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Does endurance weight lifting help?

Old 12-16-23, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
For every study that find a marginal gain of some measure from strength training, there is another study that shows no gain. In other words, unclear.

Just one example (Philander 2015):

"Contrary to our hypothesis, the results demonstrate that concurrent [strength] training does not enhance muscle aerobic capacity and endurance performance in cyclists."

From (Rønnestad 2014):

VO2max: "There is little evidence that strength training should be the primary training mode to improve VO2max, and only a trivial effect of concurrent strength and endurance training on VO2max compared to endurance training alone in trained cyclists."

Economy: "[D]ivergent findings are evident on whether performing heavy strength training together with ordinary endurance training improves cycling economy."

Lactate threshold (running): "Since the majority of studies reported improved running economy in response to a period of concurrent strength and endurance training in endurance-trained individuals, it would be reasonable to expect an improvement in the exercise velocity or intensity associated with the lactate threshold...However, the endurance training literature comprises equivocal findings."

Endurance: "The traditional way of measuring cycling performance is time trialing lasting between 30 and 60 min. However, the effects of strength training are contradictory with studies variously showing either improvements or a trivial effect...Not all studies, however, have reported that concurrent training results in superior endurance performance, especially in males"

Not the ringing endorsement of strength training for endurance cyclists.
It's much easier to sell yourself on strength training based on its general life enhancing effects way beyond endurance cycling. Especially in our later years. Strength training doesn't appear to have any downsides.
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Old 12-16-23, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
It's much easier to sell yourself on strength training based on its general life enhancing effects way beyond endurance cycling. Especially in our later years. Strength training doesn't appear to have any downsides.
Agreed, the general health benefits of strength training are well established. The benefits for endurance cycling, not as clear.
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Old 12-16-23, 12:49 PM
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IMO, does xyz strength training protocol improve endurance is looking at strength training the wrong way. And equally, relegating it to better health underserves its potential benefit.

I speculate that a strength training period each season sets up the endurance training protocol for a better chance of success. Let's assume two cyclists of similar ability and age start a set of endurance training blocks leading up to an A event. One cyclist completes a strength training program preceding the start of the endurance program. I think the strength work will result in improved endurance performance during the training block with less chance of injury.

I would also go with more weight and less reps and focus on strength versus endurance. Why? I would not want to carry a lot of fatigue from multiple sets and reps in the gym into the endurance blocks. More strength and muscle activation due to lifting heavier will pay more dividends in the endurance block with less fatigue going in.

Of course one could design a small study to see if that is really true and the results could be true for that small study group but may not be generalizable to the population at large.

For me energy is a zero sum game. The more energy I use in the gym the less I have for the bike. So if I am going to do strength training with the exclusive goal of increasing aerobic performance then I have to be judicious with how much energy I use in the gym.
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Old 12-26-23, 12:29 PM
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I cam across another study which might shed some light on the subject of endurance strength training::
https://www.academia.edu/27624415/Ef...ard=view-paper

This is Nordic skiing, not cycling, but that doesn't matter. The interesting part is that 3' strength intervals worked unexpectedly well compared to 30" intervals. The authors postulate that this might be due to an increase in the aerobic contribution to the interval power. So maybe that's why a high rep strength set works so well and why there might be an endurance benefit. My 1 RM has very noticeably increased since I started doing the single 30-40 rep sets to exhaustion, compared to my recent results with 3 sets of 12.. It does take a little will power to gut out those long sets. My sets are usually about 2' long, shorter than the 3' sets in the study.

Those currently doing strength training might give this a try for a month, see what happens and report back.
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Old 12-26-23, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
For every study that find a marginal gain of some measure from strength training, there is another study that shows no gain. In other words, unclear.

Just one example (Philander 2015):

"Contrary to our hypothesis, the results demonstrate that concurrent [strength] training does not enhance muscle aerobic capacity and endurance performance in cyclists."

From (Rønnestad 2014):

VO2max: "There is little evidence that strength training should be the primary training mode to improve VO2max, and only a trivial effect of concurrent strength and endurance training on VO2max compared to endurance training alone in trained cyclists."

Economy: "[D]ivergent findings are evident on whether performing heavy strength training together with ordinary endurance training improves cycling economy."

Lactate threshold (running): "Since the majority of studies reported improved running economy in response to a period of concurrent strength and endurance training in endurance-trained individuals, it would be reasonable to expect an improvement in the exercise velocity or intensity associated with the lactate threshold...However, the endurance training literature comprises equivocal findings."

Endurance: "The traditional way of measuring cycling performance is time trialing lasting between 30 and 60 min. However, the effects of strength training are contradictory with studies variously showing either improvements or a trivial effect...Not all studies, however, have reported that concurrent training results in superior endurance performance, especially in males"

Not the ringing endorsement of strength training for endurance cyclists.
OTOH, the authors of this paper give plenty of reasons why their study might not show the improvement in endurance shown by other studies. It is true that these adaptations take time. I didn't see serious improvements in endurance from strength training for a couple years. It also took a couple years for the strength work to get serious results in the gym, which might have something to do with the former.
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Old 12-26-23, 10:02 PM
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and another study, but not of endurance strength training particularly:
https://www.academia.edu/21588081
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Old 12-28-23, 10:19 AM
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And another study, this one on preventing one's cadence from dropping on long rides: https://www.academia.edu/24761321
Ms. Couturier has written many papers on cycling which look interesting..
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Old 12-28-23, 11:04 AM
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Old 05-09-24, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
One more post on this subject from me. I read the endurance lifting studies and put them into practice for the past few weeks. My wife and I have been doing 2 gym workouts/week, one focusing on pulling, the other on pushing, but not exclusively, for instance for legs one day of dumbbell deadlifts and the other barbell squats and leg sled. We're doing one set of 30-40 to exhaustion as described in a study. We find a weight for a particular lift with which we can just barely do about 30 reps and then use that same weight each week until we can do 40, then raise the weight the next week. It took a couple weeks of experimenting to find just the right weight for each lift. We are getting results in the weight room much more quickly than I expected. Whether or not we'll see those results on the bike remains to be seen. It's been raining most days here and we haven't been out. Also my computer's been on the blink and I've been going nuts trying to get it back to work, what a time sink. On the good side, this is quicker than 3 sets of 10 or 12, which my wife appreciates.
In keeping with my sig, I have some interesting results:

Over the weeks, my endurance 30-40 rep workouts plateaued. I stopped increasing the weight and was down to increasing the reps by 1 or 2 reps/week. For what it's worth, that coincided with my increasing my aerobic work on the bike as the weather improved here. And as my aerobic work load increased, I found that the endurance workouts at the gym might be sabotaging the bike work, just from TSS. So I went to a gym workout which I've been doing during the Season for a few years and only once a week. It's 2 sets of 5 reps, the second set to be max weight possible for the 5 reps. Turns out, I could use the same weights that I was using back when I had been doing 3 sets of 10, the 3rd set to exhaustion.

So my finding is that the endurance lifting program produced the same strength gains as did the usual 3 X10 program. I'm a happy boy. So it's just the work to near failure that matters, not the reps. It's all about fiber recruitment. Though one would think that the aerobic focus of high-rep lifting would improve results on the bike, my health and age precludes any definite take-away from the experiment. That said, my feeling is that it worked and I'll do it again next winter. Note the date of this post.
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Old 05-09-24, 05:02 PM
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