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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:04 am 
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rustychain wrote:
Gains made by explosive drills on the bike will lead to faster adaption but please consider that other factors are in play. Kind of like free weights as opposed to weight machines. Stabilizing, core and balance. Further ligaments, tendons adapt faster to the stress of weight bearing training. Further we are talking about off season cross training. I believe in cross training personaly.


What do tendons have to adapt to? Having done a extensive lit review on cycling injuries (got an A+) the main causes are incorrect set up, too high/low cadence and improper progression in training intensity. There is no evidence for cross training enhancing performance.

Are we not allowed to ride our bikes in the off season.

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Max leg speed is of utmost importance to a track sprinter or BMX cyclist. Not so much in other areas of cycling. It's a big and deverse tent guys! (ever try spinning in mud and sand? Cobbles?)


Yes, yes and yes. I bring up sprinting and BMX as these areas represent the higher end of the power spectrum and I have presented data that strength is not relevant to these so would find it hard to believe that strength would be an advantage where power is far lower.

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Again, something you guys are not hearing, I am not saying that weight training is good for all cyclist. I'm saying that for some individuals it may be helpful as an off season cross training thing. Is that harder to believe then standing next to a bit of plastic will make you unbalanced ( referring to the "thread" in chat)? You do realize to that many looking for advise here may not be full time elite athletes? Some may have different needs?


As well as coaching World Champions and Professionals I work with recreational riders and haven't seen a rider yet (in 19 years of coaching and prob coaching in various forms over a 1000 people) that I deemed was lacking in strength to perform any aspect of cycling.

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I understand your passion for your specific disciplines. I also understand that colors everyones perspective. Your seeing what your looking for on a limited area of adaption. I prefer a holistic approach most often but even more so when asked general questions like is weight training good for a cyclist.


I look at things from a riders goals perspective. Rider has goal X, I assess the rider, I ascertain the demands of X and create a programme to facilitate then achieving the goals. I have had a goal or a rider that has necessitated the use of weight training to improve their bike riding.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:06 pm 
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I have had MRI's done repeatedly and doctors are always amazed at the build up of my bones were the ligaments attach. Well understood in Archeology circles as well, it's a common adaption and illustrates how the ligaments and bone adapt to long term stress. Reduction in injury is the goal

Can't imagine how strength could help in mud and sand??? Try it! Have you ever done a cross race were you basically stop to make a 90 degree turn only to be facing a steep grade? That skill is vital, even more important then strength I agree but to say strength in unimportant is a major overstatement. Further I think that your suggestion that the Majority of track sprinters over the last 100 years who were powerfully built were working basically to impress??? I would suggest that this argument is considered outside the mainstream in even your world of track

I will not bother to address the idea that core strength and stability is not important to cyclist/humans. How many cyclist with bad backs does a PT need to see? If your legs are working against a weak core your..... Perhaps the cyclist your working with are atypical (more likely already very fit) but again you fail to see outside your small area of interest. Again reduction in injury alone warrants such training

Tapeworm, I fully understand your point about training on the bike but keep in mind that over time imbalances occur that will effect you and your cycling. Second, I personally started racing as a teen. I currently am about to turn 56. Cross training allow me to still train without overloading certain joints (I have a bad elbow from a cycling accident). As a TT specialist over time and without other forms of exercise I would predict an overall negative impact on you body. If you cross training in season then yes it could detrain certain aspects but training nonstop year after year will burn out most athletes besides creation of muscle imbalances. Been there my friend, at one point I could ride a fast 100 miles daily in the mountains yet running across the road I pulled a muscle that was weeks to heal. So what I'm saying is weight training in it's varied form can be helpful to some cyclists if done correctly and at the right times. I here no reasonable argument to this statement. I am not challenging what your specific training does or that of highly trained sprinters on a track that most likely are extremely fit to begin with. Just the narrow band of inquiry applied to a general population

I had for years a well respected Russian coach. He got results no question. That was his job. He himself suffered from many of the effects from the way he was trained yet trained others the same. In his 40's his knees were toast. He always had a new crop of students in the pipeline so this did not matter to HIM! I refuse to train my students that way. Perhaps I will get fewer "results" but I can live with that

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:35 pm 
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rustychain wrote:
So what I'm saying is weight training in it's varied form can be helpful to some cyclists if done correctly and at the right times. I here no reasonable argument to this statement. I am not challenging what your specific training does or that of highly trained sprinters on a track that most likely are extremely fit to begin with. Just the narrow band of inquiry applied to a general population


This. :thumbup:

IMHO this is a subtle nuance that's often missed when discussing this topic. There's a difference between weight training as strength training, and weight training part of a balanced exercise and injury prevention regime.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:19 pm 
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rustychain wrote:
I have had MRI's done repeatedly and doctors are always amazed at the build up of my bones were the ligaments attach. Well understood in Archeology circles as well, it's a common adaption and illustrates how the ligaments and bone adapt to long term stress. Reduction in injury is the goal


So everyone should do weights because you have good knees? I have good knees and don't do weights.

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Can't imagine how strength could help in mud and sand??? Try it! Have you ever done a cross race were you basically stop to make a 90 degree turn only to be facing a steep grade? That skill is vital, even more important then strength I agree but to say strength in unimportant is a major overstatement.


I have done MTB and raced in all extremes. I stand by my comment and would suggest that if sand, mud or technical sections are part of the challenge then sessions practising technique in these situations is time better spent than in the gym.

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I will not bother to address the idea that core strength and stability is not important to cyclist/humans. How many cyclist with bad backs does a PT need to see? If your legs are working against a weak core your..... Perhaps the cyclist your working with are atypical (more likely already very fit) but again you fail to see outside your small area of interest. Again reduction in injury alone warrants such training


I repeat that the majority of cycling related injuries are caused by poor set up, poor selection of cadence and too rapid a progression in training loads.

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Tapeworm, I fully understand your point about training on the bike but keep in mind that over time imbalances occur that will effect you and your cycling.


You are wrong. See above. These "imbalances" have not been reported in the literature and are a creation of therapist and gym trainers who want your dollar.

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Second, I personally started racing as a teen. I currently am about to turn 56. Cross training allow me to still train without overloading certain joints (I have a bad elbow from a cycling accident). As a TT specialist over time and without other forms of exercise I would predict an overall negative impact on you body.


I coach two guys in their 50s who insist on doing weights and have bulked up bodies that limit them on hills, limit their flexibility, increase their frontal area and limit their performance. I coach another rider who is 62 has cycled all his life, never does anything but cycle, is a multiple NZ Masters Road and TT champion and has a position on his TT bike that many 20 year olds would envy.

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If you cross training in season then yes it could detrain certain aspects but training nonstop year after year will burn out most athletes besides creation of muscle imbalances.


These "muscle imbalances" are a figment of your and marketing guru's imaginations. Think for yourself, do some actual research and you will find this is another myth like supplements or training below 60% in the off season so your don't burst your capillaries.

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Been there my friend, at one point I could ride a fast 100 miles daily in the mountains yet running across the road I pulled a muscle that was weeks to heal. So what I'm saying is weight training in it's varied form can be helpful to some cyclists if done correctly and at the right times. I here no reasonable argument to this statement. I am not challenging what your specific training does or that of highly trained sprinters on a track that most likely are extremely fit to begin with. Just the narrow band of inquiry applied to a general population


Love you're logic. You are arguing that we should do weights because of your personal experience. Our response is not our personal experience but our effort in reading the actual research and having the intelligence to differentiate between what is evidence based and what others are trying to sell you.

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I had for years a well respected Russian coach. He got results no question. That was his job. He himself suffered from many of the effects from the way he was trained yet trained others the same. In his 40's his knees were toast. He always had a new crop of students in the pipeline so this did not matter to HIM! I refuse to train my students that way. Perhaps I will get fewer "results" but I can live with that


Cool story Bro :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:41 pm 
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I know a guy who did lots of weight training and has terrible knees, can't run, and wobbles on the bike like a fish (how could that be with such a strong core?) and has constant back pain.

True story. :smartass:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:44 pm 
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Hey Coach,
Ever hear of hamstrings. Yea sometimes they are under developed in cyclist. Oh hell yea there is lots of documentation. See that's a muscle imbalance. Duh! People get hurt.
No I have personally never done any meaningful weight training with my legs short of rehab for injury. Once again you totally miss the point. Frankly I suspect your cup is full.
I respect your expertise as a high level track coach but your arrogance seems to preclude you seeing that there are other cyclists with needs other then yours. You have made a slew of false assumptions. You have made factual misstatements. You are extremely defensive and dismissive. I am also a professional coach I teach all levels and am not as ignorant as you would like to believe. I read studies all the time and was trained how to give weight to a study and apply it to a greater body of knowledge. I also read beyond cycling specific studies. Your stated position in not in reality. Anyone with a basic personal training certificate will chuckle. Your methods I'm sure are valid for your situation when your handed a crop of extremely fit young athletes to start with. Try your method on developing athletes. I'm sure this too will slide right past you. I wish you good luck. I'm done and will not bother dragging this thread out further.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:19 am 
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ZMe arrogant, you should take a look at yourself. "No no no my personal experience trumps the scientific literature". What an idiot!

rustychain wrote:
Hey Coach,
Ever hear of hamstrings. Yea sometimes they are under developed in cyclist. Oh hell yea there is lots of documentation. See that's a muscle imbalance. Duh! People get hurt.


Give us a reference then.

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I respect your expertise as a high level track coach but your arrogance seems to preclude you seeing that there are other cyclists with needs other then yours.


Gee I guess you missed the part where I said in various forms I have coached over 1000 cyclists in the last 19 years. Only 10% of them would be high performance and of that 5% International elite. The rest were everyday normal average people. None of which when I set them up on the bike well, taught them the appropriate cadence to use and set the training progression at an appropriate level needed any form of strength training off the bike.

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You have made a slew of false assumptions. You have made factual misstatements. You are extremely defensive and dismissive.


All ears buddy!

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I am also a professional coach


Good grief, really. I pity the fools who employ you.

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I teach all levels and am not as ignorant as you would like to believe. I read studies all the time and was trained how to give weight to a study and apply it to a greater body of knowledge. I also read beyond cycling specific studies. Your stated position in not in reality.


What are your qualifications to coach?

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Anyone with a basic personal training certificate will chuckle. Your methods I'm sure are valid for your situation when your handed a crop of extremely fit young athletes to start with. Try your method on developing athletes. I'm sure this too will slide right past you. I wish you good luck. I'm done and will not bother dragging this thread out further.


I coach juniors, Masters, newbies and the very experienced. I have a PG Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine and have gone back to school to complete a Masters Degree in Sport Science. While that makes me overqualified for coaching it does serve as an indication that while any monkey can read the research that is out there I might actually understand what it means and not buy into the marketing bulls**t that you have obviously fallen for.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:32 am 
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Perhaps rusty you can explain WHY you are right with detailed studies and science?

And yes I have no doubt those with personal training qualifications would chuckle, those with such qualifications being the pinnacle of sports sciences (coming from one who has such qualifications). Personal trainers by and large don't know shit. The aforementioned gentleman with the bad knees was told never to squat below parrarel, despite the studies showing that this helps the knees, not destroys them. But myths in personal and sports training abound.

You mentioned in an earlier post about track sprinters, all whom have done weights since the sports inception. Do they do it because that's the way it's always been done or because there is absolute concrete proof that it is ESSENTIAL for performance in this field?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:47 am 
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I did my time as a personal trainer working with sports people from various sports, a little rehab and a large number of normal people. It amazed me that the "PT Solution" for every client was doing weight training and usually 3 sets of 10 reps. It didn't take me long to realise that this was more of convenience and laziness and in an effort to actually help people I started actually training them to do what they wanted to do. It was funny how often this didn't involve doing 3 sets of 10 reps.

So instead of getting a person post ACL reconstruction doing 3 sets of 10 reps on leg extension I would work out plans that would get them back , walking, using stairs, sitting down on seats and then becoming more active and back into their sport or normal levels of activity.

Just the same as with cycling. If you set them up right on the bike, teach them optimal cadence and progressively increase the overload they make excellent progress.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:23 am 
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Hamish, are you saying that none of your 1000 cyclists has ever done any kind of cross training? Do you suggest they don't do any? None has ever had a bike related overuse injury?

(I suppose these sound like a loaded questions, but I'm genuinely interested in this topic).

Is there a good place to read up on the papers you mention?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:47 pm 
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MattSoutherden wrote:
Hamish, are you saying that none of your 1000 cyclists has ever done any kind of cross training? Do you suggest they don't do any? None has ever had a bike related overuse injury?

(I suppose these sound like a loaded questions, but I'm genuinely interested in this topic).

Is there a good place to read up on the papers you mention?


There are always injuries although most are from crashes. Juniors keep growing and have growth spurts. People get old. Everyone has bursts of extreme motivation where they push themselves too hard or they see other people doing stuff and try it themselves.

Things are better with power meters as I can see if they are ramping up the training loads too much. I can keep a check on cadence and the ones I can see the most often are the ones I can keep assessing their bike position as the grow, fitness changes, goals change. Big issue is people trying to sell them the wrong bikes.

Big gear training is the in thing and everyone wants to give it a go. Fortunately none of my riders are the ones whose career is ended trying to ride uphill at 40rpm.

Go to Google Scholar and search for cycling injuries. Usually abstracts for everything and you need a Uni id to see full papers but a lot of full papers are available.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:50 pm 
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I don't prescribe any form of cross training but here in NZ we have a climate where one can surf and jetski in the morning and ski in the afternoons in winter. School kids do Duathlons and Triathlons and people have other interests. I don't discourage that.

But come race day if you want to ride the bike fast it pays to have done a little practice at riding the bike fast.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Hamish – with you all the way mate; and no I definitely don’t think you’re the arrogant one in this argument.

When I started the mantra for a Brave New World Order was weight training, intervals and cross training as this would get results faster. So, Merckx and the others were dinosaurs. However, it was the riders doing specific training that still won the races and still do so today.

I have tried the weight training regimes, but it made not a blind bit of difference. My view is that there is a strength element to cycling, but I don’t see weights as being of much benefit to improve and most of the top cycling coaches I have read also consider cross training and weights as a complete waste of time.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:11 pm 
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Well, I am no coach but from personal experience I see some benefit in cross training during build up, in my case running. I think it's probably down to the individual physiology too, as not everyone would benefit from the same stimuli I would imagine. I can't really explain it, but it does make me stronger on the bike. Swimming too, but I dont put on much muscle mass either way, it just made me stronger and more flexible overall. I believe supporting your biking with other activities, be it yoga, swimming, running etc.. can be beneficiary. Psychologically, it's also an advantage not to do everything on the bike ? Many cyclists do yoga no ? It's also a form of flexibility/strength support training ?

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Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:11 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:04 pm 
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Psychologically, a break from cycling could be good depending on the person. I have found mtb does this nicely and is still cycling specific.

From a holistic viewpoint any physical activity is probably good for your health (maybe not boxing or the like).

Doing other stuff in the off-season is preferable to doing nothing. Same with yoga, swimming, etc. But as I have said before I generally have not seen anyone with a truly weak core strength and very rarely flexibility so poor that they can't fit on the bike (I have seen a couple, usually those recovering from injury of some kind.)

In my opinion EVERYONE should lift weights, because it's good for you, and way cool (chicks dig a 2x bodyweight deadlift, seriously! 8) ) Just don't expect it to help with your cycling (JDEITHWYC).

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