The foundations for successful riding
I have been looking at the internet for leg strength training to increase my leg strength. I'm not really sure if I'm on the money as I'm new to cycling. My next goal is the Canberra HIM in Dec.
Some exercises that I thought might help:
I'm not sure if these are all relevant, but I've got the skipping and tuck jumps for my running.
I've been told that there are some static holds which are good to help increase lactate tolerance but I'm not sure.
Can peopl please provide advice/guidance as to the direction I should be heading.
I have only timetabled one leg strength session a week.
I like weight training but don't expect much benefit from it for endurance stuff. Core strength stuff might make you more comfortable on the bike though.
As for your stuff, if you want strong legs, do squats. The exercises you listed probably won't do much for you.
cycling has increased my leg strength, size and definition
only been cycling on and off for just over a year. first 8 months of that were spent on a fixie though which works out my legs much harder. muscle are much sorer after a workout on the fixie. less distance is required. instead of coasting downhill my legs smash my hammies and bum more instead of quads/calves.
cycling is more about aerobic and anaerobic fitness not max strength.
i should ride my fixie more....but my road bike is so dam sexy
I just recently quit the gym so that I could get into bike riding and since then I have made my resistance training basically all body-weight work. Since doing this I have found that I do far more leg work. Some good ones are jumping squats and jumping lunges, these are Plyrometric exercises that improve explosive power. I would say incorporate them into a routine were you do them back to back with other body-weight exercises such as planks and push ups, hence you improve your endurance and become more functionally strong.
I use this routine called the crazy eight but I modify the leg exercises to the ones that I stated above, its dead set killer-
Its at this address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhWjPYdu_qk
As already mentioned aerobic vs anaerobic activity.
Building your leg strength up in the gym usually wont help improve you legs on the bike (unless doing specific track sprints etc), from my experience they'll both actually hurt each others perfomance.
I used to do various olympic lifts, deads, lunges religiously. I built up some pretty decent size and strength in the quads and hammies. Then I got into cycling, very slowly my quads reduced in size and strength. Cycling has in no way ever increased any of my 'portions', not sure how people can say this?
If you want to get better on the bike, get on the bike. If you still wish to work legs keep doing it but ease off before events.
P.S. Those exercises you mentioned are fairy stuff, stick to squats, deadlifts, cleans, lunges, presses, jerks...
here is lance armstrongs trainer talking about a good workout, as Armstrong has stated you have to be an athlete first and a cyclist second. tried this workout yesterday, damn does it give your legs a workout, Joe Friels' training bible talks about weight training and he states there is some improvement to be had with weight training and there is a theory that it will improve your LT.
I disagree. Before I did the knee I did a fair amount of leg weights work and found it helped quite a lot on the bike.
Would do two sessions a week, based on squats and power cleans.
And once a week would do a fast paced leg circuit to get some lactic tolerance in the legs. One legged leg press, toe raises, calf raises, leg extensions, hammy curls, hammy work on the hip and thigh machine, and just keep going until I started cramping.
Seriously seriously helped. Especially for sprints. But also for me on hills. I'm really missing that strength at the moment.
Aerodynamic Facial Hair
Not me. When I started hill work my calves got huge. Actually, they grew so fast it actually hurt. My leg warmers got really tight and my calves got so big I couldn't wrap my fingers around them anymore (both hands, middle finger tip to middle finger tip, thumb tip to thumb tip). I haven't done hills for about 6 months and my calves are a normal size again and I can wrap my hands around them again.
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I had to try the hand wrap around the calves thingy and mine didn't even come close, and I can't climb at all. I must have small hands.....you know what they say
On the topic of weights, and I'm no expert, but it really depends on what you are trying to achieve. Strength with some capacity to maintain it can be gained by using lighter weights with higher reps. Whereas explosive sprinting power will be developed by less reps in the sets and higher weights. Getting the right mixture of excercises in the workout is also important. I'd get some level of advice from a cycling coach and a weight training coach on the matter.
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
My left calf muscle has more bulk than my right, so my physio recommended implementing some strength training into my routine to help balance them out.
I've also read Joel Friels book and I agree that there are some benefits to strength training. Besides, above all else it feels good to give them a bit of a stretch .
2011 Merida Ride 93
2012 Apollo MTB
One reason might be to give a body some proportion. A puny shriveled upper body with stick arms sometimes doesn't match a well developed lower body with tree stump legs. That said, 1) a strong upper body won't help your cycling and 2) gain too much muscle mass on your upper body (additional weight) and your cycling performance will suffer. Choose your look, choose your consequences.
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Actually I should eat my own words, my calves have increased a little, but nothing else. I hate my stubborn chicken calves, I also have Greipel leg envy
I do weights for strength. I don't do weights for size as this is counterproductive. High weight say 85 - 90% of your 1RM, low reps (about 5) will build strength. If you want to build size then do say 80% x 1RM and 8 - 12 reps. How does this strength help, try climbing seated. That is a strength exercise. I am working on strength to improve my climbing, I am sick of burning heart rate whilst climbing standing.
I don't do it every other day, I do leg weights once a week, and cycle for the endurance the rest of the week. For added strength work I do hill repeats up Lapstone and sorrounding hills seated. I also do upper body and plenty of core (3 x per week). I weigh 88kg and can climb quite well. I have found the weights have improved my climbing and my power when on the mountain bike is much improved.
Yesterday was an easy day.
You do realise that the pedaling forces involved in such seated climbing efforts are quite low, maybe 1/5th to 1/10th of your strength and as such strength is not the limiter? You're limited by your aerobic metabolism, not strength.
How about step ups, do they count....42seconds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDawlrIe ... re=related
Some people are like Slinkies, they're really good for nothing..
..But they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs!
I agree aerobic metabolism would be a limiting factor, but as strength is part of it I would suggest it would also be a limiting factor. Now I appreciate what you are saying, you are more learned than I in this area, but if your strength is greater the efforts required will be less? If I have a 1RM of 100kg my pedal force required will be 20kg if 1/5 of my strength. Surely if I increase my 1RM to 120kg then without any increase in weight and gravity staying the same I reduce the effort required to 1/6 of my strength and so on. With reduced percentage effort on my legs (largest muscle groups in my body) then my spare aerobic capacity will increase?
Yesterday was an easy day.
Just watch how much calf stuff you do. I've found if I do any leg workouts within a 48 hour period of riding my calves feel like they've been run over by a car the next day!
Quads and hammies seem to fare better though. Like any resistance training it certainly doesn't hurt to give it a go. Particularly the core stuff.
I understand Alex disagrees, but for those of us who work in sedentary jobs such as mine, sitting all day in front of a computer screen, I think core strength training is definitely of value. Same also for leg and general strength conditioning, especially for those whose testosterone levels drop with age such as those in the 40+ age category. Weight training helps preserve muscle mass and bone density.
There is a significant difference in the way the training is conducted. I typically set the weight to enable me to do 12 reps by 3 sets without loss of form, and only put it up when I hit 20-25 reps without loss of form. This helps develop muscular endurance more than brute force strength such as bodybuilders chase with higher loads and fewer reps (eg 6), but does still bring some strength improvement.
For some of the exercises I focus on eccentric load (focus more on the slwo release of the load rather than the pushing phace of the rep) as the literature seems to indicate this helps with certain injuries I am prone to such as jumper's knee.
I certainly get fewer niggles from long rides now that I am 6 months+ down the track on this program.
As far as climbing goes, the really good climbers in the TDF; Sastre, Schleck, Contador all seem to spin high cadence. Can't see weight training help there, I reckon it would possibly be detrimental. Dragging that extra weight up the hill ain't going to help when it is aerobic capacity that limits.
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