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Cycling Articles & Tips


 


Get Strong Concurrently with Cycling
by Dr. Joel A. Bloom, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, The University of Houston Department of Health & Human Performance

Endurance is related directly to strength. Strong riders use a smaller percentage of their maximum strength on each pedal stroke compared to weaker riders. The concept is to have more at the end of a work session or ride. In essence, the goal is to train riders to last longer and have 'more' at the end of the ride. General strength comes from working in the weight room. Steve Johnson at the University of Utah points out in his research that if you improve your leg press by 25% you won't necessarily increase your cycling speed. The idea is to convert general strength into cycling specific fitness.

In the weight room, Johnson recommends the leg press because it involves the total combination of the essential cycling musculature. The quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals are constantly involved in transferring the application of forces in the pedal stroke. The lower leg muscles, soleus, gastrocnemius and peroneals along with the finite muscles of the feet function as supporting power elements and stabilize the leverage action of the entire leg. Many of the current weight training texts use the referral constant of one-third of the total body weight as an initial resistance in determining workload level. This is sound advice for the beginning trainer, in that instead of fatiguing the focal muscles of an action, multiple sets of 5-10 pound increments may be tested until a significant resistance set is established. This implies that a 180-pound athlete would begin seeking an appropriate weight load at 60-pounds/resistance. When found that this would be entirely too low to correlate to leg strength, incremental additions would be made until resistance is constructive. It may be that a determined workload could exceed one-third above rather than one-third of the person's weight, making our example appropriate at a 240 pound/resistance. This resistance implies that the resistance is both effective and comfortable to move 12-15 repetitions for a minimum of three sets. Although there is more to say on the subject, I will at this time pass to give you time to digest this much.

"DO NOT LEAVE BIKE TRAINING IN THE GYM-TAKE IT TO THE ROAD!"

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