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  • Author: Jesús G. Pallarés x
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José R. Lillo-Bevia and Jesús G. Pallarés

Purpose: To validate the new drive indoor trainer Hammer designed by Cycleops®. Methods: A total of 11 cyclists performed 44 randomized and counterbalanced graded exercise tests (100–500 W) at 70-, 85-, and 100-rpm cadences in seated and standing positions on 3 different Hammer units, while a scientific SRM system continuously recorded cadence and power output data. Results: No significant differences were detected between the 3 Hammer devices and the SRM for any workload, cadence, or pedaling condition (P value between 1.00 and .350), except for some minor differences (P = .03 and .04) found in the Hammer 1 at low workloads and for Hammer 2 and 3 at high workloads, all in seated position. Strong intraclass correlation coefficients were found between the power output values recorded by the Hammers and the SRM (≥.996; P = .001), independently from the cadence condition and seated position. Bland–Altman analysis revealed low bias (−5.5 to 3.8) and low SD of bias (2.5–5.3) for all testing conditions, except marginal values found for the Hammer 1 at high cadences and seated position (9.6 [6.6]). High absolute reliability values were detected for the 3 Hammers (150–500 W; coefficient of variation <1.2%; SEM <2.1). Conclusions: This new Cycleops trainer is a valid and reliable device to drive and measure power output in cyclists, providing an alternative to larger and more expensive laboratory ergometers and allowing cyclists to use their own bicycles.

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Xabier Muriel, Javier Courel-Ibáñez, Victor Cerezuela-Espejo and Jesús G. Pallarés

Purpose: The COVID-19 outbreak has challenged professional athletes’ training and competition routines in a way not seen before. This report aims to inform about the changes in training volume and intensity distribution and their effects on functional performance due to a 7-week home-confinement period in professional road cyclists from a Union Cycliste Internationale Pro Team. Methods: A total of 18 male professional cyclists (mean [SD] age = 24.9 [2.8] y, body mass = 66.5 [5.6] kg, maximal aerobic power = 449 [39] W; 6.8 [0.6] W/kg) were monitored during the 10 weeks before the lockdown (outdoor cycling) and the 7-week lockdown (indoor cycling turbo trainer). Data from the mean maximal power output (in watts per kilogram) produced during the best 5-minute and best 20-minute records and the training intensity distributions (weekly volumes at power-based training zones) were collected from WKO5 software. Results: Total training volume decreased 33.9% during the lockdown (P < .01). Weekly volumes by standardized zones (Z1 to Z6) declined between 25.8% and 52.2% (effect size from 0.83 to 1.57), except for Z2 (P = .38). There were large reductions in best 5-minute and best 20-minute performance (effect size > 1.36; P < .001) with losses between 1% and 19% in all the cyclists. Conclusions: Total indoor volumes of 12 hours per week, with 6 hours per week at low intensity (Z1 and Z2) and 2 hours per week at high intensity over the threshold (Z5 and Z6), were insufficient to maintain performance in elite road cyclists during the COVID-19 lockdown. Such performance declines should be considered to enable a safe and effective return to competition.