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How strong is strong?(27 posts)

How strong is strong?hayaku
Jan 23, 2003 6:59 AM
Last night at the gym I did a single legged leg press of 150kg(330lb) for 8 times. I am NOT bragging but at 75kg(115lb) that's pretty good right? Or is it normal?

My question is: Assuming this amount of strength is high, would I be better off moving my focus to other aspects of my training such as LT and on bike strength workouts or keep an overall program?

I am 26 years old and preparing for my second race season so I'm still trying to get an idea of my strengths and weaknesses. I seem to be best at crits but would like to improve my climbing and TT... because crits are scary.

However if I turn out to be a crit specialist, so be it.
Thanks fo your input.
We should start a poll to get an idea of what is average853
Jan 23, 2003 7:39 AM
for a cyclist.

330lbs at your weight of 115lbs is prety good, That's almost three times your weight,and for a single leg leg-press.

For me it's difficult to say because I start with regular leg presses and on my forth set I am doing 810lbs for 10 to 12 reps, from there I drop the weight in half and then do single leg leg presses for 10 to 12 reps. The Big diffrence between me and you is that I weigh 230lbs. I stoped with the weights about two weeks ago. I have enough strength, and many more weak areas to address.

So what is everybody else lifting for regular and single leg leg-press and how much do you weigh? And are you a climber,sprinter,TT specialist or an all-rounder?
lifting is only needed for certain types of cyclingBAi9302010
Jan 27, 2003 1:58 PM
You only need to lift if you are a sprinter or if you push very large gears. Cycling is not a sport restricted by strength. Anyone who rides regularly is capable of producing enough power to climb or time trial competetively. If your riding style is to push a large gear then you might want to do some lifting, otherwise you will be putting on unnecessary muscle mass.

I'm 5'10" and weigh about 150 and stopped lifting 2 years ago. Since then my time trialing has improved a bunch and my climbing a little, but my sprint isn't nearly as good. Time trialing I ride a medium to large gear and climbing I usually use a medium gear. I've also dropped about 8 or 10 pounds (mostly from my arms and chest) since i stopped lifting.
75 kg = 165 lbs nmDougSloan
Jan 23, 2003 7:46 AM
118lbs = 53kg or soweiwentg
Jan 23, 2003 8:16 AM
which is me. and I can leg press over 300lbs (I think) with both legs. I'm just getting re-started in the weight room.
Ah, sorry... I'm 75kg(165lb) my mistake.hayaku
Jan 23, 2003 5:12 PM
Forget the legpress, average power at LT for an hour is realdealBigLeadOutGuy
Jan 23, 2003 8:01 AM
You can leg press till your blue in the face, heck im sure that ronnie coleman or arnold schwarzanegger could single legpress double what your doing, but the real question is your average power at your LT for an hour...that will be a better measure of your cycling strenghts. Also throw into the mix a max power reading and you will have a better idea. even thou your strong in the gym it doesnt equate to strength on the bike.
everybody knows that...853
Jan 23, 2003 8:35 AM
but most of us don't have access to a SRM or Computrainer, but we have been to the gym. I was asking to find out what kind of power to weight ratio most guys have being a cyclist.

I have a friend who is a semi-pro mtb, I'm not even a quarter of what he is on the bike, When we go to the gym, he can hold his own and only weighs 135lbs. This was just to get an idea and has nothing to do with cycling strength.
I should know because,I suck on the bike and would trade some gym strength for bike strength in an instant.
it's meaninglessDougSloan
Jan 23, 2003 9:08 AM
I read an article discussing leg press compared to bike speed for races other than sprinting events. Leg press was totally irrelevant. Some who could press 800 pounds couldn't sustain 22 mph; other who could press only 200 pounds could go 30 mph. This even compared amateurs and pros. Some pros were wimpy weaklings on the leg press machine, but could whip 99.99% of the cycling world up a mountain.

So, you are right.

A better indication might be how many times you could press your body weight plus 20 pounds in an hour.

it's meaninglessJon Billheimer
Jan 23, 2003 10:11 AM
BLOG and Doug are absolutely right. Your leg press or squat capabilities have little if anything to do with sustainable power on the bike. That being said, a ratio thrown out (can't remember if it was Friel or Burke) suggests a bodyweight to leg press strength ratio of 2.5:1.

There is abundant research that shows that strength only counts in the PLANES of sport specific movement and at the VELOCITY of the sport movement. So beyond a very basic general level of strength/fitness, weight training has very little to do with your on-bike performance, with the possible exception of peak power in a sprint. And even here, plyometrics are a more effective developer than leg pressing and squats. If you want to get stronger or faster on the bike, do your strength work on the bike.
Oops! I gave the ratio backwards. (nm)Jon Billheimer
Jan 23, 2003 10:50 AM
I dissagree that it's worthless.hayaku
Jan 23, 2003 5:55 PM
I'm following Joe Friels Training Bible and believe there is a relationship between strength and bike speed.

Having a strong Leg Press by itself will not increase speed on the bike but transfering the increasing leg strength from the weight room to the bike correctly over the course of the season will.

Also, the increased ability to push a large weight will increase your ability to push a smaller weight more times. I believe this is important for further on in the season when developing Lactate tolerance and power. Just as an aerobic base will support the development of aerobic workouts, I believe a properly designed strength program will further anaerobic efforts.

Having said that, I don't want to waste my time developing excess strength(on bike or off) when I would be better off working on other areas. I guess time will tell.

Thanks for you advice.
I dissagree that it's worthless.Jon Billheimer
Jan 23, 2003 8:50 PM

Friel's program is pretty general in its intent and is, as much as anything else, designed to counter imbalances and muscle mass loss arising from a long season of racing.

If you want to really get the lowdown on the relationship of sport performance and weight training, go to Coaching Science Abstracts website and read through the section on specificity. The data is pretty unequivocal.

BTW, Friel himself is now saying that in order to try to transfer strength gains to cycling-specific velocity maybe one needs to do a set of strength exercises then follow up immediately with a plyometric version of the same exercise. Everybody in the field is fishing around trying to solve the strength transference/velocity conundrum.
Cycling isn't plyometric (until you hit the ground)speedisgood
Jan 25, 2003 3:59 PM
Not picking on you Jon, but just making a statement in general. Why would any cyclist need to do plyos? Plyometrics train a certain type of muscle reflex inherent in jumping, running, cutting-type sports where the myotatic stretch reflex is activated. For those who don't know, that's the knee jerk test doctors do to you. A muscle is quickly loaded eccentrically (lengthened) and the reflex kicks in the muscle to contract. The reflex, when combined with another signal from the brain to contract, makes for an even bigger and stronger contraction. That's why you can jump higher taking a step or two first vs. jumping up flat-footed.

We cyclists don't do any kind of explosive movement like that so why would anyone train it?

OK, I'm done. Thanks for listening.
it's meaninglessspeedisgood
Jan 25, 2003 3:49 PM
I remember reading a research article comparing the time subjects could maintain a certain power output with or without a resistance program. It might have been out of Med. Sci. Sports & Exer. or the NSCA research journal. In any case, the results showed that strength training helped increase the time at the prescribed power level vs. control. So the authors concluded that strength training played a role in resistance to fatigue at a given power output on the bike. It's been years since I read the article (I think I have it somewhere in my files) so there's probably new research I'm not aware of but it makes sense that increasing leg strength would help you maintain a bigger gear for longer.
it's meaninglessJon Billheimer
Jan 27, 2003 10:42 AM
There have been a few studies like the one you mention in which strength increases time to exhaustion. However, there have been a lot more which showed no such results.

With respect to your comments on plyos, I like the bit about hitting the ground:)- The thinking with respect to plyos is that the velocity of movement in a plyometric exercise helps to transfer strength gains to pedal-specific power. I think the jury's out on that one. But plyos do improve explosiveness, thus the ability to reach peak power quicker. So they're really a training prescription to help sprinters get off the mark quicker. At least that's my take on reading the literature.
This Will Make You Laugh For Sure! =)BigLeadOutGuy
Jan 23, 2003 11:26 AM
At 6`4`` 240 pounds you would think that I could leg press a truck, sadly enough I was in the gym 6 weeks ago and cranked out a whoping 400 pounds for 25 reps or so, I was gased, my legs were on fire and i thought i was going to die. A few weeks later after I recovered I did a quick power test on my bike and managed 1900 watts max power and 870 continuous for a 500 meter sprint, I think its safe to say that strength in the gym doesnt equate well to bike power. =)
I forgot to say that i havent been to the gym since =) n/mBigLeadOutGuy
Jan 23, 2003 11:27 AM
You made my point in technicolour! (nm)Jon Billheimer
Jan 23, 2003 12:06 PM
Not exactly53T
Jan 27, 2003 11:47 AM
400 pounds is over 8 plates (45# each). That is not a light lift. DO I think he should do more, probably, but that would involve building that specific lift. Of course that supports your point as well, doesn't it?

My data: 165 pounds, 10 reps of 540# a week ago. Yes people were staringa litle
you can lead me out any day...DougSloan
Jan 23, 2003 7:49 PM
...but then you'd probably just pull away!

What sort of top end do you get?

It Depends.BigLeadOutGuy
Jan 24, 2003 4:45 AM
When I made those numbers the run in was on a slight incline so the top end was kinda slow...32mph. On a flat run in ive seen up to 36.8 mph. Those numbers are all nice and everything but I wouldnt care if my top speed was only 20 mph, just so long as I crossed the line first...thats all that matters =)
you must be faster than thatDougSloan
Jan 24, 2003 7:43 AM
I can hit only about 1000 watts on the Computrainer, yet I have hit 36 mph many times sprinting on flat ground, no wind, no leadout. At 1900 watts, I'd say you'd easily be over 40 mph. Those are huge numbers. Of course, I suppose your drag could be higher, too. For some odd reason, I am extremely aero for my weight and power (good thing, too, with my low power). Do you ever do sprint repeats and check your top speed?

you must be faster than thatbugleboy
Jan 24, 2003 9:00 PM
Cippo measures 1800+ watts. what kind of device are you using to get your measurements? At 1900 watts you should be tearing your cranks off literally.
The Exact Conditions Of "The Test" =)BigLeadOutGuy
Jan 25, 2003 7:04 AM
Ok this is how I did the test.
First it was from a rolling standstill, I started at about 3mph, I jumped out of the saddle and sprinted as hard as I could for 500 meters. When the dust settled those were the numbers I got. So I went from 3 mph to 32mph in a matter of 500 meters. I would imagine that if I had a nice leadout train like cippo it would make 40+mph sprints a heck of a lot easier. I try not to get caught up in all the technicalites of training and all that me it kind of takes the fun out of riding and racing. I think I will start to get a little more scientific with my training and pay more attention to the details.
All the numbers in the world dont mean much if you dont cross the line first. =)
I have polar equpment btw.
different testsDougSloan
Jan 27, 2003 8:31 AM
You might try some different tests that might have more relevance. Accellerating from 3 mph doesn't mean much, unless you are a match sprinter, right (maybe your are...)?

1. On a trainer/ergometer, easily roll up to around 25 mph, then jump and sprint hard to top speed.

2. Do the same thing on the road. Roll up to 25-30 mph, then sprint for top speed. At 1900 watts, you must get well over 36 mph, unless you are shaped like a parachute. I know that if I can hit 36 mph at less than 1000 watts measured, you must be well over that, unless you are wasting all your energy getting up to 25 mph in the first place.

This Will Make You Laugh For Sure! =)RockyMountainRacer
Jan 24, 2003 2:57 PM
Damn BLOG! What the hell you doing leading people out?!!