Aqua Man wrote:
power development at certain intensities on the bike.
For this don't waste your time in the gym. If you consider that on the bike
power = torque x rpm, where torque = force x distance
power = force x crank length x rpm, where force is what you press on the pedal, so
force = rpm x crank length / power
You can plot this on a chart known as a quadrant analysis http://home.trainingpeaks.com/...adrant-analysis.aspx
What's really interesting is that as you pedal slower and slower you eventually get your maximum applied force, which is essentially the most you could possible push in a leg press. That number tends to be up around 800. But when you're biking you're never actually doing that, and the force you apply is closer to 200.
The point of all this is that spending 2 hours in the gym doing squats will certainly raise that maximum force, but won't actually translate into better cycling. If on the other hand you spend 2 hours a week doing things like VO2max work (high intensity intervals) you'll increase that 200 number, which is where you'll be biking.
Some good points,
I have four basic goals with strength training as it relates to the bike.
First find balance left vs right, if an athlete is one leg dominant (former soccer player, snowboarder etc) and their distribution patterns are more than 2-3% off then we work on that first.
Next is stability or looking at joint structure strength (stabilizers etc), lots of body weight stuff, band stuff, some plyo stuff etc on an unstable platform to work joint structures in a way that hopefully makes an athlete "bomb proof" in terms of injury resistance, but also as efficient as possible so like you said above when they "apply force" they are doing so in the most efficient and economical way possible. The least work in with the most work out so to speak.
Once these two are met then we move to power development, this involves "cut downs" on the leg press and other machines.
For example when we do leg press we find a weight where we will fail on about 20 reps, then we pull a plate (about 15-25% of total) go to failure again then pull a plate repeat etc.
The end result is about 60-80 reps in a 1:20-1:30 span and by the end my HR gets up to about 180 (95%) and you have gone to failure 4-5 times within the set.
Full 4 min rest or so then repeat for a total of 3-4 times. I like these because by the end of the 6-8 week cycle a lift load which was once purely anaerobic, becomes easy enough that the action is more aerobic or has a higher than initial aerobic component.
I track power within this time period to see if we are "proving" the program (IM and threshold) to the best of our ability.
Fourth is making it specific by doing big gear stuff on the bike in the spring.
Having said that, stuff like this represents, 2-3 hours a week which some athletes are way better off spending else where. I consider the strength stuff as it relates to balance and injury prevention pretty critical across the board for all athletes and as some have stated, the power stuff more for the advanced athlete looking to break the plateau (icing on the cake) but who also has the time (ie no kids!)