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Weightlifting in the Off Season - I need some pop!

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Weightlifting in the Off Season - I need some pop!

20 Sep 2016 18:22

I just finished my road season here in the U.S. My big race every year is Lotoja (202 miles). The first 100 miles of the race are mountainous, the last 100 are relatively flat. So it's a sprinter's race (of attrition).

This year I was in my race group's breakaway with 5 others (a team of 4, and two lone wolves...myself and one other). The other loner attacked the finish line with about 1k to go, hoping to catch the team off guard. It almost worked, but they caught him and took spots 1-3. The attacker got 4th, and I took the final podium spot at 5.

This is 2 years in a row this has happened to me, where I don't have any pop for a final sprint. I'm a climber by nature, but want to at least add some sprinting ability this off-season. I do a lot of interval training in the winters, which includes high power/low cadence work. But I'm wondering if there are any weight-lifting regimes I can work into my workout. I've got majorly skinny legs, and I think a little muscle down there would go a long way to help with these sprint finishes.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
-Nate
ncazier
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Re: Weightlifting in the Off Season - I need some pop!

21 Sep 2016 05:19

ncazier wrote:I just finished my road season here in the U.S. My big race every year is Lotoja (202 miles). The first 100 miles of the race are mountainous, the last 100 are relatively flat. So it's a sprinter's race (of attrition).

This year I was in my race group's breakaway with 5 others (a team of 4, and two lone wolves...myself and one other). The other loner attacked the finish line with about 1k to go, hoping to catch the team off guard. It almost worked, but they caught him and took spots 1-3. The attacker got 4th, and I took the final podium spot at 5.

This is 2 years in a row this has happened to me, where I don't have any pop for a final sprint. I'm a climber by nature, but want to at least add some sprinting ability this off-season. I do a lot of interval training in the winters, which includes high power/low cadence work. But I'm wondering if there are any weight-lifting regimes I can work into my workout. I've got majorly skinny legs, and I think a little muscle down there would go a long way to help with these sprint finishes.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
-Nate

Ouch, that's got to hurt :(

What I would be looking at is using the weight room prior to the race season, with less use as the season starts - just strength maintenance. The main thing to focus on is making sure that you're using all of the muscles that you use on the bike correctly, and you aren't overcompensating anywhere for muscles that aren't doing their share. A good physiotherapist should be able to help with identifying any deficiencies here if they exist. Remember that you aren't trying to build size, just use the right muscle groups correctly.

In the off season/early season prep you don't need to worry about your sprint speed yet, you're building up the strength for the year ahead.

Focus on the bread and butter:

Squats
Step Ups
Leg Press
Calf Raises
Knee Extension
Leg Curl
Core (situps, pushups, back extensions)

Concentrate on technique over weight.

Start moving on to your true speed work as the season starts. If possible, get to your local criterium or race pace bunch every second weekend once you're happy with your base. You've mentioned that you're a natural climber, so you're going to want to gravitate towards training it. You only need to focus on maintaining your climbing form (rather than building it) if sprinting is what's stopping you from winning races.

Heading into your main race of the season, you will probably need to start your sprint based training in the last third of your preparation.
Last edited by 42x16ss on 22 Sep 2016 03:16, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar 42x16ss
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21 Sep 2016 15:04

If high power / low cadence interval training is not adding leg strength / mass, then my guess is that you're not genetically inclined for growing that type of legs.
You might try 'sprint cadence & power intervals' to see how that works for you.

Another guess is that your race tactics might be a problem. Keep your ego in-check, and save as much strength as possible for the finish. There's no need to 'prove anything' except during the last 100 yards.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
JayKosta
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21 Sep 2016 15:16

I would also add romanian deadlifts to the exercises mentioned before. They are great for core, glutes and hamstrings.

Breathing technique is very important for the squats and deadlifts. Make sure you're bracing properly.
carolina
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Re: Weightlifting in the Off Season - I need some pop!

25 Sep 2016 18:54

ncazier wrote:I just finished my road season here in the U.S. My big race every year is Lotoja (202 miles). The first 100 miles of the race are mountainous, the last 100 are relatively flat. So it's a sprinter's race (of attrition).

This year I was in my race group's breakaway with 5 others (a team of 4, and two lone wolves...myself and one other). The other loner attacked the finish line with about 1k to go, hoping to catch the team off guard. It almost worked, but they caught him and took spots 1-3. The attacker got 4th, and I took the final podium spot at 5.

This is 2 years in a row this has happened to me, where I don't have any pop for a final sprint. I'm a climber by nature, but want to at least add some sprinting ability this off-season. I do a lot of interval training in the winters, which includes high power/low cadence work. But I'm wondering if there are any weight-lifting regimes I can work into my workout. I've got majorly skinny legs, and I think a little muscle down there would go a long way to help with these sprint finishes.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
-Nate

Some basic observation..if you were in a break at a@ 200 mile event you are a stud. Any race that has big selection milestones is hard when you are just trying to survive let alone trying for a result. Beside general balance,being able to climb and sprint.. you may be trying to solve a problem you don't have.

If you can turn it up on small to medium climbs and recover enough to stay on top of the gear and keep your beats below heart attack level again.. you are part of a much smaller group than you think.
Most American racers fall beneath the wheel on the basics..,eating and drinking. Used to shorter office park crits.. racers are not accustomed to running out of fuel during the event. Volume and type of fuel is often a puzzle..not being used to getting a feeds ,gels,maybe solid food and many,many fresh bottles may be something you already do really well..or the negative..you do slightly better than others that fail.
But for sprinting..
I have found that doing squats,leg lifts and leg extensions helps..lots. planks help my overall and during times of boredom I do stairs. I find all gym and off bike training activity make my stroke feel less fluid.
I like and may I suggest that you do in the saddle , small chain ring sprints. I do 4-6 @100 meter sprints from a flying start.
I try and do a kind of cartoon leg speed thing were I am trying ( but probably never getting) @140-150 rpm as my goal. I watch the YouTube Japanese Kirin guys on rollers to remind myself that it can be done..the guys make it look like a ride in the park. ?200 rpm!!?
If I could suggest a couple of other things. Document what you do right.
What makes you good,...-example Ican go at 90% for 1minute jumps on grade responding to attacks by others or when I jump on my own.
Also how are your tactics? Maybe your desire for a better sprint is a cry for a better race plan?
Why, knowing you don't consider yourself a great sprinter,,in the traditional sense..did you not initiate the attack and ride solo for the win.?. getting into a good working break is hard enough..so deciding to attack your break-mates .is a whole new can of worms..it may be what makes you the winner.
Without knowing you,I do know that to make the selection in a two hundred mile race is no accident... you probably already have 85 of 100 things that will allow you to win..
The other and others may say NFW..motor pacing is of super value. Do 3-6 all outs..have a car or motor bring you up to speed, swing out of the draft and do a race paced,bury yourself sprint.
After complete recovery do another
. Maybe at the start do in saddle work..get the draft vehicle to get you @30 mph and then while in the saddle,swing out of the draft and break wind for yourself for 20-60 seconds and then go hide again while you recovery for the next one...I have found sprinting against cars and motorcycles helpful. The biggest benefit is learning how to calm down and recover at speed, re-establishig..the draft.. getting a drink.. following the wheel without completely losing my$hit..
Good luck in whatever you do..
Rouge Roubaix..Tour of Battenkills..??
Unchained
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Re: Weightlifting in the Off Season - I need some pop!

25 Sep 2016 22:26

ncazier wrote:Any ideas?



All the studies I know of that have examined the effects of strength training on endurance performance show positive results. So, the strength training will help your endurance as well as your sprint. Many in cycling culture will come up with all kinds of reasons not to do it but the science is pretty clear. One of the leaders in this area is Per Aagaard and you can find his papers with a google scholar search: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=aagaard+cycling+strength
When you read his papers you will notice that the emphasis is on strength, not just wasting time in the weight room with lots of reps.
Cheers,
Jim
PhitBoy
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Re: Weightlifting in the Off Season - I need some pop!

21 Mar 2017 20:13

I've noticed that I spend alot of time sitting whether it be on the bike or at work. So my glutes are underdeveloped. I've been working with kettle bells swings and I've noticed a huge difference. I've also been doing these special lunges that stretch one hipflexor while strengthening the opposite leg. I combine that with some leg press and rowing which gives me more power at lower cadence. None of this is technical so it's easy to jump right into.



Anyways I feel stronger
Datnut
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