Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Weight Training, Winter and the Real World.

My last post on Strength training, lifting weights, performance and training in the real world fell short of Nobel prize writing and was more of a rant. The topic has come up again in my training seminars, amongst friends and I have been pointed to some recent studies as well.
Too long and technical for you. Here are the basic conclusions and findings.
strength training with weights increased “endurance” and power at VO2 by 7%. This study was done with trained cyclist which is nice.
This will be short and to the point. First off there is more than one way to skin a cat. And even more ways to train for an endurance event.
~“But ek you said weights would only increase your max power by 2%.”No, I said the people I worked with only had an avg. increase in max power of 2%. I have always been a proponent of “strength training” just not with weights. This study was done as one group doing x amount of “endurance” work which was a specific intensity based on there Vo2. (first of all they should have used threshold here) The strength training group had the strength work ADDED to their endurance work.
So, more work and high intensity work at that made this group “stronger”. No surprise there. The 7% is surprising to me. A very significant gain for sure. I would like to see their workout and progression for sure! 
The more athletes I work with the more benefit I see with strength work. With my athletes its done on the bike. With specific intervals, done a specific way. This work has resulted in big gains in max power. And while I have never tested the endurance gains from it the improvement seems to be across the board not just in max power. Is this seemingly increase in endurance from the strength work? Or other training done? I don’t know.
The biggest advantage I see to my “on the bike” strength work is that it saves time. Lots of time.
It can be done without additional hours in the gym. And the gains I have seen have been in 6 weeks or less instead of 3 months. That’s half the time. So now the athlete may do another 6 weeks of some other training depending on their strengths, weaknesses, resources, time to train, etc…
"Time. Time is your worst enemy, your best ally and is the biggest issue EVERY athlete deals with."
Time in the day. Amount of time per week to train, and how much time one has from now (the day they start training) until race day. Further more. What did you do last year? The year before that? How about the last 10 years? This is a bigger discussion on periodization…
The real world.
So ek what if I do your on the bike strength work and lift weights?” good Q. what will happen to your quality of training? On the bike strength work 3 time week. Plus weights 2 times a week. Not sure you can get a maximal effort every workout on that sch. I could do squats every day but they would suck after 2 if not 1 day.
~from Coach Nick. “On your point of real world practicality, that is exactly WHY I weight train in the winter. For a 9-6 working stiff, there are very few hours available to me to train on the bike. Core and weight training gives me extra training time that frankly probably wouldn't happen at all if I was sticking to just the bike.
very good point. Nick is a roadie. All riding all the time. One can only sit on a trainer for so long. but if time is THAT short why is one still getting "burned out" or board?
I would rather go to a spin class sit in back and do my strength work (my own workout) on the bike with some pumping tunes, good looking ladies and some other hard working peeps to motivate me. brings up another point on motivation. what motivated you?? This is an important issue.
~Triathletes please don’t tell me you need more to do than the 3 sports you all ready have! If you’re getting burned out or board trying to be an expert at swimming, biking and running you need help.
~“But XYZ pro lifts weights?” good for them. If you want to be like XYZ pro, go ahead and lift. Let me know when you get a pro contract and then we will re think your winter training. 
~I was at a team meeting in Boulder , CO and Tim O’donnell was there. (pro triathlete) He was asked “do you lift in the winter?” “yes I do”, he said “but only core and some stability stuff” this is a guy who is a pro.  he trains and thinks about training 24-7
~doing core work and lifting in the gym are 2 very different things. core, always important do it!
~There are no magic bullets. I hear this every year. “I’m gona xyz this year” its gona make me soooo strong. This is my year!" You’re on the right track. By all means CHANG IT UP!! Take a chance, do something different!! But there are no secrets here. You wana get faster at something. Then get out there and do THAT something!!
Lifting weights is NOT bad for you. In fact it’s quite the opposite. I feel that for reaching your best as a cyclist, triathlete, mtb’er, etc. there are better ways to use your time.
There’s that word again. Time. 
This is a very argued topic and I am not saying there is one perfect way to do anything. but this is where the art of training and coaching come into view. there are only 24 hours in a day and so many days from now to race day?
Leave some more Questions and real world situations in the comments!Leave muscle fiber this and hypertrophy that at the door. I want real world. Something we can use in training, out there in the rd. or some results you have had.

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