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Polarized training (PT)...Good for low volume rider?

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Polarized training (PT)...Good for low volume rider?

Old 02-08-21, 03:14 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
if you have time to train 20+ hours like a pro in a week, yea sure, polarized is great. If you don't, HIIT is superior and if you do just 3 sessions a week or maybe 4, then 2 of those should be interval ones.
I have recently switched to polarized. I still didn't have time to train outdoors but I realized I can mix training + work indoors. Eventually I'll have my trainer in my workstation so I can work on the computer screen while I spin. I still work up to 12 hours a day and sometimes during the weekends. Low zone efforts during the day, short, high efforts after work so I don't feel exhausted during work.
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Old 02-08-21, 05:33 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
I think most people here seem to agree with that if I understand the comments right, but there is one part that is missing. "ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles" is not the entire picture. What if your limiting factor is not how much O2 your heart and lung can get to the muscles, but how much they can use / take up. And strength training may or may not help with that. That was my hypothesis in the other thread when I created it.
Capillary density, plasma volume, hematocrit...probably more.

But why do you think strength training would help that more than on-the-bike training? If it did, wouldn't people (those paid to do it and those spending considerable time, energy, and money to do it) do that instead of on-the-bike training? Or, at the least, wouldn't they continue to do it along with on-the-bike training year-round?

That they don't is clearly evidence of a declining cost-to-benefit ratio, no?

I think a big component that gets touted around here is fatigue resistance and somehow combatting that with 30-60 minute gym sessions and lifting to failure rather than a 3-5 hour ride. And that I don't understand, because again, on-the-bike training is what is actually done by said above people getting paid to do it or paying a lot to do it.

And I don't think a single person arguing for strength training has the gumption to assert that strength training could somehow replace that.

And that is the crux of my position: When choosing bike or strength training, bike will always prevail. When doing both, bike will again prevail and strength may be detrimental to performance (due to time, recovery, etc), or may be done well enough to provide general strength and ancillary benefits. And while strength may have ancillary benefits, replacing strength with bike will yield more specific performance benefits.
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Old 02-08-21, 05:38 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
You're asserting that cycling only involves flats and mild gradients.

If you can't turn the pedals on very steep climbs, you're not going to make 500 watts, not even 10 watts, not unless you get off the bike and walk it uphill.

Training on very steep hills is already a form of strength training (on-the-bike strength training) by virtue of high resistance you must overcome on the pedals (unless you're using 3rd ring or some huge cogs at the back)
Stop responding to me.

Please stop interjecting yourself into every otherwise worthwhile discussion we're having. You're on my ignore list and yet you keep quoting me. Stop doing that.

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Old 02-08-21, 05:40 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
How has this thread also turned into a strength training thread?
.
Because I made a comment about EDITED: "stuff" in another thread and was told by the mods to stop posting in it.

But now we're back to square one. There's no escaping it.

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Old 02-08-21, 06:25 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Capillary density, plasma volume, hematocrit...probably more.

But why do you think strength training would help that more than on-the-bike training? If it did, wouldn't people (those paid to do it and those spending considerable time, energy, and money to do it) do that instead of on-the-bike training? Or, at the least, wouldn't they continue to do it along with on-the-bike training year-round?

That they don't is clearly evidence of a declining cost-to-benefit ratio, no?

I think a big component that gets touted around here is fatigue resistance and somehow combatting that with 30-60 minute gym sessions and lifting to failure rather than a 3-5 hour ride. And that I don't understand, because again, on-the-bike training is what is actually done by said above people getting paid to do it or paying a lot to do it.

And I don't think a single person arguing for strength training has the gumption to assert that strength training could somehow replace that.

And that is the crux of my position: When choosing bike or strength training, bike will always prevail. When doing both, bike will again prevail and strength may be detrimental to performance (due to time, recovery, etc), or may be done well enough to provide general strength and ancillary benefits. And while strength may have ancillary benefits, replacing strength with bike will yield more specific performance benefits.
I don't think bike training doesn't do this. I would like to know two things.

1) Strength training with no bike training can help, especially what I am talking about that your muscles catch up with your cardio if your cardio is better, and
2) that potentially strength training can do it better than bike training.

This latter is pure speculation on my part, would be interesting if experiments could determine this. And regarding 1), I wonder if, had I done gym instead of zero exercise for 6 weeks and then slowly starting cycling once I got my indoor trainer, that then I would already be a lot further than I am now.
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Old 02-08-21, 07:17 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
I don't think bike training doesn't do this. I would like to know two things.

1) Strength training with no bike training can help, especially what I am talking about that your muscles catch up with your cardio if your cardio is better, and
2) that potentially strength training can do it better than bike training.

This latter is pure speculation on my part, would be interesting if experiments could determine this. And regarding 1), I wonder if, had I done gym instead of zero exercise for 6 weeks and then slowly starting cycling once I got my indoor trainer, that then I would already be a lot further than I am now.
I maintain that any fitness is better than no fitness. I don't think that's really an issue. When faced with anything versus nothing, I'd always choose something: strength training, running, swimming, anything. Just that general fitness is worth a lot. The blood plasma volume, the capillary density, lower body fat, stronger connective tissue, etc., etc.

And if you're talking about a low enough performance level, it really and truly just doesn't matter. There are simply too many other variables that come into play that affect mediocre performances (either general or specific to an individual). When you talk about higher levels of performance, however, cost-benefit has to be carefully weighed.

For 2, I think experiments have determined this. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of elite cyclists over the last 100 years were the experiment. Again, the higher levels of performance necessitate maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
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Old 02-08-21, 07:54 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I can see the sarcasm.

I use 34 / 32 gears which is the smallest gear on my gravel bike on very steep gradients ~20%.

I was unable to do it sitted in the saddle before strength training. Now I can
When sitting in the saddle, you're not using anywhere near the maximum amount of force that your muscles can produce. Whatever allowed you to do this, it almost certainly wasn't strength training.
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Old 02-08-21, 07:55 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I maintain that any fitness is better than no fitness. I don't think that's really an issue. When faced with anything versus nothing, I'd always choose something: strength training, running, swimming, anything. Just that general fitness is worth a lot. The blood plasma volume, the capillary density, lower body fat, stronger connective tissue, etc., etc.

And if you're talking about a low enough performance level, it really and truly just doesn't matter. There are simply too many other variables that come into play that affect mediocre performances (either general or specific to an individual). When you talk about higher levels of performance, however, cost-benefit has to be carefully weighed.

For 2, I think experiments have determined this. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of elite cyclists over the last 100 years were the experiment. Again, the higher levels of performance necessitate maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
So what is your answer to to 2)? Egan just recently posted on his Instagram a short clip from the gym. I know that cross country skiers who have excellent endurance abilities and maybe even higher VO2 Max than cyclists spend a lot of time in the gym. Whole body for them obviously, triceps and shoulders do a lot of work.

Edit: although of course if they would go up a lot more than this may change a little. The relatively recent Tour du Ski has a final leg where they start with the leader first and whoever finishes first wins. It is basically up a black slope. Lighter, shorter skiers have a massive advantage here.

Last edited by ZHVelo; 02-08-21 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:14 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
So what is your answer to to 2)? Egan just recently posted on his Instagram a short clip from the gym. I know that cross country skiers who have excellent endurance abilities and maybe even higher VO2 Max than cyclists spend a lot of time in the gym. Whole body for them obviously, triceps and shoulders do a lot of work.

Edit: although of course if they would go up a lot more than this may change a little. The relatively recent Tour du Ski has a final leg where they start with the leader first and whoever finishes first wins. It is basically up a black slope. Lighter, shorter skiers have a massive advantage here.
My understanding is that most pros strength train, and do so year round. There are certainly many prominent coaches who support the idea. But there are also those who don't.

While what Rubick says is true, generally you want to practice what you are actually doing, there's a declining marginal benefit for every additional hour spent on the bike. An amateur rider going from 5 to 6 hours a week is going to see a lot more benefit that a pro going from 20 to 21 hours. At some point, cross training (including strength training), particularly with the goal of injury prevention, likely becomes a better use of your time even when considered from a pure cycling perspective.

I said above that my understanding is that most cyclists strength train year round. However, I don't think they are necessarily doing the *same* strength training year round. During the offseason, the goal will likely be to build stronger legs, but that training conflicts too much with cycling during periods of intense training and/or racing. As such, the volume of this is reduced considerably. However, things like core work are likely still done consistently throughout the year. The goal here isn't to sacrifice cycling training or detract from it in any way, but rather to supplement it with an activity that isn't particularly taxing and can help reduce the risk of injury (and thus a lot of missed cycling time).

All of this is somewhat moot though since none of us are pro cyclists. From a long term health and performance perspective, lifting is beneficial despite the fact that it many not be optimal to maximize our performance over the next few months.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:20 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
When sitting in the saddle, you're not using anywhere near the maximum amount of force that your muscles can produce. Whatever allowed you to do this, it almost certainly wasn't strength training.
I'd state this a little differently. I'd say it wasn't an increase in strength rather than strength training. It's possible for a relatively untrained athlete that adaptations associated with strength training could result in improved endurance performance.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:22 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
When sitting in the saddle, you're not using anywhere near the maximum amount of force that your muscles can produce. Whatever allowed you to do this, it almost certainly wasn't strength training.
Yup, there's other factor involved like adopting a different pedaling technique when the gradient gets real steep. Strength training still played a bigger role, particularly in strengthening the core muscles as I used to have weak core muscles. My new pedaling technique engaged the core muscles more than before as if I'm pedaling out of the saddle.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:24 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
I know that cross country skiers who have excellent endurance abilities and maybe even higher VO2 Max than cyclists spend a lot of time in the gym.
As far as I know, there are no cross country skis with gears that allow the athlete to control amount of force and speed of force applied. I may be wrong though.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:39 AM
  #88  
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Anecdotes don't matter for a whole lot. But let me share a 1:1 on this weights thing from our A-group ride in the two years pre-Covid. Just chatting..........

We had a young guy join the group. Just out of college. Probably about 6 foot tall, mild "lifter" build. He'd come over from a general fitness riding group that would do the weekend and weeknight B-pace rides. He still lifted a fair bit. He got better at the weeknight A-ride and could mix it up, but would usually get dropped about 1/2 way through every time. He was able to mostly keep up as he DID start doing some intervals or hard work on the bike. He never really added enough extra volume, or intervals. Just kept at the easier weekend rides that were like 60 to 80mi at a leisurely 18mph or so. Then he would lift. Sure, dude could sprint right nice (once or twice). But he never had the fitness to stay with the group the whole way. He never worked on the bike fitness enough. Toss two back to back 2min hills at him, off the back. Done.

This "weights" topic in here gets a little tired. If you're not a pro or high level amateur sprinter, I feel the whole gym thing just needs to remain an "overall health and injury prevention" tool. It's not some magic bullet to offset more miles.

If you're not paid to race bikes or aren't chasing some elite thing.............no harm in some weights to still be able to open the random pickle jar or prevent injuries if you go on a run or hike or something.

That's how I look at it. I'm not paid to ride a bike. But, if I hurt myself on a run or hiking with the kids because I've let myself go so much from only riding the bike.............that injury will keep me off the bike and I'll lose what little fitness I have.

I still have weight bearing chores around the house. Build that, move that, tear that up, dig that, lift that. If I only ever ride the bike and don't do some plank, pushups, squats, etc..........I run the risk of doing that stuff and hurting myself.

I also am a bit vain. If I work hard on the bike and am not paid for it, I at least want to "look" decent with my shirt off. Why ride 7 hours a week just to look terrible with a shirt off. "Gun show" legs and then random shapeless upper.
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Old 02-08-21, 09:13 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
, I feel the whole gym thing just needs to remain an "overall health and injury prevention" tool. It's not some magic bullet to offset more miles.
Yep.

I think there is some evidence that suggests that weight lifting improves cardiovascular performance, but for those of us that aren't really stacking it on, we'd probably benefit more from more and/or harder miles on the bike, from a pure performance perspective.
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Old 02-08-21, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
As far as I know, there are no cross country skis with gears that allow the athlete to control amount of force and speed of force applied. I may be wrong though.
So?

And you don't ski much, do you?
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Old 02-08-21, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
So?

And you don't ski much, do you?
I said there might be skis with gears. I didn't know.

But unlike skiing where the the athlete can't control the force required to cover the course, cycling allows one to self select the best force and speed of muscular contraction. So it would make sense that skiers need to increase the maximum force they can produce while cyclists don't.
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Old 02-08-21, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
I said there might be skis with gears. I didn't know.

But unlike skiing where the the athlete can't control the force required to cover the course, cycling allows one to self select the best force and speed of muscular contraction. So it would make sense that skiers need to increase the maximum force they can produce while cyclists don't.
No, it doesn't, some skiers don't even use the arms in a sprint, if they aren't 100% fresh at the end of a long race they might just try and move the legs as fast as possible. Up a hill you can try to glide more or really heave yourself up with your upper body.

ps skis with gears is a ludicrous idea, I thought you were trolling but you bring it up again...what a joke.
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Old 02-08-21, 12:03 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Yup, there's other factor involved like adopting a different pedaling technique when the gradient gets real steep. Strength training still played a bigger role, particularly in strengthening the core muscles as I used to have weak core muscles. My new pedaling technique engaged the core muscles more than before as if I'm pedaling out of the saddle.
Your core musculature wasn't taxed beyond it's ability previously. Cycling, while seated in particular, isn't exactly strenuous on ones core.
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Old 02-08-21, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
I'd state this a little differently. I'd say it wasn't an increase in strength rather than strength training. It's possible for a relatively untrained athlete that adaptations associated with strength training could result in improved endurance performance.
Sure, but if that's the case, then endurance was his issue when going up a steep hill.
If you're not *strong* enough to pedal up a 20% gradient in a 34-32 gear, how are you able to walk up stairs?
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Old 02-08-21, 12:29 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
ps skis with gears is a ludicrous idea, I thought you were trolling but you bring it up again...what a joke.
O.K. so maybe skiing isn't a good analogy for cycling after all.
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Old 02-08-21, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
So what is your answer to to 2)? Egan just recently posted on his Instagram a short clip from the gym. I know that cross country skiers who have excellent endurance abilities and maybe even higher VO2 Max than cyclists spend a lot of time in the gym. Whole body for them obviously, triceps and shoulders do a lot of work.
My answer is on-the-bike; that's what elite cyclists have done as long as the sport has been around.

Egan posts in February. But in June?
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Old 02-08-21, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post

I said above that my understanding is that most cyclists strength train year round. However, I don't think they are necessarily doing the *same* strength training year round. During the offseason, the goal will likely be to build stronger legs, but that training conflicts too much with cycling during periods of intense training and/or racing. As such, the volume of this is reduced considerably. However, things like core work are likely still done consistently throughout the year. The goal here isn't to sacrifice cycling training or detract from it in any way, but rather to supplement it with an activity that isn't particularly taxing and can help reduce the risk of injury (and thus a lot of missed cycling time).
That's stretching the boundaries of "strength" training. And even then, I very seriously doubt it. Are guys doing core work in the middle of a three week grand tour? What about during the spring classics? Training camps? Very doubtful.

Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
All of this is somewhat moot though since none of us are pro cyclists. From a long term health and performance perspective, lifting is beneficial despite the fact that it many not be optimal to maximize our performance over the next few months.
Perhaps not moot because it's still applicable. Even more so because people that aren't pros don't have the time and resources to dedicate to any additional or ancillary benefit. So in that context, with a finite amount of time and energy, from a performance perspective, again, it's just not possible to assert that it is more beneficial than actual riding, either in the short or the long term. Just "beneficial" in and of itself would be up to the individual to decide, I guess.

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Old 02-08-21, 01:13 PM
  #98  
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Random thoughts on the topic: maybe strength training can help for people who specialize in U.S.-style criterium racing. I do know that the guys I used to ride with who spent a significant time in the gym weren't always able to keep up on climbs with us skinny, weight-room-averse guys with pathetic Michael Rasmussen-looking upper bodies.

And I read an passing comment by a sports medicine specialist recently who mentioned that pro road cyclists' legs are no stronger than those of the average healthy adult.

Eddy Merckx, when asked, back in the '70s, whether he did weight training: "You don't need big muscles to steer a bicycle." (Reworded for maximum clarity: the single most successful cyclist in history didn't do weight training.)
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Old 02-08-21, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Your core musculature wasn't taxed beyond it's ability previously. Cycling, while seated in particular, isn't exactly strenuous on ones core.
I want to qualify this first to say I don't intend to feed the troll above at all in this topic, but "plank" is almost a meme level visual of semi-serious racers all the way up to pros for keeping a strong core. Lots of folks do "meme" like pics of them stopping mid-ride in the middle of a climb or route planking randomly.

Good core, more power to pedals, less wasted motion.

It's an exception for most people, as not many TT, but if you're going to do stuff like setup a TT bike for time trial and not long course triathlon you may find more of your forearms on the pads than the tips of your elbows. Meaning, any amount of lasting core strength you have can be handy as you're reaching.

I feel 100% better in my TT position recently after taking up some daily plank and pushups.

YMMV.
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Old 02-08-21, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
That's stretching the boundaries of "strength" training. And even then, I very seriously doubt it. Are guys doing core work in the middle of a three week grand tour? What about during the spring classics? Training camps? Very doubtful.
Definitely still strength training. Are they doing it during the classics, yes I imagine they are. In the middle of a 3 week stage race, probably not. I would image it is done in training camps. I don't think the absence of 3 weeks changes invalidates the idea that they're doing it year round. That's reaching pretty hard for a technicality IMO.
ETA: I'm sure typical strength work is still done, just at a lower volume/intensity so as not to interfere with one's riding schedule.


Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Perhaps not moot because it's still applicable. Even more so because people that aren't pros don't have the time and resources to dedicate to any additional or ancillary benefit. So in that context, with a finite amount of time and energy, from a performance perspective, again, it's just not possible to assert that it is more beneficial than actual riding, either in the short or the long term. Just "beneficial" in and of itself would be up to the individual to decide, I guess.
One of the biggest detriments to performance in the master's athletes is a loss of muscle mass. If you want to maintain as much ability for as long as possible, I'd suggest including lifting in your training. Particularly if you care about performance in anything requiring high power outputs.

Last edited by OBoile; 02-08-21 at 01:33 PM.
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