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Does Gym Strength Matter in Match Sprinting?

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Old 09-14-18, 11:10 AM
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colnago62
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Does Gym Strength Matter in Match Sprinting?

Does a riderís physical strength matter when match sprinting and why or why not? I ask partly because a discussion in the 41 about sprinting and the position that sprinting does not require great strength but high aerobic capacity. The other position is that sprinting does require strength and examples of large sprinters are given. I feel like it is an apples to oranges debate, however I do remember a coach from New Zealand also say that soothing similar. He stated that he never had any of his riders workout in the gym. He was working with junior women.
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Old 09-14-18, 11:43 AM
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queerpunk
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please link to this discussion in the 41 so that we can read it and chuckle about how wrong they are.

gym strength matters. it's not the only thing that matters, and yes, people can get pretty fast without hitting the gym. But the people who get the fastest do some really focused work in the gym. Wonder why that is?

edit: oh, you asked why.
because it requires a lot of strength to push on the pedals hard enough to go 45mph.

Last edited by queerpunk; 09-14-18 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 09-14-18, 11:46 AM
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Colnago Mixte
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My younger brother can squat 3 times the weight that I can, but he's never come close to beating me in a sprint.

I suppose weight training can augment cycling performance, and I can't see it harming the rider's performance. But there is a whole lot more going on with fast sprinters than just pure brute strength.
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Old 09-14-18, 12:11 PM
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Here you go QP: Solo riding - does it build strength/speed?

It's turned pretty ridiculous.

And to clarify, I don't think most of the people in those threads understand the difference between track sprinting and road sprinting; e.g. they would probably assume Cavendish is a track sprinter too.
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Old 09-14-18, 12:16 PM
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colnago62
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Are there any match sprinters consistently winning elite events that donít have lifting as a large part of their program. All I have read about current sprint programs seem to emphasize building strength first then building speed endurance.
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Old 09-14-18, 12:57 PM
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Sprinting at 2000W at 120 RPM on 165mm cranks requires roughly 225lbs of force every pedal rev.

This means you have to be strong enough that 225lbs isn't a significant fraction of your peak single leg strength, so you can pedal that hard for more than an instant, AND that you can do it over and over again whenever it's needed.

2kW is also not world class for male sprinters. If you can only do 2kW you'll get dropped off the back of a world cup keirin like a bad habit.
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Old 09-14-18, 01:24 PM
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halfway there

wait... halfway to getting dropped... looks like the only way I'm going to see the front is on the derny.
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Old 09-14-18, 01:38 PM
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Strength no, since you can be a fat tub of lard and be strong. Fast-twitch, however, does matter, but its the strength-to-weight ratio (that guy that's half your size but just as strong) that wins the race.
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Old 09-14-18, 02:00 PM
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queerpunk
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Strength no, since you can be a fat tub of lard and be strong. Fast-twitch, however, does matter, but its the strength-to-weight ratio (that guy that's half your size but just as strong) that wins the race.
Nope, nobody in elite sprinting does any kind of the power:weight optimization that road cyclists do, or even talks about power:weight at all. They optimize power:aerodynamics, though, because at the speeds we're talking about, weight is insignificant and adding weight to gain power will make you make more speed.
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Old 09-14-18, 04:01 PM
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tobukog
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
Nope, nobody in elite sprinting does any kind of the power:weight optimization that road cyclists do, or even talks about power:weight at all. They optimize power:aerodynamics, though, because at the speeds we're talking about, weight is insignificant and adding weight to gain power will make you make more speed.
That being said, I would bet that there are very few elite sprinters north of 120-30kg. At that weight the power gains are probably outweighed by the aerodynamic losses.
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Old 09-14-18, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tobukog View Post
That being said, I would bet that there are very few elite sprinters north of 120-30kg. At that weight the power gains are probably outweighed by the aerodynamic losses.
My theory is that to get to that weight without adding body fat, you would be adding muscle that might not be that helpful to going fast, huge pectorals for example.
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Old 09-14-18, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post


My theory is that to get to that weight without adding body fat, you would be adding muscle that might not be that helpful to going fast, huge pectorals for example.
There's also diminishing returns to adding muscle and strength. If you can only backsquat 1.5 times you're body weight, you probably wanna up it to more like 2.5xBW to be a world class sprinter. But going over 3xBW isn't going to be as helpful as the jump from 1.5 to 2.5xBW. Really the only people doing 3xBW squats on the regular are pure strength athletes or olympic lifters.
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Old 09-15-18, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Here you go QP: Solo riding - does it build strength/speed?

It's turned pretty ridiculous.

And to clarify, I don't think most of the people in those threads understand the difference between track sprinting and road sprinting; e.g. they would probably assume Cavendish is a track sprinter too.
Exactly.

Chis Hoy and Mark Cavendish were on the same British National Team. At one point, Cav was declared "The Fastest Man in the World"...and couldn't hold Hoy's jock strap in track sprint events...and vice/versa in road events.
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Old 09-15-18, 05:29 AM
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https://media.giphy.com/media/KHw2Oi9NNAxmo/giphy.gif

Sorry, couldn't resist. I've weight lifted for years, but as a well-being effort vice any targeted goals. I feel like it helps my riding and other physical activities. Now over 60, I'm still at it, but listen to my body more...no point in permanent injury. A good read, with regards to how our bodies combine muscular and fascia efforts (couched in laymen terms) is Chris McDougall's "Natural Born Heroes". He also authored "Born to Run". Enjoy!
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Old 09-15-18, 09:14 AM
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colnago62
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Theo Bos probably has the most success at making the transition from the velodrome. I wouldnít consider him a top road sprinter, though. The physical requirements are just so different. They are really two complete disciplines.
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Old 09-15-18, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Theo Bos probably has the most success at making the transition from the velodrome. I wouldnít consider him a top road sprinter, though. The physical requirements are just so different. They are really two complete disciplines.
No one cares about him anyways. He's a match sprinter. There have been many riders who have made the transition to the road with far more success.
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Old 09-15-18, 01:11 PM
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colnago62
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Originally Posted by tobukog View Post
No one cares about him anyways. He's a match sprinter. There have been many riders who have made the transition to the road with far more success.
There have been many enduros, not many speed athletes. Marty Nothestein made the transition domestically.
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Old 09-15-18, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Here you go QP: Solo riding - does it build strength/speed?

It's turned pretty ridiculous.

And to clarify, I don't think most of the people in those threads understand the difference between track sprinting and road sprinting; e.g. they would probably assume Cavendish is a track sprinter too.
goodness, what a dumpster fire.
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Old 09-15-18, 03:55 PM
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Off the top of my head, Patrick Sercu,Urs Freuler, Guido Bontempi, Danny Clark were all considered to be good track sprinters who ended up doing well on the road.

These days I think it's becoming more difficult. But if Wiggins could win the Tour, I don't see why a track sprinter couldn't somehow transition into a somewhat decent road sprinter.
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Old 09-15-18, 04:36 PM
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Anyone looked at this? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27068517
Despite early and ongoing debate among athletes, coaches, and sport scientists, it is likely that resistance training for endurance cyclists can be tolerated, promotes desired adaptations that support training, and can directly improve performance. Lower-body heavy strength training performed in addition to endurance-cycling training can improve both short- and long-term endurance performance
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Old 09-15-18, 04:38 PM
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Things seem so specialized now. The road sprinters struggled in this yearís tour to finish in the time limit. Anything can happen though.
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Old 09-15-18, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
goodness, what a dumpster fire.
Yeah, the "41" is like that. Which is why the the "33" don't play that "Armchair cyclist Fred" stuff: https://www.bikeforums.net/33-road-bike-racing/


For the newer people: In a much older version of BikeForums, the sub-forums had unique numbers in the URLs. 41: General road cycling. 33: Road racing. I can't remember what this sub-forum's number was.

So, the nickname, "the 41" is faster than typing "Road Cycling" and everyone knew what you meant.
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Old 09-15-18, 04:53 PM
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W/kg is important when climbing (anything from false-flats to mountains).

As QP notes, W/CdA is important for max speed.
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Old 09-18-18, 05:43 AM
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w/kg matters for acceleration, though. ...but bigger people also get a bigger benefit from dropping down the banking. but for most sprint events, top speed is what wins most of the time.
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Old 09-18-18, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Things seem so specialized now. The road sprinters struggled in this yearís tour to finish in the time limit. Anything can happen though.
You're kidding me, that never used to happen in previous Tours.
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