Sunday, January 4, 2015

Patterns of Muscle Acitivation

Patterns of muscle activation. 

You may have noticed, certainly cycling coaches have noticed, that threshold power is often different riding a trainer verses outdoors verses riding flats verses riding up hills. 

A novice rider has some success and vows to go to the gym over winter and work on leg strength, believing that come spring, he will be riding better.  Come spring he can put up a lot more weight on the leg sled, but he is not any better. 

A rider rides indoors all the time.  Based on wattage on the trainer, she should be able to easily keep up on group rides.  She can't.  Outdoors she bounces on the saddle with awkward pedaling motion, struggling to keep up. 

Strong swimmer, strong rower, great cardiovascular systems, but still not great riders. 

Positions the same.  Nominal cadence is the same.  Nominal power is the same.  Yet, something is different. 

Patterns of muscle activation. 

The Pedal Force Simulator provides a theoretically accurate muscle activation.  A trainer pretends that it's the same, but when you ride it, you know it's not. 

It's winter.  You have an hour in the evening to do you indoor workout.  It has to count.  It's a shame that trainers are not providing good training in the form of proper muscle activation patterns.

Videos can push back boredom.  Power meters can better tune workouts.  But with or without, it's still the same workout, on a trainer, an off-target workout. 

If you understand that getting "patterns of muscle activation" right, than you know that the Pedal Force Simulator is important to a cyclist's training.

My personal opinion (I have a vested interest) is that a manufacturer should license the technology from me and sell the devices.  It would really benefit the cycling community.