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Old 09-26-03, 12:40 PM   #1
Vitamin X
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Improving Power/Bodyweight Ratio...

I was wandering if anyone could enlighten me or has any information on how to improve Bodyweight to Power ratio not just on the bike but in terms of running/sprinting too???...

Does it happen through Diet???... Weight Training???... Lower Cadence???... Loss of Fat/Muscle Mass???... Etc...


Anyone???...
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Old 09-26-03, 04:05 PM   #2
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I can't help you on the running/sprinting, but I can add my two cents on the cycling...

I guess you could do one of two things...(1) lose weight and keep same power output or (2) increase power output and maintain your weight.

I ended up opting for the "dropping body weight and trying hard as hell to not lose power output at the same time". I started the season at 170 and am holding steady around 146 now. I've maintained, if not increased, my power output over the months - using my Cheyenne Canyon Field Test as a measuring stick. I figure as my time up the 3.1 mile, 1160 ft, 7% avg grade climb decreases, then I must be putting out more power (as my weight has been steady for the last 3-4 months).

I've been trying to build more power out of my legs for most of the season...i had problems earlier in the racing season with speed on the flats. i've been doing a lot of tempo (high gear/low cadence) to build more low-end power. I've also added some steady state intervals to my workout, too (high gear, mid-range/high cadence). I've also hit a lot of climbing during my rides - doing a lot of out-of-the-saddle hill sprints. On off days I would do some plyometrics in the gym

When I had my LT tested back in July, I was at 3.95 W/kg (weight at time of test was 145.3 lbs) for power ratio...I am planning on getting it tested one more time this year - hopefully it went up a little, or at the very least stayed the same.

Good luck with your training!

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Old 09-26-03, 04:17 PM   #3
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Ask Lance, the single biggest improvement most people can do is lose weight.
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Old 09-26-03, 06:34 PM   #4
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You can't work on building power during the summer season when you're competing!

The time to work on building power is in the winter and spring- you'll want to incorporate more weight training as you decrease the intensity of the cardiovascular training. You'll increase the amount of weight you're using over time, leading into plyometric moves, then begin to taper down your weights as your cardiovascular training increases. The amount of weight training you've done over the winter and spring months will be sufficient for you to go through the summer, and you can apply the power training back into your cardiovascular training as you're increasing the intensity of the cardio sessions. By early June, you should have all the power you can build, focusing from June to August on racing.

It's a periodization program, pure and simple... if you don't belong to a gym, you will need to join one by November so you can begin the strength phase of your training. If you need more info, you can always PM me closer to November and I can help you to plan a 6- 8 month training program.

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Old 09-27-03, 03:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by djpluv
I can't help you on the running/sprinting, but I can add my two cents on the cycling...

I guess you could do one of two things...(1) lose weight and keep same power output or (2) increase power output and maintain your weight.

I ended up opting for the "dropping body weight and trying hard as hell to not lose power output at the same time". I started the season at 170 and am holding steady around 146 now. I've maintained, if not increased, my power output over the months - using my Cheyenne Canyon Field Test as a measuring stick. I figure as my time up the 3.1 mile, 1160 ft, 7% avg grade climb decreases, then I must be putting out more power (as my weight has been steady for the last 3-4 months).

Paul
You said you dropped from 170lbs (12.1 Stone) to 146lbs (10.4 Stone). Was that decrease in bodyweight from Fat, Muscle mass, Lower calorie intake etc???...

Also, If you was to lower your weight by decreasing your Muscle mass, wouldn't you also decrease your power output at the same time???...

Also, What is your height???...

Last edited by Vitamin X; 09-27-03 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 09-27-03, 03:49 AM   #6
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Ask Lance, the single biggest improvement most people can do is lose weight.
I'm getting a bit mixed up here. If I was to lose weight through a loss of Muscle mass would that decrease my power or strength???...

Is Strength and Power even the same thing???... Does a "Bigger" muscle mean you will have a bigger power output or is it a strength thing. The reason I ask is because the guys who do the 3 week tours seem to have very little muscle mass aka Armstrong, Mayo etc... Or am I seeing something else.

Any thoughts...
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Old 09-27-03, 03:55 AM   #7
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No strength and power are not interchangeable. Strength is the how strong you are. It is usually best measured by the maximum weight you can lift. As such, strength is very much a quick twitch muscle sort of thing.

Now power is sort of strength over time. Think of the amount of weight you can lift per hour.

So you can have a very strong person who can lift say 400 lbs but whose power is less then another person. Actually that is very common.

Strength is about quick twitch muscles and muscle size.

Power is about aerobic conditioning and slow twitch muscle fibers.

In cycling, it might be comparing a sprinter to say someone doing an hour time trial. Very different sorts of things.
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Old 09-27-03, 05:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vitamin X
You said you dropped from 170lbs (12.1 Stone) to 146lbs (10.4 Stone). Was that decrease in bodyweight from Fat, Muscle mass, Lower calorie intake etc???...

Also, If you was to lower your weight by decreasing your Muscle mass, wouldn't you also decrease your power output at the same time???...

Also, What is your height???...
I'm 5'9". The decrease came in a variety of areas: fat loss and muscle loss. Most of the fat loss seen was from around the waist area. The muscle loss I saw the most was in my upper body (chest and arms). My chest actually "shrinked" quite a bit. I ended up dropping from a large shirt to a medium and cutting 2 inches off my waist. As far as calories, I actually increased my caloric intake as I increased my mileage and intensity. I eat all the time during training days. Now that I am in my transition period, i have cut back my caloric intake to stay inline with the cut in mileage over the next few weeks.

My biggest concern was the loss of muscle would yield lower power output, but to be honest, my legs have gotten much bigger and my times in my uphill field tests have gone down. The only way I can be certain I lost no power is to get another LT test and have my power:weight ratio tested again. It might be possible that my lower FT times are attributed to an increased aerobic capcity over time?!?

Though Koffee makes a good point above, stating power should be worked on during the offseason, I wasn't even thinking about doing any hardcore cycling last winter; therefore, I had to do a lot of catching up during this season.

This winter, though, I'll definitely be working more in the gym to increase power as she stated!

Good luck!

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Old 09-27-03, 06:17 AM   #9
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Hi,
you asked a question about power to weight. It's simple, most can stand to lose more than they can gain from training, Jr High algebra strikes again. Of course, you will also be exercising. I like to do spinning classes in the winter.
I do weight training once a week just to keep from getting soft. Bicyclists don't need huge muscles; and they hurt your power to weight ratio. Oh well....
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Old 09-27-03, 07:30 AM   #10
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So where agreeing A loss in fat isn't a loss in POWER but a gain in POWER???... <<< That is according your training hard and correctly...

BUT,

Does a loss in muscle mass in the lower body result in a loss of Power???... or Does a loss in muscle mass result in a loss of Strength??? Or is it neither one???...

That could be a hard one to answer...

After reading that it does sound like I'm trying to complicate things, when the real answer is possibly, just ride...

Last edited by Vitamin X; 09-27-03 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 09-27-03, 07:38 AM   #11
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Originally posted by Pat
Now power is sort of strength over time. Think of the amount of weight you can lift per hour.
Strength Endurance???....
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Old 09-27-03, 04:57 PM   #12
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HI,


"Does a loss in muscle mass in the lower body result in a loss of Power???..."

---Not neccesarily, again, take a look at Lance. he is one skinny guy; but his power output borders on the inhuman---

" or Does a loss in muscle mass result in a loss of Strength???"

--Naw, if you're training, you just get wiry---


That could be a hard one to answer...

"After reading that it does sound like I'm trying to complicate things, when the real answer is possibly, just ride..."

---Yup, as you lose weight your power to weight rato improves (assuming power output is constant or improves). If you lose weight from exercising, you will also be more fit. Sounds like a good deal to me---
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Old 10-17-03, 11:35 PM   #13
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Of course, as Lance says, lose weight.
When trying a healthy, practical lifestyle, I have seen that if in the short term you want power to increase relative to weight, you have to pick sprinting over distance or vice versa. One way to pick sprinting while training for running is by increasing in weight; to get better at distance when training for running is to decrease in weight.

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Old 10-18-03, 12:08 AM   #14
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To answer the question simply;

The size of a muscle is only one factor in a range of variables determining it's strength.

Bigger muscles don't necessarily mean stronger ones.

So, lose weight and train your central nervous system.
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