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  1. #1
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    Leg Strength and other racing questions.

    When racing I have a seriuos issues with keeping up with the group on long gradual climbs. As the terrain gets steeper and steeper I catch up and pass most of the people I race with. Am I just not pushing hard enough to stay with the group, I don't believe it's cardio related just mainly strength.

    What can I do improve upon this.
    here is a breakdown of my week.

    Mon: OFF
    Tues: Commute to work. 27 miles there ass many hills as I can get. On my MTB with a heavy rear tire. Commute home from work. 23miles same same
    weds: Spinervals DVD
    Thurs: Same as Tues
    Fri: OFF or easy ride on the mtb
    Sat: Fast Group ride 50miles.
    Sun: Easy MTB ride.

    I have stated to hit the gym for full body weight lifting, includes leg press/etc

    Anything else I should try? Plyometrics?

  2. #2
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    Hills sessions

    I improved my climbing a lot by finding a hard hill and going up it, then back down, then back up, etc. Once in a while I throw in a "rest loop" so that is a 5-10km flat that leads back to the bottom of the hill.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DukeNeverwinter
    As the terrain gets steeper and steeper I catch up and pass most of the people I race with.
    Then what's the problem?

    It's not about strength, it's about power, and lifting weights does nothing to improve your power. If people really are riding away from you on the flats, maybe you want to work on your 2- to 5-minute power, that's VO2max-type work, a typical workout would be 4x5min in the big ring with 4min recoveries, maybe try that once a week and see how it goes.

  4. #4
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    I can hang on the flats, I killed it on the steep climbs. I have problems on the gradual climbs. Maybe its just mental.

    the 2-5 minute power sounds like a good plan. I'll try that.

  5. #5
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    cut those hills into 3 parts
    at te beginning start off easy, turn it up a notch in the middle third, and on the last third try to really go for it
    the ones who started hard at the bottom, will be gasping near the top

  6. #6
    g3h6o3
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    Yeah, a big part of hill climbing is energy management. Nothing can help you with that except experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garlock
    cut those hills into 3 parts
    at te beginning start off easy, turn it up a notch in the middle third, and on the last third try to really go for it
    the ones who started hard at the bottom, will be gasping near the top
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DukeNeverwinter
    When racing I have a seriuos issues with keeping up with the group on long gradual climbs. As the terrain gets steeper and steeper I catch up and pass most of the people I race with. Am I just not pushing hard enough to stay with the group, I don't believe it's cardio related just mainly strength........

    What can I do improve upon this.

    If you catch up on the steeper sections its not power or cardio. If it was either of those you would not ever catch them. What you need to work on stamina which is accomplished by interval training..

    Check this out:

    http://www.active.com/cycling/Articl...nd_stamina.htm
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  8. #8
    No. Just No.
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    Sorry, but nebulous words like "cardio" or "stamina" make me chuckle. Words such as this are always going be a function of semantics which mean different things to different people. On the other hand, the purely physical portion of racing (ignoring skill, mental, event strategy, etc) is almost entirely about power which is a measurement of force x speed (in this application it's output in watts at the pedals, whether you have a device to measure wattage or not) across various durations, or in combinations of efforts at various durations. Those durations can be as short as a few seconds, or an hour or even longer, and consequently draw upon energy pathways differently.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6bobby9
    If you catch up on the steeper sections its not power or cardio. If it was either of those you would not ever catch them. What you need to work on stamina which is accomplished by interval training..

    Check this out:

    http://www.active.com/cycling/Articl...nd_stamina.htm

  9. #9
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    It's not a muscle strength issue (i.e. not a matter of your maximum pushing ability--maximum rarely becomes important in cycling). Whatever is causing this problem, I would tackle it by finding long gradual climbs and riding them repeatedly in training, at a fairly strong/high, but steady, pace. Maybe do it during your commutes if possible (changing your route to hit the longer climbs) or during your Sunday ride (making it a bit more focused and harder).
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  10. #10
    LMN
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    Typically if you excel at steep climbs it is because either:
    a) you are smaller than you competition and on steep climbs power to weight is everything
    b) you produce optimal power at a low cadence.


    If it is (a) then you need to produce more sustainable power.
    If it is (b) then you need to either climb gradual climbs in a big gear or work on your ability to sustain power at a higher cadence.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Typically if you excel at steep climbs it is because either:
    What to do if I'm the opposite of the OP? Can't climb steep hills (weight is hinderance I know, 179cm/79-80kg, but it won't go down significantly anyway ). Steep hills lead to cramps from overexertion. I don't have a PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip
    Sorry, but nebulous words like "cardio" or "stamina" make me chuckle. Words such as this are always going be a function of semantics which mean different things to different people. On the other hand, the purely physical portion of racing (ignoring skill, mental, event strategy, etc) is almost entirely about power which is a measurement of force x speed (in this application it's output in watts at the pedals, whether you have a device to measure wattage or not) across various durations, or in combinations of efforts at various durations. Those durations can be as short as a few seconds, or an hour or even longer, and consequently draw upon energy pathways differently.

    HAHA. Its words like nebulous and semantics, followed by nebuliac statements such as "across various durations, or in combinations of efforts at various durations. Those durations can be as short as a few seconds, or an hour or even longer, and consequently draw upon energy pathways differently." that have me ROTFL!!!

    So here is a little help, just to clear things up for you (its simple really but here goes,... stay with me now.)

    STAMINA = Staying Power; or Endurance.

    CARDIO = Exercise designed to increase heart rate.

    Hope you got that buddy.

    lol
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  13. #13
    No. Just No.
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    We're obviously going to end up on different sides of the fence here - so be it. No hard feelings from my side, and I'm glad we get both get a bit of ROTFL out of it. (life is too short not to be able to laugh a bit, even within differences of opinion)

    However, just to beat the horse to death a bit more, it's exactly your statements below that I have a problem with. Yes, you have very tidy dictionary definitions below but there's a lack of context within a forum of MTBers that race and train.

    STAMINA : At what exact duration does an activity start to involve "staying power" or "endurance". Or to phrase it another way, after how many minutes do the energy pathways being used become remarkably similar for all subsequently longer durations? Hint: It may occur much sooner than you think.

    CARDIO : What part of cycling DOESN'T increase heart rate? Uphill, downhill, etc. all will increase heart rate. Not a very useful term if it's applicable 100% of the time within the activity.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6bobby9
    So here is a little help, just to clear things up for you (its simple really but here goes,... stay with me now.)

    STAMINA = Staying Power; or Endurance.

    CARDIO = Exercise designed to increase heart rate.

  14. #14
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by dot
    What to do if I'm the opposite of the OP? Can't climb steep hills (weight is hinderance I know, 179cm/79-80kg, but it won't go down significantly anyway ). Steep hills lead to cramps from overexertion. I don't have a PM.

    Best way to get better at steep in hills is to climb steep hills. There are other approaches, but a month or two of including a lot of steep climbs does wonders.

  15. #15
    dot
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    Best way to get better at steep in hills is to climb steep hills. There are other approaches, but a month or two of including a lot of steep climbs does wonders.
    I've been climbing and racing these climbs for 11 years

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the discussion, The guy I race against has what I would call a weight weenie bike. He weighs about the same as me. He has a 26er, I am on a 26.8ish pound 29er.

    I'll try variations of what everybody here talks about. My commute route is completely based on hitting as many hills as I can find. There are 4 good solid 1.5-2 mile climbs that I hit. The longest of which I TT up every time. On the others I will try spinning and maintaing the cadence/speed or hitting a bigger gear and grinding.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dot
    I've been climbing and racing these climbs for 11 years

    Well, I guess you have to face the fact that you are destined to suck at steep climbs. Personally I would rather suck at steep climbs then steep descents so it can't be all bad. Unless of course you suck at both, then I just put my foot in my mouth.

  18. #18
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    As someone suggested previously...

    Quote Originally Posted by DukeNeverwinter
    I can hang on the flats, I killed it on the steep climbs. I have problems on the gradual climbs. Maybe its just mental.
    ...you need to improve your power output at the (higher) cadence you find yourself using on the gradual climbs.

    Try incorporating some weekly strength endurance (SE) efforts on a gradual (not steep) climb. That is, use a tall gear, stay seated, 40-60rpm. Develops pedalling-specific strength.

    And...practise spinning at high rpm or buy rollers. Yes, those ghey things that track riders use. There are good reasons why they do.
    Ego maniacs please object to my posts.

  19. #19
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    Almost all cycling is primarily aerobic, even racing the Kilo on the track. The fact that you can't handle long gradual climbs but do well on steeper climbs leads to the exact opposite conclusion than what you've reached. It is definitely cardio. If you can't handle long gradual climbs, then you need to do long gradual climbs in training. No amount of strength training is going to do what one session per week of 3x20-25 minute climbs w/ 5-10 minutes between efforts.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    It is definitely cardio. If you can't handle long gradual climbs, then you need to do long gradual climbs in training.
    No one disagrees with this.

    The OP might find that including SE will compliment the other aspects of his training. It is often overlooked. And your 'aerobic' intervals look like the perfect SE session, too
    Ego maniacs please object to my posts.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip
    We're obviously going to end up on different sides of the fence here - so be it. No hard feelings from my side, and I'm glad we get both get a bit of ROTFL out of it. (life is too short not to be able to laugh a bit, even within differences of opinion)

    However, just to beat the horse to death a bit more, it's exactly your statements below that I have a problem with. Yes, you have very tidy dictionary definitions below but there's a lack of context within a forum of MTBers that race and train.

    STAMINA : At what exact duration does an activity start to involve "staying power" or "endurance". Or to phrase it another way, after how many minutes do the energy pathways being used become remarkably similar for all subsequently longer durations? Hint: It may occur much sooner than you think.

    CARDIO : What part of cycling DOESN'T increase heart rate? Uphill, downhill, etc. all will increase heart rate. Not a very useful term if it's applicable 100% of the time within the activity.
    Understood. Stamina (in cycling) is the house built on endurance (the foundation). For instance, I would say the waterboy in the peloton displays great stamina as he can fall to the back of the pack load up 10 water bottles and sprint back to the front servicing his team mates several times per stage. All the riders have superb endurance and great cardio but to able to move back and forth in the pack by varying your power output "at will" without needed to stop to catch a breather shows great "stamina". Or another instance would be to pose an attack and pull away from the pack and maintain the gap. That takes stamina.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  22. #22
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    Don't know if this will help you

    Quote Originally Posted by dot
    I've been climbing and racing these climbs for 11 years
    but someone here made the suggestion of doing climbs overgeared to improve climbing. This really helped me this year conquer some race climbs that had 'owned' me for years, which I always blamed on my BMI.

    I understand that I could put out the same power if I was in a lower gear, but just pedaled faster up the hill, but for some reason this overgeared climbing worked for my developing speed uphill without blowing. Maybe overgeared climbing just forced me to work harder?

    But whatever, it allowed me to overcome my problem of being 'BMI challenged' on our point to point hill climb race I do every year, giving me my personal best time and place in this race on the same old hills I have been riding for over 20 years.

  23. #23
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    Just as an update. I got a Gamrin. These are my typical rides. I look for hills on my commutes. Just about every commute is done on my MT. Bike with Heavy wheels tires.

    Look through them if you have time. I would love suggestions. I am going to try and work in some interval work on the "longer" climbs.

    First MTB OFF-road fun/training.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/38787661

    Second Shortest possible route to work.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/38896438

    Third Semi-long way home. hit a lot of hills. Cramped all over the palace. I was a mess. Two hard days in a row was NOT a good idea.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/38896436

  24. #24
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    You can push on the pedals of a roadbike just as hard as a mtn bike(even with a heavy wheel) if you commuted with a roadbike and did it more in intervals, a roadbike would let you rest more effectively between intervals. Commuting in itself is not the best training, it has a nice novelty and it's nice and green, but a hard 50 miles in the early morning and driving to work would double the distance you would be accustomed to.Then the recovery time would be one nice big stretch too. If you lived closer to work ,like maybe 3 or 5 miles, then you could still do a long ride in the morning and end up at work.Providing they have showers and such(unlikely) although your aready doing 20+ on the way in ,and if they're really training miles you probaely have some way to freshen up at work.

  25. #25
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    I do have showers. I don;t commute for the novelty or to be green. I do it for the time in saddle. I ride the MT bike becasue that is what I race. The more familiarity with it the better. I am not so concerned with overall, mileage as opposed to time in the saddle. Sure if i ride the road bike i'll do 30-40 miles instead of 20-30, but the time will be the same. That is whats the most important to me.

    My commute ends up being the same distance to and from, unless I "cheat" like yesterday and do the short route to work..

  26. #26
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    Kindofa late submission, but here goes...

    Go find the nastiest climb you can. Not technical, just a heartbreaker. Try to climb it. If you can, find something harder. Keep looking until you've found your nemesis. I'm talking about hills you might make it half way, or something that clearly leaves a lot of room for improvement.

    Keep working to make it. Don't give up. Spin out & dab? Get back on and keep going, but don't consider it made until you've made it non stop.

    Once you've made it non stop, do it faster or again.

    You won't suck at climbs (or at least that climb) any longer.

    I've got a long way to go to catch the small guys (if I ever can), but I've come along way and it's only been thru practice and not only NOT avoiding big hills, but seeking them out w/ purpose. I'm gonna try a hill tomorrow AM that they call Puke Hill. It's actually across the canyon from where I snowboard, but I just didn't know exactly where until this week. I'm planning on putting everything I have into it. I'm planning on it being hard, but I'm planning on digging deep, as deep as I need to in order to pull it off. I'm not going to consider it my be-otch until I make it all the way. I have mixed emotions about it, but what isn't mixed is that I will do it.

    Keep pushing mate.

  27. #27
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    Bike weight also plays a hand in conditioning. On my HT I could ride for 3+ hrs climbing, heat, etc. However, once I decided to go much faster on descents with a heavier FS bike...I cramped up badly doing a hill I've done many, many times before without incident, on the HT.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  28. #28
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    Keep going to the gym, strength training is a great idea! You can focus on strength and edurance by keeping the reps high, 12-10 and 15-20 respectively and the weight moderate. I work closely with many collegiate sports and i know for a fact, strength training is a key component of EVERY sport including ours, cycling.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcerv
    Keep going to the gym, strength training is a great idea! You can focus on strength and edurance by keeping the reps high, 12-10 and 15-20 respectively and the weight moderate. I work closely with many collegiate sports and i know for a fact, strength training is a key component of EVERY sport including ours, cycling.
    Really, a fact?

    How is it that to prepare for a sport that requires moderate, but not max, exertions roughly 500-600 times per hour, for two to three hours or more at a time, you recommend doing moderate weights 10-12 times per set? What training effect are you looking for? If the weight you're pushing is light enough you can do it for 10 reps, it isn't heavy enough to build strength. If you want to get strong, do squats. Heavy squats. If you want power, do plyometrics, too. If you want to kill a bunch of time, and maybe meet some gym bunnies, go do sets of 10-15 reps of moderate weight.

  30. #30
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    The gym gives you strength, but out on the trails...strength means nothing compared to pedaling power - which only comes from on-bike training.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    The gym gives you strength, but out on the trails...strength means nothing compared to pedaling power - which only comes from on-bike training.
    That's not true, Armstrong spent alot of time in the gym in the offseason to build length strength. During the season he didn't do this but in the off season he certainly did...

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    You can increase leg strength in the gym , you train it to be useful on the bike .

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    Hey mudge, yes it is a FACT! Try picking up an NSCA text book and studying it. If you don't know what the NSCA is then you prob shouldn't be giving strength and conditioning advise. If you think plyos are the only way to build power then you seriously don't know what your talking about, sorry for the reality check bro.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcerv
    Hey mudge, yes it is a FACT! Try picking up an NSCA text book and studying it. If you don't know what the NSCA is then you prob shouldn't be giving strength and conditioning advise. If you think plyos are the only way to build power then you seriously don't know what your talking about, sorry for the reality check bro.
    Excuse me, but I didn't say plyometrics were the only way to build power. What I AM saying is that you are NOT building strength doing sets of 10-15 reps. Not real strength, not the sort of strength that can't be built up on the bike. If you can do it for 10-15 reps, it ain't heavy enough to result in a true strength increase.

    However, having said that, for practically any cycling discipline beside match sprinting, kilo, or bmx, you don't really need the sort of strength that results from weight lifting. Of course, if you want to do upper body gym work as a diversion from cycling, to build up a bit of upper body fitness, fine... go do moderate weight sets of 10-15 reps. Won't hurt a thing, unless you really push the limits of the weight you can do for that many reps, as you'll end up in a hypertrophy phase and build a bit of mass that you don't really want.

    Cycling is an almost exclusively aerobic activity, and for any event lasting over a minute or so, brute strength isn't important at all, bro.

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    You see that's the problem, people tend to think of strength training in terms of building brute strength only. There are several components to strength training (that include building strength, power, and endurance) that will cross over to any discipline of cycling. Just as in cycling you should go thru periodization training focusing on different types of strength training at diff times of your season. I'm
    curious to know what are you basing your opposition to
    strength training on. Personal experience, professional
    experience, coaching experience. My advise is based on
    professional (my career) and education in strength and conditioning. It is also based on inquiry into how
    professional cyclist train. Professionals from Tyler farrar,
    LA etc incorporate strength training to improve there
    racing. That's sprinters to overall contenders utilizing the benefits of strength training. So again i ask how can you confidently justify your reasoning. I've provided references, NSCA, and given examples of top competitors utilizing strength training, other than anecdotal "evidence" where is your support?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcerv
    You see that's the problem, people tend to think of strength training in terms of building brute strength only. There are several components to strength training (that include building strength, power, and endurance) that will cross over to any discipline of cycling. Just as in cycling you should go thru periodization training focusing on different types of strength training at diff times of your season. I'm
    curious to know what are you basing your opposition to
    strength training on. Personal experience, professional
    experience, coaching experience. My advise is based on
    professional (my career) and education in strength and conditioning. It is also based on inquiry into how
    professional cyclist train. Professionals from Tyler farrar,
    LA etc incorporate strength training to improve there
    racing. That's sprinters to overall contenders utilizing the benefits of strength training. So again i ask how can you confidently justify your reasoning. I've provided references, NSCA, and given examples of top competitors utilizing strength training, other than anecdotal "evidence" where is your support?
    You see, that's the problem... some people think that anything involving resistance training equates to strength training. Using resistance training to build muscle endurance is not the same as strength training. Strength is strength, and endurance is something entirely different. You don't need to be particularly strong to have the sort of 'strength endurance' needed to be a good cyclist, and you don't need gym work to develop 'strength endurance'.

    For all of your alleged experience and education, if you don't realize that to improve strength (real strength, not 'strength endurance' or whatever other term you want to use) you've got to do reps with a fairly high percentage of your single rep maximum, a percentage high enough that you're not able to do 10-15 reps, and certainly not more than 1 set worth, to result in the desired training effect (that is, to build STRENGTH), and if you don't understand that for practically every discipline of competitive cycling except those I cited earlier, you don't need to be all that strong, well... maybe you should refund your clients' money.

    As for your providing references, telling me to check out NSCA manuals hardly counts as providing references.

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    Well it would appear you do have some sort of clue about what your talking about but please refer back to my OP and I gave reps counts not set counts to focus on a particular type of strength training. My bad for not being specific enough in sets / reps / % weight. But again where are your references stating there is no benefit?? Perhaps in your experience there was no benefit, this is what we call anecdotal evidence and carries little weight when it comes to real world application. These terms i use i didnt make up and these manuals are not manuals but text books, research articles, cycling training bibles etc. that employ scientific research to support the proper use of strength training. What type of reference would you like?

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DukeNeverwinter
    When racing I have a seriuos issues with keeping up with the group on long gradual climbs. As the terrain gets steeper and steeper I catch up and pass most of the people I race with. Am I just not pushing hard enough to stay with the group, I don't believe it's cardio related just mainly strength.

    What can I do improve upon this.
    here is a breakdown of my week.

    Mon: OFF
    Tues: Commute to work. 27 miles there ass many hills as I can get. On my MTB with a heavy rear tire. Commute home from work. 23miles same same
    weds: Spinervals DVD
    Thurs: Same as Tues
    Fri: OFF or easy ride on the mtb
    Sat: Fast Group ride 50miles.
    Sun: Easy MTB ride.

    I have stated to hit the gym for full body weight lifting, includes leg press/etc

    Anything else I should try? Plyometrics?
    It sounds like your you've got a good base to work from, try throwing some ss workouts in there. Focus on staying in the saddle for the duration of the climb. For short, 2-5 min climbs you can get away with popping up and pushing it out but for longer climbs, your gonna save energy by staying in the seat and will also develop different muscle group than with standing. Once you build both muscle sets up switching back and forth between standing and sitting will help you conquer the longer climbs.

    This is from personal experience for me it worked well. Either way you can't go wrong with ss training.

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    Here's a recent study on strength training for endurance athletes. Most studies don't find it to produce much/if any benefit. This study found a benefit, but the athletes needed to continue cycling during the strength training phase (12-weeks). Thats a lot of time commitment. Looks like they worked around 85% of 1rep max.
    Strength Training For Endurance

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    Quote Originally Posted by perryr
    Here's a recent study on strength training for endurance athletes. Most studies don't find it to produce much/if any benefit. This study found a benefit, but the athletes needed to continue cycling during the strength training phase (12-weeks). Thats a lot of time commitment. Looks like they worked around 85% of 1rep max.
    Strength Training For Endurance
    Thanks for posting that, although that is a review of many studies, not a specific study in itself, which is great. I think a key point of that article is that explosive type training improves endurance whereas hypertrophic type strength training does not. In other words, a high percentage of 1 rep max, at high speed, not the slow controlled lifting that bodybuilders focus on. At this higher speed, you can do higher reps than you can at the same weight at slower speeds.

    Most studies also show that exercises that incorporate more muscle groups have more of a sport performance gain than those that isolate one muscle group. In other words leg extensions suck, but squats are great. Because of that, I am a big fan of olympic, or modified-olympic lifts, done with traditional weights, power cords, or kettlebells. All of these can be done with high resistance, explosive and incorporate many muscle groups at once. These exercises also don't add much in terms of muscle mass, as that review you posted discusses.

    I think the 12-week requirement might be tough to commit to when you live in a warm winter climate, but a nice break if you live somewhere it's tough to ride in the winter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MessagefromTate
    That's not true, Armstrong spent alot of time in the gym in the offseason to build length strength. During the season he didn't do this but in the off season he certainly did...
    in the real world they call that EPO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge

    For all of your alleged experience and education, if you don't realize that to improve strength (real strength, not 'strength endurance' or whatever other term you want to use) you've got to do reps with a fairly high percentage of your single rep maximum, a percentage high enough that you're not able to do 10-15 reps, and certainly not more than 1 set worth, to result in the desired training effect (that is, to build STRENGTH), and if you don't understand that for practically every discipline of competitive cycling except those I cited earlier, you don't need to be all that strong, well... maybe you should refund your clients' money.

    As for your providing references, telling me to check out NSCA manuals hardly counts as providing references.

    Have you ever been to the gym? Results come very quickly, especially for those that don't regularly lift. If you go even just once a week and do 3 sets of ANYTHING at 10-15 reps, I guarantee that you'll get better at it within a few weeks. How can you say that's not making you stronger? If at week 1 you can do 10 reps, and at week 3 you can do 11 reps at the same weight, then guess what? You just got stronger. References not needed as anyone who's just started lifting has experienced these types of gains. I'm not saying it's the best thing for cycling, but saying doing sets of 10-15 won't make you any stronger is total BS.

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    The gains you see at first arent

    Quote Originally Posted by jd1072
    Have you ever been to the gym? Results come very quickly, especially for those that don't regularly lift. If you go even just once a week and do 3 sets of ANYTHING at 10-15 reps, I guarantee that you'll get better at it within a few weeks. References not needed as anyone who's just started lifting has experienced these types of gains. I'm not saying it's the best thing for cycling, but saying doing sets of 10-15 won't make you any stronger is total BS.
    "real strenght" is mostly a neuromuscular adaptation, firing and sequence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moab63
    "real strenght" is mostly a neuromuscular adaptation, firing and sequence.

    very true. it is your body adapting to incorporate other "motor units".

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    Quote Originally Posted by jd1072
    Have you ever been to the gym? Results come very quickly, especially for those that don't regularly lift. If you go even just once a week and do 3 sets of ANYTHING at 10-15 reps, I guarantee that you'll get better at it within a few weeks. How can you say that's not making you stronger? If at week 1 you can do 10 reps, and at week 3 you can do 11 reps at the same weight, then guess what? You just got stronger. References not needed as anyone who's just started lifting has experienced these types of gains. I'm not saying it's the best thing for cycling, but saying doing sets of 10-15 won't make you any stronger is total BS.
    Been to the gym? Me... yep, 9 years of very dedicated weight training as part of an overall fitness program, with two of those years focused on powerlifting, followed some years later by another couple of years of weight training focused on making me a better track sprinter. Oh, and I've got 20 years of road racing experience, 6 years of track racing experience, and a couple of years of mtb racing experience.

    So, read the responses from whybotherme and moab63, who explain what you're describing very well. As for my response, I will definitively say that doing sets of 10-15 reps will NOT make you stronger. You may increase your overall 'balance' if you're doing upper body work to augment your cycling, but doing sets of 10-15 reps of LEG exercises, expecting it to help you get better at an activity that requires 500-600 reps per hour, for hours on end, shows a real lack of understanding of even the most basic training principles.
    Last edited by mudge; 10-05-2010 at 09:01 PM.

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    I don't disagree with mudge but I also must add that while MOST athletes have more raw strength in their legs to never challenge them while riding, there is a small subset of athletes who can make significant gains in technical climbing ability by way of plyos and strength training. I would also argue that most of this small subset of riders are women. For some reason activating the appropriate motor units and having the confidence to commit are two issues I have witnessed more than once. Some coaches might argue that the time gained on course from these technical challenges is minimal but I would argue that the mental and physical energy saved pays dividends during a race.

    The main reason I make this point is that every individual athlete can benefit from individual attention in their quest to attain their own personal best performance/ level. I don't provide coaching so this isn't a plug. At the very least ride with better riders so that you expose your weaknesses and can at least better understand where you can make the best gains.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by moab63
    "real strenght" is mostly a neuromuscular adaptation, firing and sequence.
    You beat me to it.

    Those "real strength gains" do not result increased maximal force on the bike. Never mind a performance advantage.

    If you do a quick survey of the Pro ranks you will find a lot more of the riders are saying "they use to lift weights in the season".
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcerv
    These terms i use i didnt make up and these manuals are not manuals but text books, research articles, cycling training bibles etc. that employ scientific research to support the proper use of strength training. What type of reference would you like?
    Most of those books are base on opinions of very reputable coachs not on scientific research. Now that a lot of research has been done many of those same coachs are no longer recomending weight programs or have changed their weight programs significantly.

    I read an interview with Cadel Evans and Ivan Basso's coach in which he said he has taken the gym out of his athletes programs.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    You beat me to it.

    Those "real strength gains" do not result increased maximal force on the bike. Never mind a performance advantage.
    Thanks for clarifying a point I had tried to make clear earlier, that being that strength isn't that important, which is why it doesn't result in a performance advantage.

    Reminds me of an article I'd read back in the mid 80s, written by Dave Costill, world famous exercise physiologist and swim coach at Ball St. He had done an extensive study on the impact of weight training on swimming performance. He found that weight training (proper weight training, that is) made his swimmers stronger. What he also found was that it did not make them faster swimmers. In fact, the stronger swimmers were slower, as they'd spent time doing something that didn't improve performance instead of spending their time doing something that would improve performance. Seems that strength isn't all that important in swimming, either.

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    Here is an interesting one for you.

    I read an article last year that said among elite XC skiers, maximal tricept force was a better predictor of performance than Vo2 max in a classic style race.

    Given the research going on in other sports regarding strength I was quite surprised by this.

    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    Thanks for clarifying a point I had tried to make clear earlier, that being that strength isn't that important, which is why it doesn't result in a performance advantage.

    Reminds me of an article I'd read back in the mid 80s, written by Dave Costill, world famous exercise physiologist and swim coach at Ball St. He had done an extensive study on the impact of weight training on swimming performance. He found that weight training (proper weight training, that is) made his swimmers stronger. What he also found was that it did not make them faster swimmers. In fact, the stronger swimmers were slower, as they'd spent time doing something that didn't improve performance instead of spending their time doing something that would improve performance. Seems that strength isn't all that important in swimming, either.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Thats what great about the human body

    and performance training, lots of room for interpretation and inovation. Most actually all the training (books) I have, recommend lifting as part of any cycling program, swiming and track and field so on.

    I know for a fact that the cuban cycling program(which is modeled) after the russian program, is using weight lifting. They are doing lifting right now.

    Mine are lifting right now too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    Been to the gym? Me... yep, 9 years of very dedicated weight training as part of an overall fitness program, with two of those years focused on powerlifting, followed some years later by another couple of years of weight training focused on making me a better track sprinter. Oh, and I've got 20 years of road racing experience, 6 years of track racing experience, and a couple of years of mtb racing experience.

    So, read the responses from whybotherme and moab63, who explain what you're describing very well. As for my response, I will definitively say that doing sets of 10-15 reps will NOT make you stronger. You may increase your overall 'balance' if you're doing upper body work to augment your cycling, but doing sets of 10-15 reps of LEG exercises, expecting it to help you get better at an activity that requires 500-600 reps per hour, for hours on end, shows a real lack of understanding of even the most basic training principles.

    Maybe I misunderstood you, but it sounds like you're arguing a point that I didn't make. Perhaps I was arguing a point that you didn't make? I said lifting weights makes you STRONGER (give it 10-15 reps, or even three reps). You said reps of 10-15 will not make you stronger (maybe you meant a stronger cyclist). I did not say it will make you a stronger cyclist. Regardless of how you want to define it, being able to bench press 100 pounds one week, and then 105 pounds the next week qualifies as getting stronger in my book. Maybe it's not the strength you needed or will find useful for cycling, but it's additional strength none-the-less.

    I'd agree with whybotherme's assessment that some additional strength can be gained and used to help clean the tougher more more powerful sections of MTB trails. There are some nasty ledgy climbs that require explosive power to clean around here that I was never able to master until I started doing heavy leg work. Gaining the additional strength is like adding an extra arrow to your quiver.

    All that being said, I've neglected the gym for the past 9 months and focused almost exclusively on riding. I continue to make great strides in my performance, but will probably be back on the weights once the time changes again and it's dark after I get off work.

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