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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Until now, I've been reading this thread with my own opinions and as hard as I've tried, I just can't keep them to myself anymore.

@tylerjandreau

I'm with you on the experience of a guy like Tapeworm, I've been a long time lurker on the forum and still haven't come across a topic concerning physiology he was wrong about.

@magellan3000

I'd love to see you do a study on this. I'm always open to new ideas so I won't write the cranks off completely. It's just a lot more plausible that your results are due to better aerobic conditioning and not a different pedalling style.

IMO, the powercranks are hype. I agree with the study about pedalling efficiency being overrated. With cycling being mainly aerobic, more muscle recruitment = higher oxygen demand. That's just how my reasoning works anyway. Not to say that a high cadence and better efficiency aren't beneficial in certain circumstances, I just can't think of any.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:56 pm 
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tylerjandreau wrote:
Did you put these dumb happy faces by all my quotes on purpose? :P


Uh no... that was a mistake. I now know what the markup for smiley face is, thank you very much. I will back off from further smiley faces.


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Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:56 pm 


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:29 pm 
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tylerjandreau wrote:
Also, if you're so fired up about these cranks, you should do a study...:
1.) Acknowledge that people know more than you about things.
2.) Have a desire to learn.


I have plenty desire to learn. I also acknowledge that many people know more about many things than I.

Seriously, if you (or anyone) have some good ideas on experiments I could conduct, I'll give them a try... but they are going to be n=1 experiments with all that implies.

PS: the 236 -> 285 FTP improvements were a consequence of 5-6 weeks of training (since February), not one year. Note: I'm sticking my neck out here by not attributing the improvement to the running I did in August and September (and the absence of any cycling during that period) followed by sitting on my butt eating through the remainder of the fall and holidays, and little swimming over the past year.

PPS: one of the most antagonistic naysayers out there is a PhD (with thousands of posts in some forums) who has been a published researcher in exercise physiology since the 80's, and is widely and justifiably esteemed for his contributions and output. Yet, in 2008, he posted that he'd then 'only recently seen Jack Daniel's work'. That is an incredible miss that shows how even the experts get humbled pretty regularly. Plenty of humility to go around.
____________________________________________
In the meantime, I am applying Sweet Sport Training (SST) ideas to my swimming. I'm not waiting for a researcher, coach or internet-based self-declared "expert" from the swimming world to tell me that SST principles might also work for improving my long course swimming. Big secret from this humble amateur: my mitochondria and capillary beds don't know the difference in how they get stressed!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Just one point. No one ever said you couldn't improve with power cranks (I'm pretty sure many in the various studies do show improvement). The issue is whether you improve more than with regular cranks. If you don't, why use them?

Now the relevant arguement of "it's helps my running" could also be valid but once again the question is whether they help your running more than running.

Curious you mention Jack Daniels, one the criticisms of some of his research was failure to account for other factors beyond the body's pure ability to produce a given effort, things like impact fatigue and thermal stress.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:10 am 
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The "criticism" you refer to below comes from* Timothy Noakes's excellent "Lore of Running". Much of Lore of Running is explanation, comparison, contrast and refinement of explanatory models for human training and performance, especially running. The entirety of Noakes' criticism (reproduced below) is that Daniels' model doesn't fully explain his own superior results. Noakes has a first class mind, real curiosity and his writing conveys a humility that surely comes from seeing mental models demolished, year after year, decade after decade. In that sense, he's like any quality scientist, coach or athlete. He's not trying to fit reality to anybody's mental model.

Here is what Noakes actually says:
(Lore of Running, pp 311-2). "as a result of his training in classical exercise physiology, Daniels uses specific physiological terms to describe both the nature of his different training sessions and the physiologic adaptations that will result from those training sessions. The strength of this approach is that it fixes in athlete's minds the exact reason why they are doing a particular workout.

However, the terminology used by Daniels… indicates that <he is a dedicated proponent> of the Cardiovascular / Anaerobic Model. Hence, <he> defines the exercise intensities for <his> different sessions in terms of the different (anaerobic) thresholds that are likely to occur, purely in terms of altering capacities of oxygen delivery to and use by the muscles, with resulting changes in skeletal muscle lactate production.

While these objections may be valid, they do not detract from the clear evidence that Daniels has achieved great practical success with this training method. That he uses an unproven and perhaps dated model to explain the physiological reasons for his success is of no consequence. In time, science will catch up with Daniels and will provide a more correct physiological explanation as to why his methods, field-tested for more than three decades, produce the superior results his athletes have achieved…"

Noakes then notes Daniels' six physiological adaptations model, continuing with:

"However, to my knowledge, there are no published studies that prove that training at a particular exercise intensity uniquely adapts only one of the six physiological processes listed by Daniels… <it seems likely to me> it may be that the body adapts all these different physiological processes during all training, regardless of its intensity, but that certain adaptations are emphasized at specific running intensities.

<Daniels model> does not acknowledge that adapting the muscles to absorb the shock of running may be another important adaptation for marathon running specifically. Furthermore, consideration is not given to the possibility that training adaptations may also occur in the brain and that these changes could possibly explain how training improves running performance…"

(Lore of Running, pp 591-2): Noakes observes that Daniels' published calculations predicting temperature effects on marathon finish times "appear to be conservative" compared those shown in a chart of results; empirical data compiled by some other researchers. As above, this is hardly a devastating critique.

Interestingly, that chart (reproduced on p. 591) is entitled "The influence of the ambient dry bulb temperature on the average winning times in the standard marathon". To me it seems silly to ignore humidity and direct radiative (sun) effects only assessing the effects of temperature on athletic performance. Cooling requirements will be determined by (1) ambient air temperature, (2) radiative heat, (3) humidity and maybe even (4) convection. A better model for thermal loads and their effects would incorporate all four.

Why would both Daniel's and these researchers only look at the first of these four factors? Why would they produce such a silly model? My guess: they simply didn't measure the other three.

Tapeworm wrote:
Curious you mention Jack Daniels, one the criticisms of some of his research was failure to account for other factors beyond the body's pure ability to produce a given effort, things like impact fatigue and thermal stress.


* Likely drawn from the wikipedia article on Jack Daniels.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:24 am 
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TL;DR


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:34 am 
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Magellan3000 wrote:

Tapeworm wrote:
Curious you mention Jack Daniels, one the criticisms of some of his research was failure to account for other factors beyond the body's pure ability to produce a given effort, things like impact fatigue and thermal stress.


* Likely drawn from the wikipedia article on Jack Daniels.


Mmm, doubt it. Correct me if I'm wrong, you mentioned you are not in the human physiology area of work (I know TP is, and some others here)? Jack Daniels (and many others, of course) writings are something that is talked about often enough to be familiar with, at least in the university classes I am in, as I am sure many many others are. I am sure your field of work/research has many of the same cases :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:41 am 
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Yes Daniels work is referenced and mentioned and many other in a very wide range of physiology teaching beyond wikipedia. Another great is Arthur Lydiard. There are many theories, many studies. Dr Batman is another.

See below sig line for clarification on all physiology topics :D

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:08 am 
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Holy Tapeworm, now I have to find out about Batman?!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:55 am 
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Alexey Meteo wrote:
I'm thinking about ordering them.... have anybody used them? Searching gives not much info.



You might as well just get a SRM and ride a lot more. You'll get faster


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:48 pm 
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I don't post here regularly but I have had several rather amusing debates with Frank Day the "Creator" of Gimmickcranks on Slowtwitch, CyclingForums and CyclingNews forums.

As Tapeworm has suggested where is the evidence that independent crank use is more effective than a well designed and monitored programme using normal cranks? Several studies and nothing yet. Only articles advocating their use come from a Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research which despite no performance benefits finds some trivial artefact to promote the use of any auxiliary training method to perpetuate the need for strength and conditioning coaches.

With regards to cross training. A triathlete doing run, swim and cycle training is not cross training, that is specific training for their sport. A cyclist who cross trains in the off season often does so out of necessity or if under the instructions of their coach then you can be pretty sure the coach isn't up to date with their sport science.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:08 pm 
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Magellan3000 wrote:
The PT was calibrated and zeroed for each ride.


You can calibrate Powertaps? When did this happen?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:37 pm 
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So, in the last 3 years since this thread last petered out has any genuine study been published that may have changed (or confirmed) any views on PCs? (Sincere question.)

(Anecdotally, a couple guys on my team powercrank, and they have become very fast over the last few years, but it is anecdotal: I have no empirical basis to say that they wouldn't have become as fast or faster just cranking an equal amount the old fashioned way.)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:56 pm 
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Nothing has ever supported these. Grayson and others powercrank because their coach pushes them. Still nothing proving they do anything.

The reason I think they work is because, in the off season, they make it so you can't actually ride that hard. You work on coordination and pedaling skills but aren't jamming it on the local group ride.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:18 pm 
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CoachFergie wrote:
Magellan3000 wrote:
The PT was calibrated and zeroed for each ride.


You can calibrate Powertaps? When did this happen?

I thought it was a standard thing. It may be a Garmin thing, but there is an option for that that I use. I calibrate to 0 Watts with no load.


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Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:18 pm 


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