Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympic lifts for speed and power

Navy Seals Strength Training

Russell Peters - Indians and Chinese

2 28 2010 Power Ladder Intervals in the afternoon

Carmichael Training Systems
Training videos for your iPhone or iPod touch for $10 versus the same training videos on DVD for $39.

Class 11: PowerInterval Ladder with Abby Ruby:
CTS Coach Abby Ruby takes you through a classic progression of PowerIntervals that will keep you on your toes and push your VO2 max to new heights.

Warm Up and Fast Pedal 9:00
Power Interval 03:00
Recovery 03:00
Power Interval 02:00
Recovery 02:00
Power Interval 01:00
Recovery 03:00
Power Interval 03:00
Recovery 03:00
Power Interval 02:00
Recovery 02:00
Power Interval 01:00
Recovery 03:00
Power Interval 01:00
Recovery 01:00
Power Interval 01:00
Recovery 01:00
Power Interval 01:00
Cool Down 10:00

I had to maintain Watts in the range of 240 to 300 for these Power Intervals - based on my recent Functional Threshold Power test. I have to admit that this one hour Spin Bike workout felt a lot easier than the one session of four minutes of Tabata intervals on the same Spin Bike here. If you notice above, the work to recovery ratio is one to one or even longer, while the Tabata interval work to recovery ratio is two to one, which pushes you into oxygen debt much more quickly. Just looking at the numbers you can see that in four minutes of Tabata work at 400 to 450 Watts, I did 83 kJ of work while in the one hour workout above I only did 327 kJ of work. You definitely work harder doing Tabata intervals.

2 28 2010 Morning Intervals

One Round of Tabata Air Squats

Set 1 - 24 reps - pulse 127 bpm

Set 2 - 26 reps - pulse 139 bpm

Set 3 - 25 reps - pulse 150 bpm

Set 4 - 25 reps - pulse 158 bpm

Set 5 - 25 reps - pulse 160 bpm

Set 6 - 25 reps - pulse 164 bpm

Set 7 - 25 reps - pulse 168 bpm

Set 8 - 26 reps - pulse 170 bpm

1 minute rest pulse - 156 bpm

2 minute rest pulse - 137 bpm

3 minute rest pulse - 129 bpm

4 minute rest pulse - 123 bpm

I have accumulated enough base miles and done enough strength training to now transition into the next phase of training -intervals and speed/power work. I started doing Tabata intervals in the mornings three times per week before work, while continuing my regular training schedule of riding and weightlifting (core, balance, plyometrics, power cleans, hang cleans) in the afternoons. I was also doing a combination squat excercise which combined the benefits of strength and power into one excercise. This excercise is called the 5x5x5 squat, using 135 lbs, I do 5 regular squats, then another 5 squats rising on my toes when I get up, then last 5 squats leaving the ground and landing flat footed for a total of 15 reps with no rest in between. This is similar to wearing a weighted vest when doing plyometrics.

The Tabata intervals are a mixed bag of exercises - air squats, push ups, crunches, spin bicycle etc. Of course since I want to improve on the track bicycle, then I would have to do intervals on the bicycle - The Laws of Specificity. The power work is to now convert strength into power. Although strength work and power work both generate force, it is the ability to generate force quickly (power) which counts on the track bicycle. One hundred meter maximum effort standing starts is an example of a power exercise on the track bicycle. For each effort, change gears to an increasingly harder gear and repeat with full recovery between efforts. I can do these on the spin bike, and adjust the tension to simulate gear changes. You can keep track of the seconds it takes you to complete each effort over the 100 meter distance for later comparison.

Already I am seeing an improvement in pulse rate recovery from doing intervals. Recovery pulse rate should improve considerably after about 5 weeks of interval training.

Below was my Fit Test result for a three minute step test and recovery pulse rate after one minute back in October 2009 : (Measures your ability to recover after a hard effort)

October 31, 2009:
Test - 3 minute Step Test - pulse 166
Quantity = pulse after 1 min 156 bpm

February 26, 2010:
Test - 3 minute Step Test - pulse 155 bpm
Quantity = pulse after 1 min 134 bpm

5 x 5 x 5 = 5 regular squats x 5 squats to toes x 5 jump squats

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2 25 2010 Tabata spin bike morning intervals

Doing Tabata Intervals on the spin bike in the range of 400 to 500 watts per 20 seconds, really pushes me into an uncomfortable zone, so much so the cilia and mucous membrane of my air passage become agitated with the heavy breathing, causing some uncontrollable coughing after the workout. I get a similar reaction after a short scratch race or kilo event at Kissena during the early season, especially when there is spring pollen floating around like snow flakes. By far these are the hardest intervals and hardest exercise I have ever done. Trust the Japanese to invent some good shit, now I wish they would hurry up and fix the brakes and accelerator pedal on my Toyota.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2 24 2010 Tabata split squats & air squats morning intervals

Two rounds of Tabata intervals this morning. First round - eight sets of split squats, notice the heart rate spent most of the time in Zone 4 (Lactate Threshold) during the split squats, while the heart rate spent most of the time in Zone 5 (VO2 Max) during the second round of regular air squats. The rise in pulse during the second round could be attributed to the cumulative effect of the intervals. Although, the regular air squats are much harder and taxing, I was able to accomplish 200 air squats for four minutes and 160 split squats for four minutes, with three minutes rest between rounds.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chris Hoy's salary

...His UK Sport grant is a mere £24,000; compare that with the £20million salary being paid to Lewis Hamilton, Formula One's world champion, by McLaren Mercedes.

True, he is now heading a series of high-profile adverts for a breakfast cereal company but his earnings are nowhere near the multimillions that shower footballers, racing drivers and tennis stars.

“The sport is my hobby, my passion and my obsession,” he said yesterday as he watched a dozen “wannabe” Hoys labouring in the Manchester Veldrome. “It is nice to earn a little more but that isn't the reason we do it.”.... read more

The Business of Cycling - Wall Street Journal


When the three fastest riders stand atop the final Tour de France podium in Paris Sunday, they won't be the biggest stars the sport has produced. They won't be the richest, either.

Based on the current crop of contenders, the combined salaries of the three top-finishing riders could add up to as little as $3.5 million. That's less than half the combined salaries of the top three riders in 2005 -- Lance Armstrong, Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich -- and less than the average salary for a single NBA player.

Given these relatively low numbers, one team has been able to field a competitive effort in this year's Tour for $11 million, roughly half of what some of the top teams are spending.

Cycling's top salary, according to coaches, sponsors, cyclists and team executives, belongs to Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, who makes nearly $4 million a year. Prerace favorite Cadel Evans pulls in somewhere around $2.3 million. But those riders are exceptions. Luxembourg's Frank Schleck, who led the race for three days, makes roughly $1 million, about $500,000 less than teammate and current leader Carlos Sastre. The bargain of all bargains may be American Christian Vande Velde, currently in sixth place, who will earn less than $500,000. France's brightest hope, Sylvain Chavanel of the Cofidis team, makes about $1 million.

Given all the bad news in cycling, one bright spot for the sport is that it is becoming a relative bargain for sponsors, especially in this year's Tour de France, where many of the top riders have been suspended for doping or haven't been invited back. The top cyclists compete for a tenth the salary of a top Formula 1 driver and less than most mediocre European footballers. With the Tour broadcasting live on TV in 95 countries, cycling is still a pretty cheap way for an obscure hearing-aid manufacturer or flooring company to get noticed. "You couldn't touch soccer in Europe for less than $25 million," says Columbia team owner Bob Stapleton. But "you can have the dominant team in cycling for less than that." The relatively low salaries of cyclists are a function of the sport's unusual economics. The average budget for a top-notch cycling team ranges from $15 million to $23 million, about 60% to 80% of which goes to riders' salaries; the rest goes to travel costs, equipment and personnel. Teams don't get anything from the TV deals the events make, as they do in some pro sports. Though millions of people turn out for races like the Tour, there are no ticket sales. The winner's prize for the Tour, just $700,000, is usually distributed among the nine members of a more

Friday, February 12, 2010

Racing in Trinidad in April 2010

April 2010 - a few riders from Kissena are going down to Trinidad to take part in the track racing at the Arima Velodrome. Below is a video giving you a taste of the exciting racing taking place down there.

Trinidad - Arima Velodrome 3 lap scratch

Caribbean Women's Road Race - Barbados

Spin bike Sprint Training using Carmichael DVD

Today I did my first sprint training session for this season, on the spin bike using the Carmichael Sprint Training DVD. This was more of a sprint endurance training session. The rest periods were not full recovery, therefore maximal power could not be generated for the sprint intervals. I managed 1,044 Watts for one of the sprints and 193 max rpms for one of the leg speed drills.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2005 Track Worlds Kilo

2005 Track Worlds Keirin

Inversion Workout

The Back is back

Farioletti mentioned inversion therapy for the back, so I did some research and decided to buy an inversion table. The one pictured above by Elite Fitness was on sale for $54 at Modells, at that price it was a bargain, considering Walmart was selling the same model for $199. My back is back to about 99%. Whether it was natural healing, the inversion table or both, I couldn't really say, but paying $54 for something selling for $199 had an immediate therapeutic effect. There is nothing like a good bargain to make you feel good. In any case I will be spending about 20 minutes a day hanging virtually upside down to counter the effects of gravity.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Some serious stuff

2009 National Sprints

Sprinting and Tactics

Track racing is essentially for sprinters, short match sprint events or scratch races which require bursts of sustained speed. At least these are the spectator friendly events. Events such as the Pursuit and other Time Trial events are more for the athletes rather than spectators, these timed events can be quite boring to watch. Track racers are into speed, direct drive speed, fast twitch speed, in your face speed.

Some of us spend time in the gym trying to build strength and muscles for sprinting. Undoubtedly, strong muscles mean power, power means speed which results in a good jump and acceleration on the track. That is the good part - on the flip side an abundant of strength and power can lead to clumsiness and impulsiveness if not combined with flexibility, leg speed, agility and temperament. One has to be patient and employ the right tactics at the right time to gain the edge. Also you have to be confident, believe in your training and don't second guess yourself.

Your jump might be excellent, but your tactics, and bike handling skills can be a problem. In three up sprints you might want to jump too early or just use the wrong tactics altogether. In three up sprints there are more variables involved and you have to be able to cover all bases. Two up sprints require different tactics, if poor tactics are used by the stronger, faster rider then that rider does not necessarily win. A scratch race is all about conserving ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), the chemical compound which provides energy to your muscle fibers which allows for maximum contraction in the last 10 to 20 seconds of the sprint. Some times you make your move too early, burn up all your ATP while others sitting in your draft come around you.

This is where an external pair of eyes in the form of a good coach comes in handy. A coach who is present at the track to observe what you are doing wrong or right and to help you correct your mistakes. Many of us cannot afford to have a coach at our disposal. So instead we pick up bits and pieces here and there. Or use a video camera to analyze the ride, it is always a learning experience looking at a video of your race from a different perspective.

The Coach of Delroy Walters (Masters World Champ) is Charlie Jennings who is always at the track helping racers like me with words of advice and training tips. Charlie represented Guyana in the Sprint and Kilo events, he is a resource for many of us at Kissena.

Delroy Walters is the coach of the Star Track developmental juniors, Joe Brennan is the women's coach, John Campo is the coach for new riders while Charlie Jennings is the tactician. Charlie can always be found quietly standing in the bleachers observing the training and racing taking place at Kissena and is always ready to offer you advice.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Straight Leg Dead Lifts

Some good advice below from Luke regarding Dead Lifts:

Straight-leg dead lifts are a great exercise, but you may need to restrict your range of motion to avoid rounding your back. This is probably due to hip and hamstring flexibility issues which are all-too common among cyclists. Also, don't lock your knees. Keep them straight, but soft.

Thanks Luke, Mattio and Alex.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Only last Sunday I was hopping around like a madman doing plyometrics and feeling as strong as ever (see video below). This weekend I am laid up in bed with a strained lower back feeling very weak, hardly able to move, bend or sleep and wondering if I would ever be able to do anything athletic again.

The strained back came about from doing straight leg dead lifts. On the eight repetition there was jolt of pain on my right side and that was it, back was out.

Dead lifts are supposed to be done with knees bent, which I did with 225 lbs. After which I reduced the weight to 135 lbs and proceeded to do dead lifts with straight legs. This is supposed to strengthen the lower back and hamstrings and help in performing explosive standing starts. Never again am I doing straight leg dead lifts - not worth getting injured in training again.

It is always a major set back when you get injured or hurt during sporting events or training. I have experienced numerous injuries over the years from sports I have taken part in – cycling, cricket, soccer, martial arts and weight training. It makes you wonder why one submits their body to such risks, when the rewards are not quite worth it.

I have always managed to bounce back from injury, even though at the time of the injury you are mentally and physically destroyed. You also don't realize the synergistic operation of your muscles and body parts working together to perform mundane daily activities until one part becomes injured.

It is also important to note that the lower back, butt and core are the center of gravity of your body from which all movement takes place. (If your body were a wheel, then these parts will be the axle.)

I guess some of us are just looking for the next thrill regardless of risk.