Traditional Versus Optimum Power Load Training in Professional Cyclists: A Randomized Controlled Trial

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $112.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $149.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $213.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $284.00

Purpose: To compare the effectiveness of optimum power load training (OPT, training with an individualized load and repetitions that maximize power output) and traditional resistance training (TRT, same number of repetitions and relative load for all individuals) in professional cyclists. Methods: Participants (19 [1] y, peak oxygen uptake 75.5 [6] mL/kg/min) were randomly assigned to 8 weeks (2 sessions per week) of TRT (n = 11) or OPT (n = 9), during which they maintained their usual cycle training schedule. Training loads were continuously registered, and measures of muscle strength/power (1-repetition maximum and maximum mean propulsive power on the squat, hip thrust, and lunge exercises), body composition (assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), and endurance performance (assessed on both an incremental test and an 8-min time trial) were collected before and at the end of the intervention. Results: OPT resulted in a lower average intensity (percentage of 1-repetition maximum) during resistance training sessions for all exercises (P < .01), but no differences were found for overall training loads during resistance or cycling sessions (P > .05). Both programs led to significant improvements in all strength/power-related parameters, muscle mass (with no changes in total body mass but a decreased fat mass), and time-trial performance (all Ps < .05). A trend toward increased power output at the respiratory compensation point was also found (P = .056 and .066 for TRT and OPT, respectively). No between-groups differences were noted for any outcome (P > .05). Conclusion: The addition of either TRT or OPT to an endurance training regimen of elite cyclists results in similar improvements of body composition, muscle strength/power, and endurance performance.

Gil-Cabrera, Alejo, Talavera, Montalvo-Pérez, Lucia, and Barranco-Gil are with the Faculty of Sport Sciences, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Valenzuela is with the Dept of Systems Biology, School of Medicine, University of Alcalá, Madrid, Spain, and the Dept of Sport and Health, Spanish Agency for Health Protection in Sport (AEPSAD), Madrid, Spain. Lucia is also with the Inst de Investigación Hospital 12 de Octubre (imas12), Madrid, Spain.

Valenzuela (pedrol.valenzuela@edu.uah.es) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Lauersen JB, Andersen TE, Andersen LB. Strength training as superior, dose-dependent and safe prevention of acute and overuse sports injuries: a systematic review, qualitative analysis and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2018;52(24):15571563. PubMed ID: 30131332 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Beattie K, Kenny IC, Lyons M, Carson BP. The effect of strength training on performance in endurance athletes. Sports Med. 2014;44(6):845865. doi:

  • 3.

    Berryman N, Mujika I, Arvisais D, Roubeix M, Binet C, Bosquet L. Strength training for middle- and long-distance performance: a meta-analysis. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13(1):5764. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Blagrove RC, Howatson G, Hayes PR. Effects of strength training on the physiological determinants of middle- and long-distance running performance: a systematic review. Sports Med. 2018;48(5):11171149. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Rønnestad BR, Mujika I. Optimizing strength training for running and cycling endurance performance: a review. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014;24(4):603612. doi:

  • 6.

    Mujika I, Rønnestad BR, Martin DT. Effects of increased muscle strength and muscle mass on endurance-cycling performance. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2016;11(3):283289. PubMed ID: 27068517 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Aagaard P, Andersen JL, Bennekou M, et al. Effects of resistance training on endurance capacity and muscle fiber composition in young top-level cyclists. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2011;21(6):e298e307. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Rønnestad BR, Hansen EA, Raastad T. Effect of heavy strength training on thigh muscle cross-sectional area, performance determinants, and performance in well-trained cyclists. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010;108(5):965975. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Rønnestad BR, Hansen EA, Raastad T. Strength training improves 5-min all-out performance following 185min of cycling. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2011;21(2):250259. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Rønnestad BR, Hansen J, Hollan I, Ellefsen S. Strength training improves performance and pedaling characteristics in elite cyclists. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015;25(1):e89e98. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Guerriero A, Varalda C, Piacentini MF. The role of velocity based training in the strength periodization for modern athletes. J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2018;3(4):55. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    González-Badillo J, Sánchez-Medina L. Movement velocity as a measure of loading intensity in resistance training. Int J Sports Med. 2010;31(5):347352. doi:

  • 13.

    Banyard HG, Nosaka K, Vernon AD, Gregory Haff G. The reliability of individualized load–velocity profiles. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13(6):763769. PubMed ID: 29140148 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Orange ST, Metcalfe JW, Robinson A, Applegarth MJ, Liefeith A. Effects of in-season velocity- versus percentage-based training in academy rugby league players. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2020;15(4 ):554564. PubMed ID: 31672928 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Dorrell HF, Smith MF, Gee TI. Comparison of velocity-based and traditional percentage-based loading methods on maximal strength and power adaptations. J Strength Cond Res. 2020;34(1):4653. PubMed ID: 30946276 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Rauch J, Loturco I, Cheesman N, et al. Similar strength and power adaptations between two different velocity-based training regimens in collegiate female volleyball players. Sports. 2018;6(4):163. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Loturco I, Nakamura F, Kobal R, et al. Traditional periodization versus optimum training load applied to soccer players: effects on neuromuscular abilities. Int J Sports Med. 2016;37(13):10511059. PubMed ID: 27706551 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    De Pauw K, Roelands B, Cheung SS, De Geus B, Rietjens G, Meeusen R. Guidelines to classify subject groups in sport-science research. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2013;8(2):111122. PubMed ID: 23428482 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    Borg G. Borg’s Perceived Exertion and Pain Scales. 7th ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1998.

  • 20.

    Sánchez-Medina L, González-Badillo JJ. Velocity loss as an indicator of neuromuscular fatigue during resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011;43(9):17251734. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21.

    Sarabia JM, Moya-Ramón M, Hernández-Davó JL, Fernandez-Fernandez J, Sabido R. The effects of training with loads that maximise power output and individualised repetitions vs traditional power training. PLoS One. 2017;12(10):e0186601. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22.

    de Hoyo M, Núñez FJ, Sañudo B, et al. Predicting loading intensity measuring velocity in barbell hip thrust exercise [published online ahead of print April 17, 2019]. J Strength Cond Res. PubMed ID: 31009439 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Conceição F, Fernandes J, Lewis M, Gonzaléz-Badillo JJ, Jimenéz-Reyes P. Movement velocity as a measure of exercise intensity in three lower limb exercises. J Sports Sci. 2016;34(12):10991106. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24.

    Lillo-Bevia J, Pallarés J. Validity and reliability of the cycleops hammer cycle ergometer. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13(7):853859. doi:

  • 25.

    Lucía A, Hoyos J, Pérez M, Chicharro JL. Heart rate and performance parameters in elite cyclists: a longitudinal study. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000;32(10):17771782. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26.

    Klika RJ, Alderdice MS, Kvale JJ, Kearmey JT. Efficacy of cycling training based on a power field test. J Strength Cond Res. 2007;21(1):265269. PubMed ID: 17313274 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    Cohen J. Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. 2nd ed. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 1988. doi:

  • 28.

    Vikmoen O, Ellefsen S, Trøen Ø, et al. Strength training improves cycling performance, fractional utilization of VO2max and cycling economy in female cyclists. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2016;26(4):384396. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    Aagaard P, Simonsen EB, Andersen JL, Magnusson P, Dyhre-Poulsen P. Increased rate of force development and neural drive of human skeletal muscle following resistance training. J Appl Physiol. 2002;93(4):13181326. PubMed ID: 12235031 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30.

    Maffiuletti NA, Aagaard P, Blazevich AJ, Folland J, Tillin N, Duchateau J. Rate of force development: physiological and methodological considerations. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016;116(6):10911116. PubMed ID: 26941023 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 31.

    Loturco I, Pereira LA, Reis VP, et al. Power training in elite young soccer players: effects of using loads above or below the optimum power zone. J Sports Sci. 2020;38(11–12):14161422. PubMed ID: 31389308 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32.

    Doma K, Deakin GB, Bentley DJ. Implications of impaired endurance performance following single bouts of resistance training: an alternate concurrent training perspective. Sports Med. 2017;47(11):21872200. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 33.

    Sunde A, Støren Ø, Bjerkaas M, Larsen M, Hoff J, Helgerud J. Maximal strength training improves cycling economy in competitive cyclists. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(8):21572165. PubMed ID: 19855311 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 34.

    Rønnestad BR, Hansen J, Nygaard H. 10 weeks of heavy strength training improves performance-related measurements in elite cyclists. J Sports Sci. 2017;35(14):14351441. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 35.

    Sanders D, Abt G, Hesselink MKC, Myers T, Akubat I. Methods of monitoring training load and their relationships to changes in fitness and performance in competitive road cyclists. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2017;12(5):668675. PubMed ID: 28095061 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 36.

    van Erp T, Foster C, de Koning JJ. Relationship between various training-load measures in elite cyclists during training, road races, and time trials. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2019;14(4):493500. PubMed ID: 30300025 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1265 1265 370
Full Text Views 15 15 0
PDF Downloads 14 14 0