Transferring Leg strength to sprint power an ramp test

My name is Richie and Im a TR addict 5* podcast and the app has improved my FTP from 260 to 292 in approximately just over 9 months with my next test on Monday.

Mt stats are: Weight 82kg height 179cm. My average comfortable RPM is around 100.

Im currently doing Base but want to be well researched for sprint training when it comes around resetting my plan builder at lockdown I noticed that I found the shorter intensity intervals at or over VO2 max slightly easier than an over and under style workout in base maintaining Watts around FTP for longer intervals.

In the gym I feel I can push a reasonable weight using a leg press I can easily push 200kg+ for good reps and put over 150 kg on sled pushes as well as doing more dynamic leg work.

My sprint power although not unreasonable remains stable at 1080W, but I don’t seem to be able to increase this and it doesn’t seem to correspond to the weight static weight in the gym. I can’t help but think that I may be missing something in technique, and continue to work on core (avoid the hose in the stick) and staying tight.

I also feel that toward the end of the ramp test I hit a solid wall, turning the pedals over 90rpm then it feels like someone hitting the breaks. I remain seated through out of course but am wondering if I could translate leg power better to pedal power would I achieve a better result.

Have you tried training for power instead of strength in the gym? You know, things like box jumps, one leg “throws”, etc.? That’s how track sprinters seem to do it.

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Thanks OBNDY, that’s what I mean by dynamic work. So box jumps, single power hops. long jump. and single leg squats.

Im convinced I can put the force down its just not in the correct way to generate power at the pedals/ wheels.

In my experience lifting, as much as legs are concerned, only improves “grinding” power. Perhaps this is to do with type of muscles trained. Spinning at reasonable rpm requires faster muscle engagement. In other words, legs are not firing quick enough to produce power at higher rpm, or those muscle fibers responsible for speed remain untrained.

In my rowing days, we were lifting lighter weights, but closer to the stroke frequency required. For example 28-40 reps/min @ 50-80kg with rests in between sets. Lifting 90 reps/min, perhaps, is rather not possible…

Then maybe work the speed end of the spectrum instead? Overspeed pedaling, fixed gear riding, etc.?

Anyway, I doubt it is anything to do with your technique - aren’t track sprinters some of the biggest masher around? At least, I think that is what the biomechanical studies have shown.

How old are you?
What type of athlete were you in High School or College?
I’ve worked with many riders over the years who were much stronger than me per their FTP and age (younger by 20 yrs), but they just did not know how to sprint.
The podcast has some great videos/discussion on sprinting. Once you realize that the most likely issue is technique and not leg strength, you can focus on that.
Is your 1050 watt sprint outdoors or on the trainer?
Most sprint power comes through the upper body and core. Sometimes my hands would ache after a really hard sprint from gripping the bars. Just an indication of how involved the upper body is. The upper body is static but you should be trying to rip the bars off in the first 10 pedal strokes.

“Most sprint power comes through the upper body and core”.

Less than 10% of sprinting power comes from the upper body (see “Hip Transer” column of Table 1):

How are you measuring power? Have you tried analyzing your data to see if you are more limited by force or speed?

40 but I prefer my Garmin age of 20 lol.
I played rugby in my youth
Sprint is both indoors and out

I often feel I am pulling the front wheel up when sprinting out doors.

OBNDY. how can I tell if its force or speed?

I was wondering whether you could perform the analysis described in this old blog entry on Olympic-caliber BMXers:

Your max power is about half that of these elite athletes, so the question would be, is that due to a lower max force, lower max speed, or some combination of the two?


My guess is that you have all the strength you need. My advise is to practice sprint drills with different gearing and body awareness. Focusing on the things discussed in the video.
Many riders focus so much on ftp and intervals, they neglect form, especially in sprinting.