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More weight more power?

Old 09-30-16, 12:14 AM
  #51  
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I've done climbs with crappy form and good form and I'm convinced it does make a difference, but a very small difference. I'd believe a study that found up to 5% difference but I'd be very skeptical of anyone claiming more.
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Old 09-30-16, 04:46 AM
  #52  
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@Doge you're putting way too much value into not-that-fast a time up one mountain pass. wind and weather can be 5 minutes on a climb like that and while rain/sleet suck, they aren't real wind. also your kids pm has just as much chance to be low as anyone else's has to be high.
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Old 09-30-16, 05:20 AM
  #53  
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I don't know what you guys are talking about when you start to mention "climbing".
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Old 09-30-16, 06:27 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Wylde06
I don't know what you guys are talking about when you start to mention "climbing".
I hear ya
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Old 09-30-16, 06:55 AM
  #55  
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As mentioned, Actually gaining cycling muscle weight would take a lot of specific work, and even a few lbs would make a difference...however, I would tend to think focussing on gaining muscle STRENGTH as opposed to weight would be even better. I've found that 2 things give me big gains in this area:
(1) back & forth intevals, 30 second all-out efforts, but each one I use my gears to switch between high-cadence and high-torque. So after warm-up, first 30 seconds is 120rpm all-out, then 30 second recovery, then 30 seconds all out, but maybe 60rpm in a hard gear. The effect is that one interval actually gives a bit of extra recovery from the opposite type, and I get the benefit of both.
(2) Climbing steep (+10%) hills.

I'm sure these have maybe gained a lb. or 2 of muscle, since it seems my belly is getting a bit trimmer, and I'm not losing weight (5'9", 162lbs, Soccer-player build), but the cycling gains I've seen far exceed what one might expect just saying "I gained 1 or 2 lbs of leg muscle".

There are 200lb, and even up to to 225lb guys I ride with who can totally dust me on the flats, but as soon as we hit the hills, it's not a fair contest. Even if you assume they have an extra 20lbs of leg muscle compared to me, the fact that they are dragging 40-50lbs more up the hill negates the strength advantage...and I'm not even what you would call "cycling skinny". I'd have to be under 150 to get into that range.
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Old 09-30-16, 08:27 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by briandelmo
From everything I've read I need to increase my w/kg and my ftp, but at the lightest weight possible?
Nope. All things (except weight) being equal, it's always better to be the heavier for a given w/kg.

Climbing is the same (as w/kg is the same) but raw wattage is higher.
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Old 09-30-16, 08:32 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Doge
Sure - like the headwind section my kid did with 38W less power and soaked head and side winds.
So it is...
-Bad PM - he's really a lot stronger than we all thought.
-The pro has an even more inflated PM
-Someone is not weighing what they say
-There may be technique in climbing.
I already posted this. But wet clothes, floppy jacket, rain and sleet and 38W lower power got faster time?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOiFjPaiygY
Not enough data points (and too many unknown variables) to know from just these two examples.

Most likely a combination of things - with the highest probability being one (or both) PM needing calibration.
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Old 09-30-16, 08:35 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by 12strings
As mentioned, Actually gaining cycling muscle weight would take a lot of specific work, and even a few lbs would make a difference...however, I would tend to think focussing on gaining muscle STRENGTH as opposed to weight would be even better. I've found that 2 things give me big gains in this area:
(1) back & forth intevals, 30 second all-out efforts, but each one I use my gears to switch between high-cadence and high-torque. So after warm-up, first 30 seconds is 120rpm all-out, then 30 second recovery, then 30 seconds all out, but maybe 60rpm in a hard gear. The effect is that one interval actually gives a bit of extra recovery from the opposite type, and I get the benefit of both.
(2) Climbing steep (+10%) hills.

I'm sure these have maybe gained a lb. or 2 of muscle, since it seems my belly is getting a bit trimmer, and I'm not losing weight (5'9", 162lbs, Soccer-player build), but the cycling gains I've seen far exceed what one might expect just saying "I gained 1 or 2 lbs of leg muscle".

There are 200lb, and even up to to 225lb guys I ride with who can totally dust me on the flats, but as soon as we hit the hills, it's not a fair contest. Even if you assume they have an extra 20lbs of leg muscle compared to me, the fact that they are dragging 40-50lbs more up the hill negates the strength advantage...and I'm not even what you would call "cycling skinny". I'd have to be under 150 to get into that range.
Technically, what you are describing is more muscular endurance than strength (assuming 60 rpm, 30 second effort = 30 reps per leg = not pushing maximum strength limits by any means.

That said, it likely stimulated some hypertrophy at first, until you adapted. And I think your observation overall is correct.
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Old 09-30-16, 08:44 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Ygduf
@Doge you're putting way too much value into not-that-fast a time up one mountain pass. wind and weather can be 5 minutes on a climb like that and while rain/sleet suck, they aren't real wind. also your kids pm has just as much chance to be low as anyone else's has to be high.
It happens to be all the recent data I have, but jives with old data - so it is my most valuable recent segment :-) .
A KOM rank "not-that-fast" using a PM and time does not matter for a W/Kg comparison. Slower speeds have fewer variables although real slow and mechanical-loss:wind-loss ratio changes. The 12,000' thing I don't know what to do with. 40W difference seemed a lot when Daniel stated he had a headwind. I agree with you the PM is off (head unit was calibrated pre-ride) and it may be RobertG's (likely Pioneer-Lotto PM sponsor vs Daniel a PT+/-3% https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/pa...&type=abstract).

"not-that-fast" - I just compared this year - rank 1 and 2. Daniel's is likely all time 2nd fastest Strava solo time. The rest are from the Tour of Colorando and US Pro tour. Again, I don't think rank matters other than the two riders being compared should both be solo, same weight, as close as possible weather. The other times are group ones. RobertG is a rider we follow as he was posting segments Daniel road in Europe - so I picked him, and he was next and tend to believe he is the 154# reported.

I'd compare Daniel to you on Palomar where you averaged 367W, but you two were about 30# apart then (I can't Google your weight - you look 170+) and he didn't use a PM then.

In the few hill Strava segments I have (older) with time and power, I find Daniel's W/Kg lower than those of similar weight with higher times. Having seen what the USA Cycling coaches do with numbers there is good reason to have PM inflation. I have always though it is more (2-3%) than measurable W/kg up the hill - particularly when comparing hub to pedal based PMs.
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Old 09-30-16, 08:55 AM
  #60  
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5% really isn't climby enough for direct comparisons. Even at 10% a headwind/tailwind can affect stuff. Maybe Gesink had to respond to some accelerations and then dudes let off the gas a bit so avg power is higher but speed is still low. There are too many unknowns to be making this sort of comparison.
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Old 09-30-16, 08:59 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by tommyrod74
Technically, what you are describing is more muscular endurance than strength (assuming 60 rpm, 30 second effort = 30 reps per leg = not pushing maximum strength limits by any means.

That said, it likely stimulated some hypertrophy at first, until you adapted. And I think your observation overall is correct.

You are correct of course, that 60 rpm at a hard gear is still a different animal than 3-5 squats at max weight, but it seems to build something useful into my legs that is different than the normal 90-100rpm riding, or my high-cadence sprint workouts.
I'm naturally a spinner, 100rpm feels quite normal for me cruising, and I'll occasionally "feel" like my cadence is getting to slow, but I'll check it and it's about 90. But...my cycling ability really picked up when I started putting some more stress on my muscles, with climbing, which forced a lower cadence, standing up more and longer on purpose, and doing low-cadence high-torque intervals.
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Old 09-30-16, 09:54 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Doge
It happens to be all the recent data I have, but jives with old data - so it is my most valuable recent segment :-) .
I'm not knocking DW, he's stronger than I am, but if you're 5 minutes off on a 30-minute climb, it's not that fast.

Independence Pass averages 5%. Averages. It looks like half ~2-3% and half 7%. Pros in the middle of a group would get huge shelter on the flat bits and if they aren't in it to win, don't climb 100% at the end for no reward.
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Old 09-30-16, 10:09 AM
  #63  
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I didn't think you were.
I'm just looking at the power vs times on as like other things as I can find, as I posted though I think a comparison of 1000 to 1001 is better than comparing 1-2 if you have similar weight (they are) riders. I agree, too many variables to put big weight into a single segment. This is something I had noticed.

What does bug me is US Cycling coaches taping into Training Peaks to see power (and writing emails when they don't see it) for selection purposes. Those guys regularly select off numbers over race wins and it appears pretty inaccurate.

You are a Strava ambassador (or were). Can you get them to expand their filters? Say solo vs group and a bunch of others.
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Old 09-30-16, 10:23 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Doge
There are ways to make the bike go faster on lower (measured) power.
Search "Robert Gesink weight" and see he is 154, mine was that heavy at least with full kit and water logged.
Robert's listed weight of course may not be true. And power meters may be off - which is kinda why I think using power numbers is not so good. But time and time again I see big differences in power, and not the expected time differences.

Robert did 29:53@293W, my kid 29:24@255W. 38W difference, same weight, lower W faster time.
https://www.strava.com/segments/618470
lots of people don't know how to properly use a power meter, but why is that the fault of the tool?

if you have confidence in your own/son's protocol (it's calibration is periodically checked and zero offset is checked daily pre- and post-ride), then the numbers have meaning.

i could very easily manipulate numbers from some power files if i want to (and don't think this isn't done at the pro level when numbers are released!), but, once again, that isn't a fault of the tool.

as i'm sure you know, on some climb pacing makes a significant difference in terms of time. also, drive-train loss, rolling resistance, wind and -- to a lesser degree on climbs -- aerodynamics/position all factor in.

i also wouldn't rely on a professional rider's reported weight...that can be off.

just throwing out a few factors as to why a predicted time based on w/kg may not match reality.
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Old 09-30-16, 10:26 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin
5% really isn't climby enough for direct comparisons. Even at 10% a headwind/tailwind can affect stuff. Maybe Gesink had to respond to some accelerations and then dudes let off the gas a bit so avg power is higher but speed is still low. There are too many unknowns to be making this sort of comparison.
yes. at 5% aerodynamics still can have a reasonable impact as well. by 10% we're generally talking w/kg.
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Old 09-30-16, 10:56 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by tetonrider
...
i could very easily manipulate numbers from some power files if i want to (and don't think this isn't done at the pro level when numbers are released!), but, once again, that isn't a fault of the tool.
...
The tangent I'm on is that power is being used for things that matter when it should not be.
USA Cycling people that that do junior selection use power numbers.
I see variance in published (Strava) W/kg (this thread) vs time.

The effort or rank is not part of the equation why someone with 15% more power up hill goes slower.
Daniel said he weighed 154#-same as RobertG's Google report. Daniel was well dressed, had a partial headwind and was wet. 15% more weight is 176#. As so many have pointed out there are too many variables. It is that using power at all to compare athletes for selection is a bad practice.
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Old 09-30-16, 11:20 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Doge
The tangent I'm on is that power is being used for things that matter when it should not be.
USA Cycling people that that do junior selection use power numbers.
I see variance in published (Strava) W/kg (this thread) vs time.

The effort or rank is not part of the equation why someone with 15% more power up hill goes slower.
Daniel said he weighed 154#-same as RobertG's Google report. Daniel was well dressed, had a partial headwind and was wet. 15% more weight is 176#. As so many have pointed out there are too many variables. It is that using power at all to compare athletes for selection is a bad practice.
well, there's nothing inherently wrong with using power as a measure to compare riders -- when one is confident in the devices and methods used to upload the data.

(we've talked about this before but some software inflates short-term power #s due to not stripping repeated values when the rider has actually stopped pedaling.)

i know you favor power at the hub (you've said it before because you feel it is more accurate to measure power after drivetrain losses; i disagree with this, but that's another matter); this puts your boy (or any PT user) at a disadvantage. you know this when you purchased the new ones, right?

why not just have your boy use a device that allows the user to adjust the slope? boom, his #s will be higher. while this is sort of dishonest you could justify it by saying that, well, you KNOW your boy is faster than pure #s indicate, so you're really just correcting for it.

in scenarios where riders are alone or in groups, riding with all-season tires vs race rubber, using butyl tubes vs latex, wearing a skinsuit vs baggy clothes, on an aero bike vs round tubes, and not even riding the same terrain/parts of the country, power (and power:weight) is really the only thing that IS comparable.

the unfortunate thing is that the collection of data is not held to the highest standards if they know it will be used for team selection. OTOH maybe others are already gaming the system? there are big $$ at stake, ultimately.

i still don't think this is a fault of the tool but rather a fault of the decision makers or the fault of those using the tool.

at the end of the day what matters is crossing the line first (e.g. RR) or the production of speed (TT). in theory if either is done with less power, then that shouldn't be held against a rider. however, if we have to compare riders, what if rider A had an awesome team that worked for him and rider B has no one? well, wins, then really aren't that great a measure. also, to a degree money buys speed in TTs, so an underfunded kid might lose out in that comparison, too.

in an imperfect world i think power is still the best we've got.
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Old 09-30-16, 11:30 PM
  #68  
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I've packed on a some extra pounds (5lbs or so) since the offseason kicked in earlier this month and have hit some new peak power values. From that alone, more weight (regardless of fat or muscle) must be better.
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Old 10-01-16, 11:54 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by hack
I've packed on a some extra pounds (5lbs or so) since the offseason kicked in earlier this month and have hit some new peak power values. From that alone, more weight (regardless of fat or muscle) must be better.
I like this logic. Off to eat another bowl of cereal.
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Old 10-01-16, 12:18 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by tetonrider
...

why not just have your boy use a device that allows the user to adjust the slope? boom, his #s will be higher. while this is sort of dishonest you could justify it by saying that, well, you KNOW your boy is faster than pure #s indicate, so you're really just correcting for it.
...
Another cheating thread...
I can see the argument for pedals.

This whole USAC power watching thing just started the last two years. As you know, it has no effect on junior (now) as he is at school. Maybe that game can be played later for U23. But if you do want to look at numbers, why wouldn't they look at Strava KOMs over just power - if not race results. I would argue that most 1,000+ segment has the top 1% doing their best and likely in race kit on race wheels (or heavy PT training wheels).
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Old 10-01-16, 12:32 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Doge
Another cheating thread...
I can see the argument for pedals.

This whole USAC power watching thing just started the last two years. As you know, it has no effect on junior (now) as he is at school. Maybe that game can be played later for U23. But if you do want to look at numbers, why wouldn't they look at Strava KOMs over just power - if not race results. I would argue that most 1,000+ segment has the top 1% doing their best and likely in race kit on race wheels (or heavy PT training wheels).
the strava stuff is, well, dumb. there are tons of ways it can be gamed -- more than real racing and even more than the power stuff.

i don't think any of us here is in a particularly good position (or better than you!) to critique USAC's junior selection criteria. i have been around people involved and invested in this process. they don't talk about power #s, but i'm not privy to everything they see and think about.

that said, i wouldn't say using a meter further upstream is cheating -- but it is going to tend to show higher #s than a meter that reads at the hub. is using a Quarq cheating due to their general (yes, speaking in averages over a wide variety of their products)? no, but using a meter that tends to read more accurately (and generally lower, like an SRM) could be an unwise decision for someone if their life and livelihood are going to be affected by someone else looking at a number on a screen. i mean *i'd* rather have the accurate info for training and longitudinal analysis, but a meter that tends to over-report might just be..... smart?

deliberately changing calibration? cheating, sure, but i was just sparking discussion and being playful about that knowing your concerns with the rules taken literally.

but what if you're just "correcting" for drive-train losses so that your boy's data is more directly comparable to those using upstream meters? gray area?

i dunno. maybe it's an interesting thought experiment.

i still think raw power (and ideally accurate weight, but that's another matter) might not be perfect but it's the best we've got, esp as efficiency is in such a narrow band on the bike.

you think it's bad with cycling -- look at running power. that's just starting to gain acceptance. people want to say 'i ride 270w on the bike for 1h, so i should be able to do that for a 1h run', but they fail to realize that economy of motion is all over the map.
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Old 10-01-16, 01:13 PM
  #72  
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my personal experience as a 71 year old its that weight training the legs (leg press, leg curls and leg extensions) can help with submaximal power. I have added considerable strength without added body weight. Probably because I am a little plump and while adding muscle I am losing some fat. Lost about 7 total lbs. After about 6 weeks of training my average speed for a sub maximal flat ride has dropped about 1.5 miles per hour on same route riding with no increase in percieved effort. I can really feel increased snap in my legs. Easier to spin in the 90-100 rpm range probably because the weight training enhances fast twitch fiber recruitment. I also noticed a slight increase in average heart rate which indicates to me that I have not increase my Vo2 max, just increase my sub max cruise speed. The issue is that you can add muscle mass and strength but you still need to supply the muscles with oxygen and adding muscle does not effect a change in the overall aerobic system in the short run. Eventually though the increased speed and cardio stress will bring it into balance if you ride enough and the right mix. I think this may be more important for someone my age since muscle mass is lost with aging but we can step back in time with weight training. As for efforts closer to maximal you are still up against your aerobic and vascular systems ability to supply oxygen to the new muscle fibers. And of course there is a point of diminished returns for a weight training program (anaerobic) for what is a primarily an aerobic sport.
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Old 10-01-16, 03:39 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by tommyrod74
I like this logic. Off to eat another bowl of cereal.
That's my winter strategy ... implementing now and will report back in February on results.
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Old 10-01-16, 03:51 PM
  #74  
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I just did a 2.3 mile, 7% climb at the exact same power I did it 2 weeks ago, but was 1:17 slower today. Today was raining and muddy and probably a bit of a headwind. Also I had 2 full bottles today vs being out of water last time.
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Old 10-01-16, 04:21 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by globecanvas
I just did a 2.3 mile, 7% climb at the exact same power I did it 2 weeks ago, but was 1:17 slower today. Today was raining and muddy and probably a bit of a headwind. Also I had 2 full bottles today vs being out of water last time.
this is also an important point. 2 full bottles (depending on size) can be up to 3#. at GC's weight, that's material.

some would have you believe that the ability to perform while dehydrated is worth quite a bit in athletic competition. i'm not sure it translates as well to most cycling (other than a pure hill climb), but studies of marathon runners at the elite level has shown that the winners actually finish up having lost an amount of weight most of us would consider shocking. of course, with running every extra ounce you are carrying translates directly into increased effort at the same speed; this effect is negligible on a bike.

Originally Posted by RISKDR1
my personal experience as a 71 year old its that weight training the legs (leg press, leg curls and leg extensions) can help with submaximal power. I have added considerable strength without added body weight. Probably because I am a little plump and while adding muscle I am losing some fat. Lost about 7 total lbs. After about 6 weeks of training my average speed for a sub maximal flat ride has dropped about 1.5 miles per hour on same route riding with no increase in percieved effort. I can really feel increased snap in my legs. Easier to spin in the 90-100 rpm range probably because the weight training enhances fast twitch fiber recruitment. I also noticed a slight increase in average heart rate which indicates to me that I have not increase my Vo2 max, just increase my sub max cruise speed. The issue is that you can add muscle mass and strength but you still need to supply the muscles with oxygen and adding muscle does not effect a change in the overall aerobic system in the short run. Eventually though the increased speed and cardio stress will bring it into balance if you ride enough and the right mix. I think this may be more important for someone my age since muscle mass is lost with aging but we can step back in time with weight training. As for efforts closer to maximal you are still up against your aerobic and vascular systems ability to supply oxygen to the new muscle fibers. And of course there is a point of diminished returns for a weight training program (anaerobic) for what is a primarily an aerobic sport.
you bring up many points here, but what you've noticed may have more to do with (a) staving off or slowing loss of muscle mass due to aging (respectfully, you are older than the average cyclist here) and (b) overall weight loss (sounds like your weight lifting resulted in a net loss of weight for you, if i read things correctly.

other than the shortest of efforts, cycling is NOT limited by strength. one pedal rotation, even at high power, is trivial in terms of most cyclists' strength.

(it's a separate issue, but there are ways of detecting whether strength IS an actual limiter for shorter efforts and is one i perform with the athletes i coach. few of them are capable of coming close enough to their max torque capability while producing their max power to make strength training an *effective* use of time, especially if time is at all limited.)

Originally Posted by hack
I've packed on a some extra pounds (5lbs or so) since the offseason kicked in earlier this month and have hit some new peak power values. From that alone, more weight (regardless of fat or muscle) must be better.
only 5#? i gained 6# in a week!

Originally Posted by aaronmcd
I've done climbs with crappy form and good form and I'm convinced it does make a difference, but a very small difference. I'd believe a study that found up to 5% difference but I'd be very skeptical of anyone claiming more.
i think with your background (gymnastics, no?) that you would have exceptional core strength. i think most people don't realize how much power can be lost due to sloppy form; those with poor core strength can slip in and out of form (Esp as they tire). it's kind of like pedaling a MTB with poorly-designed rear suspension; instead of 100% of the power applied going to forward motion, some is lost due to the suspension. the same happens when there's a weakness in the chain. if one has a strong core, there are ways to get the upper body to squeeze out a few more watts at the pedals.

IME with myself and coaching others, core strength is one of those things many consider 'invisible', but it can contribute to >5% performance differences ... again, especially as one tires. it can materialize in climbing as well as TTs.
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