Trained cyclists can improve their efficiency by combining strength and endurance training. Only performing endurance exercise training does not lead to a better efficiency. According to a literature review in which the data from 51 separate studies were analyzed.
For cyclists, it is of interest to cycle with the highest possible efficiency. Most cyclists have an efficiency of about 20%. That is to say that about 20% of their energy consumption is used for the delivery of power. The improvement of this efficiency will lead to it that the cyclist requires less oxygen in order to provide a certain power. However, it is the question of which type of training is the most appropriate in order to improve efficiency. Hence Montero and Lundby, conducted a literature study by analyzing data from several individual studies.
TRAINED VERSUS UNTRAINED
The researchers have chosen to select only studies in which efficiency is measured several times at a submaximal intensity. Ultimately, the data from 51 studies have been analyzed. Of these, 26 studies have been conducted on untrained cyclists, 17 on trained cyclists and in 8 studies the training status of the participants was unclear. A total of 531 subjects in these studies were investigated during its duration (ranging from 4-34 weeks) their workload being from 0.7 to 17 hours of training per week.
The analysis shows that only the performance of endurance training in trained cyclists will not lead to an improvement of the efficiency while the combination of duration and power training will result in an improvement. In untrained cyclists only endurance training as well as the combination of endurance and power training lead to an improvement of the efficiency.
The results of this study show that trained cyclists also have to perform power training in addition to endurance training if they want to improve their efficiency. These findings are consistent with earlier research. Although this study especially relates to an analysis of the data of previous research, the authors speculate also about the physiological explanation for the improvement of the efficiency. The power training would, among other things lead to a better control of the muscles through which the motor units can supply more power. As a result, less muscle activity is needed for providing a particular power. What the precise physiological explanation may be, the results of this study confirm at least the value of power training for endurance athletes, in this case cyclists