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(I really suck at) Isolated Leg Training(6 posts)

(I really suck at) Isolated Leg Trainingsorghum
Dec 27, 2001 7:53 PM
next year will be me first time racing, thus this winter is my first "real" training, and tonight was the first time i tried doing isolated leg training. Ye Gods! I Suck! I would last about 15 - 20 seconds with one leg before getting choppy beyond belief - pulling through the bottom is ok, its going over the top thats killing me. So i guess my question is - does everyone start off this bad? and what is this really developing? its listed as a speed workout in the cyclists training bible. hah!in my dreams. is there any actual proof that pedaling smoothly with one leg will help you be faster, quicker, smoother or whatever with two legs?
and besides looking cool, what does pedaling circles really do for you?
re: (I really suck at) Isolated Leg TrainingDaniel
Dec 28, 2001 12:55 AM
As you get better, ride more, you will find it easier to ride with one leg. A coupleof suggestions for leg speed Check to make sure you saddle is raised as high as possible. Make sure you strech everyday. On your endurance rides use a cadence monitor and try to keep it above 100, 105 or 110 is better. Pedaling form/leg speed is very beneficial, for three reasons. First, if you can make it through the whole race using a high cadence, your legs feel much better when you sprint. Also, you will find that you are able to sprint faster once you have better form. You also use different muscles, so fewer muscles are working all of the time. Daniel
re: (I really suck at) Isolated Leg Trainingjswhern
Dec 28, 2001 4:58 AM
I would be patient. Try spinning in a larger cog lets say 23-25. ILT(isolated leg training) will definitly improve your spin. If you are having difficulty it shows your dead spots !! Where your spin loses force. Try it 2-3 times a week and watch the improvement. You will benefit from the effort when you begin to have fun racing.
re: (I really suck at) Isolated Leg TrainingThorman
Dec 28, 2001 6:07 AM
I too have just started using a structured training program based on Friel's book. When starting ILT I concentrated on pedaling smooth circles instead of working on pedaling fast.

In the few weeks I've been doing ILT I have slowly been able to build my cadence up to around 100 rpm. It takes time, but eventually you will get better and it's a real motivator when you see yourself improving.
re: (I really suck at) Isolated Leg TrainingBender
Dec 29, 2001 5:24 PM
I'm not saying to rub this in, but here goes; I love ILT. It is such an unbalanced and awkward exercise you have to overcompensate with your leg muscles (hence the quick fatigue). If you can develop a relatively smooth one legged spin you effectively train you neuro-muscular system to become more efficent. Starting out, don't worry about power or cadence, a smooth 'circle' is the goal. You can add power and cadence as your body learns how to preform this awkward sequence of motions. It looks simple but your body will need to be taught how to spin comfortably with one leg, there is a lot of coordination going between your brain and leg. You might want to back off of the resistance (but not too light) and give youself a chance to learn the smooth way around the pedal stroke. I like to listen to the change in pitch my tire makes as it accelerates and decelerates (on an indoor trainer). My goal is to hear a constant tone coming from the tire (impossible). As you get used to the 'new' sequence of muscle motions you can add cadence as your skill builds. I really dig ILT. I can use it on the trainer, rollers, or out in the real world which makes it way versitle.

About 14 years ago I used to see a amputee with one crank on his bike riding all over Eugene Oregon. This guy inspired my to get serious about cycling.

A few PointersBigLeadOutGuy
Dec 31, 2001 1:18 PM
At first youll suck at doing them...I was miserable when I I can spin at a cadence of 130 easily while doing ILT....Make sure your saddle is set at the correct height for your torso and your using the proper crank lenght...Everyone talks about a smooth spin but never mentions crank lenght...Youd be surprised at how smoother your spin can will get by trying differnt crank lenghts...I used to use long crank arms like 175 or 180 cause everyone said that the longer your legs are the longer crank arm you need and at 6`4`` I figured i needed the longest arm possible but than I switched to 172.5 just to try them out and they work so much better for spin is smooth as butter.
practice makes perfect
keep at it
stay stoked =)