The Effectiveness of a 30-Week Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training Program in Preparation for an Ultra-Endurance Handcycling Challenge: A Case Study

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
View More View Less
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $114.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $152.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $217.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $289.00

Purpose: The aim of the following case study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a 30-week concurrent strength and endurance training program designed to prepare a trained H4 male handcyclist (aged 28 y, bilateral, above knee amputee, and body mass 65.6 kg) for a 1407-km ultra-endurance handcycling challenge. Methods: This observational case study tracked selected physiological measures, training intensity distribution, and total training load over the course of a 30-week concurrent training protocol. Furthermore, the athlete’s performance profile during the ultra-endurance challenge was monitored with power output, cadence, speed, and heart rate recorded throughout. Results: Findings revealed considerable improvements in power output at a fixed blood lactate concentration of 4 mmol·L−1 (+25.7%), peak aerobic power output (+18.9%), power-to-mass ratio (+18.3%), relative peak oxygen uptake (+13.9%), gross mechanical efficiency (+4.6%), bench press 1-repetition maximum (+4.3%), and prone bench pull 1-repetition maximum (+14.9%). The athlete completed the 1407-km route in a new handcycling world record time of 89:55 hours. Average speed was 18.7 (2.1) km·h−1; cadence averaged 70.0 (2.6) rpm, while average power output was 67 (12) W. In terms of internal load, the athlete’s average heart rate was 111 (11) beats per minute. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate how a long-term concurrent strength and endurance training program can be used to optimize handcycling performance capabilities in preparation for an ultra-endurance cycling event. Knowledge emerging from this case study provides valuable information that can guide best practices with respect to handcycling training for ultra-endurance events.

Nevin is with the School of Human and Social Sciences, Buckinghamshire New University, High Wycombe, United Kingdom. Smith is with the School of Sport and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Nevin (jonpaul.nevin@bucks.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Union Cycliste Internationale. Cycling Regulations, Part 16 Para-Cycling. 2019.

  • 2.

    Abel T, Burkett B, Schneider S, Lindschulten R, Struder HK. The exercise profile of an ultra-long handcycling race: the Styrkeproven experience. Spinal Cord. 2010;48(12):894898. PubMed ID: 20421873 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Abel T, Schneider S, Platen P, Struder HK. Performance diagnostics in handcycling during competition. Spinal Cord. 2006;44(4):211216. PubMed ID: 16172621 doi:

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

    De Groot S, Postma K, Van Vliet L, et al. . Mountain time trial time in handcycling: exercise intensity and predictors of race time in people with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 2014;52(6):455461. PubMed ID: 24777165 doi:

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

    Fischer G, Ardigo L, Figueiredo P. Physiological performance determinants of a 22-km handbiking time trail. Int J Sports Physiol Perf. 2015;10(8):965971. PubMed ID: 25756541 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Lovell D, Sheilds D, Beck B, Cuneo R, McLellan C. The aerobic performance of training and untrained handcyclists with spina cord injury. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012;112(9):34313437. PubMed ID: 22278391 doi:

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

    Janssen TWJ, Dallmeijer AJ, Van der Woude LHV. Physical capacity and race performance of handcycle users. J Rehabil Res Develop. 2001;38(1):3340. PubMed ID: 11322469

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Nevin JP, Smith P, Waldron M, et al. Efficacy of an 8-week concurrent strength and endurance training programme on handcycling performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2018;32(7):18611868. PubMed ID: 29561384 doi:

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

    Nevin JP, Smith P. The anthropometric, physiological, and strength related determinants of handcycling 15-km time trial performance. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2021;16(2):259266. doi:

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

    Zeller S, Abel T, Struder HK. Monitoring training load in handcycling: a case study. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;31(11):30943100. PubMed ID: 29068864 doi:

  • 11.

    Paton CD, Hopkins WG. Ergometer error and biological variation in power output in a performance test with three cycle ergometers. Int J Sports Med. 2006;27(6):444447. PubMed ID: 16767608 doi:

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

    Borg GA. Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1982;14(5):377388. PubMed ID: 7154893

  • 13.

    Garby L, Astrup A. The relationship between the respiratory quotient and the equivalent of oxygen during simultaneous glucose and lipid oxidation and lipogenesis. Acta Physiol Scand. 1987;129(3):443444. PubMed ID: 3577829 doi:

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

    Weyand PG, Line JE, Bundle MW. Sprint performance duration relationships are set by the fractional duration of external force application. Am J Physiol. 2006;290(3):758765. PubMed ID: 16254125 doi:

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

    Haff GG, Triplett NT. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 4th ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2016.

  • 16.

    Issurin VB. Block periodisation versus traditional training theory: a review. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008;48(1):6575. PubMed ID: 18212712

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Seiler S. What is best practice for training intensity and duration distribution in endurance athletes? Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2010;5(3):276291. PubMed ID: 20861519 doi:

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

    Allen H, Coggan A. Training and Racing with a Powermeter. 2nd ed. Boulder, CO: Velopress; 2010.

  • 19.

    Peterson MD, Rhea MR, Alvar BA. Maximising strength development in athletes: a meta-analysis to determine the dose response relationship. J Strength Cond Res. 2004;18(2):377382. PubMed ID: 15142003 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Peterson MD, Rhea MR, Alvar BA. Applications of the dose response for strength development: a review of the meta-analytic efficacy and reliability for designing training prescriptions. J Strength Cond Res. 2006;19(4):950958. PubMed ID: 16287373 doi:

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

    Ratamess NA, Alvar BA, Evotech TK, et al. . American College of Sports Medicine—progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 2009;41(3):687708. PubMed ID: 19204579 doi:

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

    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
  • 23.

    De Groot S, Hoekstra SP, Grandjean Perrenod Comtesse P, Kouwijzer I, Valent LJ. Relationship between internal and external handcycle training load in people with spinal cord injury training for the Handbikebattle. J Rehabil Med. 2018;50(3):261268. PubMed ID: 29392331 doi:

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

    Stoggl TL, Sperlich B. The training intensity distribution among well-trained and elite endurance athletes. Front Physiol. 2015;6:295. PubMed ID: 26578968 doi:

  • 25.

    Bourgios JG, Bourgois G, Boone J. Perspectives, and determinants for training-intensity distribution in elite endurance athletes. Int J Sports Physiol Perf. 2010;14(8):11511156. PubMed ID: 31484159 doi:

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

    Nevin JP, Smith P. The influence of absolute and relative upper body strength upon handcycling performance capabilities. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. In press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    Garcia-Pallares J, Sanchez-Medina L, Carrasco L, Izquierdo M. Endurance and neuromuscular changes in world-class level kayakers during a periodized training cycle. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;106(4):629638. PubMed ID: 19396614 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Garcia-Pallares J, Garcia-Fernandez M, Sanchez-Medina L, Izquierdo M. Performance changes in world-class kayakers following two different training periodization models. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010;110(1):99107. PubMed ID: 20414669 doi:

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

    Issurin VB. New horizons for the methodology and physiology of training periodization. Sports Med. 2010;40(3):189206. PubMed ID: 20199119 doi:

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 610 610 59
Full Text Views 10 10 1
PDF Downloads 9 9 2