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Premium Member
1,830 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
But we do have opinions, and here's mine!

I'm reading some really interesting studies on endurance sports and weight training. Some say yes, some say no based on the study results. Based on how the studies are set up, it is easy to see why there is not a definitive answer on the subject. Funny side note, there are studies that show strength training has improved long distance running performance.
IMHO (and actually mentioned in one of the reviews of a study) there are some variables that are flawed in the testing process for most of the studies done:
1) Study length: typically 8-12 weeks in length. This isn't enough time to accurately measure any benefits of strength training because this is primarily a neural adaptation period. Meaning, your brain is simply turning on more muscle fibers, not growing the ones you've got.

2) Exercise selection is bilateral, and typically seated. Tons of flaws here:
- there isn't anything on how a single leg strength training program in an unsupported environment would affect the results +/-.
- seated machines will typically trash prime movers, and do very little if any, to build stabilizer strength/endurance. This factor alone would explain little to no benefit. Prime movers need a lot more recovery time once they are worked.
- you don't build core strength in a seated environment because you don't have to support you as you move.
- you can't work explosively on a machine because you'll break.
- neuromuscular coordination is extremely tough to come by in a seated machine environment.
- seated machines cause ROM (range of motion loss) because that is dictated for you by the machine. Same thing as to why cycling crushes your mobility: you're sitting down doing the same thing for hours on end.

3) None of the studies mention how cycling robs you of ROM, shuts down the glutes and affects thoracic spine mobility and how strength training can help fight that.

4) How cycling negatively affects breathing patterns.

I've got about 20 studies to read this week, so give me some time to sort through them and report on what I find! However, if someone gives me a 10 figure grant, I will do a study on single leg strength training and its affects on endurance athletes! :)

Two skinny J's
21,369 Posts
I will step out and say for the average rider and person some weight training will be a good thing. It may be a complete different subject for those that race. I saw a comment somewhere once that said (basically) the average professorial (road) cyclist didn't look like the could bench press a cheeseburger. Not the physique I would care for or for that fact ever be able to obtain :D

A tone well balanced fit look on the other hand is the ticket!
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