HOW TO SPIKE YOUR ENDURANCE AND FINISH YOUR SESSION FASTER
It’s fair to say it has been a mightily decent year for British cycling.
From the Champs-Elysées to the Rio velodrome, our athletes have become the dominant force on two wheels. And if you’ve followed in their slipstream, some new science will give you an added boost in your weekend sportive.
(Related: How cycling will make you a champion)
Research at the Catholic University of Brasilia found that performing heavy leg-resistance moves before a time trial improved cyclists’ speed and stamina. The results, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, credit the effect with a phenomenon called ‘post-activation potentiation’, which is when intensive exertion activates the target muscle and allows it to work at a higher level directly afterwards.
It’s the same process by which weightlifters can do more reps after a short warm-up with a slightly heavier weight. The resulting boost in VO2 max and reduced lactic acid led to 6% faster times over 20km.
(Related: Trend on trial - Aqua Cycling)
Two sets of 10-15 bodyweight squats with a 20-second rest is surely the easiest way to stay ahead of the peloton as the finish wheels into view – whether that’s the peak of a category-two climb or the office door on your commute.
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