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``New powermeter rumours''
Quoting a posting from Tumppi:
``Our team have Polar power pedals in use. :thumbup: So if you need power meter which is easy to setup, light and very fast change to another bike, why wait for Garmin exustar pedals which are delayed or maybe cancelled totally. These Polar pedals really work.''
Where do we start.
Mashing is optimal: Coyle (1991) and many others.
Changing application of force around the pedal stroke is wrong. Any published Gimmickcrank study since Luttrel (2002) which has shown no increase in performance based measures.
1) There is plenty of evidence which shows that it is easier to pedal using big structurally efficient muscles than other smaller ones. This is why Powercranks, egg shaped chainrings and clever pedals do not make you faster.
2) The cyclist is a system, involving a pump (heart) gas exchange system (lungs) movement system (legs).
a) For aerobic efforts the limiting part of the system are the pump and gas exchange not the legs, since it's easy to produce more than 50% of max power using one leg. Similarly if you try and hand cycle and leg cycle you don't get any more work - otherwise rowing bikes would set speed records.
b) To train your system to produce more aerobic power you need to train the limiting factors. So if you want to make more aerobic power you need to use both legs to hit your heart and lungs to drive adaptation. Adaptation in the legs will largely look after themselves.
c) I didn't see this in the orginal thread, but in short duration anearobic efforts, are the leg muscles the limiting factor? Or are there other system biochemical and structural limitations, e.g. ATP synthesis and ability to hold onto the handlebars? My bet is that system factors are important here as well, as otherwise powerlifters would be winning sprint medals.
So what this comes back to is that specificity and loading the whole training system wins, unless there are gross issues which need to be addressed. And in my view for amateur athletes it's doubly important since I don't have 2 hours to train each leg individually when I could get the same work done in a bit over an hour using both legs.
mrfish wrote:c) I didn't see this in the orginal thread, but in short duration anearobic efforts, are the leg muscles the limiting factor? Or are there other system biochemical and structural limitations, e.g. ATP synthesis and ability to hold onto the handlebars? My bet is that system factors are important here as well, as otherwise powerlifters would be winning sprint medals.
Strength is not a limiting factor. A sprinter puts out nearly 20% less power for 10sec than their peak power so they can always apply more force to the pedals. Sustained power whether it is 10sec over 200m or 200-250 watts over 21 days in the Tour is what matters. This is why second generation power meters offer nothing special for fitness measurement over standard power meters. The research on where the power is applied in the pedal stroke has been done and we know that a natural pedal stroke, the one a kid uses when they first learn to ride a bike, is optimal and trying to change it by using gimmicks has never been shown to improve fitness.
c) I think yes, partly. What limits anaerobic power and capacity partly relates to the active muscles. Anaerobic training adaptations included, among other, an increase in energy substrate in the skeletal muscle (ATP, PCr, glycogen, creatine). An increase in quatity and activity of the enzyme responsible for the glucose breakdown and an increase in the capacity to produce high/higher blood lactate level during anaerobic efforts.
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