Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UNH researchers develop improved tool for cycling fitness

31.08.2010
For competitive bicyclists with goals – whether competing in the Tour de France or aiming for the podium at a local race – faster cycling comes from training regimens based on various zones of exercise intensity.

New research from exercise scientists at the University of New Hampshire has found that effective training regimens, which generally are created after expensive, time-consuming laboratory tests, can be developed from a relatively simple, do-it-yourself test.

Using two tools most competitive cyclists already own -- a power meter, an increasingly common training device that mounts on a bicycle’s rear wheel, and a stationary bicycle trainer – UNH graduate student Jay Francis ’09 modified a three-minute all-out cycling test and found that it is as effective as more lab-intensive measurements for determining exercise intensity. The study, which was Francis’s master’s thesis, is published in the September 2010 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, the premier journal in the field.

“Power is a very unbiased way of measuring your exercise ability, compared to speed, heart rate, or perceived exertion,” says Francis. “A power meter measures how much power you are getting from your body to the road,” independent of external conditions like hills, wind, or even what you had for lunch, he adds.

... more about:
»UNH »cycling fitness »exercise »heart rate

Francis and his advisor, assistant professor Dain LaRoche, wondered if this increasingly common piece of equipment could be used to establish individualized exercise intensity domains – training zones that range from moderate to severe – that were as accurate as those established with complex laboratory testing.

Francis used a three-minute all-out cycling test – “you just push and push and push and never let up” – which had previously shown to yield, in the last 30 seconds of the test, a power level that a cyclist can sustain for 20 to 30 minutes. He replaced the expensive and problematic laboratory equipment used in the original three-minute test with the cyclist’s own bicycle, fitted with a power meter and used with a stationary trainer.

Testing 16 competitive cyclists, Francis compared their exercise intensity from the power meter test with classic laboratory-produced exercise intensity measures: blood lactate concentration and oxygen consumption. The power-meter and laboratory-based results correlated.

“You can go out with your own power meter and, for free, in just three minutes, you can do what would cost you $250 and take over an hour in the lab,” says LaRoche.

With this data, says LaRoche, a cyclist can develop a range of individualized training zones that a coach will use to prescribe a particular workout. “You can’t use heart rate, because everyone’s is different, but you can say, ‘we’re doing a zone three workout today.’ As a former coach I see the practicality of it,” he adds. LaRoche previously worked with speed skaters and Nordic skiers for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Francis took a more circuitous route toward exercise science. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNH in electrical engineering in the early 1990s, then worked in that field for many years while taking up cycling recreationally. He returned to UNH for a second master’s degree, in exercise science, to help him pursue his goal of becoming a cycling coach. A self-described “mid-range amateur cyclist,” Francis launched his own coaching service in Merrimack upon graduation last year. Its name, FxD Coaching, riffs on an equation that engineering and exercise share: force times distance equals work.

The work he dedicated to his master’s thesis paid off. LaRoche says it’s unusual for a master’s-level student to have an article accepted in the prestigious Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise journal. More importantly, says LaRoche, Francis’s work can now have an impact on athletes. “There’s so much misinformation out there about how to train,” he says. “Jay is providing a real service for mid-range cyclists.”

The abstract for the study is available at http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2010/09000/Defining_Intensity_Domains_from_the_End_Power_of_a.20.aspx. In addition to Francis and LaRoche, co-authors were UNH exercise science professor Timothy Quinn and Markus Amann of the department of internal medicine at the University of Utah.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.

Beth Potier | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unh.edu

Further reports about: UNH cycling fitness exercise heart rate

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>