The effect of high intensity resisted cycling with and without explosive resistance training on performance in competitive cyclists
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Training studies involving competitive runners and road cyclists have shown substantial gains in sprint and endurance performance when sessions of high-intensity interval training were added to their usual training in the competitive phase of a season. Further research has shown large performance benefits in sprint and endurance power (7 - 9%) when cyclists combined explosive single-leg jumps with cycling-specific high-intensity interval training during a competitive season. The aim of the present study was to assess the contribution of the jumps to the gains in performance in competitive cyclists in a randomized control trial.The training protocol for the control group was based on previous experimental work in which the control group (n=8) completed cycle specific interval training followed by a series of explosive single-leg jumps. The experimental group (n=7) carried out the same cycle specific interval training but did not participate in the explosive single-leg jumps. While the current study did not use a true control group, the investigation was carried out in the knowledge that a combination of high intensity interval cycling and explosive single-leg jumps causes changes positive changes in performance. Participants took part in 10 x 30-min sessions consisting four sets of high intensity intermittent cycling (4 x 30-s maximum efforts at 50 - 60 min-1 alternating with 30-s recovery). Between each set of 4 x 30 s sprints the control (ballistic) group carried out one set of explosive single-leg jumps (20 for each leg), while the experimental (continuous) group cycled for 20 s at 50 - 60 min-1.Before and after the training period all cyclists completed an incremental peak power test for assessment of VO2max, lactate threshold, exercise economy and peak power, a 30 s Wingate sprint test and a 20 km time-trial. Relative to the control group the percent mean changes (±90% confidence limits) in the experimental group were: power at 4-mM lactate, -4.2 (±6.3); VO2max, -3.1 (±3.7); mean time-trial power, -0.7 (± 4.7); peak incremental power, -1.7; (±5.0); power at 80% max heart rate, -2.8; (±5.6); Wingate peak power, -4.2; (±7.8). We conclude that high-intensity training may improve performance but the combination of high-intensity training and explosive resistance training in the competitive phase is likely to produce greater gains in trained cyclists than high intensity cycling alone.