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How To Boost Your Power On The Bike | GCN Pro Tips

How To Boost Your Power On The Bike | GCN Pro Tips

=- Now you might not want more power from going into politics or trying to run a multinational company, but I can’t imagine
there’s a single one us that wouldn’t want more power when it’s in the context of bike riding. It is a word that gets banded around an awful lot though. So to put it simply, power is the energy coming from your legs into the bike over a certain amount of time. To get more of it, you either put more
force through the pedals or you turn the pedals faster or you do both at the same time. Now it sounds simple, and it is. But unfortunately, to get more power, you generally need to
do a little bit of work. But I’m gonna do my best to make this as easy as possible. (upbeat music) Now first things first, before we start any kind of hard work, let’s expand on that whole
pedalling speed thing, shall we? Because you might find
that if you mess around with how quickly you pedal, you may well be able to put more power out without getting fitter at all. Although, it’s gotta be said, contrary to popular belief, there are no ideal cadences. Only the ones that are right for you and your specific individual physiology. But having said that, there is a definite trend that shows that at higher power outputs, people tend to use faster cadences. So, why not give it a go? Next time you are labouring up a climb, why not knock it into an easy gear, increase your pedalling speed whilst maintaining the
same velocity on the road. And then certainly, when sprinting, you wanna keep your feet nice and fast. Well that first one was nice and easy. Potentially free power. Now though, we’ve got to do a little bit of work. Because as any self-respecting self-help book would tell you, true power comes from within. And so to improve, to improve we’ve basically
just got to do some training. Unfortunately. (upbeat music) How you train is really, really important. Certainly consistency over
time is one of the keys, but then so to is variation. So if, for example, you
spend all day every day riding your bike really slowly, that’s great, but you’d only get good
at riding really slowly. To get more power then, we need to go hard. These next three sessions
ideas make you do just that, but they are cracking good fun and they’re also tried and tested. Drop ’em into your training
every now and then, and I think you’ll see the benefits. (upbeat music) Now I’m gonna apologise in advance. This first one is definitely hard. It’s called the 40/20, because you do 40 seconds hard and then 20 seconds easy. You then repeat it 10 times over, before having a little bit of rest and doing the whole thing again. And I probably don’t need to
tell you this if you are a pro, but you should be looking
at doing three sets. The hard bit should be, not a flat out sprint as you can see, but harder than you can
sustain for very long. And if you are lucky enough to have a power meter, you are searching for about 120% of your FTP. A hill, a long climb is ideal, but otherwise, a really quiet, flat road or (exhales sharply) is
tailormade for an indoor trainer. No interruptions. (upbeat music) Out of the frying pan and into the fire. One minute maxes really hurt. They are pleasingly simple though. All you gotta do is ride as hard as you possibly can for one minute. And then recover. Give yourself about five minutes off, because you will be hurting. And then repeat them about six times. At least, that’s all I’ve
ever been able to manage. Ready? Three Two One Go! (upbeat music) Now lastly, this one’s a
little bit less intense, but still really potent. So, overgeared strength intervals are gonna help us to produce more force. And as we’ve already heard, that is half of our power equation. And the way it’s gonna do that, is firstly by helping to make more of the muscle that we’ve already got. So improving on neuromuscular function, but then over time, hopefully it’s gonna help to build new muscle mass, as well. Now there’s various
different types you can do. Standing start efforts
are really effective, but we’re gonna focus on something a little bit longer here. So five minutes on a climb, pedalling at between 50 and 60 RPM. And we’re looking for an intensity, as you can hear, it’s got me working hard, but not absolutely gasping. So again, if you’ve got a power meter, looking at about 90% of FTP. I’m gonna do four to
five of these intervals over the course of a ride, and in between time, we’ll keep our gears nice and light. Now, those three sessions
can and probably will work wonders for you if you
do them from time to time. But depending on whether
you want to be able to put more power out on
climbs or on flat roads or as I suspect most of us do, on both, you need to think carefully about where you’re doing that hard work, because although the muscles that we’re using on climbs or
on flat roads are the same, we use them in subtly different ways. So that’s why some really
skinny, lightweight guys can time trial well, but not actually be able to climb. So if you wanna go fast up hills, then you need to ride up hills or ride your on indoor trainer with the resistance cracked up. And then if you wanna go fast on the flat, then I suggest you do the
majority of your intervals fast on the flat. Or if you wanna do both, then just mix it up. So maybe do your 40/20’s on climbs, do your one minutes maxes on the flat, and then go back to the
hills for your strengthies. Right then. Don’t tell your prime
minister or your president, but the secret to power clearly then comes from your cadence, some hard intense work, and also making it specific. Although, before leaving this video there’s one last point
I’ve got to touch on and that is that when cycling, power is always traded off against weight. So your body weight effectively. If you’ve got weight to lose, then you will find that if
you shed a couple of kilos, you are gonna end up
riding your bike faster, even if you’re not putting
any more power out. I reckon I’ve got a couple of
videos already on the channel that may well be relevant for you. Before clicking on either of them though, do make sure you subscribe to the channel. That means that you’ll always know when there’s more GCN content up. But then, one little click just down there about how to become a stronger cyclist. That is quite an interesting one. And then if you click just down there, we’ve got how to climb like a pro. Now if you excuse me, I’ve got one last one minute max to do. Wish me luck.

100 comments on “How To Boost Your Power On The Bike | GCN Pro Tips

  1. Some say that Sheev Palpatine(Darth Sidious, disfigured bloke in a robe in Star Wars) studied this video carefully for his 'UNLIMITED POWAAAAAH'.

  2. Small question: for the one minute maxes, is it paced so after the minute you are smashed or is it 100% all the way so you're virtually crawling at the end of the minute?

    Other than that love the vid and training advice!

  3. When doing the one minute max effort, should I ride as hard as I can from the beginning and watch my power drop or should I pace it to hold around the same power for one minute?

  4. As far as these three different training techniques, if I want to do all three how many days apart should I space then out? Thank you, really enjoy your channel.

  5. Pro tip = don't store your spare inner tubes, gels, kitchen sinks etc in the front of your bib shorts like Si has @ 2:19 😂

  6. RE: Power and training-
    What if the president of my country says that exercising will deplete my lifeforce indefinitely?

  7. "If you are a pro but you should be doing 3 sets?" Sorry, what's that mean? I'm not a pro, what should I do 3 sets or…Thanks!

  8. 2 x 20 minute 85% FTP intervals twice a week, if training power. On a trainer, because longer road intervals are just really hit and miss.

  9. He got mixed up in his early statements by confusing energy and power and then talking about "power equations" later on and finally vaguely relating power to cadence.

    Torque = Pedal force X crank length

    Power = Torque X RPM of the crank

    Energy = Power X Time.

    Energy is the amount of power (Watts) delivered over a period of time (hrs) = Wh.

    So in cycling terms, the harder you can press on the pedals the greater the torque on the crank, the faster you can turn the crank (cadence) at this pedal force the greater the power at the crank. Finally, the time you can keep this up for is the measure of the energy produced. If a rider can manage 250 Watts for 4 hours then that rider will deliver 4 X 250 =1000 Whrs of energy to the pedals.

    Torque, the twisting force on the crank, is the most important thing and the force that eventually turns the back wheel. We each have different physiologies that means that this maximum torque is produced at different cadences and those cadences can only be maintained for finite periods of time.

    So power and energy are related, but totally different things as the latter is a function of time.

  10. power is not an issue for some of us ( i could probably drop you on flat anyday of the week – 90 kg versus skinny). also, i can stay in the saddle for 10-12 hours… problem is i do under 30km/h in that time…. do a show about improving speed over long distances (200+ km)

  11. 7:00 Power is always traded off against weight *when going uphill*. Weight has almost zero effect on power on the flat.

  12. False advertising! The thumbnail shows Matt and Lloyd and for the entire vid we only get Simon. What up with that?

  13. Hi Guys, great video but my question is a bit off topic, i see you are using the Elemnt with your aeroad bars. Which mount are you using for this? Is it the aeroad mount for garmin or it different? Im looking a unsure if the elemnt bolt fits

  14. At the moment i don't have a bike i can ride. So, do you think training on an indoor bike at the gym about 4 times a week i can get a similar effect as if i was riding outside or on a regular bike? The benefit i think is also the integrated power meter which i don't normally have.

  15. Yes, I want more power going into politics. Havent you noticed they are destroying Western civilization??? I can't just go for a ride and pretend anymore.

    My country was my home, now its a hotel, and they think I'm going to be a waiter. #WhiteGenocide

  16. I built teeny tiny engine out of mecanno and hid it in my bottom bracket. It increased my power from 256w to a massive 256.01w

  17. How do pros manage to not change gear while sprinting?
    I find that no matter what gear I'm spinning too quick by the line- are they just better at maintaining the quick cadence than me?

  18. There was a really great comment on how to improve your average speed video a while back, a guy asking how to get faster. After a while he updated having achieved his goals. "I just tried harder" was how.
    Si, as Simon Says, effort and hard work can't be cheated.

  19. I really enjoyed the instruction. It was well explained, I didn't even have to go back and watch it over and over to understand. Thanks for the ideas. Tour De France here I come……thanks!!!

  20. Thanks for these! Looking forward to adding these to my regimen, although I don't know how anyone can recover in 20 seconds, so…ouch!

  21. #torqueback not sure if you guys have covered this, but which plays a greater role in aerodynamics, frame, or wheels? Basically, deep wheels and non aero frame, or vice versa?

  22. Great video, nice to see a 24 hour response in light of my comment in the last video.

    Really enjoyed the analysis at the end to ascertain on where to put the effort in on flats or climbs.

    Good also to see Si pitting in the real work and not just for the camera, the breathing says it all! I bet hes not far off pro continental level for sure.


  23. forget 50 shades of gray.. 50 shades of black. Having a bike that sexual has to make the suffering slightly less suffery.

  24. How frequently should training sessions like the ones in this video be used? Is 3x per week too little, too much? #torqueback

  25. This made me more powerful and faster over the last months:
    – riding to work on mondays, wednesdays and fridays (20km one way) slowly and doing active recovery
    – doing a longer (70km) ride in the mornings of tuesdays and thursdays before work including one mountain climb of 3km which I did at 120-150% of my FTP. Doing active recovery when in the afternoons riding back from work.
    – doing a longer (120km) and faster but mostly flat group ride on sundays
    In Strava premium I could watch the power levels going up fast and the FTP increased. The freshness and fatigue curves started to rise and fall faster over time, i.e. my potential to recover became better.

  26. If I would be a pro then probably go on the juce, it's by far the most effective way.

    Since I am not then I will have to do it by grinding away at this.

  27. Endurance cycling and low cadence has nothing to do with "strength". Strength refers to the maximum force AKA zero-velocity AKA the first pedal stroke on a standing start.

  28. How early in the season should you start doing these intervals? Still Winter where I live, and am just trying to get my fitness up.

  29. #Torqueback I love/hate intervals. During the recovery bit, is it ok to completely turn off and coast? Or is there benefit to keeping the legs spinning?

  30. I hate that feeling of your lungs threatening to collapse after attacking a hill or sprinting to that far off sign. Bent over the bike, your nose burning on the front tire, your body screaming "I HATE YOU!!!", and knowing that to justify the tight clothes and expensive bike, you have to do it TEN MORE TIMES. Feel the burn, but try not to catch fire.

  31. Once a week, find a local Cyclocross course from past series, or make your own (1-2mile circuit), set the clock for 50 minutes and hammer. When the timer runs out=bell lap! Make the last lap your best lap.

  32. I keep riding every day and use my cadence to judge my power as I do not own a power meter. Even on slopes I use my cadence on the same gear on flats for up slopes. Is this good? need your advice. Thank You.

  33. I love your videos but I don’t every think you are talking to me. As a 68 year old female living in Australia most of your stuff doesn’t relate. Spinning up a hill won’t work for me as I need a Granny gear and I will be grinding to get me up the hill. I don’t have a power meter.

  34. I fine all the videos on GCN very informative, love them. I just got the Vector 3 power meter and I am still trying to figure out what the a lot of the data means. I am excited to get out and ride but also just as excited to look at the data I collected after words as well.

  35. GCN is a good show, but these guys some times talk too much… many words and convolute reasoning that make thing more complicated to understand….keep it simple guys

  36. If you do what you just said, why you do not show more improvement?…are you at your maximum and you won’t be able to improve any more

  37. My workout to increase power : ride hilly route 3 times a week, and then go 2 times flat route to maintain the power level

  38. so basically if u wanna improve speed, power, climbing, sprinting or whatever, just do it with intervals right??

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