Thursday, September 04, 2008

Specialist or Naught, Analyzing your Position(s)!

We get phone calls all day long with questions on what is the best position? What is the best crank length, stem, etc... What is the best hip angle or foot angle?

As we perform each fit, or better understood as CAD solution, we still have to teach you your options on how to pedal. We don't think there is one position and know that to be true from many other sports.  

 It is fun to learn!  Rather, it's better to think of a zone of movement "in & out of balance". Take golf, skiing, etc..., if you have more clubs in the bag, you have a better chance to perhaps score your best round. In skiing, you don't use DH skis for SL! Point here, there are too many shots/strokes golf and too many ski turns, all requiring different needs.

So why is there basic idea that one fit takes care of all your needs?

There is always a  need to present readers with thoughts and concepts arranged in some logical order. This is very hard as reading is very much a monologue, and it is inflexible once the text is set.  The words are like arrows, as they are shot, they do not return!

All individuals in sport need a presentation that makes sense, it is a educational process and you learn your whole life.  So the challenge is evident.  Every generation shapes the potentials of the next generation.  Any time you have change, you have a revolution. Older educational institutions will resist such change as we seek to tap human potential in a creative manner, constipated or slow moving by the linearity of systems that currently guide us.

There are learners preparing to become actively involved and immerse right away in the practical suggestions.  And there are also many who will not fully understand and need more clarification.  That is where the Dartfish feedback with the correct instructional methods brings brilliant order to the many.   Till now many have had uncharitable experiences with much regret!  Learning now takes place faster and with more permanent results, peak performance becomes the rule, rather than the exception.  The results are what they are.

What is it you want to do? If we know what that is, then we can look at you as a specialist! Analyzing you for one position is not going to allow the specialist in tt, tri, road, mtb, XC to be their best! These are different games that require different moves "in & out" of balance, leading to different bike setup! The only thing basic here, is the world basic.

In all of the above, comfort or peace of mind that many top guns use our CAD and sEMG/Dartfish to obtain their top performance is good.  Knowing that you have used something that has a track record and that has provided results through the years is also helpful. Sure there are going to be people who often complained the its feels "unnatural" to them. Now condider the static and sometimes contorted body positions expected to assume a position.  No wonder the sport seems difficult.  Many thousands quite the sport in frustration, convinced that they were just too uncoordinated to master it.

Take pro tri Ali Fitch who races in a sport (tri) that has no position limits, who just set a new course record here in Idaho, then went to Canada taking  a 2nd. Why is this good, well our dealer at 3rd Nature in N.J. performed the solution. We should point out that Ali is not from America, she is from a top cycling country down under. Oh yes, there is the American, Netherlands, English, French, etc... ways, as they follow the contributors and colleagues of that country.

We realized long ago that the way to learn any sport, is concentrate on just a few simple and functional skills that can be felt, repeated easily and remembered by the body.  The mind plays just as important a role in learning a move as the body does.  It can either slow progress by creating anxiety and/or unrealistic expectations, or it can dramatically speed up learning by increasing confidence and concentration as we have seen so many times.  Look at the results!

I want to point out that Ali had a bad crash a few years ago and broke her back. She now rides without pain and is fast after working with 3rd Nature.

Sure there are many other things that need attention, like your fall training, a coach to kick you into gear or on course. Keeping your iron up high, as the RBC's levels need to be correct, as they carry most of the O2, and much more. All motors need O2 to work and if you are not dialed, allowing for the motor to obtain O2, you can't make the system go longer or better.

Now comes the problem with road racing or better (team sports). This is where everything gets fuzzy on what is it you need to do? You can have specialist on that team who can ride on the flats, then sucks on the hills, and they do a job to help take the team win. Then you have a certain course, that demands a different specialist. You get the point!

So, what is the answer? In the USA low % grade roads are the norm, made for cars, trucks and not bikes. They don't make roads straight up the hill or a ridge!

What if you live in a flat area of the world, then what? Ouch! You might not ever know what you need? A good hill is a super palce to test, to learn what works best! Hum! Kristin Armstrong used Bogus Basin Road about 7% grade (the road to the ski area) to train on her tt bike here in Boise, ID.

But on a mtb/xc bike you do go up steep trails or a steep ridge, so the mtb/xc bike needs a position that works in that area. Do not motorcycle dirt racers slide up on the gas tank to keep the front wheel down and hold a better line? So a basic road bike fit doesn't allow you to find the balance of needs!

Yes, a aero position is important, once you get to a speed that causes the drag on the certain areas! On most hills, the speed is not fast enough to obtain that position. We know from hard effort events like tt, track, mtb, xc that a stable upper body makes a difference. If you watched the games, you perhaps noted that Boise's Kristin Armstrong spent much time with her hands on her climbing option verses the area option.

Like other sports, where the hands go, the rest of the body has to follow! They are attached to you!

Fact! You can't change Newton's laws! "For every motion, a opposite force is needed to maintain the balance." So your upper body needs to be able to allow the legs to work under the upper body mass, in space, standing or sitting, going at slow speed or fast speed or on what ever grade!

Take track, options for handling skills and power might be better over being more aero. Boy, did the UK drive that point home at the games! Being too aero can cost you!

Options are good! Take the big chain ring difference that Kristin Armstrong had on her tt bike. It had a huge drop to get her on top of the climbing chain ring, placing a issue of the chain jumping off given distance of change. If the chain jumps off, you don't always get it back on fast enough to win!

So analyzing you position becomes more of

"what is it you want to do?"

Perhaps that is why our solutions work well within tt, track, mtb, xc. We provide that person with their best solution or option's on what they want to do!

Football season, so check out the team sport and note they even have specialist teams. So keep this in mind when you seek a basic fit. The linemen are not the running backs and they have a different job and body type! Yet, they both have a job to do for the team.

One thing is true, they both need to stack their bones for power, and allow the best range of motion of their joints, and the best line of pull of their muscles. Or they get taking out of the game. Plus, they use high-tech like Dartfish video to review their games before and after.

A new season is coming, and we are out on course, tt, tri, mtb, xc, track and providing you with the plays that make a difference!

Sad, but true, most people in cycling don't review their game? So they use power and hire a coach to review the watts and that only shows the sum of the effort that comes mostly from your brain. That doesn't show you what your body is doing in space!

We are out on course, in the real world, on the hills, trails, etc..., and we are seeing people like Sue Butler who was just here in Boise, ID obtain 2-3mph on her bike, just by changing her brain! She just had her best season ever, her coach Kendra Wenzel said Sue has gain 30 more watts this season alone! Now that is cool! All because she know more what she needs to do!
How else do you learn!

What's in your game?

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