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Old 05-23-05, 11:37 PM   #1
my58vw
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GOOD Sprint Power Workouts...

Alright... one big goal coming... On June 26th, 2005 I have the next CBR crit and I am doing CAT5 for probably the last time there (will be my 14th crit this year). As you probably know I am still working on developing power and I still have a long way to go. It is scary to think how fast I can be after building significant muscle power (I can only leg press about 240 right now and I am 6'6", 225). I know that starting in September when the off season starts, I will start doing muscle building workouts at the gym to gain serious power but now is time for on the bike training.

In the last 5 months I have increased my avg cruise speed from 20 MPH to 22.5 MPH once warm and my sprint speed form 30 MPH to 33 MPH in the same time. Unfortunitly 33 MPH is not going to do any good when the rest of the field is sprinting at 35+ MPH. My goal is to place minimum in the top 10 and perfer top 5 or better at the CBR crit. I have one month and need to do all I can to build the all critical sprint speed.

Right now I am doing LT intervals and muscular endurance and power intervals (I.e. 53-12 and 53-11 at lower speeds) which are helping me build speed. I need though a good workout that is going to help[ build more power.

What workouts do you all do for spint speed and power specifically?
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Old 05-23-05, 11:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by my58vw
Unfortunitly 33 MPH is not going to do any good when the rest of the field is sprinting at 35+ MPH.
But won't you be drafting? If you're doing the 33 MPH solo, won't sprinting 35+ MPH in a pack be easier?
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Old 05-23-05, 11:46 PM   #3
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Yes but if you are in the pack I would think it would be hard to get top 10 or 5... just maybe.
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Old 05-24-05, 02:08 AM   #4
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It is scary to think how fast I can be after building significant muscle power (I can only leg press about 240 right now and I am 6'6", 225).
It's not just about getting the power, it's also about being able to apply it. Realize that you'll need to spend some time relearning how to use that new muscle power. Gotta develop the skillz too bro
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Old 05-24-05, 07:45 AM   #5
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do 10-13 second sprint intervals with long recoveries in between.If you do short recoveries, that develops your ability to function anerobically, but doesn't help your power increase by as much as with long recoveries. do a mix of intervals, for example do three in bigger gears at less than 95 rpm to ry and build some power and then three at a 120+ rpm to help you get the ability to really move your legs fast and gain agility. I normally do a similar routine on a 1 mile flat loop i have near here. If you have a longer space, one of my favorite sprint exercise is Carmichael's race srints. You do a 1 minute steady state, then shift down 1 gear for a 20 second lead out, then shift down 1 or 2 more gears (preferablly 2) and do a 10-12 second sprint. Tactics are a huge part of sprinting. You may be one of the slower sprinters, but by timing your moves right, you can still get top 10. I was not a good sprinter at the time of my second race, but i saw an opportunity and came up on the outside of about a 300 m finish. The guys ahead of me (9 or 10 of them) started way too early and i was able to stay seated and hang on their wheels. When we got within about 100-120 m, i took off around the outside and got 3rd out of 70. My thrird race, i got boxed in on the lsat corner and had the legs to go and no room, got 21st. I'm not trying to brag or say i know a ton about sprinting, but timing makes all the difference.
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Old 05-24-05, 09:19 AM   #6
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It seems to me like a lot of guys spend way too much time focusing on sprinting workouts. For myself I've found that one sprint workout a week (consists of four or five 20 second sprints) when crit season starts is enough. I'm not a guy who does all the town line club sprints and rarely if ever participate in group ride sprints but I do know how to get on the right wheel and come off it hard in a race.

Sprinting in a race is more about position and timing than raw power. A good time to practice is on prime laps when not everyone is locked in. Work on picking the right wheel and holding your position with 2 laps to go and then coming off that wheel. You don't have to beat everyone at first, just the guy who you’re sitting on.
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Old 05-24-05, 09:32 AM   #7
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as a beginner racer myself, i feel like my sprint is lacking as well. my legs feel stronger than my upper body. one thing that makes me nervious during a sprint is my balance on the bike. worrying about gripping the bar tight enough and supporting myself while i transfer all my power to the pedals keeps me from reaching my true sprint speed. for me, i think learning the proper technique (especially how to jump) will do more for me than just increasing strength.
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Old 05-24-05, 10:00 AM   #8
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58, that is a very small amount to be able to leg press - I would think you need to build up some brute leg power. For example, my son went to Syracuse on a rowing scholarship, and he could leg press over a thousand pounds for repetitons. Of course massive leg power is one of the main driving forces in crew. Sprinting takes a combination of leg strength with the ability to apply said strength quickly and efficiently, which of course means fast twitch muscles. Be aware of course, that genetically, many of us are not meant to be sprinters due to a preponderance of slow twitch muscles. One of the guys I ride with is Earl Henry, who is the current masters world 500 meter sprint champion, 4 time world champion, and ex world record holder. If I sprint with him, it would be a joke. The way I can beat Earl is by pushing the pace, and dropping his butt before it is time to sprint - works every time!!

I am a big proponent of 20 repetition squats which seem to stimulate the whole body. I do them such that at about repetition 10 you cannot believe there is any chance of completing another 10. I tell myself that I will die prior to racking up the barbell rather than not reach the 20.
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Old 05-24-05, 10:10 AM   #9
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Thank guys for the advice. I think that sprinting will come with time and is a tactics thing. I believe that if I can get in the front 5 or so I have a very good shot. It is funny that many times the guy who wins the race comes from about 10 back with 40 feet to go out sprinting the pack alone... hmmm.

I will see how things go, another one of those learning processes...
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Old 05-24-05, 11:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by skydive69
I am a big proponent of 20 repetition squats which seem to stimulate the whole body. I do them such that at about repetition 10 you cannot believe there is any chance of completing another 10. I tell myself that I will die prior to racking up the barbell rather than not reach the 20.
skydive, do you do such heavy high-rep squatting during the season? I really REALLY want to add squats, probably fairly heavy squats, to my current weight routine. But I'm scared they'll take too much recovery and leave me unable to train well during the week let alone race on the weekend. What says you?
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Old 05-24-05, 11:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by alison_in_oh
skydive, do you do such heavy high-rep squatting during the season? I really REALLY want to add squats, probably fairly heavy squats, to my current weight routine. But I'm scared they'll take too much recovery and leave me unable to train well during the week let alone race on the weekend. What says you?
I'm not skydive, but I can offer some advice

I do leg work from time to time during the season. Just make sure the next day is an off day for you, and that you're either spinning lightly or not even riding, and it should fit into your season fine.
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Old 05-24-05, 01:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by alison_in_oh
skydive, do you do such heavy high-rep squatting during the season? I really REALLY want to add squats, probably fairly heavy squats, to my current weight routine. But I'm scared they'll take too much recovery and leave me unable to train well during the week let alone race on the weekend. What says you?
I do the squat routine just once a week - usually on Tuesday. Sometimes my quads feel a bit fried the next morning's ride. When I have a race planned for the weekend, I skip the leg routine that particular week, but continue other than that all year. I think squats are so important. I used to do a complete routine years ago based around 20 rep breathing squats. It was called the Perry Rader Squat Program, and when I was only interested in building body mass, I once gained 7 pounds of muscle in a rather short time on that, and four other, basic, compound exercises. On the day of my squats (which btw, I do one warmup set of 12 reps, and then one work set of 20 - which is totally adequate), I also do two sets of seated calf raises on a calf machine.
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Old 05-24-05, 06:59 PM   #13
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Thanks guys, I'll try to figure out how to work this into my on-the-bike schedule.

How about hamstring development to counteract all the quad-heavy work? I've been thinking deadlifts?
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Old 05-24-05, 07:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by alison_in_oh
Thanks guys, I'll try to figure out how to work this into my on-the-bike schedule.

How about hamstring development to counteract all the quad-heavy work? I've been thinking deadlifts?
A leg curl machine is great for hamstring development, assuming you have access to one.
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Old 05-24-05, 07:09 PM   #15
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A leg curl machine is great for hamstring development, assuming you have access to one.
Yup. They just put in a spankin' new one. I'm just enthralled with free weights, and compound lifts, at the moment.
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Old 05-24-05, 07:21 PM   #16
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one way to do hamstrings is to lie down(face up) and put one foot on a bench. Push up with the foot on the bench and lift yourself up.

But IMO, the machine is better
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Old 05-24-05, 07:37 PM   #17
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one way to do hamstrings is to lie down(face up) and put one foot on a bench. Push up with the foot on the bench and lift yourself up.

But IMO, the machine is better
Thanks for that idea anyway. I'm back from college and only have a benchpress in my room, so that exercise is really gonna help.
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Old 05-24-05, 10:32 PM   #18
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Thinks for the advice guys...

I did my first dedicated sprint workout today. Funny thing is my legs are not super tired (like a LT workout) but my anaerobic system was going crazy after each one.

I did 12 spin ups in the small ring smaller gear (i.e. 39-14) to 24.5 MPH, 120 RPMs. Then I followed with full on sprints working on finding the sweet spot to start in, i.e. first sprints I did in a 53-15 and found I spun out too early at about 28 MPH at 120 RPM. I then did I sprint in 53-13 but found it a little too hard at the beginning, taking off from 20 MPH which limited my acceleration off the line. I finally started in a 53-15, spun it out and then shifted up to a 53-14 and pushed to about 90 RPMs to the tracks. That worked the best.

My sprint speed sucked today, I was only hitting 29.5 - 30 MPH but there was a head wind and the road is slightly uphill. The spinups were killer on my anaerobic system. I recovered for at least 4 minutes after each sprint but my anaerobic system was going crazy for another few minutes. My legs were burning bad from each sprint though.
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Old 05-25-05, 06:22 AM   #19
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don't focus on speed during training, so many variables will change from time to time and race to race that speed isn't as useful of a measurement(but it is fun to watch). stick with gearing, cadence, and effort/duration.
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Old 05-25-05, 11:28 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ben Cousins
I must admit, all this talk of weight training sounds odd to me. When you are a very serious rider, maybe - but what's wrong with getting on you bike and riding it?
This is actually a point of contention in training circles: since sport-specific training trains the muscles needed for the sport and ignores the muscles unnecessary for the sport, it's logically the best training! Some of the most serious riders wouldn't be caught dead in a weight room for fear they'd put on unnecessary muscle mass. But I feel resistance training is useful for a few reasons. For example, I'm pretty light so when I'm climbing hills I'm only "lifting" my bodyweight. But if I'm squatting under a load I can push my muscles a little farther and gain a little more improvement.

Also, I like a little upper body training, for aesthetics and for balanced strength as well as for being able to leverage the bike when necessary.

Finally, as a woman I need to be concerned about weight-bearing vs. non-weight-bearing exercise. Bicycling doesn't stress the bones enough to keep the density up and fend off osteoporosis. Resistance training does.
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Old 05-25-05, 11:46 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by alison_in_oh
Thanks guys, I'll try to figure out how to work this into my on-the-bike schedule.

How about hamstring development to counteract all the quad-heavy work? I've been thinking deadlifts?
Since you mentioned you're a fan of free weights, barbell good mornings are a nice supplement to the leg curl machines. Start out really light, though. Even the big boys don't go heavy with these.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...odMorning.html
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Old 05-25-05, 12:18 PM   #22
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don't forget about muscle memory. many different schools of thought on this but my understanding is that following a leg workout you want get on the bike for an easy ride. While aiding your recovery you want your muscles to repair themselves you want them to 'remember' your cycling legs.
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Old 05-25-05, 12:23 PM   #23
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Since you mentioned you're a fan of free weights, barbell good mornings are a nice supplement to the leg curl machines. Start out really light, though. Even the big boys don't go heavy with these.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...odMorning.html
That looks like...err...fun
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Old 05-25-05, 01:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alison_in_oh
This is actually a point of contention in training circles: since sport-specific training trains the muscles needed for the sport and ignores the muscles unnecessary for the sport, it's logically the best training! Some of the most serious riders wouldn't be caught dead in a weight room for fear they'd put on unnecessary muscle mass. But I feel resistance training is useful for a few reasons. For example, I'm pretty light so when I'm climbing hills I'm only "lifting" my bodyweight. But if I'm squatting under a load I can push my muscles a little farther and gain a little more improvement.

Also, I like a little upper body training, for aesthetics and for balanced strength as well as for being able to leverage the bike when necessary.

Finally, as a woman I need to be concerned about weight-bearing vs. non-weight-bearing exercise. Bicycling doesn't stress the bones enough to keep the density up and fend off osteoporosis. Resistance training does.
Good points Alison. Some years ago, I won the national master's x-country 10KM championships on a very challenging, hilly course - Van Courtland Park, Bronx, NY. I ran at a weight of 148 (6') at the time, and was probably the only runner in the field that could bench press over 200 pounds, and do multiple rep squats with about 350 lbs. I believe that my extra body strength was the difference on that course that day. I believe that weight training will enhance performance in any sport.
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Old 05-25-05, 02:15 PM   #25
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Does cycling specific workouts build strength... I can now say yes.

Dropped by the school gym after lunch and after a brief warmup on the bike they have there... (I hate stationary bikes, the seats are so uncomfortable) I did 5 sets of leg press, leg extention and leg curl...

My leg press is now 270 pounds, that is up 35 pounds in the last few months, my leg extention (quads) is up 30 pounds and my leg curl (hamstrings) is up 40... hmmm I guess it works...
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