What is the evidence that training with power is superior to . . .

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Fday, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Unless he's stupid, Frank doesn't either - it just apparently bothers him when people spend money on a powermeter vs. his product, thus cutting into his bottom line.
     


  2. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Your argument is a red herring: there is no method of training that requires using a powermeter.
     
  3. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    have to agree with most of the others... the question itself doesn't make any kind of sense, since using a power meter isn't in and of itself a method of training... it's only a method of measuring intensity. and of all the methods you mentioned (HR, RPE, stopwatch etc) it's the most accurate method since you are measuring intensity directly...

    what's the best method of determining how much power i'm currently putting out? measure the power!

    but you can train well, poorly or otherwise with a power meter, just as you could with any other method... at least i know with my power meter, training plans don't magically pop out of the device every day... someone needs to show me where the training plan button is on my power tap..

    but seriously Fday... the question REALLY doesn't make sense...
     
  4. Squint

    Squint New Member

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    Frank is just wondering why:

    -top athletes are always being seen using SRMs and other powermeters
    -they often pay retail for them
    -often several thousand dollars for SRMs
    -SRM doesn't have to pay them to use their product
    -marketing of powermeters is viral
    -they basically sell themselves
    -thousands of people champion their use (users, coaches, pros)

    In contrast:

    -PCs have to be given away to top pros
    -yet seeing any using them is like is Sasquatch sighting
    -Marketing PCs is done primarily by one person with only a few PC cultists assisting Frank
    -people are generally quite skeptical about the efficacy of PCs

    The answer is because powermeters work. They do what they claim to do (measure power).

    Frank has a bad case of Uli/SRM envy. He wishes his product would be as successful as SRM but it will never happen. Never.
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what his bottom line is on the upgraded product but since he has SRM equiped product out there, I'm sure that he'd like to sell a boat load of those too.....
     
  6. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Not sure where you get your facts from. Anyhow, the question remains, is there any evidence (other than lots of people do it - in the old days lots of racers smoked cigarettes because they thought they helped the lungs so that type of evidence isn't particularly convincing) that using power to assist with training is superior to using other "more traditional" intensity feedback devices.
     
  7. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    As I am sure you know, the question is not whether one needs a PM for training but whether using a PM is demonstrably better than other available training methods.
     
  8. Squint

    Squint New Member

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    More pros use powermeters than Powercranks.

    More pros are seen using powermeters than Powercranks.

    More coaches recommend powermeters than Powercranks.

    More people get faster using powermeters than Powercranks.

    Training with power works. Powercranks don't.

    For those who still think Powercranks might work, check out SmartCranks for a non-spamming alternative to Powercranks:

    http://www.smartcranks.com/main_e.htm
     
  9. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    If the more successful of the Merkx did not use a powermeter and he did not use powercranks and his training is referred to as superior by you than is it a reasonable statement to say powercranks are no more necessary than a powermeter?

    If we are questioning the use of a PM shouldn't someone else question the use of powercranks?

    I feel pretty good then (referring to Merkx, no powermeter, no powercranks, superior training) because I currently use neither in my training, but if my wife didn't mind me splurging a little I would opt for the PM because as the weightlifter that I am I like knowing how much weight I have on the bar. Now that I am in cycling as well I would like to have numbers to look at rather than going by perception.
     
  10. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Whether PC's are useful or not are a completely different question. I personally think they do things for the athlete that cannot be done in any other reasonable way. There are some university studies that support that view but I will admit the subject is not settled in the minds of many.

    Anyhow, the question is how much precision is needed in the training feedback to optimize training? In weight lifting does it matter if the 50 lb weight has posted on it 50.032 lbs? If you are experienced, can't you tell pretty much how much weight is on the bar by simply looking at the weights on the bar without knowing what the numbers on the weights are.

    So, is there any evidence that knowing the wattage you are training results in a superior result to other ways of evaluating effort? That is the question.
     
  11. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Do us all a favor, Frank, and don't post again on this topic until you understand the difference between training by power and training with a powermeter.
     
  12. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    For me there is no struggle to align my thoughts of training with a powermeter because I do have 25 years in competitive weightlifting and as I see the importance of knowing how much weight is on the bar I can see the same analogy for PM data.

    Competitive weight training is very much like those who are training with a PM in the sense of training in the range of 60, 70, 80, 90% of your maximum. Those two, even those they are completely different competitive events, have that similiarity as far as I can tell. I admit that I am a newbie in the cycling world and don't pretend to be anything else. Knowing how much, maybe not down to 10ths or 100ths of a fraction of weight, but knowing how much a plate weighs is important in weightlifting. I will let those who are powerbased experts talk about training at 80% of whatever.

    On your comment about PC's being useful, I didn't ask that question. I asked if Merkx could be so successful without either than why should a guy like me that is training without either bother to get PC's if Merkx was considered to have superior training.

    I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I am confused about the Merkx comment if he was able to be successful without either convention.
     
  13. fergie

    fergie Member

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    Yes, because the majority of research uses wattage as the measure of intensity. How many of the studies on powercranks use wattage as a measure for any effect.

    Had a top female cyclist come to me and we did some work to correct her core muscle activation. As soon as she did this her power went up 30-45 watts. I loaned her my Powertap wheel and we did some efforts on an erg that measures power so she could see the effect and helped reinforce the improvements.

    Can you suggest a better way to show her the benefits of a technique improvement?

    The other mistake you are making is calling using SRM a method of training. It isn't. It's a measure of training. Currently the best measure and most convenient. Just not the cheapest. But as Bontrager say "strong, light, cheap, pick two".

    Hamish Ferguson
    Cycling Coach
     
  14. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    again FDay... power meter don't define a method of training... they are a tool to measure intensity of training... that's it! what they offer is the most accurate measure of intensity/power... because they actually.... MEASURE POWER... directly

    no one needs a study to determine this... it's obvious... power meters are the most accurate measure of training intensity/power..

    e.g. i just did a sprint workout yesterday.. this probably worst case scenario... 5x 10-15 sec sprints... 2 uphill from standing and 3x flying start down a slight incline..

    RPE... well, they all kinda felt hard... RPE is pretty useless.. although with MANY years of practice you may be able to get good at determining intensity with RPE

    speed/stopwatch not bad if you keep everything constant but... that's pretty hard a lot of the time... the speed of the downhill ones where WAY faster than the uphill ones + tailwind in one direction and cross wind in the other...

    HR... didn't really budge over those 10-15 sec... so, pretty much useless... well, completely useless actually

    the other "training methods" you mention are not even training methods either... they are method of measuring intensity of training as well and they ARE certainly demonstrably inferior methods of measuring intensity... this is obvious to anyone who has used a power meter... HR can be all over the map on given days or not even budge or change enough to determine what power you are riding at/intensity... pretty much useless for most interval training. Speed inside can actually be VERY accurate at determining power, but outside is very inaccurate at predicting power/intensity (hills, wind etc)... RPE is not as accurate as a power meter at determining power but one can actually get some degree of accuracy after many, many years (hard because of changes in motivation and freshness day to day... wind, false flats, road condition etc, etc.).

    again... your question doesn't make sense... using power to train is not a training methodolgy
     
  15. fergie

    fergie Member

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    I like to be as precise as possible. My clients probably prefer that as well.

    As for feel, in 2004 NZ team mechanics put a smaller sprocket on Sarah Ulmer's bike by mistake for a training session and she didn't notice any difference apart from producing more wattage and going faster. Analysis of the SRM data made it an easy choice to go from breaking the WR on 96" gear to smashing it in Athens using 102"!

    Hamish Ferguson
    Cycling Coach
     
  16. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Use whatever term you wish. Is there any evidence to suggest that either training by power or training with a power meter is more successful over traditional techniques?
     
  17. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Well, Merckx was successful without PC's because PC's were not available to any of the competitors then. To use his success despite his non-use of PowerCranks says nothing about the product.

    Powercranks are available to everyone now. So, you and everyone have to be concerned with what the competition is doing. We are pretty happy with the quality of the athletes currently using the PC's (at least those we know about - some are using them we are sure that we do not know about) to enhance their abilities. These users include current and past Olympic, World and National champions in a wide variety of cycling and running disciplines. Just because some of the people here have never seen any of these athletes on them says little about the product also.
     
  18. fergie

    fergie Member

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    Take a look at the number of riders in the Pro peloton using SRM or Powertap. These weight obsessed freaks wouldn't lug the extra weight around unless the information gained wasn't valuable.

    Attend any Track World Cup and all the top teams will have a SRM tucked under the seat. Bike NZ just purchased 24 units and have requested that all roadies heading to the European Training Centre have SRM.

    Another mistake is to assume that training has changed thanks to Power Meters. It hasn't. Specificity is still king. The power meter does allow us to better assess if we are training as we intend to race. Power meter analysis software like TrainingPeaks allows us to determine if we are doing too much or too little.

    Hamish Ferguson
    Cycling Coach
     
  19. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    I understand the desire to be precise. However, where does additional precision stop providing additional benefit?

    Regarding the Ulmer anecdote. Seems to me that the same knowledge could have been gained without a PM by simply experimenting with different gear sizes. I don't understand why this isn't done all the time for these athletes. Why do people always presume they know what is best without experimenting some to see if they are right. Why did it have to occur because of a mistake made by the mechanic?
     
  20. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Do you know how many members of the pro peloton use PC's as part of their training program?

    Do you know how many former and current Olympic, World, and National cycling champions have or do train with PC's?

    Do you know which members of your own national track team have used PC's? If you say none of them you will be wrong.

    The use of PC's does not prohibit the use of a PM also. The Belgian track coach thinks the combination of the PC's with the SRM to be particularly powerful. You can see his video interview regarding his experience with them on our web site.

    Back to the original question: I don't deny that this PM bias exists. I am simply asking if there is any evidence that outcome is substantially improved because of PM use? The woman winner of the Ironman Worlds Championship last year, Chrissy Wellington, came out of the blue and she does not train with a PM, does not race with a PM, does not even race with an aero helmet (apparently thinks cooling more important than aerodynamics in this hot venue) yet she won the race with both the fastest bike split and the fastest run split. If there is any benefit, it would appear to be small.
     
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