Winter Weight Training for Strength not Mass? - Page 2
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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    I agree with the importance of specificity.

    What would you prescribe as a "gym day" to a cyclist who is trying to improve their sprint, both peak power and duration?

    eg, "complete warmup with some sprints followed by standing starts on the spin bike with the resistance close to 100%"?
    That depends on the type of cyclist (e.g. endurance vs sprint cyclist) and it also depends on the individual's development needs and phenotype / power profile.

    It's almost impossible on most indoor bikes to replicate the neural demands of hard starts and the acceleration phase of full on sprints because the inertial load is just too low. So you can pretty much forget about that sort of work, unless you have a highly specialised trainer made for the job (like I did).

    The sort of work that makes more sense with indoor equipment is a focus on functional reserve capacity / anaerobic work capacity - IOW very high intensity efforts of 20-60 seconds duration. That will help with crit and roadie sprints that tend to be won by those who fade less than those with the highest peak power. But that sort of work can only be done in a focussed phase of training for a limited time as the gains are fairly rapid (day to weeks) and will plateau.

    For an endurance racing cyclist (road/crit/track endurance) don't forget that superior aerobic condition helps you arrive at the sprint far fresher than your opponents or with fewer opponents to sprint against, and that is also a key element of sprint performance.

    So craft and guile in both saving energy as well as work that helps to improve your threshold power are also beneficial to sprint performance for an endurance cyclist. You can do the latter on an indoor bike, but the former requires actual racing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    Why do so many trackies spend so much time doing squats in the gym? Are they wasting their time with non-transferable gains?
    The performance and physiological demands for track sprint cycling are significantly different than for endurance cycling, and this is a sport that rewards increased muscle mass (in the right places), provided the increased mass is accompanied by a sufficient improvement in top end/peak power/functional reserve/anaerobic work capacity.

    Olympic weight movements are the norm. Perhaps some plyos as well. But ergo efforts similar to those described above as well given the limitations of the indoor bikes used.

    Even so, it's very important that gains be realised on the track, and no matter what you do in the gym, the work done on the track is far more important.

    Being strong is not enough. You have to be fast. IOW a focus on strength is the wrong focus, what matters is power over durations of relevance.

    One can be very strong, but slow.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcb View Post
    I think you answered your own question with the part I bolded. These questions come up every other day this time of year here in the northern hemisphere and I think a lot of riders have other motives for weight training beyond going faster on a bike.
    Yes, just to be clear, my comments are specific to cycling performance matters. I'm a professional cycling coach and this is a cycling coach forum.

    There are other reasons why one might want to move weights at their local gym.

    Quote Originally Posted by dcb View Post
    Alex - you mentioned in another post (not on this thread) your own not so great experience with weight training in regard to getting faster on a bike. Would you mind detailing that again? I can't seem to find it. Or, maybe you talked about it in Wattage?
    Who knows? There are roughly seventy bazillion weight/strength training threads in cycling forums

    For me, increasing strength made my sprint slower. Sprints are what made my sprint faster. But I was never a sprint cyclist, I was an enduro. YMMV. I have rider focussed on the kilo TT, so we use weight training for him. In his case it makes sense.

    For reference my free squats (when I did them) got to 6 reps of 2.5 x body mass. That was a lot more than say Ryan Bayley, dual Olympic gold medallist in match sprint and Keirin, could do for 1RM, indeed it's stronger than the majority of elite track sprinters in Australia. Once you are about 2 - 2.2 x body mass for a male for 1RM, that's usually considered plenty strong enough and (physiological) work needs to be more about power than about strength (indeed it should always be about power).

    My kilo client is not even close to that sort of strength (maybe 1.6-1.7 x body mass) but his kilo is 8 seconds faster than I could ever do.

  3. #28
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    strength times speed= power , so to some extent one needs to be strong. speed applied is being fast. But one can be strong and be fast. Isn't that what we are all striving for?
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by evs View Post
    strength times speed= power , so to some extent one needs to be strong. speed applied is being fast. But one can be strong and be fast. Isn't that what we are all striving for?
    No, power = force x velocity

    Strength <> force since force is a variable.

    Strength is maximal force at zero velocity.

    Just because maximal force at zero velocity (strength) has increased doesn't automatically imply that force also improves at when pedalling at higher velocities.

    Likewise, just because your maximal unloaded pedal speed has increased doesn't automatically imply you can apply same forces at higher pedal velocities.

    It's a mistake to think of these things (force and velocity) as independent variables we can simply manipulate by a focus on one of them. They are not.

    Even in sprint cycling the pedal forces don't approach the maximal we are capable of generating. It's physically impossible to do so. At maximal effort, which we can sustain for maybe 6 second before fatigue sets in, the force we can apply and the rate we can apply it at is inversely (linearly) related.

    Even at 2000W and 135rpm the average effective pedal force applied by both legs on 170mm cranks is 832N, which is equivalent to lifting about 85kg.

    IOW it's all about applying sub-maximal forces at speed.


    Speed in endurance cycling is attained at pedal forces that are very low, an order of magnitude less than those involved with strength. That sort of speed is all about sustainable rate of energy supply and metabolism.

    Climbing at 400W at 80rpm on 170mm cranks requires an AEPF for both legs of ~ 28.7kg. If you can't lift 28.7kg with both legs, then you have bigger problems than being able to cycle fast.

  5. #30
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    Then why are bigger guys better in sprints?
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by evs View Post
    Then why are bigger guys better in sprints?
    Who are you asking?

    In any case, I already said this earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    The performance and physiological demands for track sprint cycling are significantly different than for endurance cycling, and this is a sport that rewards increased muscle mass (in the right places), provided the increased mass is accompanied by a sufficient improvement in top end/peak power/functional reserve/anaerobic work capacity.
    To expand on that, when talking about flat sprinting, then the equation is one of W/m^2 for sustainable sprint speed and peak power W/kg for acceleration phase.

    W/CdA does not increase linearly with rider's mass, hence at high (but unsustainable sprint/anaerobic) power outputs, bigger riders have a higher W/m^2 than smaller riders, in general.

    The muscle mass can aid in the peak power W/kg, provided it's done right and it's the right sort of muscle and trained to be fast on a bike.

    But being bigger doesn't mean you'll be faster. Theo Bos set a world record in the track 200m fly then at 9.772 seconds (not at altitude) and he's a former world champion in the match sprint, the kilo and the Keirin - he's wan't exactly a big monster. he's trimmed a little since then, currently ~77kg.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    Who are you asking?

    In any case, I already said this earlier:



    To expand on that, when talking about flat sprinting, then the equation is one of W/m^2 for sustainable sprint speed and peak power W/kg for acceleration phase.

    W/CdA does not increase linearly with rider's mass, hence at high (but unsustainable sprint/anaerobic) power outputs, bigger riders have a higher W/m^2 than smaller riders, in general.

    The muscle mass can aid in the peak power W/kg, provided it's done right and it's the right sort of muscle and trained to be fast on a bike.

    But being bigger doesn't mean you'll be faster. Theo Bos set a world record in the track 200m fly then at 9.772 seconds (not at altitude) and he's a former world champion in the match sprint, the kilo and the Keirin - he's wan't exactly a big monster. he's trimmed a little since then, currently ~77kg.
    Thanks Alex! I appreciate your taking the time to answer a slew of questions! I'm learning a ton. If you don't mind yet another question... Do you have key suggestions for further reading? I just started Base Building and I'm going to re-read Friel's Bible. Do you have any favorites?

    I've never hit close to 2X my weight squats... That's impressive! I am coming from (hobby level) Speedskating where squats and Plyos are a big part of the off-season plan, so I'm still trying to get the cycling mindset. There aren't indoor trainers or stationary pieces of equiptment for Speedskating that are affordable and accessible, just slide boards. So cycling is very different in what is possible... And that's very exciting!
    Last edited by PBL450; 11-24-2014 at 05:59 PM.
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    For reference my free squats (when I did them) got to 6 reps of 2.5 x body mass.
    Thanks Alex, I do remember reading a post of yours with similar information but it may have been in Wattage. That's pretty darn strong! The strongest athletes I've worked with were NCAA D1 football players at a pretty big school and although you wouldn't have been close to the strongest in that group, you certainly wouldn't have been out of place on test day.

    Can I ask why you worked yourself up to strength levels that high, and what was your starting 6RM squat? I would think that somewhere in that process you would have realized that you were at a dead end if your goal was a better sprint. But maybe you started out with a 2.2 x body mass 6RM so it wasn't a big reach to get where you did?

    How much mass did you gain in the process?

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcb View Post
    Thanks Alex, I do remember reading a post of yours with similar information but it may have been in Wattage. That's pretty darn strong! The strongest athletes I've worked with were NCAA D1 football players at a pretty big school and although you wouldn't have been close to the strongest in that group, you certainly wouldn't have been out of place on test day.

    Can I ask why you worked yourself up to strength levels that high, and what was your starting 6RM squat? I would think that somewhere in that process you would have realized that you were at a dead end if your goal was a better sprint. But maybe you started out with a 2.2 x body mass 6RM so it wasn't a big reach to get where you did?

    How much mass did you gain in the process?
    It was a over decade ago (ca 2002) and I don't have many records handy from then. I'm not sure what I started at but as it was probably at least a decade before that when I last did any such weight work (ca 1989) so I'm guessing I started at what felt conservative, and just kept adding to the bar in the opening week or two until it felt about as much as it should, so maybe around 1.8-1.9x. I'd do 5-6 sets, lighter to start with and end with 2-3 sets with full weight.

    I was 80-82kg at that time, and I ended up doing 210kg after ~ 6-7 weeks from one squat session per week. Not much mass gain in that time.

    After some road race seasons, I was experimenting with track, and with training, and given I reached such a strength level fairly quickly and there was no positive impact on my sprint, I figured there wasn't much point doing more. I was training regularly with world record level masters track sprinters so I had a pretty decent gauge on my abilities. I was no sprinter. Strong for sure, stronger than all of them, but just not that fast. I wasn't a slug either but it was enduro-level pace, not sprinter-level pace.

    I did then progress to doing more explosive type work to see if that was a better choice, but I got an injury from that and decided the risks were not worth it and by then I'd decided to focus on track endurance and crits, and shorter road races/kermesse style races, so the strength work wasn't a priority.

    I then kept doing sprint training on the bike at the track, usually after I'd had a morning endurance ride I'd go to the track and do sprints with the guys. It was fun and that's really important.

    I've not touched a weight since. Well not quite. I tried once in 2009 a couple of years after my amputation but all that happened was my knee swelled badly and I was unable to use my prosthetic leg for a week or so. No leg to walk or ride on sucks. If I do sprint work, it's only ever on the bike now, and I vastly prefer to do the training on the track bike. I'm unable to jog or run with my prosthetic.

  10. #35
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    many "endurance" cyclists appear to have substantial muscle hypertrophy as the result of cycling stimuli (presumably anaerobic training). Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara are two good examples of time trialist specialists (both would be easily confused with gym rats from the waist down). This certainly looks like hypertrophic adaptation - presumably it helps their time trial performance. Even Wiggins talks about his need to gain muscle mass for the pursuit (an endurance event). My guess is that Wiggins is surprisingly strong in the gym for someone who looks like they've never touched a weight (when Dave Zabriskie tried strength training he was also surprisingly strong).

    Given these examples of muscle hypertrophy, what's the difference between gaining it through the gym vs. high-intensity intervals? Maybe the gym route is more time effective as a way to supplement on the bike training for people who don't have 20 hours a week, etc.?

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesbike View Post
    many "endurance" cyclists appear to have substantial muscle hypertrophy as the result of cycling stimuli (presumably anaerobic training). Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara are two good examples of time trialist specialists (both would be easily confused with gym rats from the waist down). This certainly looks like hypertrophic adaptation - presumably it helps their time trial performance. Even Wiggins talks about his need to gain muscle mass for the pursuit (an endurance event). My guess is that Wiggins is surprisingly strong in the gym for someone who looks like they've never touched a weight (when Dave Zabriskie tried strength training he was also surprisingly strong).

    Given these examples of muscle hypertrophy, what's the difference between gaining it through the gym vs. high-intensity intervals? Maybe the gym route is more time effective as a way to supplement on the bike training for people who don't have 20 hours a week, etc.?
    The muscle adaptations are different in a few ways.

    Endurance cycling induces various muscle adaptations:
    - interconversion of fast twitch muscle fibres type IIb -> type IIa (i.e. to take on more endurance like properties)
    - hypertrophy of slow twitch muscle fibres
    - increased capillarisation (for getting blood into and out of the working muscles)
    - increase in size and number of mitochondria in muscle cells (these are the energy supply plants inside each cell)
    - reduction in the cell diffusion distance for exchange of gases and metabolites
    - increased muscle glycogen storage

    Maximal effort sprint and proper strength training leads to:
    - hypertrophy of fast twitch muscle fibres
    - reduced mitochondrial density
    - reduced capillarisation
    - increased cell diffusion distance
    - increased anaerobic capacity and ability to tolerate high lactate levels for short periods
    - increase rapid energy phosphate stores

    IOW the type of hypertrophy induced by volumes of endurance cycling are different and done so while preserving or even improving mitochondrial and capillary density. The mitochondria are absolutely key to endurance cycling performance since they are the energy factories and determine how much energy our muscles can sustainably supply.

    What you do with weight in a gym will have little or no benefit for this crucial physiological adaptation for aerobic abilities.

    Also keep in mind that high level endurance cyclists have very low body fat levels, and so muscle definition is enhanced.

    As for Zabriske - sure, there will be a range of strength abilities for endurance cyclists just as here is for everyone (like me for instance, was strong but it still didn't make me a sprinter). Some will be strong, others much less so. e.g. Boardman was not strong (his peak power was well under 900W) yet he road 56.3km for an hour at ~6.4W/kg and held the world pursuit record for nearly 20 years.


    WRT Wiggins and pursuit, keep in mind that pursuit is a flat event over 4.X minutes and W/m^2 (power to aero drag ratio) is the key determinant of performance in the pursuit. As such it rewards an ability to sustain higher absolute power including a sizeable anaerobic energy contribution (approx 25%) and the additional muscle mass one might attain from doing pursuit oriented training doesn't come with an equal aerodynamic loss, so there can be a net performance gain (assuming you are still trim). High intensity cycling work can also induce muscle mass gain, you don't need to go to the gym for that, plus of course what you eat is very important.

    When climbing long mountain passes is critical for success then additional muscle mass may or may not come with the addition of an equal amount of power. Remember that the physics changes for climbs and W/kg is king.
    Last edited by Alex_Simmons/RST; 11-26-2014 at 12:50 PM.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealric View Post
    This seems incomplete and misleading.

    but nobody has ever gained much mass from doing 100 rep curls of a 5lb dumbell. .
    .
    Have you seen the studies on blood flow restriction training? While they are often not going as low as 5lbs in weight, the load is as little as 20% of 1rm and they are causing pretty substantial gains in skeletal muscle mass, markers of MPS, and gains in 1RM.

    Then there is the data from Phillips lab and others using "traditional" endurance type exercises (30% of 1rm) but taking it all the way to failure for three sets. phillips sm 30% 80 muscle - Google Scholar

    Both of theses data sets suggest that muscle adapts to a stimulus on a continuum. And while specificity is crucially important to optimal performance in a specific modality, the path to get there is not always linear.

    If I had to choose sides, I am with Alex on this one, in that for cycling performance (as the primary goal) time on the bike which includes a variety of "workouts" is better for most of us than time in the gym (for on bike performance).

    Now there is the argument that resistance training can recruit "new" or more fiber types which can then be used on the bike. I am open to the possibility that is true. But I have not seen a well designed study which suggests that method is better.

    In the end, training is an art and a science. There is room for personal preference in practice. And as others have said, not many of us are anywhere close to professional.

    Never stop questioning what you do and why you do it (without paralysis by analysis).

    Alex and Steve....If I am reading what you wrote correctly, I feel you are somewhat saying the same thing to an extent with the data I suggested above.

    Classic strength training will activate mTOR and gain of cross bridges to a greater degree. Endurance activities will active AMPk and PGC1-alpha and down stream kinase to a greater degree. But the amount of cross talk is very complex. Keith Baar and David Hughes have quite a bit of data on this at the molecular level (sorry no papers to cite off the top of my head).

    But basically, endurance modalities drive strength adaptations when properly fed and with the right fiber types. And resistance training modalities can drive some endurance training adaptations (especially when short rest and longer sets are employed).

    The main negative I have heard both anecdotally and in discussions with researchers in this area is the DOMs and reduced training capacity when undertaking concurrent training. Some are better able to handle and recover from those stresses either due to diet or other factors. Illustrating the reponder / nonresponder.
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    It was a over decade ago (ca 2002) and I don't have many records handy from then. I'm not sure what I started at but as it was probably at least a decade before that when I last did any such weight work (ca 1989) so I'm guessing I started at what felt conservative, and just kept adding to the bar in the opening week or two until it felt about as much as it should, so maybe around 1.8-1.9x. I'd do 5-6 sets, lighter to start with and end with 2-3 sets with full weight.

    I was 80-82kg at that time, and I ended up doing 210kg after ~ 6-7 weeks from one squat session per week. Not much mass gain in that time.

    After some road race seasons, I was experimenting with track, and with training, and given I reached such a strength level fairly quickly and there was no positive impact on my sprint, I figured there wasn't much point doing more. I was training regularly with world record level masters track sprinters so I had a pretty decent gauge on my abilities. I was no sprinter. Strong for sure, stronger than all of them, but just not that fast. I wasn't a slug either but it was enduro-level pace, not sprinter-level pace.

    I did then progress to doing more explosive type work to see if that was a better choice, but I got an injury from that and decided the risks were not worth it and by then I'd decided to focus on track endurance and crits, and shorter road races/kermesse style races, so the strength work wasn't a priority.

    I then kept doing sprint training on the bike at the track, usually after I'd had a morning endurance ride I'd go to the track and do sprints with the guys. It was fun and that's really important.

    I've not touched a weight since. Well not quite. I tried once in 2009 a couple of years after my amputation but all that happened was my knee swelled badly and I was unable to use my prosthetic leg for a week or so. No leg to walk or ride on sucks. If I do sprint work, it's only ever on the bike now, and I vastly prefer to do the training on the track bike. I'm unable to jog or run with my prosthetic.
    Alex - I really appreciate the detailed response. Given your starting strength levels I'd guess your 1RM at the time you initiated strength training at ~ 2.15 x bw. For a ground based athlete who isn't interested in gaining mass I would have immediately focused on RFD with simplified Olympic type lifts and plyos, while maintaining strength. With an athlete like you, there would be little need to work on maintaining that strength given what you came to the table with. However, I know nothing about track cyclists or how they train for sprints so I'm not sure that plan would apply to a cyclist. As you noted, there's nothing like sprinting to make your sprint better. It works on the ground and on the bike. I have always looked at weights and plyos as a compliment to on the field sprint work, not as the primary method for performance enhancement.

    As I've mentioned in other threads on this subject I think there's an avenue for improvement on the bike through resistance training focused on mobility and imbalance correction rather than gaining as much strength as possible. For example, my own strength training program consists of 2x4-6 reps of each of the following types of movements: Squat, Hip Hinge, Pull, Push, Loaded Carry or Get-Up. I do this once every 7-10 days with very light weight. I do this because if I don't my hips start to lock up (usually right SI joint) and I start to get upper back and neck pain. If I let this get started, it's bad both on and off the bike. So while my weight training isn't directly impacting my power output, it's keeping me pain free and on my bike. My plan is pretty low level as cycling is not a very dynamic sport (and I'm not getting paid to ride), but our older athletes follow similar but more involved plans in-season and it has been very effective keeping them healthy and on the field.

    I'm lucky, because I have a job that keeps me on my feet and moving for half the day or more. I can't imagine what I'd feel like if I had to sit at a desk 8+ hours a day. I'd imagine there are more than a few middle aged recreational (but committed) cyclists who may have similar issues.

    Again Alex, your input is always enlightening and I'm glad to read your posts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    Not sure I get the point of this vid. I didn't bother watching it all, too long.

    Different people training for different outcomes. As for squatting twice body weight, that's not exactly extraordinary. Most track sprint cyclists can do at least 2 x body weight for free squat.
    video sort of shows that you don't have to be massive to be strong. All the guys were doing the same lift at the same weight, yet one guy looks smaller than the rest. I know squatting 2x body weight is nothing extraordinary. I'm 118 myself and I can do 275 on a Smith machine about 5 reps, granted smith macine is not free weight but I'm also a very skinny 5'7" 118lbs.

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    I don't want to muddy the waters here but...

    First, that video was great. The smaller guy obviously trains for strength (while the others may train for size). And the smaller guy had superior form. There is no doubt that he is getting everything out of his size. And if those bigger guys trained similarly to how he trains, they would certainly be able to get more out of their bodies.

    So how does the powerlifter train--without putting on excess bulk--and is it transferable to cycling?

    Alex and others have posted some good information here. And post #37 summed up things nicely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdeeer View Post
    Have you seen the studies on blood flow restriction training? While they are often not going as low as 5lbs in weight, the load is as little as 20% of 1rm and they are causing pretty substantial gains in skeletal muscle mass, markers of MPS, and gains in 1RM.

    Then there is the data from Phillips lab and others using "traditional" endurance type exercises (30% of 1rm) but taking it all the way to failure for three sets. phillips sm 30% 80 muscle - Google Scholar

    Both of theses data sets suggest that muscle adapts to a stimulus on a continuum. And while specificity is crucially important to optimal performance in a specific modality, the path to get there is not always linear.

    If I had to choose sides, I am with Alex on this one, in that for cycling performance (as the primary goal) time on the bike which includes a variety of "workouts" is better for most of us than time in the gym (for on bike performance).

    Now there is the argument that resistance training can recruit "new" or more fiber types which can then be used on the bike. I am open to the possibility that is true. But I have not seen a well designed study which suggests that method is better.

    In the end, training is an art and a science. There is room for personal preference in practice. And as others have said, not many of us are anywhere close to professional.

    Never stop questioning what you do and why you do it (without paralysis by analysis).

    Alex and Steve....If I am reading what you wrote correctly, I feel you are somewhat saying the same thing to an extent with the data I suggested above.

    Classic strength training will activate mTOR and gain of cross bridges to a greater degree. Endurance activities will active AMPk and PGC1-alpha and down stream kinase to a greater degree. But the amount of cross talk is very complex. Keith Baar and David Hughes have quite a bit of data on this at the molecular level (sorry no papers to cite off the top of my head).

    But basically, endurance modalities drive strength adaptations when properly fed and with the right fiber types. And resistance training modalities can drive some endurance training adaptations (especially when short rest and longer sets are employed).

    The main negative I have heard both anecdotally and in discussions with researchers in this area is the DOMs and reduced training capacity when undertaking concurrent training. Some are better able to handle and recover from those stresses either due to diet or other factors. Illustrating the reponder / nonresponder.
    Interesting tidbit you mentioned about training with weights and cycling concurrently. Last winter I trained my legs with resistance once a week and spent 5 - 6 hous a week spinning indoors. The first month went well, the second month I noticed that my legs felt constantly fatigued. I modified my resistance training program and arranged it so I was on the bike the day after the resistance session. I found that spinning the day after helped with the DOMs. I was able to improve my w/kg and my leg strength over the 4 month period but I have no idea whether or not the two types of training complimentated one another.

    Armed with what I learned last spring, I'm going to try the same approach starting this January, it will be interesting to see how I do this time around.
    Last edited by Flexnuphill; 12-01-2014 at 12:36 PM.

  17. #42
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    There seems to be a great deal of concern about gaining mass. Have any of you really (I mean really) put on so much mass during the off season that it adversely affected your cycling performance? If so, genetically, you are in the wrong sport! I lifted for over 10 years. I tried to put on muscle mass and it isn't as easy as lifting a weight a couple of days a week for a few months. So, if muscle mass is a major concern for you, and your cycling, you can stop worrying. It is highly unlikely that you will put on 5-10 lbs of muscle mass over a few months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdeeer View Post
    Have you seen the studies on blood flow restriction training? While they are often not going as low as 5lbs in weight, the load is as little as 20% of 1rm and they are causing pretty substantial gains in skeletal muscle mass, markers of MPS, and gains in 1RM.

    Then there is the data from Phillips lab and others using "traditional" endurance type exercises (30% of 1rm) but taking it all the way to failure for three sets. phillips sm 30% 80 muscle - Google Scholar

    Both of theses data sets suggest that muscle adapts to a stimulus on a continuum. And while specificity is crucially important to optimal performance in a specific modality, the path to get there is not always linear.
    I'm familiar with those kinds of studies, but I'm skeptical for a few reasons.

    First, they tend to focus on machine exercises (leg extension, in this case) rather than proper lifting exercises and often use test subjects with low fitness baselines such that almost any resistance will show gains. I understand why they use machines (eliminate form as a variable), but nobody who is serious about strength training should be spending much time on a leg lift machine, and using machines casts doubt as to whether the same results occur with free weights.

    Second, experientially, I find I become very cardio-limited once I get past 20 reps. That would seem to limit the ability to actually provide max sustained load. The prescription of the Phillips study of 30% of 1RM max at 23-24 reps would also have me quitting well before failure or even really serious exertion.

    Third, most scientific studies focus on very short term impacts and extrapolate from there. Most people with a significant amount of muscle mass have stuck to a program over a period of years. It's all well and good to find that protein X was activated the next day, but the body may have complex reactions to a process repeated over a period of years.

    Finally, the bodybuilders and power lifters have tried all kinds of different programs over the years to maximize mass gains, and have settled on 5-15 rep range for their training as most effective.

    Intuitively, it seems to me that your body is going to adapt to what you train for. Training for 1RM max will adapt your body for 1RM max. Training for endurance will yield endurance. There will certainly be crossover between the two, but I have difficulty accepting that the best way to train from 1RM max is endless reps at 30% of max.

  19. #44
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    I really don't think a cyclist would have to worry about putting on mass during a few months of lifting during the winter. Not only would you have to be very specific and intentional in your lifting, the diet itself, as previously mentioned, would have to be completely altered to facilitate mass building. Gains are made in the kitchen and while you are asleep. I am not an easy gainer and thus I have to be very specific in diet and training in order to gain mass. It's not something that is going to happen by accident. I may have over simplified it, but it's true, at least it was for me. 6'1 235# and 7% bf many years ago, I just don't eat how I used to. I still lift throughout the season, but I am not anywhere near my old weight. I'm probably just as lean or leaner, but down more than 50# or so. However, I have met some of those freaks, and there were a few on my col baseball team, that could look at a weight and put on 5# of lean mass overnight. You might be one of those easy gainers and have to worry about it.

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    Not sure if anyone mentioned the most important part because I didn't read all the previous post but DIET is key whenever you are trying to gain muscle or lose fat, if you are doing a diet to drop some weight, you will definitely not gain an once of muscle whether you try lifting a building or lifting a 15lb dumbbell.

    I have to also as some mention disagree with the 5x5, I can assume that if you are asking this question it means you are not very experienced with bodybuilding, heavy weights = injuries. Stick to a comfortable weight and just take it to failure, do 3-4 sets, this will also work to your advantage because it will help with cycling.

    All in all if you are in a caloric deficit forget about gaining anything, it won't happen, you need to be eating over your maintenance TDEE calories in order to gain muscle or fat.

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    Highly trained cyclists may be hesitant to incorporate resistance training (RT) with their endurance training (ET) because of the mixed data regarding concurrent RT and ET (CT). The purpose of this review was to search the scientific body of literature for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of CT on road cycling performance for highly trained cyclists. Key words (including cycling and strength training) were used to search relevant databases through September 2009 for literature related to CT. Randomized controlled trials were included if they scored > or =5 on the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale. Five studies met the inclusion criteria: highly trained road cyclists (>7 h.wk or > 150 km.wk, with at least 6 months of training), outcome measure was cycling performance (time trial or time to exhaustion), and RT performed off-bike. Two of the 5 studies found no improvement in performance with CT, but these studies added RT on top of the athletes' existing ET. The 3 studies with improved cycling performance replaced a portion of the athletes' ET with RT, and 2 of the 3 studies included high-intensity explosive-type resistance exercises. Despite the limited research on CT for highly trained cyclists, it is likely that replacing a portion of a cyclist's ET with RT will result in improved time trial performance and maximal power.
    The effects of resistance training on road cycling performance amon... - PubMed - NCBI

    Quote Originally Posted by ycastane View Post
    heavy weights = injuries
    Stick to a comfortable weight and just take it to failure, do 3-4 sets, this will also work to your advantage because it will help with cycling.
    Are these claims supported by science?

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    Highly trained cyclists may be hesitant to incorporate resistance training (RT) with their endurance training (ET) because of the mixed data regarding concurrent RT and ET (CT). The purpose of this review was to search the scientific body of literature for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of CT on road cycling performance for highly trained cyclists. Key words (including cycling and strength training) were used to search relevant databases through September 2009 for literature related to CT. Randomized controlled trials were included if they scored > or =5 on the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale. Five studies met the inclusion criteria: highly trained road cyclists (>7 h.wk or > 150 km.wk, with at least 6 months of training), outcome measure was cycling performance (time trial or time to exhaustion), and RT performed off-bike. Two of the 5 studies found no improvement in performance with CT, but these studies added RT on top of the athletes' existing ET. The 3 studies with improved cycling performance replaced a portion of the athletes' ET with RT, and 2 of the 3 studies included high-intensity explosive-type resistance exercises. Despite the limited research on CT for highly trained cyclists, it is likely that replacing a portion of a cyclist's ET with RT will result in improved time trial performance and maximal power.
    The effects of resistance training on road cycling performance amon... - PubMed - NCBI


    Are these claims supported by science?
    Obviously they arent but science in the grand scheme of things doesnt mean anything, a 100 people study on whatever subject whether is training or medicine doesnt mean your body will react the same way period. Ive been doing strength training for a very long time and all i hear from people who do heavy weights is that at some point they get joint pains and injuries, myself included at a point. Im not doing the leg work but studies show that taking the muscle past failure whether is low or heavy weights will increase muscle mass with proper nutrition which is key to begin with. The muscle breaksdown regardless of the heaviness of the weight, its what you do to it and your nutrition that makes it grow, or tear, or whatever.

    You dont see or hear from any professional bodybuilder (the top dogs) doing 5x5s, its all about pushing the muscle beyond its limits, just like cycling, if you always do the same speed, same cadence, same everything you will never get any better!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ycastane View Post
    Obviously they arent but science in the grand scheme of things doesnt mean anything
    Science is the best authority we have on the physical universe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 41ants View Post
    I really don't think a cyclist would have to worry about putting on mass during a few months of lifting during the winter. Not only would you have to be very specific and intentional in your lifting, the diet itself, as previously mentioned, would have to be completely altered to facilitate mass building. Gains are made in the kitchen and while you are asleep. I am not an easy gainer and thus I have to be very specific in diet and training in order to gain mass. It's not something that is going to happen by accident. I may have over simplified it, but it's true, at least it was for me. 6'1 235# and 7% bf many years ago, I just don't eat how I used to. I still lift throughout the season, but I am not anywhere near my old weight. I'm probably just as lean or leaner, but down more than 50# or so. However, I have met some of those freaks, and there were a few on my col baseball team, that could look at a weight and put on 5# of lean mass overnight. You might be one of those easy gainers and have to worry about it.
    Right. I'm a hard gainer by nature. In reference to the "don't worry bout gaining mass" posts, I wouldn't worry about that at all... You will however need a calorie surplus to gain muscle mass (within reason) so you will be adding some muscle mass and some unwanted weight. I realize there are a few nuances here, but in general you will add lbs beyond muscle mass gains. Will that effect your cycling? It depends, at the very least, on how much lean mass vs dead weight you add and how much you climb?
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ycastane View Post
    Obviously they arent but science in the grand scheme of things doesnt mean anything, a 100 people study on whatever subject whether is training or medicine doesnt mean your body will react the same way period. Ive been doing strength training for a very long time and all i hear from people who do heavy weights is that at some point they get joint pains and injuries, myself included at a point. Im not doing the leg work but studies show that taking the muscle past failure whether is low or heavy weights will increase muscle mass with proper nutrition which is key to begin with. The muscle breaksdown regardless of the heaviness of the weight, its what you do to it and your nutrition that makes it grow, or tear, or whatever.

    You dont see or hear from any professional bodybuilder (the top dogs) doing 5x5s, its all about pushing the muscle beyond its limits, just like cycling, if you always do the same speed, same cadence, same everything you will never get any better!!!
    Body Building and strength training aren't exactly the same thing... There are strength athletes, that I would consider as strength training, and they don't look much at all like body builders. Then there are oly lifters, a different sport again, with weight classes and dynamic lifts. Body builders are doing something completely different, at no time are they being asked to lift heavy things, or even to lift light things a great many times. Using strength training for other sports, regardless of the sport, is something, once again, even more so completely different. Specificity becomes god.

    And, science is good.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

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