Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you recommend for hill repeats for strength & climbing training as far as cadence goes? I am looking for a strength training work out but don't want to hurt myself either.

For short hills of 100 - 200? meters long and 8-10% grade would you big ring it and gear as high as possible while remaining seated? Or do you small ring it and go up at a higher cadence?

Also, when do you know when to quit?
 

·
waterproof*
Joined
·
41,745 Posts
The last question is easiest. You quit when you can't perform the interval at goal pace/effort. Basically, when you can't do a "quality" effort.

The other questions are all "depends" on what you want to train. Where I live I don't have any 10 minute hills, but plenty of 1 minute hills, so I use those. I think the shortest I'd really use would be 30 secs or so, which is a nearly full-sprint pace. When I do those I do sets of 4. First one, seated spinning, on the hoods, good form. 2nd, standing, hoods, my choice of gear. 3rd seated, tops, slightly big gear. 4th standing, drops, relatively low gear. Then a 5 min break and do another set. That's usually enough for me.

But that's just one possible workout. If you have the terrain, you could do 20 minute efforts. All depends on what type of intervals you want to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,422 Posts
Luckily...

Creakyknees said:
The last question is easiest. You quit when you can't perform the interval at goal pace/effort. Basically, when you can't do a "quality" effort.

The other questions are all "depends" on what you want to train. Where I live I don't have any 10 minute hills, but plenty of 1 minute hills, so I use those. I think the shortest I'd really use would be 30 secs or so, which is a nearly full-sprint pace. When I do those I do sets of 4. First one, seated spinning, on the hoods, good form. 2nd, standing, hoods, my choice of gear. 3rd seated, tops, slightly big gear. 4th standing, drops, relatively low gear. Then a 5 min break and do another set. That's usually enough for me.

But that's just one possible workout. If you have the terrain, you could do 20 minute efforts. All depends on what type of intervals you want to do.
Luckily for me, I just moved somewhere where I was able to do a one hour effort, going uphill, and still didn't hit the top (16 miles up). Good stuff right there.

As far as the other OP is concerned. I used to do hill repeats where I would spin one, and then the next one I would mash it. Wash, rinse, and repeat. After 12 of those, it was time to go home.
 

·
Cycling Coach
Joined
·
1,734 Posts
Drichman said:
What do you recommend for hill repeats for strength & climbing training as far as cadence goes? I am looking for a strength training work out but don't want to hurt myself either.

For short hills of 100 - 200? meters long and 8-10% grade would you big ring it and gear as high as possible while remaining seated? Or do you small ring it and go up at a higher cadence?

Also, when do you know when to quit?
Training for strength and training for climbing are at complete opposite ends of the training spectrum.

Riding a bike up a hill (even in a large gear) does not produce forces high enough to induce strength adaptations (strength being correctly defined as maximal force generation capacity of a muscle or group of muscles).

If you want strength, go to the gym and lift weights big enough to induce strength gains. But it won't do much for your climbing.

Hill climbing is about aerobic power production and simply riding up a long enough hill sufficient times at a hard pace is what will help you improve riding up a hill at a hard pace. What cadence you happen to be riding at when doing so is essentially irrelevant for developing improved sustainable aerobic power.
 

·
NeoRetroGrouch
Joined
·
6,493 Posts
Alex_Simmons/RST said:
Training for strength and training for climbing are at complete opposite ends of the training spectrum.

Riding a bike up a hill (even in a large gear) does not produce forces high enough to induce strength adaptations (strength being correctly defined as maximal force generation capacity of a muscle or group of muscles).

If you want strength, go to the gym and lift weights big enough to induce strength gains. But it won't do much for your climbing.

Hill climbing is about aerobic power production and simply riding up a long enough hill sufficient times at a hard pace is what will help you improve riding up a hill at a hard pace. What cadence you happen to be riding at when doing so is essentially irrelevant for developing improved sustainable aerobic power.
Wouldn't the short hills the OP questioned (not the recovery required to do them again in a ride/race) be an anaerobic effort?

My short hill sprints have been: Break the hill into thirds. Do the first third fast, the second third faster and the last third so talking is impossible. Rest about two minutes. Repeat (at least) two more times going faster each time. If you cannot go faster, you're done. Puking is OK after the third one. These need to be really hard. With warm up and cool down, this is only a 45 minute workout.

TF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
Boy, these are some debatable statements, but..

Alex_Simmons/RST said:
Training for strength and training for climbing are at complete opposite ends of the training spectrum.

Riding a bike up a hill (even in a large gear) does not produce forces high enough to induce strength adaptations (strength being correctly defined as maximal force generation capacity of a muscle or group of muscles).

If you want strength, go to the gym and lift weights big enough to induce strength gains. But it won't do much for your climbing.

Strong legs won't help you climb?..

Hill climbing is about aerobic power production and simply riding up a long enough hill sufficient times at a hard pace is what will help you improve riding up a hill at a hard pace. What cadence you happen to be riding at when doing so is essentially irrelevant for developing improved sustainable aerobic power.
My (US Nat. Ch.) training buddy does big ring strength drills a couple of times per week for leg strength. He finished second overall in the Evererest Challenge a few years back and is a strong climber. Larger fella, too. His leg-strength drills consist of longer fairly steep climbs (3-10 miles at ~5-9% is what we have plenty of here) done in huge gears, at very slow cadence. I've been doing similar strength drills on the bike this season with good results. You certainly can build leg strength on your bike rather than at the gym. (the gym is only for when you can't get on your bike, IMHO) Grab a 53/14, or whatever gear combo you can barely push over, and move that up an ~8% grade for 5-6 miles or until lactic acid buildup forces you to quit. Works well enough for my pal to take him to the National TT crown, and many other wins. You can select a big enough gear (or a steep enough hill) to over-stress your body..be careful of your knees.

http://everestchallenge.com/ You want climbing? Check this out..

I also sometimes do my short intervals included in some of my longer climbing days. Luckily, I live where many long climbs abound so I must do some climbing daily (no flat ground around here). I use a big climb to get in my intense short interval days (2 per week) Recently, I've been doing 30 second all out efforts with a 1:30 recovery while going uphill on climbs from 5-8%..I get in ten reps and still have some hill left.. The short intervals have my lungs burning, the long high-load/low cadence hill drills (on other days) have my legs burning..

Leg strength and climbing ability aren't opposites ..Some guys climb spinning a really high cadence and that takes huge aerobic capacity but less leg strength..Others push a bigger gear yet still get up the hills quickly. I ain't the best climber at 165lbs, but I've been working hard at improving for years. I think doing both short intense intervals and leg strength drills..both are good.
Don Hanson
 

·
Cycling Coach
Joined
·
1,734 Posts
TurboTurtle said:
Wouldn't the short hills the OP questioned (not the recovery required to do them again in a ride/race) be an anaerobic effort?
Quite possibly but the OP asked about developing strength, not anaerobic work capacity.

Strength is not a limiter to climbing performance.

All I ask before we get into another one of these strength and hill climbing arguments is that people recognise that by strength, I am talking about the strict definition of strength - i.e. maximal force generation capacity of a muscle or group of muscles. We never get anywhere near that level of force production riding a bike up a hill. You can approach it for a second or so at the start of a sprint or a track standing start, but that's about the only time.

Big gear hill efforts don't improve strength. They improve our aerobic condition. They are no better or worse than simply riding up the hill at the same power with a "normal" or naturally selected cadence.
 

·
Cycling Coach
Joined
·
1,734 Posts
Gnarly 928 said:
My (US Nat. Ch.) training buddy does big ring strength drills a couple of times per week for leg strength. He finished second overall in the Evererest Challenge a few years back and is a strong climber. Larger fella, too. His leg-strength drills consist of longer fairly steep climbs (3-10 miles at ~5-9% is what we have plenty of here) done in huge gears, at very slow cadence. I've been doing similar strength drills on the bike this season with good results. You certainly can build leg strength on your bike rather than at the gym. (the gym is only for when you can't get on your bike, IMHO) Grab a 53/14, or whatever gear combo you can barely push over, and move that up an ~8% grade for 5-6 miles or until lactic acid buildup forces you to quit. Works well enough for my pal to take him to the National TT crown, and many other wins. You can select a big enough gear (or a steep enough hill) to over-stress your body..be careful of your knees.

http://everestchallenge.com/ You want climbing? Check this out..

I also sometimes do my short intervals included in some of my longer climbing days. Luckily, I live where many long climbs abound so I must do some climbing daily (no flat ground around here). I use a big climb to get in my intense short interval days (2 per week) Recently, I've been doing 30 second all out efforts with a 1:30 recovery while going uphill on climbs from 5-8%..I get in ten reps and still have some hill left.. The short intervals have my lungs burning, the long high-load/low cadence hill drills (on other days) have my legs burning..

Leg strength and climbing ability aren't opposites ..Some guys climb spinning a really high cadence and that takes huge aerobic capacity but less leg strength..Others push a bigger gear yet still get up the hills quickly. I ain't the best climber at 165lbs, but I've been working hard at improving for years. I think doing both short intense intervals and leg strength drills..both are good.
Don Hanson
What you are describing is not strength in its correct definitional sense but what could be termed muscular power. And if you are producing the same sustainable power, then the aerobic capacity required is essentially the same, no matter the cadence.

If you replace the word "strength" with "power" in the paragraphs above, then what you've written would make more sense.

And we get lactate not lactic acid and that is not what forces us to slow down, indeed lactate is a fuel source.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
Ok,
However, many books written to help one train on the bike, books by highly respected "experts" stay that to improve leg strength, high-load big gear low cadence drills on the bike is an effective way to train. They also mention that stronger legs are helpful to climb effectivly.

I don't care to argue or to cite specific books, quote studies, etc. Who wants to argue (it's probably about semantics anyhow) with someone who has his own website?

I'll just do like my successful pal does..maybe it will help me ride like he does someday.

Cheers, Don Hanson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Without using any key words that may distract here, I guess my goal in performing hill repeats is to be a better climber, i.e. being able to climb hills at a faster speed and for a longer period of time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,230 Posts
train what you want to be able to do.
there is no magic, no free lunch, no secret.

if you want to go up hills, you have to go up hills. a head wind is arguably a next-best. but as Alex says (who undoubtedly knows far more than I do, but I like to think that I'm smart enough to agree with him), it's not the maximal force you can apply with your legs but increasing the length of time you can generate more power that is going to get you up the hill fast and faster. Neither of which (amount of power, length of time you can generate it) has very much to do with increasing strength as such.
the big-ring drills -- guys do them. I don't happen to think that they do very much for you in particular other than train you to go up a hill in a big ring, but going uphill is going uphill, after all, and going uphill is what you need to do in order to be able to go uphill.
I believe that a higher cadence works for me, but you have to train that, too.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top