weight training?!

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skill
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by skill

Hi!

I am a mountainbiker (XC), and I am just about to finish my racing season. After the usual 2-3 weeks of alternative training after the season, I am thinking about training weights 1-2 times a week in addition to on-the-bike strenght training, endurance rides and anaerobic threshold intervals. Give me your opinions on why/why not weight training is a good supplementary, and how many reps/sets/workload you would train during the off-season.

Thanks!

skill
One good day makes up for ten bad ones - tenfold

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djska
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by djska

skill wrote:Hi!

I am a mountainbiker (XC), and I am just about to finish my racing season. After the usual 2-3 weeks of alternative training after the season, I am thinking about training weights 1-2 times a week in addition to on-the-bike strenght training, endurance rides and anaerobic threshold intervals. Give me your opinions on why/why not weight training is a good supplementary, and how many reps/sets/workload you would train during the off-season.

skill


The general belief is to use high-reps for endurance sports, but I disagree with this. The objective is to increase max. power, to be able to apply it on the bike you of course still need to ride on the bike as well.

Max. power can be increased quite easily e.g. using HIT (High Intensity Training) meaning only one set at maximum intensity. This does require a good warm-up but is very effective.

What I do:

only 2 exercises, only once a week (takes at least 3 days to recover) (middle of the week since I then have no opportunity to ride):

1. hamstrings: bar-bell straight leg deadlift (lifting bar-bell from the ground with straight legs, has to be performed very carefully, but is very effective)
2. quadriceps: bar-bell squat (bending knee with bar-bell).

perform a general warm-up, including good stretching for the involving muscles.

do a warm-up set with half the weight you would use for the normal set (so the warm-up weight also increases along the line). Double the weight and then perform a set of up to 12 reps to exhaustion.

In my case the weight I use for both exercises is almost the same, e.g.:

1x12 warm-up 50kg
1x8 (up to 12) 100kg

Only arriving at 12 reps, I increase the weight with 5%. This ensures your body gets the time to adapt to the weight and includes a trapezium effect

weight week1: 8 reps, week2: 10 reps, week3: 12 reps.
weight+5% week4: 8 reps, etc.

After a while you may reach a plateau and may have to go for more sets, but this is very effective when starting out.

In total this only takes about 15min. and only requires a bar-bell set (which you can also use for other exercises like bar-bell bench press).

Of course, don't take this for granted, it's what works for me.


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skill
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by skill

I have read most articles on the internet about strenght training, including Ric Sterns.

On the fitness Q&A at cyclingnews he has replied several times to questions about weight training. Each time it is the same:

"You should not train weights at all because pedalling requiers minimal strenght"

and

"weight training will decrease your aerobic capasity".

Although some of his arguments seem to make sense, he is way too theoretic. Espescially mountainbikers (XC), and road racers that want to improve how they ride on short steep hills, i think can benefit from strenght training, as the bursts of speed that you have to be able to do are mostly way over your aerobic threshhold.

I don't think ,though, that you should overdo your weight training. This winter I will try to improve my strenght with doing three different excercises. Per week I will do one weight session (thighs, calves, hamstring), and on the bike I will do one PowerTension (pedaling 40-50rpm, 5-10minutes*3-4), and one PowerStarts (Low cadence sprinting, 10-12seconds).

I will tell you how it is working for me through the winter.

skill
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Ivan
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by Ivan

I am not going to argue if weight training is usefull for road racing because it largely depends on the individual, for me it did improve my overall fitness. In the past however, I did 1 session per week, doing several exercises, for a total time of 40-60 min. This summer I discovered that it is better tot do 3 to 4 smaller sessions (15 min) a week where you focus on one exercise. This may also depend on the individual however.
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asphaltdude
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by asphaltdude

The objective of weight training for cyclists is not to make the fast twitch muscle fibers bigger, but to make the slow twitch fibers stronger!
That's why cyclist should do high-rep training.
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John979
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by John979

asphaltdude wrote:The objective of weight training for cyclists is not to make the fast twitch muscle fibers bigger, but to make the slow twitch fibers stronger!
That's why cyclist should do high-rep training.


It don't work that way...
John979

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Ivan
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by Ivan

John979 wrote:It don't work that way...


Then can you please share how it does work :?:

Thanks
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John979
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by John979

Ivan wrote:
John979 wrote:It don't work that way...


Then can you please share how it does work :?:

Thanks


Yes. Give me a couple days to pull something together. Until then, I must continue to disagree with those focused on force and mechanics. Stern has it all correct and not just theoretically. There are many others sharing his position. I used him as a reference because he is succinct and unequivocal, the later for which I given him a lot of credit.

Until the, keep in mind the following:

1) Except for sprinting, all cycling performance including short duration events like a 4 km pursuit are dictated by aerobic capacity.
2) Fast twitch muscle fibers have not only a high-force component but a high contraction velocity component – this is what sprinting is about.
3) The motion of weight training (legs) is quite different from cycling.
4) The short-term gain from weight training is not from hypertrophy rather from neuromuscular coordination improvements that does not extend to cycling mechanics.
5) Muscle hypertrophy does not lead to increased aerobic capacity and evidence suggests it actually decreases aerobic capacity.
6) There is the conundrum of aerobic performance being centrally limited but peripherally enhanced.
John979

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skill
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by skill

I am not suggesting doing weight training that causes hypertrophy. The thing I have always learned, is that weight training with reps 8-12, where your last 2-3 reps should feel really heavy, are the kind of training that builds muscle and causes hypertrophy. But here is the big question: If you are going to train weights, should you do:

1. Ex: 5*6reps with weights that is about 80-85% of your max. I am thinking this will be good training for short accelerations ,and sprints, and that it will not make you gain muscle mass and weight.

2. Ex: 3-4*20-40reps where you should have a moderate intensity, but you should feel your legs burn the last 5-8 reps. This could also improve your accelerations, as it is still done over a short period of time. Does this type of weight training cause severe hypertrophy??

Just as a note, I could menton that almost the entire postal, now discovery team stresses weight training through the winter, though I do not know what kind of reps/sets they do.

Here is a link to a video showing Paolo Savoldelli and another Discovery member training weights, it seems they do not have heavy weights on: http://team.discovery.com/videogallery/ ... video.html

Here is an article referring to Chris Carmichaels training systems about how cyclists could benefit from weight training:
http://www.roadcycling.com/training/res ... ning.shtml

Tell me what your opininons are!!

skill
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kevbikemad
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by kevbikemad

i have attempted off season strength training (with some weight training, but mostly resistance bands). for me it helps mentally more than anything because you can see gains in muscle that you seldom use in cycling. it also feels good to pass your time doing something other than sitting on the hampster wheel when it's minus 30 out in January.

but, all that said, the only thing i can say has actually helped for cycling is core training. it seems to be the biggest weakness of most cyclists. when i have been dedicated enough to do some core work on a regular basis (3 times per week for only 10-15 min per workout) i certainly feel stronger on the bike, and better at climbing.

i think it's also important thing to maintain your gains, whatever it is you do. weight training all off season and then dropping it is spring may not help you realize any benefits.

otherwise, just cross train, ski, run, swim, whatever, just keep it fresh.

just my thoughts, based on my personal experience. over!
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toskij
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by toskij

Skill, I read you want to try PowerTension (pedaling 40-50rpm, 5-10minutes*3-4)..
I think that the duration of each rep is too long.
In Italy we call this exercise SFR (Salite Forza –Resistenza).
The rules are:
1- Use big chainring and the smaller cog you can from 12 to 15th
2- Go on regular hill of 6-8 percent grade
3- Mantain a cadence about 40 rpm
4- Heart frequence must be 10 bpm less than your lactate threshold heart rate, if you go over this limit you have to use an easier cog
5- Don’t pull on the bar but let the hands rest on it
6- The duration of a single repetition can be beetwen one to three mins, recover from two to three mins
7- You can complete up to three series of three reps each, recover five- eight minutes beetwen the series spinning the small chainring on a flat course.

In the weight training period you can do this work two times a week, during the rest of the season do it one time every ten days to recall the force.
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Lukas Koukal
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by Lukas Koukal

Sorry for a little bit OT question, but in english, lactate threshold is understood as 2 or 4mmol? (I would understand at 4, but am I right?)
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Bruiser
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by Bruiser

John979 wrote:1) Except for sprinting, all cycling performance including short duration events like a 4 km pursuit are dictated by aerobic capacity.


I strongly disagree there. Long distance rides are not dictated by aerobic capacity but by muscle fatigue. In the last 2 years I can only think of one race in which I was short of breath before the sprint.

Different riders will hit different barriers and less trained riders usually hit the aerobic barrier first.

Ric's off the mark about cyclists not needing strength (hills, headwinds, breakaways and surges are a few times they do), but the difficult part is converting gym strength to bike strength.
I spend alot of time riding and racing into block headwinds and I'm always in need of more leg strength.

As John said in another thread, there is a difference between Lactate threshold and the anaerobic threshold. Often we sit above the LT and below our AT, and additional strength would mean we could go faster at that level.

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stumpytrunks
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by stumpytrunks

[quote="toskij"]Skill, I read you want to try PowerTension (pedaling 40-50rpm, 5-10minutes*3-4)..
I think that the duration of each rep is too long.
In Italy we call this exercise SFR (Salite Forza –Resistenza).
The rules are:
1- Use big chainring and the smaller cog you can from 12 to 15th
2- Go on regular hill of 6-8 percent grade
3- Mantain a cadence about 40 rpm
4- Heart frequence must be 10 bpm less than your lactate threshold heart rate, if you go over this limit you have to use an easier cog
5- Don’t pull on the bar but let the hands rest on it
6- The duration of a single repetition can be beetwen one to three mins, recover from two to three mins
7- You can complete up to three series of three reps each, recover five- eight minutes beetwen the series spinning the small chainring on a flat course.
quote]

It's interesting to see how the same technique differs amongst countries/areas. Where I live points 1 2 6 and 7 are essentially the same. I normally go 60rpm 80-85%hr (not sure how that compares to LT) but each rep goes for 15 minutes. A super effective training tool for both track and road.

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