Resistance training may aid cycle ergometry
By Dr. Reggie B. O'Hara, Health and Wellness Center
/ Published October 16, 2008
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Cardiorespiratory training is a substantial component when embarking on your fitness quest to successfully conquer cycle ergometry. However, participating in some form of resistance training is important when beginning training.
Engaging in leg resistance training at a relatively moderate to high intensity level is important because it recruits specific muscle fiber types in the leg muscles that are employed when taking the cycle ergometry test.
Aerobic training primarily recruits the more oxidative muscle fiber types and will definitely improve your chances of passing the cycle test.
Resistance training will elicit certain muscle fiber types that aerobic training may not.
Therefore, some form of moderately intensive leg resistance regimen should be included in the total physical conditioning program, especially if you have weaker leg musculature.
Begin training on machines, proceed to body weight exercises, and lastly, advance to free-weight exercises. Also, your current muscular fitness is important to address before embarking on your leg-strengthening mission.
When implementing a resistance-training program consider performing multi-joint movements, such as 45-degree bent knee leg presses or recumbent leg presses. These types of leg exercises work multiple muscle groups, such as the upper and back thigh muscles of the legs.
The previous examples are called multi-joint movements because many of the upper leg muscles pass over multiple joints, such as the hips and knees. In contrast, single joint movements, such as seated leg extensions and machine hamstring curls, are effective.
These exercises, however, take more time to perform during the workout and may increase shear forces at the joint. The beginner should start by performing one to two sets of eight to 16 repetitions, preferably one, and gradually add two repetitions every week until reaching the initial goal of 16 repetitions.
Begin training with a light workload and gradually increase weight as you gain strength. You must progressively increase resistance to continue making strength gains. Ensure that you first learn how to appropriately perform each movement phase of the lift.
When you increase weight to a modest level, slowly begin adding repetitions to work on muscular endurance within the leg musculature in order to maximize performance on the cycle test.
The ultimate goal is to increase the number of repetitions to 30 without resting. If you cannot perform 30 repetitions you may break this into two sets of 15 repetitions and simply reduce the rest period (30 to 60 seconds) between sets.
The resistance you are working against should cause you to reach failure of form. You should feel as though you could not perform another repetition using proper lifting form.
By performing 30 continuous repetitions on a leg resistance machine, your leg musculature will be better accustomed to handling this moderately heavy, but constant tension and your chances of receiving a high number of component test points on the cycle test could increase quite significantly.
Additionally, instead of breathing harder and experiencing that intense burn, your legs will feel much more comfortable, and your heart rate could be lowered due to the training effect.
For more information on cycle ergometry training contact the health and wellness center at 784-4292.