Friday, February 26, 2010

Back to Back Race Camps!

We are headed back east for two race camps. Why us? Because we understand what is needed for them to improve their game. We teach (show them vs. tell them) using the best science!

When you attend a race camp, you'll learn not just what to do but why. Each rider gets detailed explanations, illustrated with eye catching science. At the same time they get real-life experiences on the road.

Cycling is not a natural sport. Many think its just in the legs, VO2 max, power, nothing in the arms, hips, spine. The same pessimistic thinking will draw an image its just legs and lungs. Not so! This is more a total body sport than you know!

Weight training, stretching are major disciplines and they are needed provide balance for the body, even a human who rides a bike. But on the same note, being a body builder will hurt you in the mountains. Useless weight i.e. muscle or fat is a handicap. Heavy arms and shoulders add frontal drag and are an disadvantage.

We have watched teams hit the gym too much and add mass to their arms, shoulders and change their fit and get slower. Fitting a bike also includes knowing where the weight is.

It's not just about angles as so many fitting systems suggest!

The body on a bike needs to react in a dynamic fashion. To be able to move-in-and-out of balance i.e. skiing for all circumstances. You have to be supple and if some muscles are too developed, you lose the qualities that are useful.

We see the strong guys wanting to get stronger with saddle low and the large thigh muscles to lift the pedal, raise the knee, but are they really pedaling more efficiently? On the other hand, we see people attempting to get the torso flat only to restrict their pedal action, really working the hamstrings. The results, the hamstrings then oppose the thigh by an undesirable pull on the hip. But they are more aero, but slower! Stretching will do little to help the line of pull of the muscles in question.

We are not in the business to provide a remedy balance or poor bike setups! The two above examples are fact that cycling body development is developed by the quality, mass used continuously in the pedaling game.

The word in media or marketing within bike fitting systems is static vs. dynamic. It should be noted that any (compression, shearing, tension) in a static or dynamic sport - consumes energy!

That is the very reason we used sEMG to record the muscles being ON/OFF. This can't be done by just viewing it with your eye! The eye receives the info after the fact!!!

Many have poor riding skills, because they are locked into a position. They are not supple, because they didn't work nor did they attempt to correct there postures.

They should try to correct their physique concerns by setting their bikes to help. But if they have someone (bike fitter) who compensates, or allows them to use their poor physique on the bike, they should not think they are going have better physiological functioning. They will always have an "Ouch."

The best thing to do is find out what cycling game you want to do and then work on the physiological functioning that goes with that sport. Road is not mtb! Tri is not tt. TT is not track and so on. Too often you see a person put the time in on their choice of cycling. In other words they practice a certain cycling game and then the stiffness from practicing that game exclusively will come. Then the results don't come and they wonder what happen?

Shortening the muscle will cause you to loose the much needed coordination in pedaling. Putting the correct tension on the muscles increases their range of motion and joints. If a muscle group makes a limb move quickly towards an extreme, the CNS calls for the opposing muscle group to slow down the movement in order to avoid torn fibers. It seems that the CNS has more sense than many of the ideas on fitting?

So the trick is to keep the neuro-muscular spindles from sending the signal to the opposing muscle group to contract, slowing the leg motion. Opposing muscle contraction defeats the goal of the exercise.

The advantage of a high saddle is you get a superior ergonomic return. On the same note, the spinal column is in a better zone to resist the strains of cycling. Too bad so many think the plumb line idea works and they have sore backs! A hard way to learn, nor better if you do learn?

You might have all the willpower in the world. You might have all the physical strength, with your muscles being firm and daydreams in your head of winning. But without the true rhythm in your legs you are not going to see a paycheck.

What you might know at the local level needs to be refined at the elite level. There is a lot to develop an efficient pedal stroke. How and why the bike is set up for the best handling and efficiency.

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