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Why Cyclists Should Squat in Weightlifting Shoes

Often you'll see cyclists wearing weightlifting shoes in the gym, particularly the sprinters, but also endurance cyclists. Particularly following leading research around the benefits of strength & conditioning in the development of endurance cyclists.

So, what are weightlifting shoes?

Weightlifting shoes have a heel that is raised by three-quarters of an inch to one inch. There’s just enough traction on these shoes for what a lifter on a platform needs: to not slip and slide when under a heavy load.

If you have a hard time dorsiflexing your ankles all the way in a squat or clean position, weightlifting shoes will help you a lot. Because of the raised heel, less ankle mobility is required.

In our video blog, expert weightlifting coach Max Dal Santo discusses some of the major benefits of using weightlifting shoes. 

Are you utilising weightlifting shoes in the gym? Leave us a comment below.

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Cycling Training Using a Heart Rate Monitor

cycling science training Dec 05, 2016

A lot of training programmes speak of doing an activity at a certain percentage of maximum. Often this will be maximum heart rate.

But here’s the thing...

Unsurprisingly, there is no one size fits all method. We are all, as ever, individual.

I'm going to share with you now:

  • some of the different environmental elements which affect heart rate
  • variation in people
  • different approaches to working out heart rate zones
  • a way of measuring heart reate without any monitors at all

When I work on people’s training programmes, these are variables which I consider to help tailor the right programme for each individual rider. 

Let’s look at some of the variables.

One is certainly very appropriate here in Brisbane. As I write it is about 30 degrees C outside.

If your core temperature rises so does your pulse.

What that is likely to do is to see you using a greater amount of carbohydrate – burning through the stores faster - than you would have done...

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Track Cycling Nutrition for Race Day

These are common questions for track cyclists leading up to race day:

What types of foods should I eat during race day, especially in between sprint or pursuit rounds?

Do I just keep topping up on snacks during race day, or do I have a meal during the day?

My nerves impact my ability to eat leading up to race events, what should I do?

Good nutrition habits are an absolute foundation to cycling success, and will make a big difference to your performance.

Race day nutrition involves trial and error, and of course planning to reap the benefits.

In this video, our expert Cycling Nutritionist, Ali Disher gives you some great tips on nutrition for race day.

Do you plan your meals and time them accordingly with your race events?

Do your pre-race nerves get the better of you?

Drop us a line in the comment box below, we’d love to hear from you!

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Understanding Lactate for Track Cyclists

cycling science Nov 22, 2016

Michael Jordan here, the Track Cycling Academy's Physiological Performance Analyst.

Now here is a lovely graph. What does it tell us?

More than we ever need to know! But I like it a lot!

This graph, to me, is the basis of a lot of physical training theory. OK, there are so many more lines that you could plot on here. But then you’d have clutter.

My job with the Track Cycling Academy is to take something extraordinarily complex and to make this simple, so that you can go in to a session focused on executing the job, and not worrying about all the other combinations of session you could be doing.

Here’s another thought...

Before we begin talking about our graph:

  • You eat food, which represents your energy.
  • You process the energy to fuel.

Let me take a direct quotation from my favourite Exercise Physiology textbook, which is McArdle, Katch and Katch. My 2016 edition arrived in March 2016. This, to me, is really exciting. I haven’t been to a cinema in 10 years. I am...

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How to Increase Your 'In The Saddle' Strength

With the natural progression and increases in gearing, coupled with the importance of aerodynamics, developing ‘in the saddle’ strength and power has never been so important.

We'll discuss the benefits of improving your in the saddle strength, power and speed levels and the possibilities it will open up for better track cycling performance. 

So, have you ever raced an opponent who looked as though they weren’t even really trying - seamlessly riding past you, or getting away from you whilst remaining in their saddle?

This is usually a telltale sign of excellent in the saddle strength, power and speed.

Here’s a few of the benefits that improving your in the saddle strength, power and speed will have on your performance:

Greater use of the larger muscle groups (resulting in better power numbers)

Developing great in the saddle strength requires you to utilise your gluteus maximus (glute) muscles to a greater extent.

If you find yourself needing to get...

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Our Top 3 Mindset Strategies to Achieve Your Best Performances

mindset Nov 07, 2016

Some of the athletes we work with are exceptional performers in training environments but when it comes to race day, unhelpful mental habits take over, and their performances suffer.

Does this sound like you?

Do your nerves get in the way of your legs powering to personal bests? or

Have you got the ‘angel on one shoulder, and devil on the other’ syndrome where one positive thought is counteracted by a negative thought which ultimately leaves you doubting your abilities?

We want to offer you our top 3 mental strategies to help overcome barriers to achieving your best!

Process vs Outcome

One of the biggest mistakes that athletes make as they enter race events is putting too much focus on the outcome and forgetting the process.

When we become too outcome focused, we forget all the crucial steps that make up the process to achieve the desired outcome.

Example of this might include getting on the start line for the time trial being so hell-bent on achieving your PB time...

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Two Major Benefits of Using Narrow Track Handlebars

bike set up equipment Oct 31, 2016

A stock standard 38 or 40 cm (width) handlebar, sometimes even wider is what you’ll usually get from your supplier in purchasing a new track bike and when you’re just getting started on the track, they will probably do the job.

But as you get more experienced and spend more time on the track, you may want to consider a narrower handlebar.

The popularity of the narrower handlebar - particularly with sprint events and becoming increasingly popular across bunch race track endurance events has a lot to do with aerodynamics and race positions.

Improving Race Positions

At this year’s Olympic Games, you may have noticed some of the top track cyclists,  - Jason Kenny, Matthijs Buchli, and Kristina Vogel all flying round the track on very narrow handle bars particularly in the keirin events.

In bunch race events, particularly keirins and scratch races, navigating tight spaces between riders to improve your race position is made easier with the use of narrow handlebars....

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Attention Road Riders: How Track Cycling Will Help Your Road Cycling Performance

training Oct 17, 2016

Question: Bradley Wiggins, Rohan Dennis, Mark Cavendish, Taylor Phinney, Jack Bobridge all have what in common?

Answer: They’ve all been champions in BOTH track and road cycling environments.

Track cycling isn’t as common a sport as most would think, in fact there seems to be a perception that track cycling doesn’t cater for the recreational market.

However, if you’re a road rider, and haven’t experienced riding track, you’re missing out on the benefits that track cycling lends to road cycling performance.

Here's 3 of the most important benefits that track cycling will have on your road performance:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Physiology
  3. Bike Handling

Efficiency

When we refer to efficiency, we are talking about a number of areas such as:

  • A rider’s ability to reduce unnecessary movements to ensure a direct power line
  • A rider’s ability to maximise all areas of the pedal stroke, and the consistency of generated force from left to right
  • A...
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The Importance of Aerobic System Development in Track Cyclists

cycling science training Oct 10, 2016

Whether you're a track sprinter or track endurance rider - developing your aerobic system is CRUCIAL to your cycling success. 

Why?

Aerobic fitness is the base level energy system which requires oxygen.

By working on your aerobic fitness base, you’ll achieve a number of things - here's a few:  

  • Your ability to recover will be improved
  • Your ability to sustain higher functional threshold powers over a long period of time will be strong
  • You will improve your ability to back up between racing sessions and events
  • Your immune system will be stronger
  • Your ability to develop and improve on your anaerobic and ATP-CP systems will be more successful

In addition to the more obvious benefits of developing your aerobic system, there are a few that are often an afterthought.

For example, a sprint athlete who is to reach the final rounds will complete anywhere between 6 and 11 races (including the flying 200m qualification), sometimes on the same day (dependent on...

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How to Change Your Track Gears

How do you change your track gears? Are you getting all the steps right? 

For those of you who are having trouble with changing gears fluently, our Head Coach Kerrie Meares offers a video guide to successfully change your gears!  

The equipment you're going to need to change your track gears are:

  • Chain rings and cogs to fit your bike crank and rear wheel
  • Allen key (usually 5mm) to unscrew and re-screw chainring bolts
  • Chain-whip
  • 15mm spanner (or spanner/allen key required to loosen and retighten rear wheel)
  • Lock ring (for wheels requiring it)

A few weeks ago, we put a blog post together offering tips to changing gears, if you missed it - click here and we'll take you straight to it! 

TAKE 2 MINUTES AND WATCH HOW TO CHANGE YOUR GEARS - LIKE A PRO:

  1. Find a chair and hang your bike on a rack
  2. Loosen chainring bolts in a STAR pattern
  3. Remove chainring
  4. CHAIN WHIP - Use your bodyweight to LOOSEN cog ANTI-clockwise
  5. TIP - Place thumb to...
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