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  • Author: Robert T. Withers x
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Andrew J. Vogler, Anthony J. Rice and Robert T. Withers

Purpose:

The Concept II model C (IIC) rowing ergometer was replaced by the Concept II model D (IID), but the design modifications of the updated ergometer might alter resistance characteristics and rowing technique, thereby potentially influencing ergometer test results. This study evaluated the physiological response to rowing on the IIC and IID ergometers during a submaximal progressive incremental test and maximal-performance time trial.

Methods:

Eight national-level rowers completed submaximal and maximal tests on the IIC and IID ergometers separated by 48 to 72 h. Physiological responses and calculated blood lactate thresholds (LT1 and LT2) were compared between ergometer models (IIC vs IID) using standardized drag-factor settings.

Results:

Power output, oxygen consumption, rowing economy (mL O2 · min−1 · W−1), heart rate, blood lactate concentration, stroke rate, and rating of perceived exertion all displayed similar responses regardless of ergometer model. Calculated physiological values equivalent to LT1 and LT2 were also similar between models, except for blood lactate concentration at LT1, which displayed a small but statistically signifcant difference (P = .02) of 0.2 mmol/L.

Conclusions:

The physiological response when rowing on IIC and IID ergometers is nearly identical, and testing can therefore be carried out on either ergometer and the results directly compared.

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Tammie R. Ebert, David T. Martin, Brian Stephens, Warren McDonald and Robert T. Withers

Purpose:

To quantify the fluid and food consumed during a men’s and women’s professional road-cycling tour.

Methods:

Eight men (age 25 ± 5 y, body mass ± 7.4 kg, and height 177.4 ± 4.5 cm) and 6 women (age 26 ± 4 y, body mass ± 5.6 kg, and height 170.4 ± 5.2 cm) of the Australian Institute of Sport Road Cycling squads participated in the study. The men competed in the 6-d Tour Down Under (Adelaide, Australia), and the women, in the 10-d Tour De L’Aude (Aude, France). Body mass was recorded before and immediately after the race. Cyclists recalled the number of water bottles and amount of food they had consumed.

Results:

Men and women recorded body-mass losses of ~2 kg (2.8% body mass) and 1.5 kg (2.6% body mass), respectively, per stage during the long road races. Men had an average fluid intake of 1.0 L/h, whereas women only consumed on average 0.4 L/h. In addition, men consumed CHO at the rate suggested by dietitians (average CHO intake of 48 g/h), but again the women failed to reach recommendations, with an average intake of ~21 g/h during a road stage.

Conclusions:

Men appeared to drink and eat during racing in accordance with current nutritional recommendations, but women failed to reach these guidelines. Both men and women finished their races with a body-mass loss of ~2.6% to 2.8%. Further research is required to determine the impact of this loss on road-cycling performance and thermoregulation.

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Tammie R. Ebert, David T. Martin, Brian Stephens and Robert T. Withers

Purpose:

To quantify the power-output demands of men’s road-cycling stage racing using a direct measure of power output.

Methods:

Power-output data were collected from 207 races over 6 competition years on 31 Australian national male road cyclists. Subjects performed a maximal graded exercise test in the laboratory to determine maximum aerobic-power output, and bicycles were fitted with SRM power meters. Races were described as fl at, hilly, or criterium, and linear mixed modeling was used to compare the races.

Results:

Criterium was the shortest race and displayed the highest mean power output (criterium 262 ± 30 v hilly 203 ± 32 v fl at 188 ± 30 W), percentage total race time above 7.5 W/kg (crite-rium 15.5% ± 4.1% v hilly 3.8% ± 1.7% v fl at 3.5% ± 1.4%) and SD in power output (criterium 250 v hilly 165 v fl at 169 W). Approximately 67%, 80%, and 85% of total race time was spent below 5 W/kg for criterium, hilly and fl at races, respectively. About 70, 40, and 20 sprints above maximum aerobic-power output occurred during criterium, hilly, and fl at races, respectively, with most sprints being 6 to 10 s.

Conclusions:

These data extend previous research documenting the demands of men’s road cycling. Despite the relatively low mean power output, races were characterized by multiple high-intensity surges above maximum aerobic-power output. These data can be used to develop sport-specific interval-training programs that replicate the demands of competition.