Cycling-specific isometric resistance training improves peak power output in elite sprint cyclists: Isometric training improves PPO in elite cyclists

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



External departments

  • Loughborough University
  • University of Bath
  • North West University
  • Coventry University
  • The Football Association


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1594-1604
Number of pages11
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number9
Early online date29 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a 6-week cycling-specific, isometric resistance training program on peak power output (PPO) in elite cyclists. Methods: Twenty-four elite track sprint cyclists were allocated to EXP (n = 13, PPO, 1537 ± 307 W) and CON (n = 11, PPO, 1541 ± 389 W) groups. All participants completed a 6-week training program; training content was identical except participants in the EXP group replaced their usual compound lower body resistance training exercise with a cycling-specific, isometric resistance training stimulus. Cycling PPO, knee extensor and cycling-specific isometric strength, and measures of muscle architecture were assessed pre- and post-training. Results: In EXP, absolute and relative PPO increased (46 ± 62 W and 0.8 ± 0.7 W/kg, P <.05), and the change in relative PPO was different to CON (−0.1 ± 1.0 W/kg, group × time interaction P =.02). The increase in PPO was concurrent with an increase in extrapolated maximal torque in EXP (7.1 ± 6.5 Nm, P =.007), but the effect was not different from the change in CON (2.4 ± 9.7 Nm, group × time P =.14). Cycling-specific isometric strength also increased more in EXP (group × time P =.002). There were no other between-group differences in response to training. Conclusion: A 6-week novel, cycling-specific isometric resistance training period improved PPO in a group of elite sprint cyclists by 3%-4%. These data support the use of a cycling-specific isometric resistance training stimulus in the preparation programs of world-class cyclists.

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