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Climbs v Weight training

Old 01-08-18, 01:39 PM
  #26  
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If one is curious about the effect of muscle mass on climbing speed, it's evident that lighter is faster. BMI between 19 and 21 seems fastest. Which doesn't mean one shouldn't strength train. A 19 BMI rider should still want to squat as much weight as possible, for instance. Climbing is all about power/weight after all, and the ultimate limiter for aerobic power is oxygen and nutrient delivery rate. But that's just the ultimate limiter, all else being perfect. Weight training is about that "all else" as is fit, pedaling skill, mental focus, training state, etc., etc.
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Old 01-08-18, 02:42 PM
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(Table 1).
The heavy strength training that was performed in ES group
targeted leg muscles and was planned to be performed twice per
week during the preparatory period and once per week during
the competition period. Adherence to the strength training was
high, with ES cyclists completing 19.4 ± 0.7 of the planned 20
strength training sessions during the 10-week strength development
period. Furthermore, during the 15 weeks strength maintenance
period they performed 12.5 ± 1.5 strength training
sessions. This corresponds to one session every ∼8 days that
agreed well with the planned protocol. The strength training
regimen was designed to improve cycling performance by
emphasizing cycling-specific exercises as described elsewhere
(Rønnestad et al., 2010c). Thus, strength-training exercises were
performed with a knee angle between 90° and close to full extension.
In addition, since cyclists work each leg alternately during
cycling, they were instructed to perform two of the four exercises
unilaterally
.....

...The novel finding of this study was that elite cyclists
performing 10-week strength development periodfollowed
by 15-week strength maintenance period
achieved superior improvements in Wmax and mean
power output during 40-min all-out trial compared with
the control cyclists. The improvement in 40-min all-out
performance was largely correlated with changes toward
earlier peak torque during the pedal stroke
. Furthermore,
the effect size of the relative improvement in power
output at 4 mmol L−1 [la−
], peak power output during
30-s Wingate test, Wmax, and mean power output during
40-min all-out trial, revealed a moderate effect of ES
training vs E training.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24862305
Previous reviews are available that thoroughly address the mechanisms underpinning the additive effect often observed after concurrent heavy strength and endurance cycling training.13,14 Briefly, increased maximum force production, and/or increased rate of force development (RFD) have been suggested to improve blood flow to the exercising muscles, theoretically due to: 1) Blood flow during contraction has been shown to be related to the relative force of contraction45 and a lowering of the relative exercise intensity may theoretically induce lesser constriction of the blood vessels; 2) an improved RFD may in turn reduce the time needed to reach the desired force in each pedal cycle, and thereby potentially increase the relaxation phase with improved blood flow.

Another potential mechanism related to muscle fibre recruitment is an increased proportion of type IIA fibres at the expense of type IIX fibres. Such a finding has been observed after 12-16 weeks of heavy strength training in both well-trained female and top-level male cyclists.1,46 Indeed, recent data show that a reduced proportion of type IIX fibres after 12 weeks of concurrent endurance and heavy strength training was associated with improved power output during a 40-min all-out trial in well-trained female cyclists (r = -0.63, p<0.05).46

The authors suggested that the repetition to failure programme may have surpassed a threshold of training load where suboptimal adaptations in strength and endurance would result due to the development of residual fatigue in the neuromuscular system. Therefore, the strength training must be tailored to fit with the concurrent endurance training so the total training load is not too large. Using submaximal number of reps in the strength training sessions, at least during periods where endurance training is emphasized, is probably a good strategy to avoid overreaching. Note that in the beginning of the strength-training period, it is common to get “heavy” and “sore” legs after the strength training sessions. Therefore, it is important to take it easy with the endurance training during the first two to three weeks of the strength training. It may be a good advice to start strength training rather quickly after the end of a competition season, when endurance training has lower priority.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27068517

In the present study, we investigated the effects of adding heavy strength training to the regular endurance training of well-trained female cyclists on cycling performance, muscle strength, muscle CSA, muscle fiber type composition, and muscle concentration as well as expression of aerobic enzymes. This is the first study to show that addition of heavy strength training to female cyclists’ normal endurance training improves 40-min all-out performance and cycling economy. Another novel finding was that heavy strength training improved the fractional utilization of VO2max during a 40-min all-out trial in endurance athletes, which has not been previously demonstrated. These improvements were associated with both increased CSA of the quadriceps muscles and reduced proportion of type IIAX-IIX muscle fibers. Cyclists that continued with their normal endurance training only did not exhibit changes in any of the measurements.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25892654
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Old 01-08-18, 04:30 PM
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Thanks, @redlude97!
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Old 01-08-18, 05:10 PM
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I have my doubts that weight training does much to increase uphill speed. Look at any world class climber. You just don't see trained on upper body muscle mass. Guessing that the OP is a woman, I suggest she look at photos of Mara ****tt. Now retired, but she was one of the best uphill.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Mara...GhxnQvE7cBW8M:

In this photo, you see rock hard muscle in her pulling arm, but no mass to it. That's a climber who has trained those arms going uphill very hard, not in the weightroom.

Ben
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Old 01-08-18, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I have my doubts that weight training does much to increase uphill speed. Look at any world class climber. You just don't see trained on upper body muscle mass. Guessing that the OP is a woman, I suggest she look at photos of Mara ****tt. Now retired, but she was one of the best uphill.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Mara...GhxnQvE7cBW8M:

In this photo, you see rock hard muscle in her pulling arm, but no mass to it. That's a climber who has trained those arms going uphill very hard, not in the weightroom.

Ben
I disagree with that. Heavy weight training can greatly increase strength without increasing body mass. Strength per unit cross sectional area (CSA) is a function of the neural ability to fully contract all the fibers in a muscle. That's what strength training does. Muscle mass is more of a function of calories in-calories out than of a particular type of training. I ride with cyclists who get huge legs with only cycling work, and others who do gym work with quite slim legs. I have experienced periods of increasing my squat and other weights at the same time I was losing body weight.

For my part, no matter what I do, how large a percentage of calories is in protein, how heavy I lift, my thighs never get over 21", an inch smaller than Arnold's arms. That's because I keep my weight down and how my personal protein metabolism works.

OTOH, my experience closely matches the studies @redlude97 posted above. My thigh muscle CSA appears to go up, judging by the definition, but thigh measurement does not. And I got faster going uphill.

I also agree with the earlier force production thing. I find I can push forward at the top much more strongly and continue that into the downstroke. Squats definitely make my quads sore this time of year.
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Old 01-09-18, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I have my doubts that weight training does much to increase uphill speed. Look at any world class climber. You just don't see trained on upper body muscle mass. Guessing that the OP is a woman, I suggest she look at photos of Mara ****tt. Now retired, but she was one of the best uphill.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Mara...GhxnQvE7cBW8M:

In this photo, you see rock hard muscle in her pulling arm, but no mass to it. That's a climber who has trained those arms going uphill very hard, not in the weightroom.

Ben
I believe the "weight training" being referred to here is mainly focused on the lower body. Excess upper body muscle mass is certainly detrimental to a climber.

Having said that, as others have said, it is possible to improve your strength somewhat without increasing muscle mass.

As for your comment about the photo... that's some silly logic you have there. You may be right that she doesn't lift much, but the idea that this causes the muscle to be "rock hard" instead of big (and that weight training causes the reverse) is just ridiculous.
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Old 01-17-18, 11:00 AM
  #32  
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After squats and or deadlifts my bike riding suffered though I was a lot stronger as lifting was concerned. My weight training endeavors ended with a triple hernia and at my age I get more than enough leg work from cycling. I get enough resistance work from general ranch labor etc. It all depends on what you’re goals and objectives are IMO. Anything that gets you moving and off the couch is a good thing.
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Old 01-17-18, 11:52 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
After squats and or deadlifts my bike riding suffered though I was a lot stronger as lifting was concerned. My weight training endeavors ended with a triple hernia and at my age I get more than enough leg work from cycling. I get enough resistance work from general ranch labor etc. It all depends on what you’re goals and objectives are IMO. Anything that gets you moving and off the couch is a good thing.
sounds like you weren't recovering properly if you were weight training, cycle training, and working on the ranch.
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Old 01-17-18, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
sounds like you weren't recovering properly if you were weight training, cycle training, and working on the ranch.
Mixing endurance training and weight training plus physical labor was too much for me simultaneously. I love riding my bikes and day hiking so that is what I do for fitness.
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Old 02-01-18, 01:14 PM
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Maybe biking too recently after lifting? Full recovery from weight sessions is like 2-3 days and although you may feel fine, you won’t have top performance till you are fully recovered.
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Old 02-01-18, 08:47 PM
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If you don't have a coach now, you might look for one who is experienced in weight training for cyclists. Details are important. Not everything works.

Plus as in #2, one has to be recovered to climb well. When I'm working on weights to build performance, it's during winter and I don't worry about my climbing power particularly. I just want to work at a high volume (for me) and lift heavier while maintaining pedaling skills, base, and decent threshold endurance. Later on I try to turn those gains in the gym into gains on the bike while cutting the weights back to one 1 hour workout per week, just enough to maintain strength.
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Old 02-02-18, 06:16 AM
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This is a duplicate thread.
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Old 02-02-18, 06:17 AM
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Bump
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Old 02-02-18, 10:26 AM
  #39  
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I’d like to go on record and say I’ve changed my thinking on this.

I used to think weight training didn’t improve road cycling performance. That’s what everyone else thought, and it seemed to make sense, your limit is your aerobic capacity. Hills are never that steep, grades change more gradually than in the MTB world, we have gears unlike in track, and, again, whenever you’re at your limit, you’re panting like a dog with your heart beating out of your chest. The thinking was being able to push hard on the pedals is great and all, but a few hard pushes won’t be enough to get you a fast 40 km.

I’m going on 4 months of progressive overload in the weight room, and my performance on the bike has improved even though I’m spending a lot less time on the bike lately. I’m climbing faster even though I weigh slightly more. I’m able to make the power meter say more flattering things for longer times now.
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Old 02-02-18, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
This is a duplicate thread.
Maybe new OP with the same thread title, purposely or not? In any case, she should read the original thread with this title, which may or may not answer her question.
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Old 02-02-18, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Maybe new OP with the same thread title, purposely or not? In any case, she should read the original thread with this title, which may or may not answer her question.
Same date.
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Old 02-02-18, 11:12 AM
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Duplicate threads merged
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Old 02-02-18, 08:28 PM
  #43  
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Interesting thread. Can someone knowledgeable weigh in (yeah, a pun, but not really intentional) on the merits, if any, for cyclists of weight training without heavy weights - e.g., doing squats, lunges, etc. with modest weights (30 lbs, 50 lbs. etc.)? I see all or most of the emphasis on this thread on heavy weights. Is it thought that modest weights are unproductive?

The reason I ask simply is that I'm not an experienced weight trainer, am not going to go to a gym - I'm thinking basement work - and it seems that modest weights are a way to learn what I'm doing without risking injury.
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Old 02-03-18, 07:35 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Interesting thread. Can someone knowledgeable weigh in (yeah, a pun, but not really intentional) on the merits, if any, for cyclists of weight training without heavy weights - e.g., doing squats, lunges, etc. with modest weights (30 lbs, 50 lbs. etc.)? I see all or most of the emphasis on this thread on heavy weights. Is it thought that modest weights are unproductive?

The reason I ask simply is that I'm not an experienced weight trainer, am not going to go to a gym - I'm thinking basement work - and it seems that modest weights are a way to learn what I'm doing without risking injury.

Yes you can benefit from using lighter weights for squats and lunges, especially if you doing higher reps. Legs respond very well to higher reps with lighter weights. Unless you're a competitive lifter there is no need to go crazy heavy in order to benefit form the squat and lunge movements. If you don't have experience with barbell squats, I recommend you start with a goblet squat and get your technique right before jumping into heavy weights with a barbell. There are plenty of alternatives to a barbell...Goblet squats, lunges and split squats can be done with a kettlebell or a dumbbell or a sandbag or any weight which you can hold in front of you...Squat is one of the basic human movements and the most important thing is to practise and do the squat movement regularly..but it doesn't have to be done with a heavy barbell.
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Old 02-03-18, 08:59 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Yes you can benefit from using lighter weights for squats and lunges, especially if you doing higher reps. Legs respond very well to higher reps with lighter weights. Unless you're a competitive lifter there is no need to go crazy heavy in order to benefit form the squat and lunge movements. If you don't have experience with barbell squats, I recommend you start with a goblet squat and get your technique right before jumping into heavy weights with a barbell. There are plenty of alternatives to a barbell...Goblet squats, lunges and split squats can be done with a kettlebell or a dumbbell or a sandbag or any weight which you can hold in front of you...Squat is one of the basic human movements and the most important thing is to practise and do the squat movement regularly..but it doesn't have to be done with a heavy barbell.
Thanks. That's very helpful. I was thinking about dumbells, but first I'm working on getting the form right without any weights.
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Old 02-03-18, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Interesting thread. Can someone knowledgeable weigh in (yeah, a pun, but not really intentional) on the merits, if any, for cyclists of weight training without heavy weights - e.g., doing squats, lunges, etc. with modest weights (30 lbs, 50 lbs. etc.)? I see all or most of the emphasis on this thread on heavy weights. Is it thought that modest weights are unproductive?

The reason I ask simply is that I'm not an experienced weight trainer, am not going to go to a gym - I'm thinking basement work - and it seems that modest weights are a way to learn what I'm doing without risking injury.
I used to do sets of 30 of ~7 different exercises, circuit style. IOW, 30 reps of each thing, repeat up to 3 circuits. The advantage of circuits is there's no standing around waiting for a specific amount of time to pass before the next set. One moves directly from exercise to exercise, maybe letting HR drop or not. This worked very well for me. I definitely got faster on the climbs. The thing is, no matter how much or little weight you use, you have to use enough to fail before you get to the last rep of the last set. It's critical for strength to use enough weight to produce a fail in the last set of each exercise about once a week.

For climbing, you need to work your whole posterior chain: calves, hams, glutes, back, and then your whole anterior side: quads (all of them), hip flexors, abs. Upper body, I get the most good from shoulder, lat, and triceps work.

Once you get into it, you might find that doing the above would be a lot easier and more effective with gym equipment. Plus you can get form pointers at a gym.
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Old 02-05-18, 10:21 AM
  #47  
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https://www.strongerbyscience.com/low-load-training/

An interesting article on the benefits of choosing lower reps over higher ones for building muscle.

One thing to keep in mind: you're not trying to duplicate what you do on a bike in the weight room. Part of the benefit of using heavier weights is that it, in theory (and the evidence seems to be agreeing with this), increases you're efficiency on the pedals. This may not be something you get with lighter weights.

One other thing with respect to from: I'm not sure you can learn proper form using super-light weights. Once the weights start to get challenging, it just isn't the same. IMO, the best way to start is with weights that are moderately difficult (maybe in the 50-60% of 1rm range) and leave several reps in the tank. But there are certainly lots of conflicting views on this.

"Goblet squats, lunges and split squats can be done with a kettlebell or a dumbbell or a sandbag or any weight which you can hold in front of you...Squat is one of the basic human movements and the most important thing is to practise and do the squat movement regularly..but it doesn't have to be done with a heavy barbell." This is all good advice from wolfchild IMO. A barbell is a useful tool, particularly for strong people who would have grip strength be the limiting factor in a squat, but it isn't necessary for many people.
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Old 02-05-18, 10:46 AM
  #48  
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Another benefit of heavy weight (which requires fewer reps) is that it undoes some of the bone density damage road cycling does to us.
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Old 02-05-18, 06:31 PM
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Personally I prefer low reps majority of time for both upper body and lower body because I respond better to it... But IME it doesn't hurt to switch to higher reps for a while every few weeks and then go back to lower reps again.
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Old 02-05-18, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Another benefit of heavy weight (which requires fewer reps) is that it undoes some of the bone density damage road cycling does to us.

I love deadlifts, cleans, overhead presses and squats especially front squats.... but I also believe that any type of weight-bearing activity will undo some of the bone density damage from cycling...it doesn't have to be a heavy barbell.
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