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Applicability of Weight Training Concepts to Cycling?

Old 03-20-19, 09:09 AM
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fstrnu
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Applicability of Weight Training Concepts to Cycling?

https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/the-...rkout-routine/

I found this to be a nice process for developing a weight training plan and couldn't help notice the strong parallels to cycling training with power = weight, time = reps and intervals = sets.

Does anyone use a similar process to work out their cycling frequency, intensity, volume, etc.?

Obviously, there are differences but also has to be many similarities.

What similarities do you see?

What differences do you see?
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Old 03-20-19, 10:17 AM
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I have a thread for everything: https://www.bikeforums.net/training-...e-athlete.html

Be that as it may, there are few parallels. Strength training is about increasing force development and the rate thereof. During that process muscle cross section area (CSA) usually but not necessarily increases. Strength training is anaerobic. Cycling training is aerobic. Big difference. One should not confuse strength in the gym with strength on the bike. When the announcer says of the TdF that the strongest cyclist will win, they don't mean the guy who squats the most.

Power has little to do with weight. Time is reps, but because of the above, the goals are different and again no parallels. Intervals does equal sets, in fact intervals are specified as sets and both do the same thing, increase the ability to repeat.
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Old 03-20-19, 10:31 AM
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I live in Seattle, so I ride when the weather allows, and take my intervals as nature gives them to me, in the form of hills and and headwinds. This has been working well for me.

I used Strong Lifts as a template, and hired a a PT to help me customize it to my strengths and goals. I do this on a schedule that includes mandatory rest.
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Old 03-20-19, 08:16 PM
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Cycling is primarily an aerobic activity and requires different training regimens than strength training.
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Old 03-21-19, 05:46 PM
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I do strength training to maintain overall body strength and fitness, not to increase cycling performance.
Cycling performance is increased and maintained by riding outside.
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Old 03-27-19, 05:53 AM
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I was referring to the structured training decisions people make with intensity, duration, frequency. Not strength training.
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Old 03-27-19, 07:12 AM
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I do a bit of upper body strength training, usually during the winter, but occasionally other times of the year, to improve my ability to sit on the bicycle for extended periods of time in relative comfort.
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Old 03-27-19, 07:58 AM
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"I do not like any super intensive forms of weight training for the road rider (as opposed to the track specialist). The best system is a circuit with 10-15 stations that strengthen everything - legs, shoulders, arms, back and especially the stomach.Go through the entire circuit three times with a three minute rest before starting again. Remember that you are not a lifter, you are a bike rider."

-Eddie Borysewicz former US National Cycling Coach
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Old 03-27-19, 10:44 AM
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You can be a lifter and a rider. We're all humans, and strength training pays big dividends for anybody with a human body.
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Old 03-27-19, 02:57 PM
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I've been wondering about this lately.

I've done many athletic activities in my 34 years, including running, swimming, gymnastics for several years, weights (back in college for a semester), pickup sports (street hockey, soccer, baseball), Spartan Race, aggressive inline skating.
I raced bikes for the past 5 years a LOT. Training was always confusing to me. My power always varied a lot day to day, and the progression is not intuitive.

I burned out last year, and after a crash in October I started weight training. To me, it is perfectly intuitive, how much to do, when to call it quits, when to do high reps vs low reps, etc. I can hit within 1% or 2% of target numbers. It's nice. Now I'm back on the bike training and it's hella frustrating how it doesn't work like that.

Here are my main questions/gripes/wondering what I'm doing wrong:

1) Power on the bike is always a mystery. I'll be hitting predictable numbers, and for no apparent reason sometimes the numbers change by 20-30 watts. It's probably fatigue/freshness, but the CTL/ATL/TSS model seems to not predict this with any accuracy.
2) How does fatigue on a bike work? With weights/muscular strength, I can rest 3 or 4 days and be 99% sure of hitting specific numbers. On the bike I can do a hard ride, then 3 days later be 20% sure of hitting anything close. Or I'll think I'm good to go, and not know until halfway into the first effort when power is down 30 watts. And this is with about 10 times more experience bike training than weight lifting. It FEELS like my muscles are tired, but is it really my aerobic system?
3) Why does it always feel like my muscles are giving out, even in aerobic activity? Threshold? Muscles get tired. VO2 max? Muscles get tired. Anaerobic effort? I breath super super hard, but my muscles get tired. It confuses me cuz running isn't like that. Running I get aerobically tired.
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Old 03-27-19, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
"I do not like any super intensive forms of weight training for the road rider (as opposed to the track specialist). The best system is a circuit with 10-15 stations that strengthen everything - legs, shoulders, arms, back and especially the stomach.Go through the entire circuit three times with a three minute rest before starting again. Remember that you are not a lifter, you are a bike rider."

-Eddie Borysewicz former US National Cycling Coach
That's old think. The problem with that program, and the reason that no one does that anymore, is that it takes too long and is too exhausting. It turns out that one only needs to do a very few heavy lifts with low reps, which takes little time, and doesn't wear one out.

Be that as it may, one can't just walk into a gym and do what I just said without a good chance of getting injured. So if you haven't been lifting regularly, you do what Eddie said for a couple months, say September and October, then gradually decrease exercises and reps until you get down to maybe 4 exercises and 3 reps, not circuits. I do a version of that periodization every year.

It's also been found that you see a lot fewer injuries in those who only take 1 minute between sets rather than 3. The 3-minute folks move more weight, but aren't any faster for it. I hit the next circuit exercise when my HR dropped below 115. Oh - and not the stomach. Never was a cyclist who complained their abs were sore. it's the back that's always the issue. OTOH maybe he really means hip flexors, which need a lot of work. But that's not the stomach.

I did it Eddie's way for a few years before I figured out that there was a better way. How? Just by reading the studies and experimenting on myself. It helps to live long and never stop experimenting with new techniques and methods. Old isn't better. Better is better.

First outdoor ride of the year today on my single. A couple nice intervals and a couple upwind sprints in the drops to make traffic lights, 6 PRs in a 15 mile ride. Finally starting to get it back. This winter's been good: weights, roller drills, and capacity rides.
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Old 03-27-19, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
I've been wondering about this lately.

I've done many athletic activities in my 34 years, including running, swimming, gymnastics for several years, weights (back in college for a semester), pickup sports (street hockey, soccer, baseball), Spartan Race, aggressive inline skating.
I raced bikes for the past 5 years a LOT. Training was always confusing to me. My power always varied a lot day to day, and the progression is not intuitive.

I burned out last year, and after a crash in October I started weight training. To me, it is perfectly intuitive, how much to do, when to call it quits, when to do high reps vs low reps, etc. I can hit within 1% or 2% of target numbers. It's nice. Now I'm back on the bike training and it's hella frustrating how it doesn't work like that.

Here are my main questions/gripes/wondering what I'm doing wrong:

1) Power on the bike is always a mystery. I'll be hitting predictable numbers, and for no apparent reason sometimes the numbers change by 20-30 watts. It's probably fatigue/freshness, but the CTL/ATL/TSS model seems to not predict this with any accuracy.
2) How does fatigue on a bike work? With weights/muscular strength, I can rest 3 or 4 days and be 99% sure of hitting specific numbers. On the bike I can do a hard ride, then 3 days later be 20% sure of hitting anything close. Or I'll think I'm good to go, and not know until halfway into the first effort when power is down 30 watts. And this is with about 10 times more experience bike training than weight lifting. It FEELS like my muscles are tired, but is it really my aerobic system?
3) Why does it always feel like my muscles are giving out, even in aerobic activity? Threshold? Muscles get tired. VO2 max? Muscles get tired. Anaerobic effort? I breath super super hard, but my muscles get tired. It confuses me cuz running isn't like that. Running I get aerobically tired.
You can try looking at your HRV. There are cheap HRV apps for your phone. Takes some weeks before it makes any sense, but it's helpful. While doing your HRV, take your 3 minute resting HR every morning right after you pee. Then stand and record your HR after standing 3 minutes. That'll help, too, maybe more than the HRV. I do a resting HRV, and then a standing 5-minute HRV and add the RMSSD number for the two instances together. Some days, my standing numbers are way worse, a sure sign that I'm tired.

I find my TSB is a good indication of my performance that day. Not perfect, but very helpful especially for not getting discouraged. .

IMO day-to-day tiredness on the bike is a glandular thing. Complicated, lots going on there. I wouldn't worry about not hitting consistent numbers. Just do the work, it'll help. But do watch that the numbers don't drop every rep. You don't want that. If they do that, you really are too tired for the work to be helpful, to the contrary. As it is said, we get stronger when we rest.

If your muscles are getting tired doing interval reps . . .You can try muscle tension intervals. On a steady hill, climb at 50-55 cadence holding a steady HR or power in the middle or middle of the upper half of zone 3, say 3-4 10' reps or 3 15' reps, once a week. It's supposed to hurt like the devil. No upper body motion, prying on the bars, etc. Perfectly still, just the legs go around.

Another idea is that perhaps you need more aerobic conditioning. Try getting over an hour of threshold work every week. Do over-unders, too. I don't know, it's been a long time since I was that young. Maybe a lot more than that? How much of that can you do without getting cooked? Where are your limits? Do you know? You should.

On the weight training: you probably aren't going to failure every session. If you did that, you'd notice differences. it's pretty easy to squat the same thing every week as long as you aren't trying to fail it. And of course you're not! OK to do that on the sled or bench with a spot, though. Try that in the gym, I think you'll find that some days you really are stronger than others. Or don't. Just do the lifts and don't over-think it. I've found that cycling-specific weight training helps my endurance: https://www.bikeforums.net/training-...e-athlete.html
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Old 03-28-19, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
"I do not like any super intensive forms of weight training for the road rider (as opposed to the track specialist). The best system is a circuit with 10-15 stations that strengthen everything - legs, shoulders, arms, back and especially the stomach.Go through the entire circuit three times with a three minute rest before starting again. Remember that you are not a lifter, you are a bike rider."

-Eddie Borysewicz former US National Cycling Coach
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
That's old think. The problem with that program, and the reason that no one does that anymore, is that it takes too long and is too exhausting. It turns out that one only needs to do a very few heavy lifts with low reps, which takes little time, and doesn't wear one out.
In addition to Carbonfiberboy's excellent post, I'll add that the majority of us aren't really bike riders any more than we are lifters. Unless you're a high level competitive cyclist, general health should likely take priority over maximizing cycling performance. (ironically, the advice given here by Eddie Borysewicz may be better for general health than for cycling).

I'd also add that, in general, cycling coaches are a mediocre (at best) resource for advice on lifting weights. A fundamental problem is that there are very few people who really understand both lifting and cycling (or any other endurance sport really). Most weightlifting/strength and conditioning coaches don't really know what is needed for <insert endurance sport> and most <insert endurance sport> coaches know next to nothing about lifting weights. This is, gradually, changing, but you still see advice like this come up far too often.
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Old 03-28-19, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
...Unless you're a high level competitive cyclist, general health should likely take priority over maximizing cycling performance...
I think this needs to be repeated.
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Old 03-28-19, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I think this needs to be repeated.
Absolutely. Even though I'm a performance-oriented cyclist, I also hike, backpack, ski Alpine and Nordic, and do full-body weights for 3 months every fall. Injury prevention is a good thing. And I rather think, at least in my case, this cross-training helps my bike performance over the long haul. LeMond skied and played golf.
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Old 03-28-19, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
<snip>
2) How does fatigue on a bike work? With weights/muscular strength, I can rest 3 or 4 days and be 99% sure of hitting specific numbers. On the bike I can do a hard ride, then 3 days later be 20% sure of hitting anything close. Or I'll think I'm good to go, and not know until halfway into the first effort when power is down 30 watts. And this is with about 10 times more experience bike training than weight lifting. It FEELS like my muscles are tired, but is it really my aerobic system?
<snip>
My legs and back felt tired today from some recent hard cycling, but I had a gym session scheduled so I screwed up my courage and went anyway. My second set of squats felt unusually easy, so I added 20 lbs. over my recent max and could have done an extra rep. I'd squatted that much a couple years ago, but not since. My wife, also tired, PRed her last set by 10 lbs. And I thought of you. Interesting that 2 days of hard riding upped our squats. My wife's HRV was in the toilet this morning and I didn't take mine. The mysteries of training are part of the fun.
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