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

Old 02-09-21, 04:49 PM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Looking at it in a non-literal way: here endurance improved far more than here high end power. This happens when you get old, and as per the professor of sport science in the video I posted, a loss of muscle mass is on of the reasons we see this in older athletes. Wouldn't it have been cool if she had been able to improve both?
I mean, she had just won the world time trial championships and the national championships, so....

Does it matter?
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Old 02-09-21, 04:56 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Don't you think this is biased? Shifting goalposts?

Then you might as well call the endless base miles "general fitness", too, given as the season starts volume goes down and intensity goes up. You said above something along the lines of "what do the pros do", well, apparently they do do gym, at least some. This isn't a question of "should you do squats the day before a TT to get faster", but whether you should do gym at all.

Nor does your argument "the question is not what is your max power but how long can you hold x power" necessarily imply that doing gym isn't beneficial in that regard. I am not saying it is. I am wondering if it is. [One idea being that if you can lift 100kg then 50kg will feel easy. But if you can only lift 60kg then 50kg will feel a lot harder. Obviously at some point in cycling endurance becomes dominant but no one here has linked a study or a physiological analysis of when this happens and how and to what extent or if strength training in the off season can keep your legs strong]. But you, despite of any real evidence, seem pretty set that the answer is no. That all you need is bike work. And yet when giving your reason for that (what pros do) and I give you a counter example you shift it to "general fitness".
Not in the least. It's general fitness. It's not specific to his performance objectives, which is why he doesn't do it in June.

I don't think your weight lifting comparison is applicable. If I can do 500 watts for 3 minutes, that doesn't mean 500 for 2 minutes hurts less, or 450 for 3 minutes hurts less. It just means I'm probably more capable of doing it more often.

Pros don't do it during the season. That's specific fitness. There's a reason for that.

Your question is wrong, anyway, and I've stated multiple times what my exact assertions are: that being that on-the-bike training is more beneficial for your riding than gym training. And to bring that back to this particular tangent, on-the-bike training is specific training which is specific to your performance objectives.
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Old 02-09-21, 05:00 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Basic human physiology.
I mean come on. You're a smart guy. I'm sure you've noticed that events that are significantly anaerobic in nature tend to feature bigger stronger athletes than ones that are longer in duration. One only needs to compare 400m runners with 10k runners to see this (or track sprinters with pursuit riders with grand tour riders).
This seems nonsensical to me. If I could hold my one minute power for 1.5 minutes, then it wouldn't be my one minute power would it?
Why do you have to turn the point into a matter of semantics? That you can't do your 1 minute power for 1.5 minutes is not because you are not strong enough. Strength has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Even 400m runners are doing a significant percentage of their effort aerobically. I think it was Gastin that said by the time they're at 40 or so seconds, half their energy is produced aerobically?

It's not strength that is limiting their ability to run faster.

That's the crux of the issue.

Aerobic, aerobic, aerobic, aerobic.
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Old 02-09-21, 05:06 PM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Why do you have to turn the point into a matter of semantics? That you can't do your 1 minute power for 1.5 minutes is not because you are not strong enough. Strength has absolutely nothing to do with it.
This is so true. As long as you are using the accepted definition of strength - the maximum force or tension a muscle or muscle group can produce - if you can do it once (whether it's turn the pedals over, take a stride, etc.) but can't repeat it, it isn't that the maximum isn't high enough, but that endurance is the limiter.
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Old 02-09-21, 11:43 PM
  #130  
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I do not have much to add to polarized training or strength training that has not been said. I am very happy, extremely happy that I went the 3rd party coach route and never have to concern myself with these type of discussions other than they are interesting to learn about others views.

I have had and have a great coach(es) that included strength work as necessary. When I used a track sprint coach for the year where I focused on sprinting, I did some strength training specifically for legs but in general did the majority of the strength work on the bike. For example, after the 15 minute motor paced warmup, we did two jumps - one seated and one standing and we did these with a partner - drive each other even harder. The first one was seated. So we roll up together in warmup gears to the start of the home straight on the blue band just barely rolling. The first pedal stroke would be with our left foot and in the drops. The lead racer would tap his hip twice and we push with max force with our left foot and with each succeeding pedal stroke being a max. We race down the home straight and climb the 45 degree banking and at the top, turn abruptly and dive off. The goal is to rip the pedals off the bike.

We rest and then set up for a flying, standing jump in warmup gears where we go from the relief line or middle of the track and from around 20 mph stand, accelerate and dive off the banking standing and rev up rpm standing using max force on the pedals for 100 meters.

We then get ready for our actual workout. I have seen it written somehow we do not generate any bone density on the bike. With max effort zero speed work in a big gear, I find that idea ahem interesting. Okay. Whatever. And our actual workout for the day may be 3 sets of standing starts with 20 minute rest between sets. A standing start is defacto a one leg dead lift. Multiple sets at max effort. I do not think that runners generate as much bone stress as I did in standing starts. Maybe I am wrong.

One could ask, does the gym work offer better strength gains than the bike? I would say yes, but at some point in time one has to convert the gains in the gym to power on the bike and ultimately speed. Not so easy to do. Hence, the secret to sprint training is getting the formulation right. And if one trains a lot in the gym then one is not going to ride their bike much. Fact of life. Since I was doing both road and track and pursuit as well as sprinting, I opted for sprint training on the bike.

With the pandemic, I have not been doing jack at the track. I try to get in a sprinters type of workout at the front end of a road workout once per week to keep the right muscles topped up and not convert those go either way fibers from favoring slow twitch.

I am working out in the outdoor gyms, we have in SoCal but I have always been working out at the gym. I like strength training.

My vote is the best bang for the buck is on the bike training for training the ATP PC, glycolytic and aerobic power producing systems. Hire a great 3rd party coach who has a field of world class athletes that achieve results and do what he says. Adjunct work is great, why not? Better for ones health and maybe slow down aging. Will adjunct work make you faster....hmmmmmm. Probably not and may even make you slower. Just my opinion.

PS. Seiler. I listened to the video and my feet fell asleep. I would not hire him as a coach. Also, he sounded like he was addressing grade school kids versus athletes that probably know as much as he does. The hard part of training is getting in perfect shape for the A event and then delivering the ride of your life. Seiler would not inspire me to the next level. Sorry.
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Old 02-10-21, 01:51 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Not in the least. It's general fitness. It's not specific to his performance objectives, which is why he doesn't do it in June.

I don't think your weight lifting comparison is applicable. If I can do 500 watts for 3 minutes, that doesn't mean 500 for 2 minutes hurts less, or 450 for 3 minutes hurts less. It just means I'm probably more capable of doing it more often.

Pros don't do it during the season. That's specific fitness. There's a reason for that.

Your question is wrong, anyway, and I've stated multiple times what my exact assertions are: that being that on-the-bike training is more beneficial for your riding than gym training. And to bring that back to this particular tangent, on-the-bike training is specific training which is specific to your performance objectives.
Yes but a cyclist needs general fitness, too.

Wrong numbers. My analogy would be that for you 400W for 3 minutes is easier if you can do 500W than for someone who can do just 410W.

They also cut down all the endless base miles. Moot point.

Is it though? If you have 20 hours already on the bike is hour 21 as beneficial as 1 hour in the gym would be?
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Old 02-10-21, 07:43 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Why do you have to turn the point into a matter of semantics? That you can't do your 1 minute power for 1.5 minutes is not because you are not strong enough. Strength has absolutely nothing to do with it.
Wrong. Getting stronger would absolutely improve both my 1 and 1.5 minute power.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Even 400m runners are doing a significant percentage of their effort aerobically. I think it was Gastin that said by the time they're at 40 or so seconds, half their energy is produced aerobically?

It's not strength that is limiting their ability to run faster.

That's the crux of the issue.

Aerobic, aerobic, aerobic, aerobic.
What's the other 50%? Where was the energy coming from for the first 3/4 of the race? Why do you think that doesn't count? Why are they bigger and stronger (and heavier) than 10k runners? What's the point of lugging that extra weight around?

Last edited by OBoile; 02-10-21 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 02-10-21, 07:49 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
This is so true. As long as you are using the accepted definition of strength - the maximum force or tension a muscle or muscle group can produce - if you can do it once (whether it's turn the pedals over, take a stride, etc.) but can't repeat it, it isn't that the maximum isn't high enough, but that endurance is the limiter.
A higher maximum strength allows one to do sub-maximal efforts more often. A person who squats 405 can do more reps with 300 than someone who squats 315. A person who's 5 second power is 2000 watts is going to be able to hold 1000 watts longer than someone who's 5 second power is 1100 watts.

You guys can play whatever mental gymnastics you want, but for shorter efforts, it's indisputable that strength plays a big role. The debate on that ended decades ago.
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Old 02-10-21, 08:09 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Is it though? If you have 20 hours already on the bike is hour 21 as beneficial as 1 hour in the gym would be?
Thatís the heart of the question for which there isnít a clear answer. If that hour in the gym is for core work to prevent or eliminate back or neck issues then itís probably a good idea. If the 20hrs already includes a range of low and high intensity training then adding more high intensity training in the form of heavy lifting to build strength in your legs is likely to have a negative impact on the bike training.

The pros I follow are doing 25+ hrs/wk getting ready for the season now with plenty of tempo and threshold work. I see very little high intensity work on the bike and donít imagine they can afford to smash their legs in the gym doing heavy squats. So if they canít afford it while prepping for racing and they certainly wouldnít want to be doing it in the middle of racing season when exactly would a good time be for adding in strength training targeted at the legs?

For the recreational cyclist doing 5-10 hrs/wk of low to moderate intensity then yes I think targeted strength training involving heavy lifting could be beneficial. Numerous studies have looked at this question and found a positive response. None of the studies Iíve seen have compared the effects of strength training in the gym with HIIT on the bike. I suspect the answer to that is far less clear. Itís like asking which set of intervals is optimal for improving performance? There isnít a clear answer that works for everyone.

Personally, I prefer to do my high intensity work on the bike. If I want general fitness Iíve got a list of projects in my woodwork shop that all involve plenty of lifting for general fitness. Iím over 60 with about 10 yrs of power data. I can see where my high end has slowly declined. I suspect I could probably slow that decline doing 2 or 3 heavy lifting sessions a week but that would impact my riding and I prefer riding at this stage.
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Old 02-10-21, 08:18 AM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Wrong. Getting stronger would absolutely improve both my 1 and 1.5 minute power.
Perhaps, but likely not as much as you think. Itís pretty easy for someone who hasnít been lifting to increase their strength by 20%. What do you think that 20% increase in strength would do for your 1 min power on the bike? Not much I suspect. Youíd be better off doing a block of HIIT on the bike.
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Old 02-10-21, 08:25 AM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
You guys can play whatever mental gymnastics you want, but for shorter efforts, it's indisputable that strength plays a big role. The debate on that ended decades ago.
For those shorter efforts to be meaningful youíve got to be in the right position at the right time at the end of the race and if the training you did to improve the shorter efforts impacted your ability for the far more common longer efforts the extra strength you gained is moot.
Would increased strength help Mark Cavendish get to the right position with 200m to go? Strength is not his problem.
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Old 02-10-21, 08:33 AM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
A person who squats 405 can do more reps with 300 than someone who squats 315. A person who's 5 second power is 2000 watts is going to be able to hold 1000 watts longer than someone who's 5 second power is 1100 watts.
You're conflating force (lbs) with power (W). Now I don't know if you're doing this to confuse the issue or you don't understand the difference, but as long as bikes have gears, power is what moves the bike forward and force is secondary. So ignoring the weight lifter who is only concerned with force and focusing on the cyclist, it is not self-evident that a higher maximum power leads to a higher five second (or any other duration) power. Seeing the variation in shape of power-duration curves for several riders makes this clear.

As a thought experiment, given a rider's 5 second power and no other information, how would you determine the average force on the pedals?
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Old 02-10-21, 09:25 AM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Thatís the heart of the question for which there isnít a clear answer. If that hour in the gym is for core work to prevent or eliminate back or neck issues then itís probably a good idea. If the 20hrs already includes a range of low and high intensity training then adding more high intensity training in the form of heavy lifting to build strength in your legs is likely to have a negative impact on the bike training.

The pros I follow are doing 25+ hrs/wk getting ready for the season now with plenty of tempo and threshold work. I see very little high intensity work on the bike and donít imagine they can afford to smash their legs in the gym doing heavy squats. So if they canít afford it while prepping for racing and they certainly wouldnít want to be doing it in the middle of racing season when exactly would a good time be for adding in strength training targeted at the legs?

For the recreational cyclist doing 5-10 hrs/wk of low to moderate intensity then yes I think targeted strength training involving heavy lifting could be beneficial. Numerous studies have looked at this question and found a positive response. None of the studies Iíve seen have compared the effects of strength training in the gym with HIIT on the bike. I suspect the answer to that is far less clear. Itís like asking which set of intervals is optimal for improving performance? There isnít a clear answer that works for everyone.

Personally, I prefer to do my high intensity work on the bike. If I want general fitness Iíve got a list of projects in my woodwork shop that all involve plenty of lifting for general fitness. Iím over 60 with about 10 yrs of power data. I can see where my high end has slowly declined. I suspect I could probably slow that decline doing 2 or 3 heavy lifting sessions a week but that would impact my riding and I prefer riding at this stage.
But that is exactly my point, some people here are very certain that their view is correct, but as you say, they simply cannot be. We don't have sufficient data on it.
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Old 02-10-21, 03:38 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Perhaps, but likely not as much as you think. Itís pretty easy for someone who hasnít been lifting to increase their strength by 20%. What do you think that 20% increase in strength would do for your 1 min power on the bike? Not much I suspect. Youíd be better off doing a block of HIIT on the bike.
Why not do both? Again I'll point out:


Every one of these guys is lifting, and lifting regularly.
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Old 02-10-21, 03:43 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
For those shorter efforts to be meaningful youíve got to be in the right position at the right time at the end of the race and if the training you did to improve the shorter efforts impacted your ability for the far more common longer efforts the extra strength you gained is moot.
Would increased strength help Mark Cavendish get to the right position with 200m to go? Strength is not his problem.
That's moving the goal posts somewhat since we weren't necessarily talking about a road race. But yes, it probably would help.
But, I'll point out from the linked article in the other thread, Sagan squats throughout the year. https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/pet...with-gym-work/
"During the season the squat is one of the preferred efforts. We do four sets of four efforts with an 80 or 90 per cent load, carefully controlling the speed is high."
Apparently the Bora-Hansgrohe people think it helps.
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Old 02-10-21, 03:51 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
You're conflating force (lbs) with power (W). Now I don't know if you're doing this to confuse the issue or you don't understand the difference, but as long as bikes have gears, power is what moves the bike forward and force is secondary. So ignoring the weight lifter who is only concerned with force and focusing on the cyclist, it is not self-evident that a higher maximum power leads to a higher five second (or any other duration) power. Seeing the variation in shape of power-duration curves for several riders makes this clear.

As a thought experiment, given a rider's 5 second power and no other information, how would you determine the average force on the pedals?
You do understand that there is a relationship between force and power right? Power is just force times velocity.

I mean, really, this whole post is to nonsensical to bother replying to in detail.
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Old 02-10-21, 03:52 PM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
You do understand that there is a relationship between force and power right? Power is just force times velocity.
Just? There's a lot of meaning in that little word - times.

Last edited by asgelle; 02-10-21 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 02-10-21, 06:12 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Is it though? If you have 20 hours already on the bike is hour 21 as beneficial as 1 hour in the gym would be?
Both would be detrimental if I had 20 hours already on the bike.

My recovery abilities are not world-tour level.
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Old 02-10-21, 06:13 PM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Wrong. Getting stronger would absolutely improve both my 1 and 1.5 minute power.


What's the other 50%? Where was the energy coming from for the first 3/4 of the race? Why do you think that doesn't count? Why are they bigger and stronger (and heavier) than 10k runners? What's the point of lugging that extra weight around?
No it wouldn't.

Anaerobic. Doesn't count? I didn't say it doesn't count. I said that within a minute most of your energy is produced AEROBICALLY. Strength has nothing to do with anything at that point.
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Old 02-10-21, 06:19 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
That's moving the goal posts somewhat since we weren't necessarily talking about a road race. But yes, it probably would help.
Cavendish doesn't think so.

In fact, he goes into great detail explaining how he saves every single ounce of energy possible in a race to ensure he can sprint as well as possible at the end of the race. He specifically states that no one is hitting max watts at the end of a road race.

It's all about how fresh you can get there. Aerobic abilities and race craft are what matter, strength stepped out of the equation 2 seconds after he clipped in and pushed off.
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Old 02-10-21, 06:22 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
But that is exactly my point, some people here are very certain that their view is correct, but as you say, they simply cannot be. We don't have sufficient data on it.


If only you could poll world tour cyclists for the last 20 years. Apparently doing that and including a dissertation-like explanation of the data collection process is the only way some of you will take real-life application over the inability of finding research papers dissecting the subject.

Maybe some of you can document all of the watts you gain with weight-lifting. As it stands, I'm the only person in this thread who has apparently done both and has wattage data from doing both, but that's inadmissible because it's not peer-reviewed.

No worries. This thread has run its course. Until next year, fellas.
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Old 02-10-21, 06:22 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Cavendish doesn't think so.

In fact, he goes into great detail explaining how he saves every single ounce of energy possible in a race to ensure he can sprint as well as possible at the end of the race. He specifically states that no one is hitting max watts at the end of a road race.

It's all about how fresh you can get there. Aerobic abilities and race craft are what matter, strength stepped out of the equation 2 seconds after he clipped in and pushed off.
higher power in losses probably due to poor positioning
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Old 02-10-21, 06:25 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
https://twitter.com/marcelkittel/sta...20608602750976 higher power in losses probably due to poor positioning
I'm going to go youtube binge sprint finishes, now!
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Old 02-10-21, 11:49 PM
  #149  
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If anyone in the above discussion had read the many studies I've posted, they'd know the answers to these mysteries. Science again. Scientists figure stuff out. The reason cyclists strength train (and they do) is because our muscles are very smart. All the fibers don't fire all the time. They all fire only under maximum strain, like a 1RM lift. Otherwise only enough fire to do what's necessary and the rest go along for the ride.

The type 1 fire first and the II fire as necessary. So if you have enough type 1 the II aren't necessary. If you strength train, you'll get enough 1 fibers. Climbers are talented in having a preponderance of 1, not much II. Sprinters have more II. It's not all talent, a lot of that's training. One trains differently for sprinting and climbing. There are pro sprinters who've decided to train more for GC and vice versa. We see that sprinters climb slowly, even back with the autobus on mountain stages. They need to climb only on their type 1 and they don't have a lot of that. They can't use the type II even on flat stages or they won't win the sprint. On mountain stages the type II don't do them much good because those fibers fatigue so quickly.

So strength training for road is about endurance, not strength really, though it does increase strength. The trick is not not use it. Just spin, keep the pedal force down, and fire as few fibers as possible until that final climb. Then the best trained and talented rider will win. Moderate weight training does little or nothing for strength or endurance.

Strength training for the road has nothing to do with FTP watts or VO2max as people have pointed out over and over. That's a straw man. We have good data on that. It's about aerobic ability. Which doesn't mean that strength trained cyclists don't TT faster. They do, but not because max watts are higher, just that endurance allows them to apply their watts for longer. It's endurance.

For sprinters, OTOH, especially track sprinters, watts are all about strength because sprinting is an anaerobic ability. I don't think it's possible to argue the opposite.

Heavy strength training trains all the fibers. That's why it works. Everyone notices that when they start strength work that their 1RM goes up quickly for a few weeks, then slows down. That's because at first it's a question of convincing all the fibers that they need to fire. They don't do that willingly. One can also get all the fibers to fire by training to exhaustion with less weight, but that takes more time and involves a higher TSS, which then reduces aerobic training, not as good.

We can see all this play out in every GT stage.

This year, no gym and I can't get dumbbells to do the same thing, so I've been strength training on the bike, inside the PT parameters. It's working. I'm noticeably stronger every week, i.e. have more endurance at high loads. Another 3 weeks of this and I can start doing longer Z5 intervals.
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Old 02-11-21, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post


If only you could poll world tour cyclists for the last 20 years. Apparently doing that and including a dissertation-like explanation of the data collection process is the only way some of you will take real-life application over the inability of finding research papers dissecting the subject.

Maybe some of you can document all of the watts you gain with weight-lifting. As it stands, I'm the only person in this thread who has apparently done both and has wattage data from doing both, but that's inadmissible because it's not peer-reviewed.

No worries. This thread has run its course. Until next year, fellas.
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