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Old 01-12-19, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
You're second sentence was

Endurance athletes aside, this simply isn't true. Certainly not when comparing someone who is 140 vs 170 at 5'10".
Had you restricted your statement to endurance athletes, it would have made sense (and yes, I agree cyclists and joggers have little use for excess muscle, particularly in the upper body). You didn't. You also specifically used feats of strength in your comparisons.
As you no doubt know, elite cyclists are extremely specialized. If your goal is general fitness, they aren't a great model to follow.
There is new study out that challenges some older beliefs about weight training and strength. I will try to find the study and post a link to it.

My summary: A group of ninety young men of about equal fitness was divided into three groups. The the fist group worked out using a regime of one set of 5-12 repetitions using enough weight to achieve total muscle fatigue. The second group did 3 sets using enough weight to achieve total muscle fatigue. The third group did five sets using the same criteria: enough weight to reach total muscle fatigue. The researchers found the five-set group had the largest muscle mass gain while, the single-set group had the least amount of gain. The three-set group's muscle mass gain was in between the other groups. The strength gain differences between of the 3 groups is what surprised the researchers; there was no significant difference.

I disagree about upper body strength not being significant in endurance sports. The first thing my daughter's track coach did when she entered college was to put her on a weight training program - she was (still is) a distance runner. Core strength is important in any sport.

I have used weight training since high school, and still hit the weights 5 days a week at 75 years old. I was an endurance athlete into my mid forties. My best events were the 50 k and marathon. I did run one 50 mile race to qualify for the Western States 100, but did not compete in that event. I could bench press 185 lbs, and the weights used in the other exercises were proportionate. I could never build any muscle mass that amounted to anything, but I thought I was pretty strong for my weight. I use a regime that has been modified over the years, but it is essentially a cross between the between the first and second groups' regimes discussed above. I also cycle or spin daily, and ride about 4,000 miles a year. My wife and I have toured over 20,000 miles, totaling 20 months, through 11 countries since 2007. I do agree that going to the gym may not always be beneficial. On the way to the gym last Monday morning, I dumped my bike on the ice and have a sore shoulder, forearm, hip and knee to show for it. Going skiing yesterday didn't help either

At 6' I weighed between 150 lbs. and 160 lbs. most of life, but have dipped to 145 lbs when training hard (running 60-70 miles/week+ weights 3 days/week), or riding multi-month bike tours. I have always felt that my height /weight ratio was an advantage not a handicap. I've also participated in other sports including : judo, bike racing (mediocre), rock climbing, mountaineering, and telemark and xc skiing where being tall and skinny didn't seem to matter.

Last edited by Doug64; 01-12-19 at 12:39 AM.
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