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The effect of eccentric cycle training on physiological and performance parameters in cycling.

Prior research has demonstrated the benefits of 3 to 8 weeks of eccentric cycle training in athletes, the elderly, and in suffers of various pathophysiological conditions. Eccentric cycling requires participants to absorb force generated by an electric motor that drives a traditional cycle crank in a reverse fashion. Relative to traditional concentric cycle training, eccentric cycling is lower in metabolic cost and facilitates greater force production through multi-joint leg actions. Chapter 2 reports on an investigation that utilises an eccentric cycling ergometer to evaluate and observe the influence of eccentric cycle training on a range of key performance parameters, and physiological measures on a well-trained cycling population. Specifically, in this novel study we assessed the physiological performance measures of leg spring stiffness, 4 s mean maximal sprint power, 4-km time-trial performance, and economy prior to, during, and following periodised eccentric cycle training. The investigation recruited eight healthy well-trained male participants (mean ± SD; age: 33 ± 12 yr; mass: 80 ± 11 kg; VO₂peak: 64 ± 8 ml.kg⁻¹.min⁻¹) to take part in a 6 week, 12 session eccentric cycling study. Utilising a commercially available eccentric ergometer (Cyclus2, Leipzig, Germany), the participants replaced two hours of their weekly cycle training, with eccentric cycling. Initial training loads were prescribed based on 25% of participant 4 s mean maximal sprint power (MM4SP). Stepwise increases of training load occurred every 3ʳᵈ training session. Assessments of submaximal hopping to evaluate leg spring stiffness, 4 s mean maximal sprint power and 4-km time-trial performance were conducted, prior-to, during the 3ʳᵈ week (Mid), and 1 and 4 weeks following the eccentric cycling intervention. Over a 6 week period, this stepwise approach led to an increase in workload from 25% to 50% of participant MM4SP. Overall participants achieved 97 ± 4% of their individual prescribed training load during the 6 week eccentric cycling training intervention. Relative to baseline measures, muscle stiffness effects were very likely positive (35.8 ± 30.4%) at week 3 (Mid), and at 1 week post (57.7 ± 22.3 and 46.6 ± 26.0%) week 4 post intervention. Effects for 4 s mean maximal sprint power were likely beneficial at 60 rpm at week 11 relative to both baseline, and week 7. Similarly, likely beneficial effects were reported at 120 (week 7 – pre), and 135 rpm (week 11 – pre). 4-km time-trial performance, at Mid (mean ± SD %: 0.2 ± 2.8%), and 1 week (0.7 ± 2.3%) post-training produced unclear alterations, while likely beneficial improvements were seen at week 4 (2.3 ± 3.6%) post-training. The findings of the current study suggest that 12 sessions of eccentric training over a 6 week period improved 4-km time-trial performance, and muscle stiffness within a well-trained population. Outcomes for the remaining endurance and sprint performance related measures however predominantly resulted as unaltered or unclear over the participant population
Type of thesis
Dillon, P., Callum. (2018). The effect of eccentric cycle training on physiological and performance parameters in cycling. (Thesis, Master of Health, Sport and Human Performance (MHSHP)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11776
The University of Waikato
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