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

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

  1. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Can you explain to us what the apparently singular method of training with a power meter is? Because we certainly don't know what it is. If there was only one way, there wouldn't be a forum here for this because there would not need to be any questions.
     


  2. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Anecdotal.
     
  3. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Frank, stop being two-faced.
     
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Powercranks don't work, aye? I'd say otherwise, given that I've been using a pair for the past 5 months. I'm guessing you haven't.

    I'll go out on a limb here and say of all the purchases I've made on bike stuff since '85 (disks, trispokes, deep rim wheels, time trial bikes, tubulars that weigh less than a gnats dick and always seem like they cost more per ounce than 24k gold, the $500 Polar HRM back in 91...) I'd say that my PowerCranks have been the most single effective piece of equipment and one that in a shortish time frame has brought about the biggest performance increase. That they're also the heaviest piece of kit on the bike (Frank - please don't model the next generation of PowerCranks on the stone pilars of Stonehenge!) doesn't detract from the fact that I'm climbing better than I have done in years. I've done similar training the past few years - and I'm the same weight as I was this time last year but I'm going up hills not only faster but I can climb for longer too.

    They've given me a better pedaling action - one that's pointed out my weak spots like the fact that I'd previously been over utilizing my quads and they pretty much forced me to start using my hamstrings more (which used to make me wonder when I used to race why I never got cramps or felt really bad in my hamstrings or calf muscles even after a very hard 50 mile TT.) After the adaption period from hell, I feel like I'm more evenly utilizing the different muscle groups - which is most apparent on the hills over 6%. I can actually pedal up those rather than mashing. It's smooth... It's hard to describe - things just feel more efficient.

    They say that once you've learned to ride a bike you never forget. Either I completely forgot how to pedal in the decade I had off the bike or I never really knew how too in the first place.

    I still remember, at the Death Ride expo last year someone at the Power Cranks stall saying that I should have bought some Power Cranks instead of the new wheels (but I needed new wheels to make the jump from 7 speed to 10 and a friend was selling them for a good price...) but in hindsight they were probably right. I'm kinda kicking myself for not making the purchase earlier as I'd been thinking about it for quite a while...

    ... plus I have numbers from the last couple of years that prove I'm faster and 12 months of HR data to prove that for a given weight, not only am I faster at a lower heart rate, I also perceive the effort (perceived by leg discomfort)to be less and I recover faster. Training the last couple of years has been pretty much the same old routine with incremental improves coming from weight loss and increase in fitness - the past 5 months has been nothing short of wonderous...

    The only downside is the "3 hour wall of pain" that I run into, where the muscles that were never really used pre-Power Cranks just give up, mainly because I don't ride for longer than 3 hours and I don't have the strength/coordination to ride with PowerCranks for that period of time...

    ... plus my wife digs the fact that my legs look better and are bigger! Hey, the 'benefits' from that are worth it in itself.:D
     
  5. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Are you saying this forum exists because most of you purchased PM's and can't figure out how to get improved benefit from them from what you were doing before?

    I mean, really? I would have thought it was for you to learn from each other how to squeeze more out of the device starting from a basic tenet. Guess I was wrong.

    Dr. Coggan wrote a book on training and racing on power. I presume I am talking about whatever is recommended in that book or any other use most of you would consider to be acceptable. I don't care what the method of use is. If the benefits are large enough and reasonably repeatable then everyone should be able to learn and understand it and the benefits available to most, if not all. I was just trying to figure out what the magnitude of that improvement might be, if any.
     
  6. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Hey Swampy. I see you left a PM off your equipment list. If only you had gotten one of those instead of the PC's you would be seeing much bigger gains now. LOL.

    We will be at Death Ride again. Hope to see you there.
     
  7. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Time for the spam filter to be updated.
     
  8. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Have just read this thread from beginning to end and my head is spinning from the arguments going around in circles ad nauseum.

    Frank I don't know if you have read my 'It's killing me thread' and couldn't really care less whether you have or haven't. To cut a long story short, starting 28 months ago with a FTP of 130 Watts, I have now, using a power meter as a guide have an FTP of 315Watts and climbing. Purely anecdotal I know!
    To give your argument a little credit, maybe I could have made almost the same amount of progress with structured training. (20 minute intervals etc.) However, I say almost because it seems to me that no one has mentioned the psychological benefit of using a power meter. That is, for example if you see concrete evidence that you are generating say 250watts for your 20 minute intervals, then that in itself is inspirational in making you want to better that figure ASAP. If you were relying on perceiving the effort you were making, you could be way out, especially if you are feeling under par. Power meters are like photographs - THEY DON'T LIE!! (or at least lie in constant fashion :rolleyes: )

    The above argument is even truer when doing 5 minute VO2Max intervals and you are increasing the load in 5 watt increments (or even less) over time. Perceived effort with VO2Max intervals are always bloody hard and unless you know exactly what power you are generating how can you measure your progress with any accuracy. Tyson
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I left it off the list because I don't own one. I'll probably get one at some point but it'll be to help fix the one area that I've always had a problem with - those pesky 30 seconds max efforts. I know I'm crap at those - but how bad I'm not too sure but for now HR data is enough for me.

    Aint too sure how I'm going to read the LCD display, whilst out of the saddle at 100rpm in a big gear though.

    I could always just go old school and just figure that out in races but that would take up too much family time.... Maybe I should just try to keep up with Yamaha R1's when setting off from the stop lights. ;)

    Alex - I had some Spam down at the hawaiian restaurant the other day - spam, fried eggs and rice! Yum.

    Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!
    Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
    Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam.
    Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!
    Spam spam spam spam!

    [​IMG]

    ... oh, nice manbag you have there. ;)
     
  10. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    S.O.T. - I gotta say that your exploits have made for a very interesting read and hats off to you for some truely amazing progress....

    Y'all need to lighten up some. I just think that Frank is out to have some fun here and is yanking y'alls chains.

    Plus people say that heart rate monitoring is too inacurate - but at 300watts, the PowerTap 2.4 SLs are +- 5watts. Are you riding at 300watts one day when you should only be getting 295 but two days later you're riding at 290 and you showing 295.... Are they consistantly out during the course of a test or do they fluctuate from -1.5% to 0 and the to +1.5? If you're dealing with 5 watt increments as a basis of a test or training session then that's a big deal. You could see power go up 15 watts and you've not really changed the power output...

    Pick your method of madness - learn it's strengths and weaknesses, make your decisions and trust in them. Figure out some way of quantifiably testing your progress but have fun in the process too - cause fun is what it's all about, no?
     
  11. fergie

    fergie Member

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    Yeah, my power meter.

    Ha ha, from the Powercrank site...


    Good thing he had a powermeter to quantify his progress!
     
  12. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I kind figured that as soon as I saw the thread title and most importantly who started the thread. Stirring the Pot amongst the power guys

    From my perspective as a non-user I believe all these guys use the PM purely as a tool as noted by the posts here. By their own success in personal growth in personal effort the PM does not need any more proof or written scientific documentation. They have experienced it and are now convinced of it. On the same side there are the multitudes like Frank who have either lost theirs or sold theirs on ebay because they did not find tracking data very useful or too bothersome or perhaps were a bit discouraged when the PM told them the discouraging news of truth - weak power output.

    So my point is so what if no one can write or point to the evidence Frank is requesting as long as the many users like Tyson can track progress and be encouraged by it the PM has become a very useful tool.
     
  13. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Frank, go back and read this. Point C.

    Yeah, you are wrong because your reading comprehension is awful.

    That book does not advocate any particular method of training. There is no method of training implied with a power meter or HRM or RPE or stopwatch or even power cranks.

    Well, you damn well better because it's central to this argument. Any tool can be misused.Using your logic, if I didn't get great results trying to turn a screw using a hammer, I should go around telling the world, "see, hammers are useless!" You are being ridiculous. Again, I point you back to this. Point C.

    I'm close to being done with this. It's like talking to a wall.
     
  14. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Maybe. Or revenue stream diversion (to PMs) is messing with his comprehension.
     
  15. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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  16. RChung

    RChung New Member

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    The former. PTs are very consistent. That isn't always true for some PMs, though.
     
  17. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Congratulations on your improvement. Lots of hard work involved in those numbers.

    Hey, I can accept that there might be a psychological and motivational component. How much is that worth on average and how would one measure it?
     
  18. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Except, when users of PowerCranks express similar improvements and beliefs, this same group of hypocrites lambast them for these anecdotal improvements that are probably simply a result of more training time and intensity. Since there is not "proof" of the source of the benefit the reports get lambasted. I think it would be nice if the "playing field" were level.

    So, where is the proof of the benefits of using the PM? Lots of people report benefits from using it. Proof that it results in big benefits just doesn't exist. Just thought I might point this out by asking what the evidence was to support these views. If there was good evidence out there I most surely would have been put in my place right now.

    I guess stirring the pot is a good description. :)
     
  19. Fday

    Fday New Member

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    Well, if a tool must be used properly to be useful, what percentage of the people who own a PM use it "properly" enough to see any benefit over the traditional methods, and how much benefit might you expect that to be? Any idea?

    What percentage of owners come close to using it optimally? and how much benefit do you estimate they might see over traditional techniques? Any idea?

    And, how does the new owner of a PM know what the proper use of the tool is to see any benefits, let alone, optimum benefits from this new, $1000 or more, device?
     
  20. Bikeridindude

    Bikeridindude New Member

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    You seem to have a lot of questions and a lot of time (or at least one repetative question). I think you could answer all of your own questions as well as enlighten the rest of us while saving us from the frustration of your bull-headedness by conducting a study yourself. Let us know what you find! :D
     
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