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Upper-body training for cyclists

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Mar 14, 2016
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Brullnux said:
No, that's about as much core strength as it is forearm strength. And also forearm strength =/= size. Often when I am try to save a crash if I put more effort into my core I save it better than when I just use forearms.
And what's the core if not upper-body muscles?
 
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CheckMyPecs said:
Brullnux said:
No, that's about as much core strength as it is forearm strength. And also forearm strength =/= size. Often when I am try to save a crash if I put more effort into my core I save it better than when I just use forearms.
And what's the core if not upper-body muscles?
There is a really big difference in training your core muscles and adding a couple of kgs in upper body muscle mass as you have been suggesting.

I dont believe you will find one person who will disagree that having a strong core is a great asset as a cyclist.
 
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CheckMyPecs said:
Brullnux said:
No, that's about as much core strength as it is forearm strength. And also forearm strength =/= size. Often when I am try to save a crash if I put more effort into my core I save it better than when I just use forearms.
And what's the core if not upper-body muscles?
All cyclists I'm pretty sure do core muscle exercises, as was previously mentioned. Crunches, sit ups and planks, that sort of thing. All without added weights, just bodyweight stuff.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Another important link between upper-body muscles and overall cycling performance: testosterone, a hormone known to have a performance-enhancing effect on athletes (NOTE: I'm strictly referring to endogenous testosterone —not Clinic stuff).

Why don't pro cyclists stay in the WonderWoman pose for 2 minutes before and 2 minutes after each training ride? Granted, the name makes it sound ridiculous, but peer-reviewed research (e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20855902) has proved that assuming the WonderWoman pose for a couple of minutes increases testosterone levels and decreases cortisol levels by a significant amount (20%-ish).



Setting aside 4 minutes every day for WonderWomaning does not place an excessive burden on a pro cyclist's training schedule. Any thoughts?
 
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CheckMyPecs said:
Why don't pro cyclists stay in the WonderWoman pose for 2 minutes before and 2 minutes after each training ride?

Setting aside 4 minutes every day for WonderWomaning does not place an excessive burden on a pro cyclist's training schedule. Any thoughts?
How do you know they don't? Froome doesn't even wait until after the ride - he practices that pose when sprinting at the end of each stage :)
 
Oct 10, 2015
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CheckMyPecs said:
Another important link between upper-body muscles and overall cycling performance: testosterone, a hormone known to have a performance-enhancing effect on athletes (NOTE: I'm strictly referring to endogenous testosterone —not Clinic stuff).

Why don't pro cyclists stay in the WonderWoman pose for 2 minutes before and 2 minutes after each training ride? Granted, the name makes it sound ridiculous, but peer-reviewed research (e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20855902) has proved that assuming the WonderWoman pose for a couple of minutes increases testosterone levels and decreases cortisol levels by a significant amount (20%-ish).

Setting aside 4 minutes every day for WonderWomaning does not place an excessive burden on a pro cyclist's training schedule. Any thoughts?
Not so sure that Power Poses make any difference to testosterone or cortisol levels
http://bigthink.com/neurobonkers/a-new-replication-suggests-power-posing-is-a-waste-of-time-but-heres-why-youll-still-be-being-told-to-do-it-for-years-to-come
 
Mar 14, 2016
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StryderHells said:
For me the real flaw in the study you cite was this:

Most of the original power pose findings were tested in a social context, with real experimenters and participants engaging in social tasks. The replication, however, removed all interactions with other people so that they could not unknowingly bias the participants.
Seeing as "power" is a social construct and exerted in relation to others, it seems reasonable to think the testosterone rush and cortisol decrease would only occur if your brain believes you are in a position to exert that power over other members of your "herd".
 
Jun 5, 2016
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CheckMyPecs said:
Another important link between upper-body muscles and overall cycling performance: testosterone, a hormone known to have a performance-enhancing effect on athletes (NOTE: I'm strictly referring to endogenous testosterone —not Clinic stuff).

Why don't pro cyclists stay in the WonderWoman pose for 2 minutes before and 2 minutes after each training ride? Granted, the name makes it sound ridiculous, but peer-reviewed research (e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20855902) has proved that assuming the WonderWoman pose for a couple of minutes increases testosterone levels and decreases cortisol levels by a significant amount (20%-ish).
Because it would look ridiculous.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Anderis said:
You can even win Paris-Roubaix while being skinny. :eek:
That pic is from last year, not 2011. ;)

Wikipedia says Johan's lost 3 kg of body weight since winning Paris-Roubaix. It would explain why his performances in recent years have been so... disappointing.
 
CheckMyPecs said:
Anderis said:
You can even win Paris-Roubaix while being skinny. :eek:
That pic is from last year, not 2011. ;)

Wikipedia says Johan's lost 3 kg of body weight since winning Paris-Roubaix. It would explain why his performances in recent years have been so... disappointing.
I doubt losing 3kg had anything to do with it. Anyhow, 10 years ago due to work and family commitments I didn't have the time to ride on the road mid week. So I did all my mid week training in a gym next to my office. Upper body work was mainly limited to body weight exercises like chin ups and push-ups and bench press usually 3 sets of 12-15 reps - not huge weights. The idea was to keep the heart rate up for the full workout. I also did a lot of core strengthening work which was awesome. The workout program usually took about 90 minutes but crucially included two sets of high intensity intervals on a bike machine where I monitored my power output and heart rate plus a 2km warm down on a treadmill. The entire workout including weights was primarily aerobic.

Anyhow on this program I was able to get fit enough to win my club races on Sundays against guys who only rode on the road. But when you are on your limit on a long climb any extra upper body muscle isn't going to help you. The main advantage of weights if done right is to build lean muscle without adding bulk and strip off fat. It can work as a substitute as long as supplemented by high intensity aerobic training.

ps - sorry all for bumping this thread. :eek:
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Cookster15 said:
Anyhow, 10 years ago due to work and family commitments I didn't have the time to ride on the road mid week. So I did all my mid week training in a gym next to my office. Upper body work was mainly limited to body weight exercises like chin ups and push-ups and bench press usually 3 sets of 12-15 reps - not huge weights. The idea was to keep the heart rate up for the full workout. I also did a lot of core strengthening work which was awesome. The workout program usually took about 90 minutes but crucially included two sets of high intensity intervals on a bike machine where I monitored my power output and heart rate plus a 2km warm down on a treadmill. The entire workout including weights was primarily aerobic.

Anyhow on this program I was able to get fit enough to win my club races on Sundays against guys who only rode on the road.
Let's look at this from a rationalist perspective.

1) You have a theory, namely that upper-body training is detrimental to cycling performance
2) The observations do not match your theory (in your very own experience!)

What would a rational person do: assume the observations are wrong or assume the theory is wrong?
 
Re:

PremierAndrew said:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGf6tXrKUtY

Froome clearly been working on his upper body as a result of this thread, which led to his success today
You beat me to the punch! I was going to say a little heavy bag, some speed bag, and then some sparring.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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CheckMyPecs said:
StryderHells said:
For me the real flaw in the study you cite was this:

Most of the original power pose findings were tested in a social context, with real experimenters and participants engaging in social tasks. The replication, however, removed all interactions with other people so that they could not unknowingly bias the participants.
Seeing as "power" is a social construct and exerted in relation to others, it seems reasonable to think the testosterone rush and cortisol decrease would only occur if your brain believes you are in a position to exert that power over other members of your "herd".
You seem to be conflating two entirely separate meanings of the word 'power'.
 
CheckMyPecs said:
Anderis said:
You can even win Paris-Roubaix while being skinny. :eek:
That pic is from last year, not 2011. ;)

Wikipedia says Johan's lost 3 kg of body weight since winning Paris-Roubaix. It would explain why his performances in recent years have been so... disappointing.
Has anyone ever claimed that having a muscular upper-body can't be beneficial for a classic specialist, it's for GC riders it's not very useful.
And of course, as has been mentioned several times, the fact that the GC riders don't have clearly defined muscles in their upper-bodies doesn't mean they don't train their upper-bodies.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Cannibal72 said:
You seem to be conflating two entirely separate meanings of the word 'power'.
Social power will not directly give you an extra 200 watts. But its physiological effect is real: social power boosts natural testosterone production, which in turn increases muscle growth and improves cardiovascular health, translating into extra watts on the bicycle.

http://www.menshealth.com/tags/testosterone
 
CheckMyPecs said:
Cookster15 said:
Anyhow, 10 years ago due to work and family commitments I didn't have the time to ride on the road mid week. So I did all my mid week training in a gym next to my office. Upper body work was mainly limited to body weight exercises like chin ups and push-ups and bench press usually 3 sets of 12-15 reps - not huge weights. The idea was to keep the heart rate up for the full workout. I also did a lot of core strengthening work which was awesome. The workout program usually took about 90 minutes but crucially included two sets of high intensity intervals on a bike machine where I monitored my power output and heart rate plus a 2km warm down on a treadmill. The entire workout including weights was primarily aerobic.

Anyhow on this program I was able to get fit enough to win my club races on Sundays against guys who only rode on the road.
Let's look at this from a rationalist perspective.

1) You have a theory, namely that upper-body training is detrimental to cycling performance
2) The observations do not match your theory (in your very own experience!)

What would a rational person do: assume the observations are wrong or assume the theory is wrong?
What a way to pick out the things you want to hear.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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RedheadDane said:
And of course, as has been mentioned several times, the fact that the GC riders don't have clearly defined muscles in their upper-bodies doesn't mean they don't train their upper-bodies.
Upper-body strength gain has its benefits, but the real advantage comes from increased upper-body muscle mass (i.e. muscle hypertrophy or, in plain terms, big muscles). That's because there's a limit to how strong a muscle can become before it needs to grow bigger.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Sorry, but Track Cycling Sprinters don't do a lot of upper body work and they certainly don't try and gain upper body muscle. NZ and Aussie Sprinters actually look even more freakish with large legs and average upper bodies.
 
Jul 28, 2019
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Even the big guys in the Peleton (Greipel, Sagan, Degenkolb,...) have a pretty much average upper body muscle mass, they look bigger than they are are cos u usually see them next to extremely skinny riders.

I would be all for the UCI introducing a penalty for a too low BMI, like they have it in ski-jumping. To me it seems like climbers are getting skinnier each year, anorexia has already become a problem for pro cycling. So if you have a BMI below 20 (at least) you need to add weight to your bike.
 

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