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Maintaining Strength Gains – Show Notes
Losing strength during the season: one of the major reasons for “slowing down” as the season wears on (combined with overtraining.).
Strength loss occurs because aerobic exercise is catabolic in nature (breakdown of unnecessary muscle and tissue to increase power to weight ratio and overall aerobic speed.) High-intensity exercise stimulates metabolic efficiency, which in turn causes loss of muscle fiber bulk to increase efficiency.
Major hormonal players in aerobic exercise: cortisol (increased with aerobic exercise, catabolizes muscle, suppresses testosterone, IGF-1, and hGH.) Also decreased DHEA (testosterone precursor) and increased adrenaline hormones. Cortisol mobilizes fat, proteins from muscle and glucose to fuel the body and respond to stresses via (sympathetic) fight or flight response.
Supplementing with 4 grams of BCAAs and 6 grams of glutamine, 1 gram of vitamin C to combat cortisol build-up and stimulate anabolic pathways.
Strength training combats cortisol dominance by increasing HGH, IGF-1 and testosterone.
Links of studies cited in the podcast:
Marsit, J. L., Conley, M. S., Stone, M. H., Fleck, S. J., Kearney, J. T., Schirmer, G. P., … & Johnson, R. L. (1998). Effects of Ascorbic Acid on Serum Cortisol and the Testosterone: Cortisol Ratio in Junior Elite Weightlifters. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 12(3), 179-184.
Gleeson M, Lancaster GI, Bishop NC. Nutritional strategies to minimize exercise-induced immunosuppression in athletes. Can J Appl Physiol 2001;26 Suppl:S23-35
Timing of strength training: Generally before an easy/aerobic day (strength training will inhibit high-intensity aerobic work for a day or so post exercise) or before a rest day.
Stripped down strength training during the same period of time:
At home: Goblet squats, single leg deadlifts, calf raises, lunges/walks, cross lunges, kettlebells (swings, Turkish getups), bridges and variations, renegade rows, variety of swiss ball work, core stability
Kettlebells – Onnit.com
In the gym: Leg press, hack squat, deadlift, squats
Sets and reps: 3×10 or 3×12 sets/reps. Near exhaustion at the end of 3rd set. Builds muscular endurance and strength, increases muscle fiber size and therefore power/strength. For track riders, consider 1-2 days/month of neuromuscular strength training at 3×4 sets/reps to exhaustion.
On bike work: force work, ME work to “integrate” strength work into your riding.
Take home Point: Work strength training into your routine at some point during the season to keep strength gains from the off-season. Do it in such a way that it doesn't impact your high-quality interval days to get the most out of it.
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