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Does endurance weight lifting help?

Old 11-23-23, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I switched to riding tandem with my wife outdoors (~half my watts/kg). That worked like a charm. It's not the speed - we've hit 65 mph on the tandem, cruise on the flat at 18 in camp touring trim - it's the amount of time spent climbing at the same effort, plus there's something a little mysterious about the pedal effort. We started in '07. I'd done my first mountain 400 around then. Our first real ride was only 20 miles, but my legs got exhausted just by that little ride. I tell ya, there's nothing like it for building muscular endurance. Don't know why really, but I speculate that it's something to do with having to hold the effort all the way around the pedal circle. Similarly, one could go out on group rides on one's Surly with panniers loaded, say 40-50 lbs. should do it. And you have to live in a hilly area, no choice but to ride a lot of hills. A rider who'd later be the fastest American on RAAM used to come out with my group towing his lab in a trailer, same kind of thing. Just riding a heavy steel bike won't do it, not by a long shot. I take my carbon single on the big mountain rides. We used to take the tandem, but Stoker has given that up, not a fan of pain and nothing left to prove.

I think the new feminine perspective has something to do with today's vanishing tandem teams and tandem sales. We used to see more tandems out on the road than we see today. Now everyone wants to control their own destiny. Imagine that! Still, I encourage couples to give it a try. It's a relationship accelerator and time is short.
I still see quite a few tandems here in the UK. There are always a few on century event rides and there is a youngish couple who ride locally.

Our local riding is full of steep climbs, so no shortage of resistance training. I also find ERG mode on my indoor trainer particularly punishing compared to holding the same power outdoors or even in slope sim mode on the trainer.

Then of course there’s mountain biking, although I don’t really find the extra bike weight or increased rolling resistance makes it any harder. You just go slower.
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Old 11-23-23, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I switched to riding tandem with my wife outdoors (~half my watts/kg). That worked like a charm. It's not the speed - we've hit 65 mph on the tandem, cruise on the flat at 18 in camp touring trim - it's the amount of time spent climbing at the same effort, plus there's something a little mysterious about the pedal effort. We started in '07. I'd done my first mountain 400 around then. Our first real ride was only 20 miles, but my legs got exhausted just by that little ride. I tell ya, there's nothing like it for building muscular endurance. Don't know why really, but I speculate that it's something to do with having to hold the effort all the way around the pedal circle. Similarly, one could go out on group rides on one's Surly with panniers loaded, say 40-50 lbs. should do it. And you have to live in a hilly area, no choice but to ride a lot of hills. A rider who'd later be the fastest American on RAAM used to come out with my group towing his lab in a trailer, same kind of thing. Just riding a heavy steel bike won't do it, not by a long shot. I take my carbon single on the big mountain rides. We used to take the tandem, but Stoker has given that up, not a fan of pain and nothing left to prove.

I think the new feminine perspective has something to do with today's vanishing tandem teams and tandem sales. We used to see more tandems out on the road than we see today. Now everyone wants to control their own destiny. Imagine that! Still, I encourage couples to give it a try. It's a relationship accelerator and time is short.
The reasons are fairly well understood for decades at the cellular level… when the muscle biopsies from sprinters were compared to the long distance runners, there were unmistakable differences in the muscle fibers and mitochondrial counts per muscle cell. A long distance bicyclist is going to be more like a long distance runner.

Increasing muscle mass and strength is useful in a burst of effort when needed, but that alone will not help in a day long ride if your muscles are not trained well enough for insurance.
I am tempted to read that lactate threshold publication to see how the experiment was designed and precisely what was measured and how. 😉
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Old 11-23-23, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I still see quite a few tandems here in the UK. There are always a few on century event rides and there is a youngish couple who ride locally.

Our local riding is full of steep climbs, so no shortage of resistance training. I also find ERG mode on my indoor trainer particularly punishing compared to holding the same power outdoors or even in slope sim mode on the trainer.

Then of course there’s mountain biking, although I don’t really find the extra bike weight or increased rolling resistance makes it any harder. You just go slower.
Yes, I suppose it could be something like erg mode on a small flywheel trainer. On our tandem, when I push down on the pedal, the bike simply doesn't accelerate noticeably. That little bit of easier in every pedal stroke doesn't seem to exist. I've found that to be helpful, maybe sorta like several straight hours of erg mode except it's fun. We have hills here too, but normally I create routes with about 50'/mile. Normal English countryside must be a little hillier. One of our riders recently returned from a north to south ride on your island. She said it was about 1000 miles and 60,000' of climbing. She's in her late 60s and quite a strong rider. Had a great time, rode in the rain rather than take the sag. She's from here, so no big deal.
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Old 11-23-23, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Yes, I suppose it could be something like erg mode on a small flywheel trainer. On our tandem, when I push down on the pedal, the bike simply doesn't accelerate noticeably. That little bit of easier in every pedal stroke doesn't seem to exist. I've found that to be helpful, maybe sorta like several straight hours of erg mode except it's fun. We have hills here too, but normally I create routes with about 50'/mile. Normal English countryside must be a little hillier. One of our riders recently returned from a north to south ride on your island. She said it was about 1000 miles and 60,000' of climbing. She's in her late 60s and quite a strong rider. Had a great time, rode in the rain rather than take the sag. She's from here, so no big deal.
English countryside varies enormously from fairly flat, to rolling hills to viciously steep climbs. I can create routes from 50 ft/mile up to 130 ft/mile average. It just depends on which range of hills I choose.
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Old 11-23-23, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
The reasons are fairly well understood for decades at the cellular level… when the muscle biopsies from sprinters were compared to the long distance runners, there were unmistakable differences in the muscle fibers and mitochondrial counts per muscle cell. A long distance bicyclist is going to be more like a long distance runner.

Increasing muscle mass and strength is useful in a burst of effort when needed, but that alone will not help in a day long ride if your muscles are not trained well enough for insurance.
I am tempted to read that lactate threshold publication to see how the experiment was designed and precisely what was measured and how. 😉
If you know what you're doing, strength training won't increase muscle mass much, if at all. Muscle mass increases from increasing calories. The object of strength training for endurance athletes is to recruit more muscle fibers, not to increase muscle mass by very much. It's effective. There are studies out there which verify that.
https://sa1s3.patientpop.com/assets/docs/22597.pdf

Folks new to strength training commonly find that their max weight increases quite quickly for the first 6 months or so, much more quickly than muscle mass could increase. I suppose one could call it conditioning, but what's happening is fiber recruitment, training the nervous system. The more fibers one recruits, the lower the stress on each fiber. This extends time to exhaustion.
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Old 11-23-23, 07:32 PM
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I train for speed and race road and track. I had a coach that thought putting a water bottle full of lead pellet and then doing 3 mile 7.2% grade climbs increased strength. Prior to power meters, it certainly made a climb more challenging but also made the bike handle differently on the descent. This was specific training that lasted maybe a week or two. I found it meh.

And if one holds the speed the same with the lead filled water bottle, torque, at the same cadence, increases. So adding weight to the bike can fine tune the torque at a particular cadence.

I am more of a dress rehearsal guy. Train the way one is going to race. Showing up at event without proper testing of the race setup is not a good strategy.

I find ERG mode on the smart trainer punishing. And as a result, I am not sure what to make of it and how it is impacting training. When I am training at the velodrome with my coach and getting lap times, that is more meaningful.

My wife and I have been riding and racing tandems since 1980 and we have taken ours to Europe and other destinations and climbing some of the more difficult climbs. Climbing on a tandem is about the combined power to weight ratio of the team less any team inefficiencies - the cadence is to slow or to fast for one of the members. The other trick is to get the stoker into the game at the right time and not late in applying power. I put my stoker in early when I see a climb coming that way the tandem does not slow down and it is easier to keep the speed up longer. The stoker cannot see ahead and anticipate the terrain.

But tandem riders do complain about the tandem being harder to pedal climbing. It may be for many teams for many reasons. The most simple explanation is the head of one of the team's members is not in the game or that he/she is unwilling to suffer AS MUCH as the other.
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Old 11-23-23, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
If you know what you're doing, strength training won't increase muscle mass much, if at all. Muscle mass increases from increasing calories. The object of strength training for endurance athletes is to recruit more muscle fibers, not to increase muscle mass by very much. It's effective.
Agreed!
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Old 11-23-23, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes
I train for speed and race road and track. I had a coach that thought putting a water bottle full of lead pellet and then doing 3 mile 7.2% grade climbs increased strength. Prior to power meters, it certainly made a climb more challenging but also made the bike handle differently on the descent. This was specific training that lasted maybe a week or two. I found it meh.

And if one holds the speed the same with the lead filled water bottle, torque, at the same cadence, increases. So adding weight to the bike can fine tune the torque at a particular cadence.

I am more of a dress rehearsal guy. Train the way one is going to race. Showing up at event without proper testing of the race setup is not a good strategy.

I find ERG mode on the smart trainer punishing. And as a result, I am not sure what to make of it and how it is impacting training. When I am training at the velodrome with my coach and getting lap times, that is more meaningful.

My wife and I have been riding and racing tandems since 1980 and we have taken ours to Europe and other destinations and climbing some of the more difficult climbs. Climbing on a tandem is about the combined power to weight ratio of the team less any team inefficiencies - the cadence is to slow or to fast for one of the members. The other trick is to get the stoker into the game at the right time and not late in applying power. I put my stoker in early when I see a climb coming that way the tandem does not slow down and it is easier to keep the speed up longer. The stoker cannot see ahead and anticipate the terrain.

But tandem riders do complain about the tandem being harder to pedal climbing. It may be for many teams for many reasons. The most simple explanation is the head of one of the team's members is not in the game or that he/she is unwilling to suffer AS MUCH as the other.
Agree. However the more usual thing I see, and I hesitate to call it a problem, is that the power to weight ratio of a female stoker is more often less than than of the male captain. Thus the tandem climbs at their average, not the captain's usual rate, i.e. it is "slow." Your team is rather a special case. There's a team we ride with where the stoker is the instigator. They're both very athletic, but they still climb more slowly than the captain on his single. The Femmes Tour is not as quick as the men's by quite a bit, especially considering the cube rule for speed and power..

We use HRMs. Stoker and I both see my HR, I don't see hers. Having a smaller heart, she sets her HR 5-10 beats above mine. I have quite a lag in HR vs. power, so like you say, I have to ask her for some extra at the bottom of a climb. I wish we had power pedals because that would take care of that issue, but the pedals cost plus the cost of another head unit is more than I feel like spending on that minor issue. We love riding the tandem anyway. We rode RAMROD on it in 2015, when I was 69 and she was 65. We figured that was as late as we could do it and still finish within the 15 hour time limit. I ride it on my single about 1-1/2 hours faster.. On the flat, our tandem is at least as fast as my single.
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Old 11-24-23, 12:26 AM
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About lactic acid publication

Now about this study from Maryland…

Reading past the abstract shows some obvious issues:
  1. The study is based on a small, non-equal number and unevenly distributed individuals in the two groups. The exercise group has 10 subjects; the control group has 8. Tow in the former exercised on a routine basis prior to the study.
  2. By every measure shown in the data, distribution of individuals in two groups is non-random, in other words biased.

Let’s see some of the information in the table 1.



Training group Control group

Before training. After training Before training After training

Weight, kg 78±16 79±16 79±8. 79±8

Fat, % 18±10 17±9 20±4 19±5

Fat free weight, kg 64.5±8.0 65.8±9.3 64±5. 64±5

[All decimals are rounded to the whole numbers, except the fat free weight.]
[There is a note in the publication that due to the failure of a machine one of the parameters was measured only on 5 exercise and 6 control samples.]

Observations:
There is a distinctly larger intra-group variation in numbers in exercise group, as reflected by much larger SD.
In a small group size, this serves to reduce the statistical significance in differences in two sets of conditions (pre- and post-exercise, in this case), should they happen. For example, after exercise, there was a loss of 1% fat and gain in 1.3% muscle mass. Because the group is chosen (purposely?) with a large variation between individuals, this difference might not register as significant. The pre-exercise SD for weight, fat, and fat free weight are 16, 10, and 8, respectively. In the control group these numbers are much smaller (no more than half). This is far from random selection of subjects in two groups - it seems to be designed to make the numbers about loss in fat and gain in muscle mass seem insignificant.

As for the reduction in lactic acid, measured after equal work between the two groups, who do you suppose would find easier to perform a certain fixed amount of exercise - a person who gained 1.3% active muscle mass through training and losing 1% body fat or the one who didn’t?

Extra muscle mass that is already conditioned also provides the added benefit of converting larger amount of lactic acid into glycogen, leaving less in the blood. Observed numbers are not surprising but authors’ conclusion may well be incorrect.

The authors should have been asked by the reviewers to take care of obvious problems before accepting it for publication.

Moral of the story: don’t fall for the advertisements (abstracts), dig a little deeper!

Last edited by Alan K; 11-24-23 at 12:39 AM. Reason: Fixing the table
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Old 11-24-23, 12:44 AM
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In spite of introducing spaces between numbers, I cannot format the them to look more presentable (table)... something to do with how the forum text works.
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Old 11-24-23, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I can safely say I haven’t reached those upper limits yet on a bicycle!
Interesting thing about laws of Physics... speed, momentum, force, a person going splat on the immobile and unyielding hard cement.... is that they do not change for anyone, regardless of their delusions.
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Old 11-24-23, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
Interesting thing about laws of Physics... speed, momentum, force, a person going splat on the immobile and unyielding hard cement.... is that they do not change for anyone, regardless of their delusions.
So if I climb a steep hill on a nice lightweight bike at say 12 kph vs say 10 kph on a cheap, heavy bike, the consequences of falling off will be so much worse on the lighter bike right? Then what about the descent, where there actually might be some significant risk? Which bike will have the better handling and braking performance?

If you need a heavy, slow bike to ensure your road safety, then you might want to consider a stationary bike instead

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Old 11-24-23, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes

And if one holds the speed the same with the lead filled water bottle, torque, at the same cadence, increases. So adding weight to the bike can fine tune the torque at a particular cadence.
That's what gear ratios are for. The only real difference with the lead filled water bottle is a lower climbing speed for a given power output. That and a negative effect on handling as you mentioned. It would also make the climb effectively longer due to the lower speed. Or another way of looking at it is that it makes the climb effectively steeper. As you say, it's all a bit meh.
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Old 11-24-23, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
Increasing muscle mass and strength is useful in a burst of effort when needed, but that alone will not help in a day long ride if your muscles are not trained well enough for insurance (endurance).
Granted, someone who has only done strength training is not going to have very good endurance.

But for trained endurance athletes, the endurance performance improvements from strength training are pretty well established. The improvements for older athletes appear to be even greater.
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Old 11-24-23, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
That's what gear ratios are for. The only real difference with the lead filled water bottle is a lower climbing speed for a given power output. That and a negative effect on handling as you mentioned. It would also make the climb effectively longer due to the lower speed. Or another way of looking at it is that it makes the climb effectively steeper. As you say, it's all a bit meh.
Exactly. All assertions that increases in bike weight will result in a harder workout ignore the role that gearing plays in riding a bike. Of the two geared bikes I rode most for the past season, one was an 18-pound 20-speed road bike (with an aero bar, so closer to 20 pounds), and the other was a flat-bar hybrid that, with aero bar, fenders, front rack, and panniers, weighs close to 40 pounds.

I used both for my usual training rides, which were usually between 3 and 4 hours in length. Power and heart rate numbers on the same terrain were very close, as would be expected for an experienced cyclist setting out to do a given workout level. The only difference was that I covered more ground for the same riding time with the lighter bike.
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Old 11-24-23, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Exactly. All assertions that increases in bike weight will result in a harder workout ignore the role that gearing plays in riding a bike. Of the two geared bikes I rode most for the past season, one was an 18-pound 20-speed road bike (with an aero bar, so closer to 20 pounds), and the other was a flat-bar hybrid that, with aero bar, fenders, front rack, and panniers, weighs close to 40 pounds.

I used both for my usual training rides, which were usually between 3 and 4 hours in length. Power and heart rate numbers on the same terrain were very close, as would be expected for an experienced cyclist setting out to do a given workout level. The only difference was that I covered more ground for the same riding time with the lighter bike.
Perhaps it is my limited communication abilities that are failing me when I made a remark about a heavier bike and/or introducing more friction in the system to force the experienced rider to push himself beyond his existing limit - I assumed that it should be obvious to anyone that in any such an "experiment" a person would fully understand that he can cannot change two variables simultaneously where one negates the effect of the other. In this scenario - heavier bike, using lower gear, reducing the distance and achieving the same output - why would anyone even remotely expect a different outcome!

The point of weight/friction was to introduce extra effort for some highly experienced and well-trained individual who can already literally fly (by mere mortals standards) on the road reaching peak of their physical ability to turn the crank. For such individuals, there are only two solutions, change the front ring to the largest they can find and go even faster, or introduce weight and friction in this picture... all else remains constant! [Without getting into boring fake bicycles that go no where. ]

All else being constant, the weight/friction mode will allow for training beyond what was possible without the potential dangers of very high speed accidents, should they ever happen. [I do realize that some expert will pipe up essentially claiming that they are too much an expert to have accidents and they have never had any; well, even if they haven't thus far, doesn't mean that they will never have it in future].... and this is when the basic Physics comes into play, road, man in latex going at 30+ miles/hr versus another on a cheapie going at 12MPH - both go splat for some magical reason, who is more likely to need less or no help?

I also know that we get used to our light and nice bikes that cost thousands - and it would seem absurd to an owner of multiple such bikes to even entertain the idea to ride a cheapie to build endurance. As solution to take care of this stigma, perhaps someone should design a concoction for them that can be packed into their wheel hubs around axels that will resist axel rotation, proportionate to the speed of rotation (analogous to a colloidal suspension). Different versions could be made for varying resistance. Heat could be easily dissipated by aluminum fins on the body of the hub.
This is all doable... all we need is a nice name and marketing gimmick supported by "science a la de jour" so the expert riders would be willing to pay $500 per hub and then they would be much happier being seen with such bikes... going only 12-15 miles/hr. At least they as others around them will be safer.

Just a thought!
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Old 11-24-23, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Granted, someone who has only done strength training is not going to have very good endurance.

But for trained endurance athletes, the endurance performance improvements from strength training are pretty well established. The improvements for older athletes appear to be even greater.

I definitely like that (even when I don't consider myself an athlete)!
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Old 11-24-23, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
Perhaps it is my limited communication abilities that are failing me when I made a remark about a heavier bike and/or introducing more friction in the system to force the experienced rider to push himself beyond his existing limit - I assumed that it should be obvious to anyone that in any such an "experiment" a person would fully understand that he can cannot change two variables simultaneously where one negates the effect of the other. In this scenario - heavier bike, using lower gear, reducing the distance and achieving the same output - why would anyone even remotely expect a different outcome!

The point of weight/friction was to introduce extra effort for some highly experienced and well-trained individual who can already literally fly (by mere mortals standards) on the road reaching peak of their physical ability to turn the crank. For such individuals, there are only two solutions, change the front ring to the largest they can find and go even faster, or introduce weight and friction in this picture... all else remains constant! [Without getting into boring fake bicycles that go no where. ]

All else being constant, the weight/friction mode will allow for training beyond what was possible without the potential dangers of very high speed accidents, should they ever happen. [I do realize that some expert will pipe up essentially claiming that they are too much an expert to have accidents and they have never had any; well, even if they haven't thus far, doesn't mean that they will never have it in future].... and this is when the basic Physics comes into play, road, man in latex going at 30+ miles/hr versus another on a cheapie going at 12MPH - both go splat for some magical reason, who is more likely to need less or no help?

I also know that we get used to our light and nice bikes that cost thousands - and it would seem absurd to an owner of multiple such bikes to even entertain the idea to ride a cheapie to build endurance. As solution to take care of this stigma, perhaps someone should design a concoction for them that can be packed into their wheel hubs around axels that will resist axel rotation, proportionate to the speed of rotation (analogous to a colloidal suspension). Different versions could be made for varying resistance. Heat could be easily dissipated by aluminum fins on the body of the hub.
This is all doable... all we need is a nice name and marketing gimmick supported by "science a la de jour" so the expert riders would be willing to pay $500 per hub and then they would be much happier being seen with such bikes... going only 12-15 miles/hr. At least they as others around them will be safer.

Just a thought!
This is garbage on so many levels it’s well beyond my patience to address.
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Old 11-24-23, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by neverquit
Ah! you're so right! I'm always the last guy in, or they're all waiting on me at the top of the hill. That's why i've decided to do leg strengthening during this off season. And thank you for the encourgement.
Since this is not the over 50 forum, I'll assume you're younger than that. So when I was in my late 50s, I'd go to an hour of spin class at my gym at 5:00 and work as hard as I could for an hour, good bit of time at max effort with rests between typical of a spin class and THEN I'd hit the weight room and do my usual workout. Oddly enough, my performance in the weight room was not degraded at all by spin class. My take on it was that it's different energy systems. Spin class is aerobic, gym is anaerobic. I did get to being a pretty good sprinter. Anyway, never take the winter off from riding. I use resistance rollers for indoor rides, most folks have some sort of trainer they can throw their road bike on if the weather's not suitable for outdoor riding.

For me, two gym workouts, an hour each, were about all I needed to balance my aerobic work. In summer, I'd cut that back to one gym workout.
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Old 11-25-23, 10:03 AM
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Thanks Carbonfiberboy for getting the discussion back on track "Does Endurance Weight Lifting Help".

A simple, or not so simple due to the complex mechanisms in the human body to make ATP, way to understand how to increase endurance in the gym is to look at the three energy producing systems: aerobic, glycolytic and ATP/PC and the role that strength training plays to develop each system. Of the three systems, the ATP / PC gets the most use in the gym. Humans store approximately 2-3 seconds of ATP in their muscles. If we have to move quickly, we have instant energy. The aerobic / glycolytic systems are too slow.

After a couple of seconds and if more movement especially at higher force is required, phosphate creatine is turned into ATP providing us with an addition 4 to 5 seconds of a lot of ATP without requiring the glycolytic or aerobic systems. Now the question is how many reps per set and the speed of the reps and the amount of rest between sets. All three systems work together and the aerobic system starts with the first rep but the party is over by the time oxygen from the lungs shows up to the muscles being used. The same is similar for glycolysis. But it shows up to the party but most of the work is done and it continues after ATP / PC is exhausted. Upon completion of the set of bench presses or back squats, ones breathing and heart rate are elevated and fatigue is felt in the muscles.

Was glycolysis the major contributing system in the first set? No. What about the next set? That depends on the rest period. The aerobic and glycolytic systems recover rapidly whereas the ATP / PC, although a prodigious supplier of ATP is very slow to recovery. So without enough rest, the second and succeeding set become harder and harder and the level of effort feels harder even though the weight is the same. There is less PC to generate ATP. Power lifters may only do a couple of reps at high weights and then sit down for minutes. And after the workout is over they are drinking their creatine cocktail.

So how does the endurance cyclist use the three systems to his/her advantage in the gym. Increase reps, increase sets and reduce rest and reduce weight. This will shift the load to the glycolytic and aerobic systems and diminish the use of the phosphate creatine system. Muscles get stronger, maybe heavier but more fatigue resistant.

The other way to use the gym for the endurance cyclist is to use the PC system and lift heavy with few reps and sets and add more recovery between sets. This will help with sprint and anaerobic power. Not so sure about improved aerobic capability. Now if one adds bike intervals POST lifting then there will be an aerobic benefit plus the added muscle strength. There is no easy way to shorten the workout and generate aerobic benefit.

The above is my very fast non technical analysis. If someone with credentials has a better or more correct way of explaining this please do.

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Old 11-25-23, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
Perhaps it is my limited communication abilities that are failing me when I made a remark about a heavier bike and/or introducing more friction in the system to force the experienced rider to push himself beyond his existing limit - I assumed that it should be obvious to anyone that in any such an "experiment" a person would fully understand that he can cannot change two variables simultaneously where one negates the effect of the other. In this scenario - heavier bike, using lower gear, reducing the distance and achieving the same output - why would anyone even remotely expect a different outcome!

The point of weight/friction was to introduce extra effort for some highly experienced and well-trained individual who can already literally fly (by mere mortals standards) on the road reaching peak of their physical ability to turn the crank. For such individuals, there are only two solutions, change the front ring to the largest they can find and go even faster, or introduce weight and friction in this picture... all else remains constant! [Without getting into boring fake bicycles that go no where. ]

All else being constant, the weight/friction mode will allow for training beyond what was possible without the potential dangers of very high speed accidents, should they ever happen. [I do realize that some expert will pipe up essentially claiming that they are too much an expert to have accidents and they have never had any; well, even if they haven't thus far, doesn't mean that they will never have it in future].... and this is when the basic Physics comes into play, road, man in latex going at 30+ miles/hr versus another on a cheapie going at 12MPH - both go splat for some magical reason, who is more likely to need less or no help?

I also know that we get used to our light and nice bikes that cost thousands - and it would seem absurd to an owner of multiple such bikes to even entertain the idea to ride a cheapie to build endurance. As solution to take care of this stigma, perhaps someone should design a concoction for them that can be packed into their wheel hubs around axels that will resist axel rotation, proportionate to the speed of rotation (analogous to a colloidal suspension). Different versions could be made for varying resistance. Heat could be easily dissipated by aluminum fins on the body of the hub.
This is all doable... all we need is a nice name and marketing gimmick supported by "science a la de jour" so the expert riders would be willing to pay $500 per hub and then they would be much happier being seen with such bikes... going only 12-15 miles/hr. At least they as others around them will be safer.

Just a thought!
I am trying to find something positive to say about this post but I am speechless. My advice is to stay on topic. If you do strength training in the gym for endurance on the bike, what is your experience. You tried it and it increased your endurance or you tried it and it was the same. That is where the most value is added. You seem to have a different agenda. You can always start a thread about whatever the topic is in the above post.
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Old 11-25-23, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes
The above is my very fast non technical analysis. If someone with credentials has a better or more correct way of explaining this please do.
No credentials here, but I have an honorary doctorate in search engine abuse.

Several papers have studied the effects of strength training on endurance performance. Unfortunately, they rarely examine the effect of different strength training protocols (high weight/low reps, medium weight/medium reps, low weight/high reps).

A personal favorite paper, because it looks at older athletes (although it used only one strength training protocol): Louis et al, Strength training improves cycling efficiency in master endurance athletes, 2012.

Test subjects did 3 knee extension exercise training sessions per week for 3 weeks, 10 sets of 10 reps per session at 70% of one repetition maximum (medium-ish weight/medium reps).

Results: Maximal strength increase in both groups, masters closed the strength gap to youngs from 17.9% to 7.8%. Improvement in cycling efficiency, masters eliminated the efficiency gap to youngs from 10.7% to 0%). Masters also decreased their heart and breathing rates at the same power.

This paper, Stone et al, Strength/Endurance Effects from Three Resistance Training Protocols With Women, 1994, tested high weight/low reps, medium weight/medium reps, and low weight/high reps.

Results: All protocols produce some strength gains, but endurance gains were much larger than strength gains. Low weight/high reps produced the most increase in absolute muscular endurance (number of reps they could do to failure).

Endurance gains:
high weight/low rep. 84.3%
medium weigh/low rep. 80.1%
low weight/high rep. 137.4%

The training:
high weight/low rep. 3 sets of 6-8 reps
medium weight/low rep. 2 sets of 15-20 reps
low weight/high rep. 1 set of 30-40 reps

The Take Aways:

Strength training good for:
  • muscular endurance
  • maximum sprint power
  • older athletes especially
Low weight/high reps better for:
  • muscular endurance
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Old 11-25-23, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
<snip>

Endurance gains:
high weight/low rep. 84.3%
medium weigh/low rep. 80.1%
low weight/high rep. 137.4%

The training:
high weight/low rep. 3 sets of 6-8 reps
medium weight/low rep. 2 sets of 15-20 reps
low weight/high rep. 1 set of 30-40 reps

The Take Aways:

Strength training good for:
  • muscular endurance
  • maximum sprint power
  • older athletes especially
Low weight/high reps better for:
  • muscular endurance
I've been strength training combined with endurance cycling training for 23 years, 55y.o to 78 y.o.. Strength training was and is effective. In order to reduce the chance of injury, my first two years I did 3 sets of 30, all the same weight, enough weight that I could not quite complete the 3rd set. When I could do 30 on that last set, I increased the weight. This is quite similar to one of your posted studies.

However 3 sets of 30 of a full-body workout took too much time for my wife, so when we started strength training together, we changed to 3 sets of 10-12 reps, increasing the weight on each set so as not to promote injuries. The last set was done at the max weight for that rep range, the commonest protocol used for strength training. Thus I've had a taste of both protocols. I didn't notice a difference in endurance when I changed protocols, which doesn't mean much other than I didn't lose endurance. Strength training did influence my endurance. On short rides of say 60 miles, 3000', I'd get dropped on all the hills by folks 10-15 years younger. But on a 400k, I became comparatively stronger as the event wore on, toward the end catching and dropping younger riders on the hills. Of course the young Talented riders were way ahead. I'm talking about the usual run of experienced riders, and I was only in my early 60s. The largest category of DNF riders on PBP are over 70, though of course we don't know how many of them do endurance strength training.
Links to PDFs of Terry's above posted studies:
https://paulogentil.com/pdf/S15.pdf
https://insep.hal.science/hal-018352...iency%20in.pdf
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Old 11-26-23, 10:03 AM
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terrymorse Do you strength train to improve cycling endurance? What is your result? There is no right or wrong answer to either question.

I was looking for a more fundamental discussion versus an empirical result concluded from tests. A very basic understanding of the fundamental manner in which we produce energy might be more revealing.

Based upon the studies you posted, it seems like the first coach (discussed in a previous post) that I used who had a cycling gym where I could do 10 sets of 10-15 reps on the pedal stroke using machines followed by immediately riding the bike would have the most benefit. A key exercise in the circuit was the leg press. I had to do ten reps and on the last rep hold the weight for one minute. The coach was there with a watch timing my effort. The first time through the circuit, I did not think I could hold the leg press for a minute. It was brutal. And I had nine circuits to go. You know what, I did it. Some where I found the strength and energy. I did that workout twice per week and worked my way up to 10 sets of 15 reps. And yes, my strength and long term power increased under that program.

Did all the cyclists in the program do the weight circuit? No. Some refused. Why? Unknown. Maybe they read on a forum that strength training was bad. I think they did not want the coach in their face when they were in the circuit. It is a lot different to have someone pushing you and timing you with a stop watch versus in the gym sort of doing what feels right.
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Old 11-26-23, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes
terrymorse Do you strength train to improve cycling endurance? What is your result? There is no right or wrong answer to either question.
I did a few weeks of strength training (squats and lunges with dumbbells) last winter, when the weather was really bad and I wasn't cycling. It appeared to have a beneficial effect on leg endurance when I finally got back on the road. My highest max power numbers for the year were set back in March, a few weeks weeks after I got back on the road.

I haven't kept up the strength training, and my max power numbers have slipped a bit. My legs are the first things to go on short (2-3 minute) VO2max efforts.

Given the positive results from the winter, I think I'll continue strength training through the year.
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