Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-10-14, 07:30 PM   #1
amazinmets73
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 170
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Best exercises for improving climbs?

Looking to improve my speed and endurance on climbs (road bike). What leg exercises in the gym and running drills should I use?
amazinmets73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-14, 07:44 PM   #2
bigfred 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NZ
Bikes: More than 1, but, less than S-1
Posts: 3,834
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazinmets73 View Post
Looking to improve my speed and endurance on climbs (road bike). What leg exercises in the gym and running drills should I use?
Forgive this response. It is not intended in the snide or snippy manner that it may come across. But, the question should be: To what weight should I diet and what sort of climbing repeats should I do to improve my climbing speed and endurance?

Without knowing much about you, your level of experience, fitness, etc. it's a bit hard to provide a good answer to such a general and two part question.

Speed is one thing.

Endurance is another.

Which is the greater limiter?

Traditional periodization would have you first establish endurance. Then, move towards more specific speed work.

Modern reverse periodization might have you improve your speed. Then, attempt to build more endurance at that new faster speed.

As for drills and exercises. Gym work is largely power related, and usually only the domain of track riders and sprinters who can afford the additional mass. A climber would not be going to the gym for any leg work. And doing running drills up hills might not hurt your cycle climbing, but, it probably won't be nearly as effective as climbing on the bike. If weather and the ability to get outside is a limiter, try a trainer indoors or even elevate the front end.
__________________
Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.
bigfred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-14, 07:52 PM   #3
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
Posts: 11,104
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
I've gotten the most bang for the effort from 3 drills: one-legged pedaling, 2 minutes/leg in a gear that has you crying for mommy, then 2 minutes spinning legs together, then repeat until cooked. Also long intervals at high cadence/high effort. Also long intervals at 70 cadence, high effort.
Carbonfiberboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-14, 08:11 PM   #4
BikeAnon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Bikes:
Posts: 176
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How long is your longest typical hill (in minutes or KM)?

Your plans will be different if you are climbing mountains, versus 5-600 feet of elevation that is over in a few minutes.


EDIT.... Are you limited to a gym? I'm no expert, but a lot of research shows that strength-training and non-cycling activities do very little in transferring fitness to cycling (other than keeping you active in the offseason).

That said, how many of these can you do? If you can do zero now, but get up to 10 on each leg, you will be a better climber than you are right now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu-6ywxbu1A

Last edited by BikeAnon; 02-10-14 at 08:36 PM.
BikeAnon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-14, 08:18 PM   #5
amazinmets73
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 170
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
The latter. I'm 5 11.5 164 pounds. Ideal weight is probably 152-155
amazinmets73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-14, 11:45 PM   #6
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Bikes:
Posts: 7,270
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
If you want to improve your climbing the most efficient way would be to ride your bike.

Here's an interesting read from Cameron Cogburn, an MIT grad student, whose won the Mt Washington hillclimb a couple of times: http://www.ccbracing.com/content/mt-...imb-case-study
gregf83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-14, 11:49 PM   #7
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
Posts: 11,104
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
If it's endurance, ride a lot. Climb a lot. I always say that endurance starts when you start to endure. A 4-5 hour ride is ideal for building endurance, with at least 50' of climbing per mile. If you can't do that, work up to it. That'll help the weight, too.

Leg extension strength, like the one-legged squats, is helpful, but you need all your muscles, not just the push-down ones. If you want to do the squats, do them off a chair with one finger on a wall. You should be able to do sets of 20. But on the bike is best, unless you've done all the endurance work and the drills and the intervals and the hill repeats and still need something more. Then weight work has its place.
Carbonfiberboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-14, 10:49 AM   #8
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint
Posts: 14,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
go to the empire state building (or substitute similar) and walk up to the top. at the gym, incline that treadmil all the way and see what you can do before your heart explodes. only kidding, be careful. I once did that and thought I was doing great until I realized what an amazing stress that can be. WOW!
rumrunn6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-14, 11:00 AM   #9
Looigi
Senior Member
 
Looigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 8,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm in the ride-your-bike school and do hill repeats. I set up a ride with ~3 good hills and then do each one 3 times, killing myself toward the top each time. For longer hills, strength is never an issue if you have proper gearing for the max grade on the ride. It's all about aerobic capacity and muscular endurance.
Looigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-14, 11:27 AM   #10
zandoval 
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Bikes: Univega, PR-10, Ted Williams,UO-8, Puch, PHLE, UO-18 Mixte
Posts: 1,745
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
In my more flexible days (40 yrs ago) one of our Army dreaded PT Drills was to drag a duffel-bag with sand bags in it for one mile through the pine needles on all fours - Latter I found that this drill really helped my climbs - But even then I was a masher and thats not really a good ridding style - Found this pic on the net to give you and idea...



Another is to put on gloves and then run up flights of stairs on all fours - This is more fun with buddies and beer but don't do it on steel or aluminum stairs (lessons learned)...

When you exercise on all fours its like a crawl - You are getting your upper body toned up and your butt up in the air as it should be...
zandoval is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-14, 03:32 PM   #11
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint
Posts: 14,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeAnon View Post
How long is your longest typical hill (in minutes or KM)?

Your plans will be different if you are climbing mountains, versus 5-600 feet of elevation that is over in a few minutes.


EDIT.... Are you limited to a gym? I'm no expert, but a lot of research shows that strength-training and non-cycling activities do very little in transferring fitness to cycling (other than keeping you active in the offseason).

That said, how many of these can you do? If you can do zero now, but get up to 10 on each leg, you will be a better climber than you are right now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu-6ywxbu1A
after having jumped off my high school roof in my teen years, head on car accident where one knee dented the dashboard in my late 20s, and knee surgery for a torn meniscus in my late 30s, I'm not doing this ...
rumrunn6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-14, 07:30 PM   #12
JCNeumann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 212
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I've gotten the most bang for the effort from 3 drills: one-legged pedaling, 2 minutes/leg in a gear that has you crying for mommy, then 2 minutes spinning legs together, then repeat until cooked. Also long intervals at high cadence/high effort. Also long intervals at 70 cadence, high effort.
This...

Balancing out your legs made a big difference. Plus, working on off-bike core exercises and "overpower" training - train harder than you would do in a race.

Plus, think about weight transfer - make sure your weight and COG is on the wheel. I use to be way too much forward!

(At 245 I need all the help I can get)
JCNeumann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-14, 10:17 PM   #13
tjamesw89
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Bikes:
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You want to climb better? Climb More.

You want better Endurance? Ride More.

You want more speed? Ride Faster.

I know it seems a blunt response, but at the end if the day, no gym or drills will make you better than actually doing it. Climbing is all about being comfortable turning the gear under resistance
tjamesw89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-14, 09:05 AM   #14
GeorgeBMac
Senior Member
 
GeorgeBMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: 2012 Trek DS 8.5 all weather hybrid, 2008 LeMond Poprad cyclocross, 1992 Cannondale R500 roadbike
Posts: 2,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeAnon View Post
...

That said, how many of these can you do? If you can do zero now, but get up to 10 on each leg, you will be a better climber than you are right now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu-6ywxbu1A
I do a couple sets of these one legged squats most days of the week. I find it easier and helpful to do them on the bottom step of my stairs while touching the banister on either side (and the free leg tugged behind me rather than out in front). That takes the balancing part out of it and focuses on the muscle (but eliminating the balancing, while making it easier, also eliminates the training from juggling your balance).

Excellent exercises!
GeorgeBMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-14, 09:15 AM   #15
cafzali
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Rockland County, NY
Bikes: Giant TCR SL3 and Trek 1.5
Posts: 1,282
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeAnon View Post
EDIT.... Are you limited to a gym? I'm no expert, but a lot of research shows that strength-training and non-cycling activities do very little in transferring fitness to cycling (other than keeping you active in the offseason).
If your gym or personal trainer has a sled, that can be very beneficial. Pushing the weight helps not only your arms but your legs. It's also a great cardio workout. Ideally, though, you'll use these under the supervision of someone whose qualified.
cafzali is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-14, 02:08 PM   #16
dm83
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Bikes: 2013 Allez, 2013 Sirrus, 1984 Legend Compe
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Resistance training, more specifically barbell squats. Nothing else will work as good.
dm83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-14, 08:44 PM   #17
sprince
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Virginia
Bikes:
Posts: 850
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
Speed is one thing.

Endurance is another.

Which is the greater limiter?
Exactly. Unless your legs turn into wet noodles on long climbs while you are not even breathing hard, strength training might not change anything.
sprince is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 02:13 PM   #18
badbikemechanic
Student of the Billy styl
 
badbikemechanic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Washington D.C.
Bikes:
Posts: 173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Climbing is pretty much all mental. Basically a climb is just a long hard interval. Try doing 3 minute threshold intervals. So on your next ride warm up for 20 minutes, and then ride hard for 3 minutes followed by an easy spin for 3 minutes. Rinse and repeat for a hour. Do an interval ride 2-3 times a week and I can guarantee you will become a better climber.
badbikemechanic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 04:57 PM   #19
travelerman
Senior Member
 
travelerman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dm83 View Post
Resistance training, more specifically barbell squats. Nothing else will work as good.
...except for actually getting out and climbing. Nothing else prepares me better for climbing than finding hills and riding
travelerman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-14, 08:59 PM   #20
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes:
Posts: 7,624
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I'm in the ride-your-bike school and do hill repeats. I set up a ride with ~3 good hills and then do each one 3 times, killing myself toward the top each time. For longer hills, strength is never an issue if you have proper gearing for the max grade on the ride. It's all about aerobic capacity and muscular endurance.
This is my recommended approach to improving climbing ability also, and I don't think neglecting to do this can be made up for in the gym or with any other exercise. However, if the OP is looking to supplement hill repeats with gym work and running drills, I'd suggest doing stair climbing, because yes, climbing is about aerobic capacity, endurance.
chaadster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-14, 11:05 AM   #21
hermanchauw
Senior Member
 
hermanchauw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Singapore
Bikes: Voodoo Hoodoo, Peugeot Metro, Omitaya Sogno 111
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Legs: squat, deadlift.

Upper body: bench, press. Possibly to add pull up and/or rows. You use your upper body to push/pull on the bar so it is just as important to transfer power into the bike.
hermanchauw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-14, 11:41 AM   #22
rollie
Junior Member
 
rollie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Bikes:
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a newbie at cycling, but I live in a great place to ride especially if you like hills! I've gotten much better at climbing, just by taking routes that have plenty of hills to climb. It's pretty satisfying when you see a hill you used to dread, and now just peddle over it on the way to next one. There is no need to be impatient, riding your bike will make you better at it. I do lift weights, but I believe strength training is important to overall fitness , same as cardio work, which is what got me cycling to begin with, never thought I'd get addicted to it.......
rollie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-14, 10:11 PM   #23
JoeMan
Question Authority
 
JoeMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oregon USA
Bikes: Rocky Mountain Solo 30, 2007 REI Novara Safari and Cannondale MTB
Posts: 295
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have found that leg sleds and squats at the gym this winter have helped increase my endurance and speed.
JoeMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-14, 10:17 PM   #24
spdntrxi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: East Bay Area ,CA
Bikes: Parlee,BMC,Specialized and Trek
Posts: 1,237
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
after having jumped off my high school roof in my teen years, head on car accident where one knee dented the dashboard in my late 20s, and knee surgery for a torn meniscus in my late 30s, I'm not doing this ...
that was one of my rehab exercises from a torn ACL+meniscus
spdntrxi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-14, 10:43 PM   #25
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 33,615
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
The best exercises for improving climbing: climbing and table presses.
caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:02 PM.