Question: A few weeks ago, you said you were forgoing winter weight training for your legs in favor of low-cadence/high-resistance riding on an indoor trainer. I’m wondering how that’s going. — Vlad L.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: As of mid January, I’m pleased with the program. I’m lifting weights two or three times each week, but not doing conventional leg work such as squats or leg presses. Right now I’m in my “max strength” phase so I’m doing power cleans, dips with added weight and an assortment of lat pulls and seated rows along with ab work.
For leg work, I use a LeMond RevMaster, a pro-quality stationary bike.I started with 3-5 sets of 25 pedal revolutions at high resistance and a cadence of 50-60. After a couple of weeks, I increased the revs to 30. After 2 more weeks, I started doing them by time, first 45 seconds and now 60.
I don’t consider this a cycling workout. Instead, it’s part of my weight workout. After the conventional resistance exercises listed above I do a short warmup on the RevMaster, pound out the sets, and that’s it.
How’s it working? Well, it’s certainly a tough session. I concentrate on a round, smooth pedal stroke with little upper-body movement. I don’t want to turn the sets into anaerobic intervals, but I’m still panting pretty hard at the end of a minute — about like after, say, 50 reps with a light weight in the leg press.
Until spring, I won’t have any comparative wattage numbers (from my periodic tests on a CompuTrainer or with a PowerTap). So far, though, intermediate test show that I’m making progress.