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Sports Science Special With Prof. Louis Passfield | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

Sports Science Special With Prof. Louis Passfield | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling


– We have a very special Ask
GCN anything for you this week, because we’ve actually got a
proper expert here with us, this is professor Louis Passfield, who is the head of sports
and exercise sciences at Kent University for over ten years, and has over 25 years of experience in exercise physiology,
specifically in cyclists, so thank you very much for joining us. – And thank you for not saying it’s 30. – Indeed, and you actually
tested me, Louis, way back, I think it was in 1992 or 93 as well, so, we go back a little bit. – That’s about the last
he had to do with you. – Pretty much, that was it. – Here’s your results, sorry. – Never seen him since, apart from the other day,
tortured me in an altitude tent, but anyway, moving on. – Yeah, we’ve got our first
question straight away from Matt Watson, who asked,
is there any correlation between squatting heavy
weights in the gym, more than your body weight, and
increasing power max, power on the bike, for example in sprints, and can it also help improve your functional threshold power? – Well there’s two questions in there, and the answer’s yes and no, so, you would expect that
heavy squats would help with your sprint power actually, so, particularly if you can
combine some strength training in the gym and translating
that on the bike into your sprint performances as well. So, not just the squats on their own, but sprinting on the bike too, to use that extra muscle you can generate. In terms of FTP, it’s
less clear that there’s a real benefit there, although
there’s some interesting work form Norway, where they suggest that some strength training can
help with your efficiency, but it’s a different
style of training there, you’re not necessarily doing
these big, heavy lifts, but so, a clear yes and no for that one. – So if you’re someone who’s
not interested in sprinting at all, you’re climber
type person, are you saying to steer clear of the gym, or there is, potentially still some
benefit to strength training in a gym? – I think I would say,
with the elite cyclists, we’re seeing more and more,
they’re doing gym work, regardless of what their disciplines are, but the nature of that changes. So the real benefit for
sprinting, where you want big muscle mass, that you’d
get from heavy weights, and the fact that you’re
squatting more than your body weight, means
you can apply more force through your muscles and
train to sprint better. For something like FTP,
it’s about sustaining a longer, a power output
over a longer period of time, and there, the strength training
you’re trying to develop is more about efficiency,
so it’s a different type of technique, it’s not the same heavy squats. – ‘Cause we’re seeing in
people like Brad Wiggins, and a lot of the endurance squad
using, pushing big weights, but that’s generally to
generate a lot of torque for the start, isn’t it? – Exactly, yeah, so these
guys in the team pursuit, they’re getting off the line so quick now, they’re going away like sprinters, so they’re increasingly
changing their training to reflect that a little more as well. – Good stuff, very interesting. Next up we got this
question from David Ogg, I notice that I’m able
to put out more power on a climb for the same perceived effort than on the flat, why
do you think this is? Is this because during
your climb you can pedal more efficiently,
adopting a better position and recruit more muscles? We’ve had this sort of question before, it’s quite interesting, what are thoughts, on why it feels different? – It’s a really interesting one actually, and it’s something that I noticed quite a long time ago, when we first got powermeters on bikes. But it wasn’t sort of clearly established, and it’s only more recently that it’s started to come up as a
topic of conversation again, actually, that people are
really starting to notice it. So it’s a yes, it does look
like you’re more efficient. We don’t know exactly why,
and we’ve done some studies in the lab, where we’ve got
people riding on a treadmill to measure things like
their muscle activity, and also the pattern the force application on the pedals themselves. And what we do notice, and
it kind of makes sense, is that, because the bike’s on an incline, as you’re pedalling,
the bottom dead centre occurs in a different
place, so it’s actually changing pedalling technique slightly, and we think that might be partly, part of it, and of
course you’re able to use gravity to help you
with that, power stroke as you’re pushing down on the pedal, so we think it’s probably
something to do with that, and it can make quite
a noticeable difference with some riders, but not
all riders necessarily see the same benefit, so we can also see that it varies from one to another, so it might also be a
reason why if you do a lot of long climbs, for example
in the Alps or the Pyrenees, you get better at climbing
because you maximise this effect at the same time. – Yeah, seems like the
vast majority of people do find it easy to put
power out on the climb, in fact there are some
people that write to us, and it’s the other way
around, so it is interesting. Next up, we have another
question from David Ogg. He’s keen! How long do you need to
train at altitude to receive the benefits, and how
long would those benefits last for when you return
to normal altitude? – Or sea level. – Okay, I mean, this is a good question, obviously a little bit technical, but there some fairly clear
answers to this as well. So, you need to train at altitude, it’s not necessarily the training itself, it’s being resident at altitude that seems to provide the big benefit. Because what you’re
doing is you’re boosting your blood count, and most
of the time it’s just, it’s the time spent at
altitude that matters there, rather than the training itself. Now, the stimulus required
for boosting blood cells is probably about two to three weeks. So if you’re going for
much less than two weeks, and you’re only going to
enhance your performance as opposed to being at altitude, then you wanna think twice about whether the trip is worth it. So two weeks minimum, three weeks ideally, for a real positive effect. Now, when you return, what
happens is your physiology starts to unwind in a
number of different ways, and there’s a little
window of opportunity, as soon as you finish altitudes, when you get back to sea level. And then there’s a period
where your body starts to go through the adjustment of
unwinding some of these short-term changes from
altitude, and you wanna avoid that window, and
it’s typically about five to seven after
returning from altitude that you want to avoid competing, because your body’s trying
to get back to adjusting to normal sea-level performance, so you’ve got some of the
benefits of being at altitude, but your body’s actually compensating back down to sea level too. And then the window opens up again, and in terms of, then you,
the sustained benefits of altitude, beyond that seven-day period. And the effects will just taper off over a period of time then, so probably after two or three weeks
of returning to sea level, you’ve lost most of the
benefit of being at altitude. But it’s, as I said, slightly complicated, straight away, a little window
about five to seven days after you return where you
want to avoid competing, then you’re good again,
probably for another two or three weeks. – Interesting. – Just using an experience of my own, when I rode in the Colombian
World Championships, I did spend a month at
altitude, gradually increasing altitude as we went,
but I think the thinking back then with the
coach, it was Dave Smith who was coaching me back
then, the thinking was, nations either sent the team out three to four weeks beforehand, or they just flew them out
a couple days beforehand, and didn’t do anything in between, so it’s pretty much what you said, and I did feel, and again
there’s different physiologies involved, it’s not the same for everybody, we all adapt in different
ways, some riders struggled, some riders excelled, so it’s
not quite as simple as that, but that is a general rule, isn’t it? – Absolutely, I mean, altitude
is particularly notable in that regard, that we find some riders will cope with altitude very easily and make those adjustments quite quickly, and see much of their
performance retained, whereas others feel horrible at altitude and just can’t get on top of it. – We’re talking about
feeling horrible at altitude, we and Simon did some tests, a couple of, about six months ago, at your university, have a check out, exactly how altitude does affect performance, we
put ourselves through the mill, well you put us through
the mill, check this out. – So when we go to
altitude, what happens is that gradually the pressure
drops, so the higher we go, the lower the pressure. And this reduces the amount
of oxygen we can bring into the body, and we need
that oxygen for energy. So the higher we go,
the less oxygen we get, and more the body struggles. – Well descending back
down to sea level now, we have this question from Peter Collins, Louis, my old sports science professor, he also knows you, Louis,
my question is with the air being thinner at
altitude, will I still get the same marginal
gains from shaving my legs? And that is a pretty
hard-hitting question, so I think you better
don the science glasses to answer that question,
someone you know, I believe. – Absolutely, Peter, or
Phil, as I like to call him, actually, there are two
important points from this one, sorry, I can’t see with your glasses on. – That’s okay, fine. They get the gist. – The first thing is, I’m
not an old sports professor, but the second one is,
yes, you will still get some marginal gains
from shaving your legs, but Peter, or Phil, as I like to call you, you’ll get less benefit at altitude. – Of course, yeah. But, just to sort of come off
the back of that question, I suppose, the dimple
effect, the golf ball effect, that some skin suits have
got, they’ll less effect a skin suit, and also
dimpled rims are a bit of the same thing, because obviously there’s not quite as much friction. – Well, I’m sorry, I’m inclined to think of dimpled legs, which
might be tricky to achieve, but we could have a go. – Yeah, we could do, couldn’t we? – Moving swiftly. (crosstalk) We’ve got a question
from somebody who’s name I don’t even want to begin to pronounce. I’m gonna go with Mavoch, sorry. I was out for almost ten
months, what are the changes in my body and how do I
come back to my old form or even stronger, I’ve now
been riding for over a month, and still a three hour ride is not easy. And actually this goes for anybody really that has some time off
at the end of the season, you’re always interested to know how long it’s going to take you
after even four weeks off, to get back to where you were. – This is a great question actually, and it’s something that
comes up quite often. And I notice also Mavoch
says four to six hours was a piece of cake before. – Yep. – And so clearly– – Highlighting I didn’t read
the entire question out, thank you. (laughter) – So, there’s a number of
changes that take place, and some of these are short-term changes, and so as you start training again, the benefits should
come back quite quickly. The long-term changes, having
had that period of time off will take a long time to redress. So to give you some specific examples, we know that things to do
with the muscles tend to change pretty quick, so if
you, once you start training, the muscle turnover is
pretty fast, and you can see some adaptations, within a
matter of hours and days. Things like your heart for example, which determines how much
blood you pump around the whole body, that can take weeks, and possibly months to change. And so that period off is
likely to see quite a marked change in things like his
heart structure, and so on, and therefore, it will
take a while to get back to where he was. And probably somewhere along the lines of the amount of time he’s been off, to get get right back
to where he was before. So, initially, you should
expect to see some changes, which happen quite quickly,
but those long-term changes, unfortunately it will take a while, and that’s why, although you
could do four to six hours, for most people a three hour
ride is pretty respectable, just when you’re used
to doing four to six, and having a piece of
cake, three is just nowhere near as good. – It’s interesting, I’m not
sure how you felt, Matt, at the end of the season, but
when I was riding, you know, 20, 25 hours a week and
doing a lot of racing, those three weeks at
the end of the season, when I got back on the bike, I felt awful. – Same, absolutely awful.
– That heart rate, that really raised heart
rate, breathing was really uncontrolled and I wasn’t
even going that fast. It’s almost like the
more you have been doing, the more effect you seem have from a small period of time off. – Absolutely, the good news
is, there have been studies where they’ve looked at
this, there’s some classic physiological studies,
where they made people lie in bed for weeks and weeks, ten weeks, and then measured their fitness before, and measured their fitness
after the ten week bedrest, and then followed their
training back again. And those people that were
fitter before they started, were fitter after the
bedrest, and they regained their fitness, as
quickly, so there isn’t a disadvantage to being super
fit, it’s just you notice those changes more than someone who’s experiencing smaller changes in fitness. – Interesting.
– Fascinating stuff. Well next up, we have this
question from Fergal Hague, for the overweight riders,
what is more beneficial, long distance over time, or
short distance and fast paced? – Okay, I think the
main thing here really, is about how much energy he’s burned, so in order to lose weight,
you wanna burn calories, and then replace it with fewer
calories than you’ve burned. – So there’s a deficit, basically yeah. – Absolutely, so it’s
the difference between what you’re burning and what you put in, is what’s gonna help you lose weight. So the likelihood is,
in a long ride, you can, over a period of time,
burn more calories than you can from just working hard for a short period of time, so this
should be a relatively straightforward answer,
in that, the longer ride is likely to give you a
better energy deficit, and therefore better
for an overweight rider than the short intense rides. The other thing is, and although
the research is less clear on the psychological side of this, most people prefer doing
medium intensity rides, to really hard, intensity
rides, they find that more painful, and they’re
less inclined to get back on their bikes. – It makes cycling just
an unpleasant experience if all you’re doing is intense work. – That’s right, and there
was a fascinating study done by psychologists recently actually, where they compared two
different training sessions, and they had one where,
it started really hard, and it gradually got easier
and easier and easier, until they end up pedalling
with no resistance, and they looked at how good that felt, compared with doing the opposite, where you start really, really easily, and it gradually gets harder
and harder and harder. – A bit like Matt’s test from 1992. – Absolutely, well and
similar findings perhaps, in the one that finished
easily people remembered that session as better, less painful, and they were ready to start
exercising again much sooner, the one that got harder and
harder and ended really hard, they were less motivated by
that, and they didn’t wanna go back in the lab very quickly at all. – Yeah, I mean, we’ve
made lots of videos on, indoor training videos, and
isn’t there a school of thought at them moment, that suggests
that you’re better off, just to counter your
point about longer rides, that if you do short intense riding, you’ll burn more calories
because your metabolism is working harder after the ride as well, ’cause that’s what’s being
talked about recently, isn’t it? – There is certainly a
carryover from the ride you do, afterwards, and the higher the intensity, the bigger the carryover is,
but the number of calories you can burn on a ride, is
far greater than the elevation in metabolism that you
receive afterwards, so yeah. – Perhaps it’s worth
experimenting with it anyway to see what works best
for you, because weight can make a huge difference
when you’re on a long climb as Matt and I found out
in Andorra, in the middle of 2016, where we experimented
with body weight differences on a climb. – That was a hot day, wasn’t it? – Yeah. – Okay, well we’ve last two
hours with a calculator. – We have. – And we think we’ve got
our head around the results, but before we get onto the raw numbers, we are going to state
that we quite deliberately used that weight, and also those powers, so there will be some of
you who can do more than 280 watts for that sort of duration, and there will be other
of you who can’t do 230. – Well, from Andorra, back to
our log cabin in the Dolomites and this question from
Nigel Allen, at gcn tweet, I’m 54, not me, that’s
Nigel, my maximum heart rate has recently gone up, from
a long-standing 183 to 189, does this mean I’m
getting more or less fit? That’s a cracker of a question, isn’t it? – It is, that’s a really
interesting question. There’s not a straightforward
answer to this one, apart from the fact that,
in terms of fitness, we can’t really tell anything
from maximum heart rate. Some people who are
very fit have very high maximum heart rate, so
people who are very fit have very low maximum heart rates, so we can’t read anything
about fitness into this. The thing that’s curious
though is that change, because that’s quite a notable change. My suspicion is that
there’s either something physiological going on
there, around the training, but normally you’d expect to
see a decreased heart rate, as a response to
training, not an increase, the other thing is, if the
weather or something like that has changed, for example,
if you get a hot spell, you can often find you’re
running five beats higher, and so it may just be a
change in the weather. – I think it’s also,
would it be right to say it’s an age thing as well,
’cause as I’ve got older, I’m now 47, my maximum heart
rate, for a similar power is far less, I can’t get anywhere near, I’m probably about ten
beats off my heart rate when I was in my mid-twenties. Yeah so, am I considered the
norm, and him considered, perhaps not the norm, if
that what he’s referring to, in terms of, as you get older you can’t quite get your heart rate
to as high as it was? – That’s right, so, as is
implied by the formula, 220 minus your age, which
incidentally is useless for training from, but as a general rule, what it’s saying is you
lose, your maximum heart rate goes down as you get older. In this case, obviously at
54, his maximum heart rate is a lot higher than that,
and that’s not an issue at all it’s more the fact that
it’s changed acutely that’s of interest here,
as I said, it could well be it’s just a change in the
weather, or the environment, but if not, something to
do with fitness likely. – Your max heart rates
really low now, isn’t it? Next up, from Drew Bingham,
a question I’m gonna be very interested in the answer
to, how much does alcohol intake from a previous night
affect cycling performance? – I thought you’d like that question. – Yeah. – Well, I think for a scientific question, we need a scientific answer,
actually that’s quite like drinking alcohol. – Thank you. *Beergoggles* It does make a difference. So, one of the things we
know, for example, is that when you exercise you
use up muscle glycogen, and alcohol consumption,
post-exercise, slows down that process, so you
don’t recover as quickly, if you take in alcohol afterwards. Having said that, small amounts of alcohol can be used in re-hydration,
and they don’t have a particularly deleterious effect. Large amounts on the other hand– – Deleterious, word of the day. – Large amounts, can slow
down your re-hydration, because as you might notice,
beer has a diuretic effect too. So, you put it in at one end,
but it comes out the other, so small amount, by all means,
carry on, large amounts, not the best solution,
and the mineral water I think would be the right way. – That’s from a recovery
point of view, after an event, but what about if you’ve,
not done too much one day the night before an
event, but you have three, seven pints in the evening. – Then I think this is a different kind of endurance challenge. (laughter) – Have you actually done
an, I mean, I’m interested, and maybe this could be a
challenge going forward. – We’ll have to do our video on this. – Have you done any tests,
on the effects of alcohol on performance directly? – I personally haven’t, but
those studies have been done. In terms of cycling performance though, I’d need to go back and
study the literature, ’cause it’s not a
question that I get asked, seriously, that often. – A fascinating one, nonetheless. Okay, this is a question
now from James Gregory. How can you stop cramping
whilst riding? I did 75 miles, a 75 mile ride, a week,
two weeks ago, sorry, and at about 60 miles I started
to cramp around my knees, which is a little bit
unusual, I went through three 700 mil bottles beforehand. Should I drink more? – Well, James, we don’t have
any muscles around our knees, but I presume you mean
just above the knees, is where the cramping is,
and I know that feeling very well, it’s very painful. Unfortunately, as scientists,
we still don’t know what causes cramp. – Right.
– So, it’s hard to be really categoric about this, and so my answers come
more from experience, and actually you guys probably
have as much to contribute to this answer as I do. One of the things we notice
is when people haven’t trained heavily for a
while, and then they do some heavy training, that’s often
when the cramping comes on. – I’ve got that a few times recently. – Classically, first race of the season, that kind of thing, so it’s
the unaccustomed stressful exercise that seems to one
of the triggers for cramp. So in those circumstances, just
more training, more racing, and it will gradually disappear. The other situation where
you often find riders struggling with cramp, is when it gets hot and they’re not used to it, and so there’s a suggestion that it
might be something to do with fluid or electrolyte balance. And again, as you accumulate
exposure to the heat, so you get more used
to riding in the heat, the cramping seems to diminish,
in those circumstances too. The drinking side, the
suggestion is that actually if you take a little bit more fluid and perhaps even add some electrolytes, that might help, the evidence
for that is less clearcut, but it’s gonna make you feel good. – I’ve heard, a friend of
mine, Mike, back in the day, who suffered from cramp quite a lot, and he read somewhere that quinine actually helped with cramp,
and so he used to take, I think it was, soda
water with him on a ride, and it actually stopped. Do you know anything about that? So yeah, quinine apparently. – Like tonic? – Yeah, tonic water, sorry. – And bitter lemon, they
both have quinine in. Again, this is one of those suggestions that goes way, way back,
and there isn’t any categoric evidence to
suggest that you can clear it in that way, as to say,
part of the problem is we don’t actually
know what causes cramp in the first instance,
so it’s not being able to pin down why it happens,
we can’t be so prescriptive on how to get rid of it either, and it’s really down to you guys saying, well, when I’ve experienced
it, it’s been under these circumstances,
and these are the things that seem to make a difference. – I was fortunate actually,
I didn’t used to experience cramp much at all, in
fact, for many years, I just thought cramp was aching legs until it actually happened to
me for the first time. (crosstalk) – I have a great story
about a young cyclist who I was coaching for
a while, who got cramp while sitting in his
friend’s house, on the sofa. Unfortunately, the friend’s
dog was sat in front of him, as he cramped, he shot his
leg forward and knocked the dog out. (laughter) – Sorry, we understand
the dog is fine now. – Absolutely. – My reaction to that, I do apologise for. One more question? – Yeah, we’ve only got
time for one more question, unfortunately, and this one
comes in from Brad Lamb, It’s quite a long question, so I’ll try and truncate it slightly,
it’s about interval training, how do you know when you’ve
done too many intervals, at what stage do you know
that you should no longer do intervals for your benefit. He gives the example, if
you wanted to do a set of 300 watt intervals, would
you keep going until you’re unable to maintain 285 watts for example? – Well, firstly, was it Brad? He wants to know too many intervals, I’d like to know when I’ve done enough. (crosstalk) The answer to this question
really depends upon the purpose of the intervals. So he’s provided a context
here, which suggests that he’s doing sort of, a good,
solid endurance training ones, rather than quality sprint
efforts, and so the answer varies depending on what
you’re trying to do. So if we take the simplest
example, you’re doing intervals because you’re trying to
accumulate power output, at a really high,
sprint-level performance, once you can’t reach
those sprint performance, that’s a good time to stop. So, if you start to feel any deterioration in your sprinting
performance, if you’re doing those kind of intervals, then
you’ve probably done enough. Once you go into longer
intervals, then you’re building a lot of endurance and
then you can sustain more intervals, because if
there’s a bit of a drop off, you’re still working harder than you could if you were doing continuous
effort, ’cause you’re doing effort, rest, effort,
rest, or partial recovery. So you can keep going
for longer, so actually, the answer varies depending
on whether you’re looking for really high quality
efforts, good recovery, and as soon as the performance drops off, that’s a good time to stop. If it’s more of an endurance
and fatigue resistance thing, then you can push it quite a lot longer, you can, basically you can
keep going quite a while. And there’s an anecdote
that, Froome for example, when he was doing his interval training, he used to keep going until he basically could hardly produce any
power at all in his intervals, he’d kind of ride himself into
the ground doing intervals, because he was really building endurance rather than power output for sprinting. – Well maybe that left
him feeling better about the session because like you said before, he was finishing easier than he started. (crosstalk) – So it’s one of those
ones where it depends upon the aim, but if you’re
looking for quality, then as soon as you
start to feel the drop, but if you’re looking for endurance and fatigue resistance that
you can keep going much longer. – Amazing, well thank you
so much for your time. – Yeah, cheers Louis, that was absolutely enlightening, in fact,
we need to do this again, really, really enjoyed that,
and thank you very much for answering all those questions, pity we couldn’t fit anymore in. – Yeah, hopefully we’ll
do it again sometime, but in the meantime, we’ve
got a couple of our own GCN does science videos,
which you might want to have a quick look at now, firstly, how much difference does
it make to have flat pedals versus clipless pedals,
that is in this corner just down here. – And we also had a look at, well, does saddle height actually matter. And that was filmed at
the University of Bath, and you can find that by
clicking just down here, and don’t forget to subscribe to GCN, don’t miss another one of our
videos, click on the globe.

100 comments on “Sports Science Special With Prof. Louis Passfield | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

  1. Brilliant content! One of the best cycling related session Ive ever watched on youtube. Really interesting.

  2. I usually ride early in the morning for about 75 minutes on an empty stomach. I am going to do my first 5 hour ride and want to know should I be eating before I start or along the way? I don't really want to feel sick at the start of the ride.

  3. The best AskGCNything ever. Theme based, your guest, Professor Passfield was a great supplement. More of "Ask the experts" invited.

  4. FANTASTIC! Thank you very much for this Guys. And please have Dr. Passfield back on the show soon. Thanks again and keep up the awesome work. Cheers

  5. Hello gcn.. i just want to ask if running is that good fir cyclists because last weekend i had a race so i had to train during the week but i can't go out riding bucause i'm studiying all day long and in the night i just get on the running belt and make a 5km high intensity run…However when i got on the bike after 2 days of no running i noticed that my legs are burning and my heart rate is quite lote even though i'm on a low gear ! #askgcn #torqueback

  6. Three glasses of wine on the night before ride has had mildly detrimental effect in riding performance for me. This combined with not being fully recovered means tiredness after 20 miles ride in local hills (A2/M25/M26 triangle).

  7. #TORQUEBACK
    In relation to cramp. I studied sports science at college and we did a study on causes of cramping. We actually found that hydrated athletes with low Potassium levels in the body had more chance of cramping. Hydration is key, but good levels of potassium in an athletes diet can keep cramp at bay. Bananas Bananas Bananas!

  8. This was a great discussion. Please have Professor Passfield back again. It was a very interesting and enlightening conversation.

  9. Hopefully a quick one. I've been trying to find a video GCN published with an American Gentleman (shorter, glasses on head, two hooped earrings, fish t-shirt) narrating and offering guidance on bike fitting/sizing. I can't think of his name, nor after a month of searching the internet or my view history have I've found it. I found it especially useful, as it I found rather more in depth with reasoning vice the past two videos with Simon and Dan. I'm relatively certain GCN did publish this, however my wife tells me I've been known to confuse memories as fact- go figure. Any help?

  10. When is it time to change road clipless pedals? The screw to tight the pedal tension started to scratch the carbon sole of my brand new Giro Empire ACC shoes! 🙁
    #TorqueBack

  11. #torqueback I always seem to find myself in a position where I am racing with aching legs. I normally forget about the race and decided to run a marathon the day before. Could you give me advice on what to do when I realise that my legs are in agony on the day of my race

  12. GREAT SHOW!! It is always a pleasure hear intelligent and cultivated people talk. Surely Professor Passfield is one of them. So added to the regular cup of information you already provide, you've managed to enhance that experience. Please repeat!!

  13. #torqueback A question for the Prof: I've been wondering for a while, is there any long term effect of exercise as a child if you stop exercising in adulthood and then return years later? I know many people who were very active as kids, then not so as young adults and then quickly regained fitness when they returned to exercise, seemingly much quicker than others who were not so active as children. Is there any evidence of any conditioning from lots of exercise as kids? Perhaps a mitochondrial effect? Thanks so much.

  14. That James guy with the knee cramps might want to check/lower his saddle height and positioning relative to the cleats.

  15. #torqueback Is there a rough rule to take your FTP and predict the power that you should aim for, for a given duration – say 4 hours over a mid length sportive? Thanks!

  16. #torqueback Hi GCN one question. Why the sport directors drive the team cars themselves during the race when they have to speak to riders and handle with their stuff compromising race safety. Why someone else doesn't drive so the SD can do their job with more safety.? Sorry for the poor English.

  17. Human psychology shows we remember the most recent painful experience and avoid them than pain that starts earlier and finishes in an less painful end plus something that gets harder makes the brain think of future pain and that has a memory effect we wish to avoid

  18. New research shows a spicy intake helps with cramp vs pure hydration. its not just lost salts thats the problem. Someone has a gel out to combat it

  19. What a pleasure to listen to someone who really knows what he is talking about on the technical topics (sorry, I didn't intend that to sound insulting, fellas). Really glad I saw this one and look forward to seeing more in the future.

  20. Almost 1M subscribers and over a quarter of a billion views. When are you guys going to add a female presenter? #torqueback

  21. #torqueback What type of training do you advocate for while at altitude? Do you advocate for training with supplemental oxygen while at altitude?

  22. #torqueback hello GCN. I have a question. Should I wear an functional Undershirt under my Jersey when it is warm?

  23. the old guy is the same age as me, and has lost same at max heart rate – I've lost 10 beats also. It is about 189 now.

  24. #torqueback I have been reading about putting parafin wax on the chain rather than degreasing and putting chain lube on. Is this acceptable and recommended, or should I stick with degreasing and putting the chain lube on? Colm McGuire

  25. Enjoyed this a lot but 20:30 makes no sense.
    (1) We don't know what causes cramp
    (2) We do know what cures cramp
    It's entirely plausible for these to both be true. (1) might help with (2) but it's not necessary. Natural penicillin has been used for centuries before anyone had any idea about bacteria.

  26. Enjoyed having the Prof on. He gives you guys a bit more credibility, no? Bring him on again in the future, will you.

  27. #Torqueback Next time Prof. Passfield is on: I understand that sleep is critical for rebuilding the muscle that you break-down during training. But does this mean REM sleep? Is lying down and resting the same thing as sleeping for recovery? thanks

  28. If Peter Sagan was using disc brakes in the Tour of Flanders, would Greg Van Avermaet have landed right on a rotor? He seemed to land on Peter's wheel in the crash

  29. What about if the weather is shit and you don't have access to a bike or gym can do hundreds of bodyweight squats to maintain cycling fitness?

  30. So it can take as long to get back to your peak as the amount of time you took off? 16 years in my case, bugger.

  31. Please make a GCN does a heavy night at the pub video! Would be quality entertainment, and good info as it is regular part of my training plan lol. You could have each rider drink a different amount and see how much their power drops the next morning on a steep climb of course

  32. Nice one GCN!
    it would be great to have something similar from a sports physio too..
    How to manage cramps best?
    Stretches to relieve back pain?
    How to avoid wrist or hand numbness?

  33. I live in the peak district but do some circuit racing on closed circuits, should I get aero bars or standard ones #torqueback

  34. Great show – very informative! Professor Passfield is both hugely informative and wonderfully enjoyable to listen to. More regular sessions with him, please! GCN is terrific – thanks!

  35. #Torqueback #askgcnything I saw that Si, Dan and lately Matt too wear wedding rings. I got married last year. My Q is: Do you wear rings when cycling? Do you have any pro tips "How to wear your wedding ring like a PRO" aaaand my weight is culminating on and off season and during the season (when in shape) I am loosing my ring. Any tips for this?

  36. Is there a quantifiable evidence to periodic fasting to losing weight.  I have enjoyed riding in the mornings on an empty stomach for rides less than 3 hrs, then going home to eat a meal.  Any harm in that process?

  37. By the way, can you tell us where are those beautiful country roads and lanes where you go riding, in case we want to go cycling in the UK?

  38. For the question about what is better for all overweight cyclist. From my perspective and experience longer rides are not better at all, they're worse. You will burn more calories but you will also get way hungrier. Way hungrier, to the point where you can't refuse yourself. I was able to easily lose weight when I was doing frequent shorter rides then when I did long rides. And there is no scientific proof that exercising actually causes weight loss. So yeah I say stick to shorter (a bit less than an hour) sessions, ideally right before meal.

  39. I love GCN by one simple reason. "You not know what you gonna see but that will always be something good". Thanks to Professor Louis Passfield and all other inovative people who work at GCN!

  40. people on internet like to ask, how many watt can they gain in 3 month, 6 month, whatever. The thing is I've seen cyclists gain 10-15w per year by training smartly, consistently but hard, 8hr per week. After 5 years the gain still is 10-15w. And why does it take so much time for our body to improve FTP, is not something you can find on the net. I hope the professor can help answer that.

  41. A question that might take some research. I get a lot of flak for riding in long sleeves in the summer which I do to minimize sun exposure to my arms in order to lower skin cancer risk. What is the cost ( if any) in cooling or heat retention to wearing long sleeves vs short sleeves?

  42. I've learned a ton from Louis Passfield's appearances on GCN and I wouldn't have known to look him up without this channel. As a result, I just bought his book, Training with Power Meters (2015) and I'm excited to deepen my understanding of why and how we do what we do on the bike.

  43. I would love to see ANY marginal gain from shaving legs….lmao….it would be so minimal as to be pointless….ive always understood its to do with everyday massage….I cant see any marginal gain over a longer race than a few metres and even then it would be hard to prove….

  44. how about a challenge video, the effects of alcohol on performance. there is a great one online about golf. surely a drunk cycling experiment for you guys?

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