really do about 225 reliably.

I do not agree with the above post about "throwing" the weight up. Slow controled movements are the best way to build muscle using weights. Throwing them up will likely lead to injury. Explosive movements should be kept to bodyweight or plyometrics with dumbbells. My .02.
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Old 01-29-07, 12:16 PM   #9
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genericbike******,
i was under the impression you found track racing dull and that it lacked strategy, even though all you ever did was a clinic. what changed? even YOU realized you're full of crap?
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Old 01-30-07, 03:19 PM   #10
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I would not throw up a one legged press either; too much stress on the ankle.
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Old 01-31-07, 12:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CafeRacer

2. "throwing" the weight on a leg press, espessialy with one leg is incedible stupid. And extremly dangerous. You can tear your knee apart in a jiffy if one little misshap occurs. Im actualy supprised somone said that.
It was from the Australian Sprint Team strength training coach. I, however, am not an expert.
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Old 01-31-07, 06:13 PM   #12
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my coach has been having me do 90lbs on each leg 3 sets of 30 reps. then doing more weight 300lbs 30 reps both legs.

doing this 2 times a week for 2 months already has me maxing out now upwards of 500lbs for 15 reps +. did I mention im 6' 134lbs?

This was my first introduction to weight lifting and my coach has been gearing my training specific to pursuit/ times events and mass start events.

My 'jump' has improved 10x fold thanks to this lifting.
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Old 01-31-07, 06:16 PM   #13
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I dont know if anyone has said it yet but leg presses should be done 1 legged for lots of reps than you should max out both legs. At least this is what my coach is saying.
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Old 02-01-07, 12:25 PM   #14
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I vehemently disagree with the high rep recommendations. For you to be able to do a given weight 30 times the first 10 or so would have to be ridiculously easy; so much so that they'd be near useless for strength gains. It would be be more aerobic than anaerobic. Try squatting even a moderate weight that many times and by rep 15 you'll be gasping for air like you're doing a kilo atop Mt. Everest.

Personally I do legs twice weekly.
- One power session with squats 5x5, front squats, power cleans, high pulls, etc. Fast movements with very short "time under tension" so the muscular fatigue is actually pretty light.
- One strength session with reps between 8-15. More squats, leg presses, stiff leg deadlifts or good mornings. This is where size/strength is gained.

peterm5365, do you have any links to what they did? I'd love to see it for reference.
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Old 02-01-07, 01:33 PM   #15
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http://www.ridethetrack.com/pdf/train_paulrogers.pdf

A short excerpt:
"Single-leg Press is our bread and butter. Different foot and hip positions for different phases of pedal stroke, standing, seated, etc. I use high speed video to match joint angles and velocities for each rider. We mainly do it ballistically for power - throw the sled as far as you can – at different percentages of max to match up to different muscle contraction velocities for different phases of the acceleration (different cadences)."
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Old 02-02-07, 07:19 AM   #16
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Well thers no doubt that its working then since IMO the Ausies are the fastest right now. But its still dangerous as hell. I agree with dial tone in workouts. With all my workouts I alternate days of lower weight and 12 reps and high weight 6 reps. The higher reps will help build size and muscle endurance where as the heavier weight done quickly (shorter load time) builds power. Squat, Front Squat, Press, Extension, Curl, Calf Raise and Olympic Deadlift.

From what I hear the Aussies are also into one legged squats also. Thats why my coach says, my stuff's modled after the brittish approach more so.
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Old 02-02-07, 01:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm5365
http://www.ridethetrack.com/pdf/train_paulrogers.pdf

A short excerpt:
"Single-leg Press is our bread and butter. Different foot and hip positions for different phases of pedal stroke, standing, seated, etc. I use high speed video to match joint angles and velocities for each rider. We mainly do it ballistically for power - throw the sled as far as you can at different percentages of max to match up to different muscle contraction velocities for different phases of the acceleration (different cadences)."
Excellent stuff in there; thanks a lot.
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Old 02-04-07, 03:29 PM   #18
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Okay. I copied that workout as closely as I could today and I have to say it felt pretty good. I took it easy on the weights since I've only been in the gym for 3 workouts. The single leg presses are much more stable than I thought. I should add that I have fairly thick ankles and I wear Olympic lifting shoes as well. It also brought to light a leg strength discrepancy. I'm a lefty. Basically I did:

10 minute warmup on stationary bike
Squats 4x5
single leg presses 4x10-12
single leg squats 3x5
(I did these holding dumbbells because I was worried about balance. End result is you're not really doing all the work with one leg. I believe they actually do these with a bar behind the neck. That takes some serious balance.

leg curls 4x10
Good mornings 3x5
incline press 4x10
high row 4x10
ab work


I kept the rest periods around 3-4 minutes; basically listened to one song on my Ipod. It seems too long sometimes but I'm sure once I'm really cranking the poundages it will take it's toll. I came home and did 45 minutes fairly easy on the trainer. I will eventually do this on the rollers instead. This will be my Sunday/Wednesday workout from now on.

Last edited by Dubbayoo; 02-04-07 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 02-04-07, 05:41 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=Dial_tone]I vehemently disagree with the high rep recommendations. For you to be able to do a given weight 30 times the first 10 or so would have to be ridiculously easy; so much so that they'd be near useless for strength gains. It would be be more aerobic than anaerobic. Try squatting even a moderate weight that many times and by rep 15 you'll be gasping for air like you're doing a kilo atop Mt. Everest. [QUOTE]

I never questioned my high reps my coach may have put me on this plan because of my goals, endurance events, also I would guess because I am not a sprinter and do not want to be.
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Old 02-04-07, 09:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recneps
endurance events, also I would guess because I am not a sprinter and do not want to be.
So your a real bike racer then eh? haha. The best way I heard it was such "Sprinters dont train, they go fast for 200meters, drink coke and eat all the time"
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Old 02-05-07, 01:07 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dial_tone
10 minute warmup on stationary bike
Squats 4x5
single leg presses 4x10-12
single leg squats 3x5
(I did these holding dumbbells because I was worried about balance. End result is you're not really doing all the work with one leg. I believe they actually do these with a bar behind the neck. That takes some serious balance.

leg curls 4x10
Good mornings 3x5
incline press 4x10
high row 4x10
ab work
dial tone, refresh my memory...what is a "good morning"?

also, is a single leg squat like a lunge but without the step? meaning stand with one foot and leg forward as in taking a step and one leg back and then lower to where the front leg thigh is parallel to the ground?

thanks.
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Old 02-05-07, 09:16 AM   #22
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good morning: standing, hold bar on back of shoulders, bend forward to 90 degrees, stiff legged as possible, flat back, come back up. like you are bowing to someone. works back and back of legs. start with lite weight, work up slowly. i started them about 5 years ago to strenghten my back after surgery.
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Old 02-05-07, 09:55 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oger
good morning: standing, hold bar on back of shoulders, bend forward to 90 degrees, stiff legged as possible, flat back, come back up. like you are bowing to someone. works back and back of legs. start with lite weight, work up slowly. i started them about 5 years ago to strenghten my back after surgery.
It's okay to unlock the knees a bit. If you push your butt to the rear you can really feel it in the hamstrings also.

http://www.bullz-eye.com/furci/2004/...od_morning.htm
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Old 02-05-07, 10:06 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dial_tone
It's okay to unlock the knees a bit. If you push your butt to the rear you can really feel it in the hamstrings also.

http://www.bullz-eye.com/furci/2004/...od_morning.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by I am The Edge
also, is a single leg squat like a lunge but without the step? meaning stand with one foot and leg forward as in taking a step and one leg back and then lower to where the front leg thigh is parallel to the ground?
There are a multitude of ways to do them and they don't really explain which method they use. You could either:

1. do a lunge like you said
2. put your foot on a bench and step up each rep
3. stand with one foot on a bench behind you and squat on the other leg.
4. actually do a regular squat with one leg in the air behind you. From reading it I think they do this which is outrageously hard with a barbell.
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Old 02-05-07, 12:10 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dial_tone
There are a multitude of ways to do them and they don't really explain which method they use. You could either:

1. do a lunge like you said
2. put your foot on a bench and step up each rep
3. stand with one foot on a bench behind you and squat on the other leg.
4. actually do a regular squat with one leg in the air behind you. From reading it I think they do this which is outrageously hard with a barbell.

i hate lunges.

i like #2 and #3 and i'd have to do #4 inside a rack otherwise i'm losing balance and killing someone as i fall over with the barbell.

ok, i remember the good mornings now. thanks guys.
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