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Bent R. Rønnestad, Joar Hansen, Ivana Hollan, Matt Spencer and Stian Ellefsen

The current study investigated the effects of 8 wk of strength-training cessation after 25 wk of strength training on strength- and cycling-performance characteristics. Elite cyclists were randomly assigned to either 25 wk of endurance training combined with heavy strength training (EXP, n = 7, maximal oxygen uptake [V̇O2max] 77 ± 6 mL . kg-1 . min-1; 3 × 4–10 RM, 1 to 2 d/wk) or to endurance training only (CON, n = 7, V̇O2max 73 ± 5 mL . kg-1 . min-1). Thereafter, both groups performed endurance training only for 8 wk, coinciding with the initial part of the competition season. Data were assessed for practical significance using magnitude-based inferences. During the 25-wk preparatory period, EXP had a larger positive impact on maximal isometric half-squat force, squat jump (SJ), maximal aerobic power (Wmax), power output at 4 mmol/L [La], and mean power in 30-s Wingate test than did CON (ES = 0.46-0.74). Conversely, during the 8-wk competition period EXP had a reduction in SJ, Wmax, and mean power in the 30-s Wingate test compared with CON (ES = 0.49-0.84). The present findings suggest rapid decline of adaptations on termination of strength training during the first 8 wk of the competition period in elite cyclists.

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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.

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Iñigo Mujika

Age-related fitness declines in athletes can be due to both aging and detraining. Very little is known about the physiological and performance decline of professional cyclists after retirement from competition. To gain some insight into the aging and detraining process of elite cyclists, 5-time Tour de France winner and Olympic Champion Miguel Indurain performed a progressive cycle-ergometer test to exhaustion 14 y after retirement from professional cycling (age 46 y, body mass 92.2 kg). His maximal values were oxygen uptake 5.29 L/min (57.4 mL · kg−1 · min−1), aerobic power output 450 W (4.88 W/kg), heart rate 191 beats/min, blood lactate 11.2 mM. Values at the individual lactate threshold (ILT): 4.28 L/min (46.4 mL · kg−1 · min−1), 329 W (3.57 W/kg), 159 beats/min, 2.4 mM. Values at the 4-mM onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA): 4.68 L/min (50.8 mL · kg−1 · min−1), 369 W (4.00 W/kg), 170 beats/min. Average cycling gross efficiency between 100 and 350 W was 20.1%, with a peak value of 22.3% at 350 W. Delta efficiency was 27.04%. Absolute maximal oxygen uptake and aerobic power output declined by 12.4% and 15.2% per decade, whereas power output at ILT and OBLA declined by 19.8% and 19.2%. Larger declines in maximal and submaximal values relative to body mass (19.4–26.1%) indicate that body composition changed more than aerobic characteristics. Nevertheless, Indurain’s absolute maximal and submaximal oxygen uptake and power output still compare favorably with those exhibited by active professional cyclists.

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Ernst A. Hansen and Gerald Smith

Cadence choice during cycling has been of considerable interest among cyclists, coaches, and researchers for nearly 100 years. The present review examines and summarizes the current knowledge of factors affecting the freely chosen cadence during submaximal cycling and of the influence of cadence choice on performance. In addition, suggestions for future research are given along with scientifically based, practical recommendations for those involved in cycling. Within the past 10 years, a number of papers have been published that have brought novel insight into the subject. For example, under the influence of spinal central pattern generators, a robust innate voluntary motor rhythm has been suggested as the primary basis for freely chosen cadence in cycling. This might clarify the cadence paradox in which the freely chosen cadence during low-to-moderate submaximal cycling is considerably higher and thereby less economical than the energetically optimal cadence. A number of factors, including age, power output, and road gradient, have been shown to affect the choice of cadence to some extent. During high-intensity cycling, close to the maximal aerobic power output, cyclists choose an energetically economical cadence that is also favorable for performance. In contrast, the choice of a relatively high cadence during cycling at low-to-moderate intensity is uneconomical and could compromise performance during prolonged cycling.

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Thomas M. Doering, James W. Fell, Michael D. Leveritt, Ben Desbrow and Cecilia M. Shing

The purpose of this study was to investigate if acute caffeine exposure via mouth-rinse improved endurance cycling time-trial performance in well-trained cyclists. It was hypothesized that caffeine exposure at the mouth would enhance endurance cycling time-trial performance. Ten well-trained male cyclists (mean± SD: 32.9 ± 7.5 years, 74.7 ± 5.3kg, 176.8 ± 5.1cm, VO2peak = 59.8 ± 3.5ml·kg–1·min–1) completed two experimental timetrials following 24 hr of dietary and exercise standardization. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design was employed whereby cyclists completed a time-trial in the fastest time possible, which was equivalent work to cycling at 75% of peak aerobic power output for 60 min. Cyclists were administered 25ml mouth-rinses for 10 s containing either placebo or 35mg of anhydrous caffeine eight times throughout the time-trial. Perceptual and physiological variables were recorded throughout. No significant improvement in time-trial performance was observed with caffeine (3918 ± 243s) compared with placebo mouth-rinse (3940 ± 227s). No elevation in plasma caffeine was detected due to the mouth-rinse conditions. Caffeine mouth-rinse had no significant effect on rating of perceived exertion, heart rate, rate of oxygen consumption or blood lactate concentration. Eight exposures of a 35 mg dose of caffeine at the buccal cavity for 10s does not significantly enhance endurance cycling time-trial performance, nor does it elevate plasma caffeine concentration.

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Luis Peñailillo, Karen Mackay and Chris R. Abbiss

Despite the terms’ often being used interchangeably, it has been suggested that perceptions of effort and perceptions of exertion may differ. Eccentric (ECC) cycling may provide a model of exercise by which differences between these perceptions can be examined. Purpose: To examine and compare perceptions of effort and exertion during ECC and concentric (CONC) cycling at 4 intensities. Methods: Ten healthy male participants (mean [SD]: age = 29.8 [2.3] y) performed an incremental cycling test for the determination of maximal aerobic power output, followed in a randomized and crossover design, by four 5-min bouts (30%, 60%, 80%, and maximal) of either ECC or CONC cycling. Through each bout, participants were asked to report their perceived effort, exertion, and muscle pain. Heart rate and oxygen consumption were continuously recorded throughout each bout. Results: Perceived exertion was greater for CONC at 30% (8.5 [1.5] vs 7.1 [1.8]; P = .01), 60% (12.4 [1.4] vs 10.3 [2.0]; P = .01), 80% (15.8 [1.7] vs 12.4 [2.5]; P < .01), and maximal (17.2 [1.3] vs 15.6 [1.8]; P = .03) in comparison with ECC. Perceptions of effort and pain were similar between CONC and ECC. Heart rate and oxygen consumption were greater during CONC than ECC. Conclusions: Perceived exertion was greater during CONC compared with ECC cycling, yet effort was similar between conditions despite different physiological stress. Such findings have implications for understanding the development of such perceptions during exercise.

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Ben Schram, Wayne Hing and Mike Climstein

Purpose:

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a rapidly growing sport and recreational activity for which only anecdotal evidence exists on its proposed health, fitness, and injury-rehabilitation benefits. Participants: 10 internationally and nationally ranked elite SUP athletes.

Methods:

Participants were assessed for their maximal aerobic power on an ergometer in a laboratory and compared with other water-based athletes. Field-based assessments were subsequently performed using a portable gas-analysis system, and a correlation between the 2 measures was performed.

Results:

Maximal aerobic power (relative) was significantly higher (P = .037) when measured in the field with a portable gas-analysis system (45.48 ± 6.96 mL · kg−1 · min−1) than with laboratory-based metabolic-cart measurements (43.20 ± 6.67 mL · kg−1 · min−1). There was a strong, positive correlation (r = .907) between laboratory and field maximal aerobic power results. Significantly higher (P = .000) measures of SUP paddling speed were found in the field than with the laboratory ergometer (+42.39%). There were no significant differences in maximal heart rate between the laboratory and field settings (P = .576).

Conclusion:

The results demonstrate the maximal aerobic power representative of internationally and nationally ranked SUP athletes and show that SUP athletes can be assessed for maximal aerobic power in the laboratory with high correlation to field-based measures. The field-based portable gas-analysis unit has a tendency to consistently measure higher oxygen consumption. Elite SUP athletes display aerobic power outputs similar to those of other upper-limb-dominant elite water-based athletes (surfing, dragon-boat racing, and canoeing).

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Scott Cocking, Mathew G. Wilson, David Nichols, N. Timothy Cable, Daniel J. Green, Dick H. J. Thijssen and Helen Jones

consecutive 10-second bins to subsequently determine V ˙ O 2 max . HR was also monitored continuously (Polar H1, Kempele, Finland). Maximum aerobic power output was calculated from the last completed workload plus the fraction of time spent in the final noncompleted stage multiplied by the work

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Milos Mallol, David J. Bentley, Lynda Norton, Kevin Norton, Gaizka Mejuto and Javier Yanci

. Besides VO 2 max, several studies have considered a number of physiological variables obtained from laboratory tests on endurance athletes. Peak aerobic power output (PO), time to fatigue at different supramaximal intensities, ventilatory threshold (VT), lactate accumulation, and oxidative enzymes