STRENGTH TRAINING DOES NOT IMPROVE CYCLING PERFORMANCE
Jackson, N., Hickey, M., Reiser II, R., Hutcheson, K., & Melby, C. (2004). Maximum strength versus strength endurance resistance training: Effects on the performance of cyclists. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 396.
"Many training programs utilized by endurance athletes today include resistance training of some kind, to some degree, in efforts to improve fitness and performance parameters. However, there is a wide variety of protocols employed, differing in loads used, volume, rest periods, frequency, and speed of motion. Two different styles of training, one utilizing heavy loads and low repetitions (Maximum Strength, MS) and the other using low resistance and high repetitions (Strength Endurance, SE), are common methods used by coaches and athletes in a variety of endurance sports" (p. S53).
Cyclists (N = 23) were assigned randomly to one of three groups; heavy loads and low repetitions (MS; 4 sets of 4 RM), low loads and high repetitions (SE; 2 sets of 20 RM), or no-resistance training control (C). All Ss continued cycling training. Experimental training was performed three times per week for 10 weeks. Training exercises focused on the legs (squats, leg press, leg curl, and single leg step-up). Ss were tested for lactate profile on a cycling ergometer, with blood lactate being sampled at the conclusion of each 4-min stage, and 1 RM testing of the four training exercises.
Both groups gained similarly on the four strength-training exercises. There were no changes or differences between groups on the cycling test for lactate values or VO2 at specified loads.
Implication. Maximum strength and strength endurance resistance training provides no performance benefit for training club-level cyclists.
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