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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:49 pm 
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DMF wrote:
I gotta go out on a limb here and disagree with everyone. Seems to me like what you need is to get off the bike for a while and hit the gym. Your muscles are used to the motion of cycling, and therefore progress will be very slow. But that's just an opportunity to chock the body with something new.

I promise you will gain some real muscle strength in the first couple of months. Then get back on the bike...

And I do mean 3-4 days a week, not just a lazy Saturday morning pump...


Valid point, but why not do both simultaneously? It's often claimed that multiple sports can be beneficial.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:18 pm 
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I reckon as an amateur, with a day job and what not, you really can't hit the gym hard 4 days a week legs only, ride hard on top of that and expect the body to recover/build properly in between... A pro will get away with that, they most likely have better abilities to recover (faster recovery). Rest is an extremely important part of building muscles... Sure, do recovery rides... But if you're doing the gym hard 4 days a week and ride hard the other 3, you will do more damage than good...

Remember that your muscles aren't being built in the gym, they're being torn apart. The build up happens when you rest in between... No rest, no growth.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:26 pm 
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Well I think for the average person 4 days a week in the gym is excessive, but yes you are right.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:55 pm 
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I do ofcourse mean as a bit of a "quick fix", intensive work for 2-3 months and then back on the bike, stronger than before. If you're gonna do the gym long term then 4 hard days legs only a week is certainly excessive. But if you want fast results, 1-2 days a week won't do you that much short term...

But if time is not a factor, I certainly recommend implementing a gym day or two in the regular workout regime. If you'd do 4 days a week long term, you'll pretty soon hit a plateau anyway...

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:00 pm 
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Sorry, but the OP is 6'1 and 165lbs. I would bet my house on the fact that someone that size can easily generate enough force on the pedals to crank out a 1000W effort.

It's not a case of struggling to generate the power, it's the ability to maintain that needs to be trained.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:31 pm 
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I'd say going from 220w to say 280w has a lot to do with adding muscles... You can't say that because someone can generate 1.000w for a few seconds, they therefore have the muscular ability to maintain more watts than they do for longer periods. First of all it's different types of muscles (fast vs slow twitch), second of all most people can do 1.000w sprints but still can't maintain 350w for 1hr+.

But to the point, if you have more muscle strength you don't have to work as hard to maintain a certain power output or speed, or you can put out more power for the same effort. Think of it as comparing two cars, one with more horsepower and more torque, that one will do the same speed at lower revs. Or higher speed at the same revs. Not just at top speed but at any speed.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:05 am 
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Wow, I don't know where to start.

The OP described the following:
- In an hour effort he can produce 220 watts
- Weighs 74.84 kg, so thats 2.94 w/kg.
- When fresh he said he can beat some riders up climbs but recovers poorly.
- Lives around Cat 3/4 hills
- Resides in So-Cal

So a few things can be said:
- He falls under a cat 5 racer according to Coggan's power profile
- He has a decent zone 5/VO2 max given he can beat some climbers fresh on climbs and hills are cat 3/4, so the duration of these are such that they are usually done in the zone 4-6 range depending on the speed but mostly zone 5 (3-8 minutes).
- His inability to recover from the efforts described above says that his threshold power is lacking.
- Although he falls under cat 5, the quality of riders in so-cal are actually quite higher than average so his threshold is quite low compared to his local peers.

That said, the obvious issue is his functional threshold power and contrary to what has been suggested, increasing one's threshold has little to almost nothing to do with "adding muscle". Cycling is predominantly aerobic sport. While cycling at ones threshold does incorporate the riders anaerobic system, it still is mostly dependent on one's aerobic system and capacity. So the best workouts that can be done to increase one's ftp are those done in the zone 2, sweet-spot (high zone 3, and zone 4 range. All aerobic dominant zones. Also, aerobic power is not of importance, rather anaerobic endurance. In steady TT efforts and group rides, the ability to tap into your anaerobic system multiple times (matches and match book) during accelerating out of corners, over climbs, matching rider accelerations, etc, is very much different than pure anaerobic strength. Cycling is a sport very much dependent on specificity, so the best way to get better is to RIDE A BIKE in a manner that stimulates an increase in the aforementioned systems.

As far as gym work, I assume that weight lifting (squats, dead lifts, etc.) is what is being referred to. Lifting weights is such an archaic method and old-school philosophy to gaining strength on the bike for road riding. The motion of lifting weights is quite different than that of the motion that the human bodies' lower exterminates experience while cycling. Heavy weight lifting is purely anaerobic and only benefits a cyclist during very short sprints and low weight high repetition lifting is simply a terrible substitute for simply riding your bike. The actual forces applied to the pedal are extremely low compared to heavy lifting. That is why cyclists can pedal for hours at over 90 rpms at a relatively high effort for long periods of time. The only time I would recommend someone to do any weight lifting would be for rehabbing, large strength imbalances and discrepancies, and for some trackies. Good aerobic capacity has to do with cardiovascular strength and efficiency and muscle efficiency not muscular strength. The "muscle strength" that is needed to pedal your bike even at a hard and fast rated during the majority of road riding is so small. Think of stick figure juniors who can compete on the professional level who have never lifted a single weight in their life.

Here's a couple great articles from training peaks:
Link 1
Link 2

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:14 am 
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Wow, I was going to go on my usual rant but DCnoJ has beaten me to it!

I would only add that for the amateur things like squats and deadlifts are good for insuring the body is strong for everything else in life, picking up kids, gardening etc.

For cycling, as posted above, weights are not really necessary. You can build strength and put on little to no weight and this can be a good thing but if it interferes with a heavy cycling load a choice then needs to be made.

Specificity for the win.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:12 am 
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I ride with one that is far more physical gifted then me, but if I out train him, I can close the gap to him. The way that works for me is to train around 10-14 hours a week with a good structure. To me this means that after the base is in place, that I train 2 interval sessions and one long ride (4-5 hours) each week, with a total of 5 rides a week.

The most important aspect is to train continuously. If there is to many 1-2 week breaks with close to no training, the form will suffer. This seems to be one of the major pitfalls of us recreational riders.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:02 pm 
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What a rant... Riding on flats, or rolling hills, raw muscle power will go a looong freakin' way. Sure you need stamina, but put on some muscle and it will, without a doubt, show up on your avg speed.

You can reason any way you want around this, but fact of the matter is speed will increase with more muscles. Even though you seem to think the opposite. And as for muscles gained in the gym not being effective on the bike, I take it you don't actually do squats and lift weights? Try it... It does work out well on the bike.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:30 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:25 am 
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oh wow. I only read a couple post in this topic and stoped right off. There are still crap load of myths going on around here eh?

Some people dont get the basics.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:41 am 
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Are you seriously telling me, that putting on more muscle won't allow you to ride higher gear ratios for the same perceived effort? No, REALLY?! I'm not talking about riding a higher cadence, that would ofcourse require better endurance.

But seriously, what you are saying is that overall strength has nothing to do with speed (as in speed has nothing to do with watts, or higher watts doesn't become easier if you are stronger), and a guy putting out low watts wouldn't benefit from becoming stronger?

I'm sorry, and I apologize to all the 'new age' power meter hippies, but that is just bullet proof bullshit.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:41 am 
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Your fundamental misunderstanding of the demands of the body in aerobic exercise are the only "bullshit" in this thread.

Can you produce 400 watts on the bike? I can, for about 2 minutes. So why can I not sustain it for 1 hour?

I can deadlift 2x bodyweight and squat (below parallel) about 1.5 times bodyweight and clean & jerk just over bodyweight. With this strength why can't I sustain that 400 watts, given that the "strength" to do this is infinitesimal compared with the strength required for those lifts.

Well here's why, because it has NOTHING to do with strength. If you can walk up a set of stair you already posses the ability to exert enough bio-mechanical force to produce well over that 400 watts.

Once again, there are some sound reasons for adding strength conditioning work to a routine, mostly around all the things which aren't cycling.

Get some physiology textbooks, google, speak to a exercise physiologist, whatever, but seriously educate yourself in this stuff, otherwise its just embarrassing. Look, heres a wikipedia link... its start at least:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerobic_exercise" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;



If only this guy would pack on some muscle he might be able to go a bit faster:-
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Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:41 am 


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:35 am 
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To me Wiggins looks seriously muscular, I don't claim that it's a matter of volume, and he has some serious muscle definition so why did you post that as an example? And I'm not talking about what you can do at maximum effort, as you seem to take it. "I can lift this and that at maximum effort", what's that got to do with anything? And by your logic, anybody could do 300w, 400w or even 500w for an hour, or whatever arbitrary wattnumber as long as It's well below your maximum achievable effort if they just have the stamina, muscles have nothing to do with that? Ofcourse this isn't true, and the reason I don't buy the logic...

I'm not saying it is all that matters, (because ofcourse it isn't), but you are saying it doesn't matter at all.

And another thing, you do realize that what you are talking about is a very fictional, theoretical, besides-TT/Tri's-and-indoor-trainers-non existing cycling scenario... This cruising along at a constant watt, that's just not what an actual group ride really looks like, now is it? ...if it was, I'd never ride that group again.

But ofcourse I'm biased here, I am myself from the generation of oldschool, power house, low cadence, high gear mashers, who will gain speed from brute force. I know this has gone "out of style" in training lately. But hey listen, you do it your way then and I'll do it my way.

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