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Thread: Weight Training

  1. #1
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    Weight Training

    Is there a difference between "Muscle Size", and "Muscle Strengh"?

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    Videre non videri
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    Absolutely!

    There are many other factors. Where the muscle attaches to the bone determines leverage together with limb/lever length. Muscle fibre composition of the muscle. Motor neuron efficiency in recruiting muscle fibres. Central nervous system efficiency in coordinating muscles (for compound movements such as squats and bench presses). Large amounts of intramuscular fat will make a muscle look larger than it "is", which is why losing weight/fat often makes muscles seem smaller, even though they become more defined. These are more permanent factors that determine strength/size ratios for muscles.

    Then there are more temporary factors, such as hydration level, electrolyte balance, energy availability for the muscles, how warm the muscle is and how well rested it is.

    And probably a few other things as well...

    The short answer: big muscles don't mean strong muscles, and vice versa!

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    Not obese just overweight ratebeer's Avatar
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    I believe there have been a few studies suggesting weight training doesn't improve cycling performance in distance cyclists. However, I do think there are studies that show thigh and calf circumferences are good predictors of (or more probably just associated with) road cycling performance. I would imagine that one problem with the latter study is that steroids will create bulky large muscles while the benefits of steroids to cycling performance go beyond just muscle strength and power, and of course elite cycling has a big problem with steroids.
    Joe

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    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Having worked with primates who don't have particularly large muscles I can tell you that muscle size is not necessarily indicative of strength. They have welded cages since they can literally turn any bolt with two fingers regardless of how tight it is. I have seen them casually toss a person across a room like it was nothing.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

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    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratebeer
    . However, I do think there are studies that show thigh and calf circumferences are good predictors of (or more probably just associated with) road cycling performance.
    I'd like to se them. Anecdotal evidence would suggest otherwise. Compare Marco Pantani v. Jan Ullrich.

    If you look at the pro peleton, there is a wide variety of leg muscle size amongst elite professional cyclists.

    If your assertion were correct, then one would expect Michael Rassmusen to not be able to hang with a Cat 5 pack.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Size & strength aren't directly correlated. The ratio of muscle-fibre types also affect the size to strength ratio. You really want to examine the kinds of racing you want to do and the types of results you want to achieve. You won't see Rassmusen duking it out with Boonen or McEwen any time soon...

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    Foo-Schnickens sizzam's Avatar
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    I've heard that muscle is metabolically active tissue that burns calories, even at rest. Would a bigger muscle burn more calories than a stronger muscle?

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    Recumbent Ninja
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    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. some people have the genetics for bigger muscles. I do in my thighs, which are bigger around than the chests of some of the people on this board, and it's all muscle. And they're extremely strong too. But some people can lift light weights and achieve hypertrophy, and some people who weigh practically nothing and have tiny muscle can lift twice as much as me.

    It's a complicated answer when you're dealing with genetics. Basically it's "all strong muscles are big, but not all big muscles are strong." That assumes you're talking about the ability to move a load. Muscle endurance is something else altogether.

    Muscle ATTACHMENT also comes into play. Meaning where the muscles and ligaments attach to the joints and muscles. A shorter person with the exact same muscle mass is stronger in many movements. Sometimes the taller person's bones create a longer lever though and are stroner in other areas.

    Sound confusing? It is!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratebeer
    However, I do think there are studies that show thigh and calf circumferences are good predictors of (or more probably just associated with) road cycling performance.
    Of course they are, Just look at Michael Rasmussen. Strength is a non-factor in endurance cycling.

  10. #10
    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle
    Just look at Michael Rasmussen. Strength is a non-factor in endurance cycling.
    Because we know all races end with demanding mountaintop finishes. Plus chicks dig it when you bring them stuck jars you can’t open.

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    Not obese just overweight ratebeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    I'd like to se them. Anecdotal evidence would suggest otherwise. Compare Marco Pantani v. Jan Ullrich.
    I would dig it up but I agree with you for the reasons stated above and the study was within individual and not cross.

    Another study listed thigh and calf sizes for elite American riders in a study on a particular training technique unrelated to this discussion. Germane to the topic though is that average calf and thigh measurements of the elite American cyclists measured were *tiny*. The thigh measurement was something like 21" (it was 19 or 21). Hulk Hogan's bicep is 24" by comparison. Earl Campbell's thighs were 32" each.
    Joe

    Veho difficilis, ago facilis

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    what about upper body muscles? biceps, triceps, etc.

    are bikers into those?

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    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    Quote Originally Posted by levi4318
    what about upper body muscles? biceps, triceps, etc.

    are bikers into those?
    Eh. It's won't help you go faster, but for various other reasons you might want to work on upper body muscles. For example, I work on my core muscles so that I can ride for in an aerodynamic position for hours.

    Choosing to work upper body muscles is entirely dependent on your goals.

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