Originally Posted by Paul Kayley
What are your thoughts on the relevance of resistance training to aerobic sports performance?
Have you experienced complimentary benefits? If yes, why do you think improved strength increases aerobic performance?
I do not believe the benefits are there. Honestly, it does not take a degree in exercise physiology to understand that these are two different physiological adaptations. It might seem logical that if you are stronger, you can put more power to the pedals, but, even at high power outputs, force on the pedals is not very much. This is true, even for events like prologue time trials. Look at some of the best cyclists and runners in the world for example. They are able to perform at elite levels with very little limit strength.
Again...force requirements for endurance activities are VERY low. You are better off working endurance than trying to force some improvements through strength training. Honestly, strength training is more likely to interfere with quality workouts. I recall trying to do a time trial after a heavy deadlift day. Not the best experience. Doing that week in and week out would just be counterproductive.
Some will qote research that shows improvements in running economy from strength training. You have to look at these closely. Many are using relatively untrained subjects, and in some cases "strength training" consists of sprints or hill sprints.
Finally, the concurrent endurance/strength training studies generally show more interference with strength adaptations than endurance adaptations. However, some argue that mitochondrial dillution from increased muscle mass is a problem for endurance athletes.