Skip to main content

Individualised Methods of Prescribing Exercise in Cycling

Coakley, Sarah Louise (2015) Individualised Methods of Prescribing Exercise in Cycling. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:54860)

Language: English
Download (1MB) Preview
[thumbnail of 137Coakley PhD Thesis.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format


Training is a complex, multi-factorial process, which involves the manipulation of the duration, frequency and intensity of exercise. When quantifying the physiological and performance responses to training a large inter-individual variability in training responses is frequently observed. To date, the majority of research has examined the relationship between genetics and trainability. Another hypothesis, which has not been fully explored, is that the variability is also due to an inappropriate standardisation of exercise intensity or duration. This thesis, therefore, presents a series of studies that investigate the effects of individualised methods of prescribing exercise intensity and duration on performance and physiological responses in cycling.

Study 1 compared time-to-exhaustion (TTE) to time-trial (TT) performances when the duration of the trials were matched and participants were blinded to feedback. A higher mean power output was found for TTE compared to TT at 80% (294 ± 44 W vs. 282 ± 43 W respectively, P<0.05), but not at 100% (353 ± 62 W vs. 359 ± 74 W) and 105% (373 ± 63 W vs. 374 ± 61 W) of maximum aerobic power (MAP). Critical power (CP) calculated from the TTE trials was also higher, whereas, anaerobic work capacity (W?) was lower (P<0.05). The findings favour TTE over TT performances for a higher mean power output and calculated CP.

Study 2 compared the effects of three training intensities: moderate intensity (MOD), high intensity (HIT) and a combination of the two (MIX) when the duration of exercise was individualised. Participants were randomly assigned to one training group and trained 4 times per week for 4-weeks. Training duration was individualised to each participant’s maximum performance. All training groups increased maximal oxygen uptake (V?O2max), MAP, TTE and gross efficiency (GE) after training (P<0.05), but no differences were observed between groups (P>0.05). Therefore, when the duration of training is individualised, similar improvements in performance and physiological responses are found, despite differences in exercise intensity.

The CP and power law models propose power-duration relationships that describe maximum endurance capacity. Study 3 compared the predictive ability of these two models for TTE performances. It was hypothesised that the CP and power law models would reliably predict actual TTE for intensities between 80-110% MAP, but a power

Two main conclusions can be drawn from this thesis. Firstly, a power law model can accurately predict and describe cycling endurance performance across a wide range of intensities. Secondly, prescribing exercise intensity using a power law model reduces the variability in TTE by 50% when compared to a %V?O2max prescription method. Therefore, the methods used to standardise exercise intensity appear to be related to the variability in TTE performances. Future research should examine whether training prescribed using a power law model reduces the variability in subsequent training responses.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Passfield, Louis
Thesis advisor: Jobson, Simon
Thesis advisor: Ingham, Steve
Uncontrolled keywords: Power law, %V?O2max, Variability, Time-to-exhaustion, Training
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure > Sports sciences
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1235 Physiology of sports
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2016 17:00 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:34 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):