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Old 02-18-07, 04:45 PM   #1
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Best way to train legs

What's the best way to train legs in the gym with weights to have it transfer over to my biking.

I'm doing squats and leg presses with 5-10 reps. What rep range would you say gives me the best bike leg strength?
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Old 02-18-07, 11:39 PM   #2
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If you follow a training plan you should be adjusting throughout your winter cycle training via periodization. Friels training bible also explains in detail. Can try dead lifts as well, a comnpund movement that will work legs as well as other areas all in one, but be very careful to use excellent form or you can really hurt yourself.
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Old 02-19-07, 06:53 AM   #3
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recent sport scientists have been reserching the effects of weight training and come up with the following conclusions-
strength IS NOT A LIMITER IN ENDURANCE CYCLING PERFORMANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the true limiters are metabolic, nueromuscular (which is best trained on the bike), psycologic ect.
UNLESS YOU ARE UNTRAINED... (in which any form of physical activity will provide adequite stress to continue positive adaption) there are NO STUDIES TO SHOW AN INCREASED CYCLING PERFORMANCE in ELITE LEVEL CYCLISTS---- go to some of the world's most renowned sports scientists all agree on this topic
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Old 02-19-07, 09:26 AM   #4
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Wall sitting w/ a medicine ball has helped my leg strenght.
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Old 02-19-07, 09:34 AM   #5
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Look into plyometrics.
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Old 02-19-07, 10:32 AM   #6
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What's the best way to train legs in the gym with weights to have it transfer over to my biking.
People have to know what you are asking, before they can answer your questions.

Even if some one gives a "best" answer about an exercise, it's only the "best" answer for single specific situation, which often does not apply to many people.

The best exercise for you, using a gym, or a bicycle, is the exercise that isolates and stresses that muscles that limit your performance. As Clint Eastwood used to say: "A man's got to know his limitations."

Without an evaluation of your needs and goals, I'd have to say: "Do you feel lucky? Well do you punk?" "'Cause you're gettin' nothing but a barrel full Bool Chit - so far."
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Old 02-20-07, 12:00 PM   #7
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The only way to train for a sport is to do the sport. You can make bodyparts stronger, but that doesn't have any carrryover effect without a lot of training.

That being said, squats and deads. squats and deads.
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Old 02-20-07, 12:14 PM   #8
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I did mostly leg extensions last year and did not notice any gains in strength on the bike. This year, I have done nothing but squats and hamstring curls for the legs and seem to be getting some benefit. I do two sets of squats of 30 reps with 80 lbs. alternately with two sets of curls with 50 lbs for 30 reps. Rest as little as possible.
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Old 02-20-07, 02:55 PM   #9
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I'm in with C. Walton on this one.
Weight training will make you look cooler (like steroids would too), but it most likely won't improve your performance and just as likely might hurt it.

If you want stress and pain to pay off in the form of increased power on the bike, then do steep hill climbs and brief high load sprints (maximize your torque) with adequate rest and daily stretching. Integrating these workouts late in a training period, before rest days, will probably yield best results.

You break down when you strain and you build up when your rest. Learning to rest effectively is a big part of cycling strength gains.

Veho difficilis, ago facilis

Last edited by ratebeer; 02-20-07 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 02-22-07, 11:53 AM   #10
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There are are riders and coaches on both sides of this fence. Some go with high rep, low weight to help with muscular endurance. Others want to focus on explosive power and will go for high weight, low reps or a mid weight at a faster pace to work fast-twich muscle fibers. Some do it all over the course of a season depending on their training focus. The fact of the matter is, if you want to train a muscle group for any type of exercise is to do that exercise. Anything else should compliment what you're doing on the bike.
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Old 02-22-07, 01:06 PM   #11
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I've tried about everything, and have settled on riding first, outside or rollers, preferably ending at the gym, where I do one set of 30 as follows: Leg sled, seated rows, hyperextension machine, free weight squats, free weight benches, situps with thighs at 90, and one-legged calf raises. I do them all with enough weight to work almost to failure, except for the hyperextension machine where I just set it on max. No resting between exercises. This weight workout takes about 20 minutes. If I'm riding outside, I ride home afterwards, including a couple of good sprints. My schedule and ability to absorb training has me doing weights twice a week. I quit the gym when I start doing serious intervals in May.

The effect of this is to build all-round fitness, rather than to strengthen particular muscles. Note that there are no single joint exercises, or anything that might possibly cause knee or back injuries, and that gym time is minimal, concentrating on the biking time. This works for me. Your mileage may vary.

This program does not cause me to gain much lean muscle mass, though I do gain strength. Maybe that's just me. I also notice that as the weight I'm able to use increases over the winter, so does the cog I use when I do the longer local climbs. So my wattage at LT goes up, which is the whole idea. My understanding of the theory is that when more of your muscle fibers are recruited, you will use a smaller percentage of them at LT. Thus they will fatigue more slowly and you will do better on long climbs and climbs late in the ride.

I must be in the untrained category, as I'm time limited to only about 5000 miles/yr. Certainly not an "elite" cyclist. So I find more leg strength helps my climbing and sprinting, and my ability to maintain a fast cruise. Core strength prevents injury and being forced off the bike by pain.

Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 02-22-07 at 01:37 PM.
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