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.