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Old 05-03-2008, 07:00 AM   #11
Anthony Bainbridge
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Re: Leg Power - Increased performance

Get stronger with squats and deadlifts - it will have tremendous carryover into your strength on cycling and running. The other stuff is nice, but the bulk of your strength work should be squat & deadlift.
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:57 AM   #12
Aaron Trent
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Re: Leg Power - Increased performance

I'm going to second Anthony.

I got my first road bike in March 2007, first USCF race in July, last race in September. Did not touch my bike until February, did CF and a DL/Squat cycle. The first 2 months on the bike hurt a LOT, by now, my endurance is catching up to my strength. I am faster than I was at the end of last season and I can hang with all of the fast rides in town, I can throw off some atacks on hills on my good days, and I am more explosive than I ever was before.

Deadlift and Squat. The DLs helped me more than the squats did, YMMV.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:58 AM   #13
Jason M Struck
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Re: Leg Power - Increased performance

power is never more than a percentage of your strength;

easy example...

Q. Who do you know that Cleans more than they Deadlift?

strength first, then strength and speed.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:06 AM   #14
Andres Gordo
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Re: Leg Power - Increased performance

like peolpe have said deadlifts and squats.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:14 PM   #15
Justin Lascek
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Re: Leg Power - Increased performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Galgon View Post
re: explosive strength, I can see how being able to recruit all of your muscles at once would be good, but wouldn't you be running the "risk" of increasing the fast/slow twitch ratio in your leg muscle? I'm assuming that we're talking about biking running distances more than a few miles, so this might not be optimal.

Then again, I might be overestimating the ability of training to change a person's balance of fast and slow twitch muscles. I've never been too clear on the extent to which it's predetermined by genetics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Well, hyperplasia is debatable but generally it's not really applicable. Increase in the amount of myofibrils (and thus increase in the cross sectional area of a muscle fiber) is well documented (aka hypertrophy). Everyone has a set determined amount of fibers per birth (well, again with hyperplasia.. it occurs but rarely and no one knows why so it's best not to worry about it for now at least... not that extra muscle fibers would do anything that regular hypertrophy wouldn't so it's really a moot point, heh).
I don't think Jake was talking about hyperplasia. He was asking about the ratio of slow fibers to fast twitch fibers, not the increase in the number of fibers.
________
But back to the question at hand. The principle of specificity is key. If you're wanting to increase power, then you train with movements that exclusively enhance power. If you're looking at it from a periodization perspective, you could train generally in the beginning of your program and get more 'power specific' towards the peak of training.

Power = (Force x distance) / time

The force is strength and the distance/time is speed. These make up the components of power that we so often hear. Strength would be what you would focus on in the early stages of a power-based periodization program, and then it would get more specific to the speed/explosion.

The most important power movement from the body is hip extension. Weighted walking lunges, squats, and deadlifts will play a role in increasing the force of your movement in hip extension (among hundreds of other benefits), but ignoring explosive movements will not maximize the potential for power output. The stair running and thrusters are more geared to said explosiveness, but they lack in comparison to other power-enhancing methods.

The Olympic lifts are the epitome of hip extension power. If you're trying to increase power in the correct sense (i.e. increasing force and speed together and not isolating one of the variables), then Oly lifts should not be ignored.

Bottom line: train how you want to perform.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:28 PM   #16
Steven Low
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Re: Leg Power - Increased performance

I discussed hyperplasia because he said "risk of increasing slow/fast twitch muscles" which.. obviously you can't really INCREASE any of the amount of muscle fibers.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:32 AM   #17
Justin Lascek
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Re: Leg Power - Increased performance

Quote:
"risk" of increasing the fast/slow twitch ratio
I read that as increasing the ratio of fast twitch fibers to slow twitch fibers. Of course you can't increase the number of fibers, but through training you can affect the ratio.

Either way we're both scientifically correct.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:03 AM   #18
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Re: Leg Power - Increased performance

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Originally Posted by Justin Lascek View Post
I read that as increasing the ratio of fast twitch fibers to slow twitch fibers. Of course you can't increase the number of fibers, but through training you can affect the ratio.

Either way we're both scientifically correct.
Except you can't affect the ratio.... you can affect the *cross sectional area* via satellite cell donation (hypertrophy). The ratio you're born with you keep for life.

Anyway back on original topic... increasing max strength increases potential endurance. So.. that's a good way to look at it.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:30 AM   #19
Justin Lascek
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Re: Leg Power - Increased performance

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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Except you can't affect the ratio.... you can affect the *cross sectional area* via satellite cell donation (hypertrophy). The ratio you're born with you keep for life.
Regardless of whether or not the ratio can change, all I'm saying is that what I thought Jake was asking was about the ratio of fibers. It was simply the semantics of the question, not the content.

But, since we're talking about it:

"Some recent evidence, however, suggests that endurance training, strength training, and muscular inactivity may cause a shift in the myosin isoforms. Consequently, training may induce a small change, perhaps less than 10% in the percentage of type I and type II fibers. Further, both endurance and resistance training have been shown to reduce the percentage of type IIx fibers while increasing the fraction of type IIa fibers.

Studies of older men and women have shown that aging may alter the distribution of type I and type II fibers. As we grow older, muscles tend to lose type II motor units, which increases the percentage of type I fibers" (40, Wilmore 2008).

"Sprinters and jumpers usually have great concentrations of fast-twitch fibers. These fiber types are also found in high concentrations in muscles on which these athletes rely, such as the gastrocnemius. On the other hand, distance runners usually have greater concentrations of slow-twitch fibers" (68, Hamill 2003).

It's not a coincidence that a marathoner's muscles are lean while the sprinter's are thicker. Type I fibers are smaller than the Type II fibers since they don't produce as much force as the Type II fibers (and they also have a difference in motor unit recruitment).

Now, concerning hypertrophy, there are postulated mechanisms for fiber hypertrophy and fiber hyperplasia.

Fiber hypertrophy "could be explained by more myofibrils, more actin and myosin filaments, more sarcoplasm, more connective tissue, or any combinations of these" (207, Wilmore 2008)

Fiber hyperplasia, on the other hand, has involvement with satellite cells.
"It has more recently been established that satellite cells, which are the myogenic stem cells involved in skeletal muscle regeneration, are likely involved in the generation of new muscle fibers" (209, Wilmore 2008).

Here is something else that is interesting:
"Muscle injury can lead to a cascade of responses, in which satellite cells become activated and proliferate, migrate to the damaged region, and fuse to existing myofibers or combine and fuse to produce new myofibers" (209, Wilmore 2008).

I don't know how these researchers define "muscle injury", but in some cases normal exercising can be considered an "injury" to the muscle. If that's the case, then CrossFitting (and other forms of activity in this 'community') could qualify because it is intensive exercise. If "muscle injury" includes the realms of normal to intense exercise, then it may acceptable to assume some satellite cell involvement for repair, but generally this seems to be for a more serious muscular injury.

There are instances where researchers differ on physiological concepts of the human body (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is an example), so all research must be taken into account to prevent a biased view. Interesting stuff.


Sources:

Hamill, Joseph, Knutzen, Kathleen M. (2003). Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement (2nd Ed.)Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Wilmore, Jack H., Costill, David L., Kenney, Larry W. (2008). Physiology of Sport and Exercise (4th Ed.).Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:38 AM   #20
Justin Lascek
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Re: Leg Power - Increased performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M Struck View Post
power is never more than a percentage of your strength;

easy example...

Q. Who do you know that Cleans more than they Deadlift?

strength first, then strength and speed.
What you say about cleans and deadlift is true, but the reasoning isn't that strength is more important than speed.

The reason people DL more than they power clean is due to the force-velocity relationship of muscle. It's an inverse relationship. The muscles force-developing ability decreases with an increase in velocity (speed) because fewer cross-bridges can be maintained.

So, when force goes up, velocity goes down.
When force goes down, velocity goes up.

Interesting to note is that maximum power can be generated when the force and velocity levels are at 30% of maximum.

Power = (force x distance) / time
Distance/time is velocity (or speed).

Hopefully this clarifies that both strength and speed are important for power.
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