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need spinning advice(10 posts)

need spinning advicesuperdog
Nov 25, 2002 5:16 PM
I am taking a spinning class at work and I need to work on pushing a bigger gear at a slower cadence than I normally do (100 rpms). I'm trying to improve leg strength. I have some questions though.

I thought it was bad for your knees to push a big gear???

What would be a good/simple workout to do?

My max HR is 173 and my LT is 149 bpm.

I thought I could to 2 to 5 minute intervals at the lower revs/higher resistance and repeat with a one minute "recovey"... just trying to keep it simple.

I don't know what HR to stay at... or even if this would be a good workout to accomplish my goal.

I will be doing this once or twice a week although I signed up to spin every day.
re: need spinning advicejaybag
Nov 25, 2002 7:08 PM
You should just be thankful you get to spin at work. Sheesh Im in the wrong buisness.
1) You should be in the weightroom... 2) In the spin room...PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 25, 2002 8:45 PM
So as my topic said you should look for strength in the weight room. Not on the bike. Simply put you can't get the same muscle hypertrophy/recruitment as in the weight room.

However, if you'd like to do "strength workouts" on the bike low low rpm (like 60-80 max if not slower) is the way to go either seated or standing. Make sure to keep your upper body as rock solid as possible by keeping your core tight and your upper body relaxed. When standing try to alternate between having the bounce in and out. Do these 2-3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

As for your knees I'm not positive about this.

Nick
PodiumBound.ca
weight roomsuperdog
Nov 25, 2002 8:57 PM
what are some simple weight routines? If I have to go buy a book it'll never happen. Leg extensions, squats and hamstring curls?
I'm sceptical of leg extensionsdzrider
Nov 26, 2002 5:20 AM
The movement is pretty far removed from movements in every day life and feels stressful on my knees. Even though the make my quads look really cool I've stopped doing them. I like squats, really like lunges - forward and backward, toe presses, and any machine that lets me stand and drive a lever back with one foot. The Universal Gym is good for this if you stand with your back to the leg press station and rest your hands on the dips bars.
re: spinningFredrico
Nov 26, 2002 2:52 PM
I'm an older rider having tried just about everything in 18 years, including mashing big gears to improve leg strength. It didn't work for me. What did was building up a hellacious spin. You train the legs to fire rapidly, and stress the heart and lungs. They improve, and are able to deliver more oxygen and fuel to the superbly efficient legs, so that they can deliver considerable power at rapid cadences.

If you mash big gears, you'll feel good, but will fade quickly. Develope your spin, and you'll be able to go for a long time at higher heartrates. When push comes to shove, you can wring out a fast cadence in a big gear for awhile, and get up to speeds faster than the big gear mashers.

That's what spinning is all about, going fast by pushing a moderate gear at high cadence. After your legs get used to fast cadences, they'll also be able to do steady plodding, low cadence efforts, like climbing, because the heart and lungs can take it.

But it takes alot longer to condition the cardiovascular system than it does to bulk up big muscles, so you have to be patient and work at it.

Proof of this theory is Lance's spinning up the mountains last summer--and dropping everyone, and also how all but the most genetically gifted young riders have to race for several years before they'll have the cardiovascular endurance to place in the Tour de France.
Mashing is a part of cyclingPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 26, 2002 10:09 PM
Your idea is a great one and if someone has the patience to follow through on it they will see the results.

But the thing is when your going 45+km/h in a crit at 110 rpm your generating a lot of power. Ultimately, the only place that power can come from is the weight room. Hence, the reason why any pro racer should and do weights. Both Robbie Macewen and a dual slalom racer (US rider and former world champ) have been quoted in velonews as saying weights are a critical part of their training program.

Nick
PodiumBound.ca
Yep, take care of the kneesmuzza_b
Nov 26, 2002 5:13 PM
I'm no training sage, but I think there is a place for strength training within your wider training program. And despite what others may say about the gym, strength training on hills, or your trainer, is specific (and therefore good).

However, it can be bad for the knees, especially if tackled too early in a build up (been there done that). Assuming you have a good base already, including plenty of hill climbs behind you in your easiest gear, staying in the saddle and spinning, THEN you might consider a workout I use on my trainer. Using the highest resistance level setting, it goes as follows. I use a 39/52 and 13/25 (suits old fellas like me) - adjust for your own chain rings and cassette:

warm up - 5 min 39/21 - 39/17. 100 rpm.
20 mins at 52/13 alternating 3 mins seated and 2 mins standing. 60 rpm.
recovery - 5 mins 39/23 - 39/17. Take longer if you need it. 90 - 100 rpm.
15 mins at 52/13 alternating 3 mins seated and 2 mins standing. 60 rpm.
10 mins in a mid gear - say 39/15 at 100 rpm.
5 mins warm down - easy gears, ending up at 39/25 just to flush the system.

I only do this workout once every couple of weeks or so. I totally endorse the comments in favor of spinning and cautioning against the big gears. You've just got to do a few rides with some of the top riders to see how much they go for easy gears and high cadence over big gears and low cadence. But that strength training can really help when you are trying to stay with the bunch near the top of a hill.

My 2 cents worth anyway.
Once every couple weeks isn't very muchPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 26, 2002 10:06 PM
For me to keep physiologically primed I'd have to do a workout like that at least once a week during my build. But thats me! You gotta do what works.

Nick
PodiumBound.ca
Agree - but you'd have at least two hilly work outs...muzza_b
Nov 27, 2002 3:49 PM
...on the road (rather than on the trainer) over the same period.