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Thread: Power-to-weight

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    Italian Stallion mcafiero's Avatar
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    Power-to-weight

    So this winter I was on a mission to gain power for sprints. Mission accomplished. My peak power is almost 300 watts higher and all my other numbers and I'm a half second faster on my flying 200 and it's just the beginning of the season. Great.

    Problem is that I have gained 15lbs and not all of it is muscle. I want to drop like 8 lbs in the next 10 weeks. Everyone says "don't do it, you'll lose power".

    I get it. But won't I also be lighter? And more aerodynamic? While I'll have less power will it be so much as to make me slower? I feel that a little less power and less weight might sort of even itself out.

    I'd rather be lighter.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by mcafiero; 05-09-12 at 07:03 PM. Reason: S
    "Go out hard. When it hurts... speed up"
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    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    Small body weight changes have nothing to do with aerodynamics. Sure Vincenzo Nibali will have less wind resistance than Ndamukong Suh, but 10 pounds is basically meaningless.
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    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayce View Post
    Small body weight changes have nothing to do with aerodynamics.
    This is what I've come to understand as well. The size of the rider has little affect on aerodynamics, or at least not enough to balance the loss of power from losing muscle mass when cutting weight.

    Also, power/weight ratio I really only becomes a big factor when climbing IMHO.
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    If you are below 6% I think losing weight will probably result in the loss of power...if on the other hand, you are carrying fat, you will see nothing but improvement
    losing it in a controlled manner. For a guy your size I would suggest a pound a week is easily done (well simply, if not easily). All elite level coaches work their
    riders toward a watt/kilogram range. Top international range is 26-28 watts/kg for men, 19-21 watts/kg for women. Pretty straightforward. More watts=faster
    Less weight=faster More watts & less weight equal much faster!

  5. #5
    Italian Stallion mcafiero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkWmTyson View Post
    If you are below 6% I think losing weight will probably result in the loss of power...if on the other hand, you are carrying fat, you will see nothing but improvement
    losing it in a controlled manner. For a guy your size I would suggest a pound a week is easily done (well simply, if not easily). All elite level coaches work their
    riders toward a watt/kilogram range. Top international range is 26-28 watts/kg for men, 19-21 watts/kg for women. Pretty straightforward. More watts=faster
    Less weight=faster More watts & less weight equal much faster!
    Just the man I secretly hoped to hear from. Thanks Mark.
    "Go out hard. When it hurts... speed up"
    I have a grande hairy chest and I am of Italian descent.
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    Of course...my pleasure.

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    Weight can impact aerodynamics to a degree. Loosing fat won't directly reduce your frontal area, as your upper body bulk won't be where the fat is. But loose some of the gut means you can get lower which can reduce your CdA.
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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkWmTyson View Post
    If you are below 6% I think losing weight will probably result in the loss of power...if on the other hand, you are carrying fat, you will see nothing but improvement
    losing it in a controlled manner. For a guy your size I would suggest a pound a week is easily done (well simply, if not easily). All elite level coaches work their
    riders toward a watt/kilogram range. Top international range is 26-28 watts/kg for men, 19-21 watts/kg for women. Pretty straightforward. More watts=faster
    Less weight=faster More watts & less weight equal much faster!
    Mark, don't tell this guy anything!! I have to race him in 11 weeks!!!

    (just kidding)
    Last edited by carleton; 05-10-12 at 12:36 AM.

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    Italian Stallion mcafiero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Mark, don't tell this guy anything!! I have to race him in 11 weeks!!!
    I need all the help I can get!
    "Go out hard. When it hurts... speed up"
    I have a grande hairy chest and I am of Italian descent.
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    Sad rude cycling dude The WC Cyclist's Avatar
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    Power to weight MAY have an effect in your jump. So in a match sprint you may get a slight advantage in the jump....buuuuut, power is king. I have a similar power to weight to my mate and in a jump we are fairly evenly matched. but his extra 450 watts max power ends up tearing me a new one once hes up to speed.
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    There certainly are other things that go into being a sprint athlete beside power to weight. Quickness, leg speed, balance, agility, etc all contribute to sprinting excellence. I would be interested to know what similar is and if both of you are sprinters. Interested in your specific data.

    Thanks

    Mark Tyson

  12. #12
    Italian Stallion mcafiero's Avatar
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    data? like numbers?
    I think the fastest RPM that I have recorded was 220
    Not sure what kind of data would give you an idea for balance or agility.
    As far as match sprinting smarts, I have a LOT of learning.
    Last year I was in a small handful of track races. The highlight for me was winning a Category B Chariot race.
    My athletic history - alpine trail running for the past 8 years. Was a ski patroller for 2 years so if you can count skiing/snow fence building / pulling medical and tool sleds as exercise, I used to do that 40 hours per week :-)
    Last year I ran the Vail Pass Half Marathon, Leadville Heavy Half, Horsetooth Half... all of the long running I did was at high altitude and on steep inclines. Ran the Pikes Peak Ascent 4 times and the Pikes Peak Marathon once. As a 200-pounder I was always better than the like-physiqued competitors (clydesdales), but didn't stand a chance against the 140 pounders.
    You'd think that would make me an endurance guy, but the way I ran on training days was on steep inclines and heavy on the HIIT program - short, fast bursts with 10-15 minute breaks going up mountains for 1-2 hours at a time.
    I'm 5'11, 203 at the moment (hope to get down to 195 by Nats) and I'm 35. Racing age is 36.
    This is a far cry from anything that might get me on the podium in a big race like Master's Nats but...
    Peak Power: 1833
    5 second: 1700
    10 second: 1547
    30 second: 1035
    1 minute: 740
    FTP: 320 (I know FTP doesn't really hold any bearing for sprinters)
    Best flying 200 (based off of just two that I have had timed so far this year): 12.08 at sea level in Carson, CA.
    Kilo is something like 1:15 also in Carson. But that was after riding my flying 200, team sprint (3rd position) a 500 (no time was recorded) in a single day.

    Last edited by mcafiero; 05-10-12 at 12:54 PM.
    "Go out hard. When it hurts... speed up"
    I have a grande hairy chest and I am of Italian descent.
    2010 Cannondale Supersix
    2011 Dolan DF3

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    Actually I was interested in the fellow who has a similar power to weight as his pal even though his pal rides 450 watts more. I got a pretty good idea what your numbers are!!!

  14. #14
    Italian Stallion mcafiero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkWmTyson View Post
    Actually I was interested in the fellow who has a similar power to weight as his pal even though his pal rides 450 watts more. I got a pretty good idea what your numbers are!!!
    Ohh... Well I have been waiting to hear if you think I'm a sprinter! Rich seems to think so but sometimes I wonder. Riding along side Marty I sometimes wonder!
    "Go out hard. When it hurts... speed up"
    I have a grande hairy chest and I am of Italian descent.
    2010 Cannondale Supersix
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    Less than a year ago you were the new guy on the bike that didn't fit too well...takes a while. Most coaches expect it to take
    three years to get decent...five years to get good...you've made decent in less than a year. That's a compliment.

  16. #16
    Italian Stallion mcafiero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkWmTyson View Post
    Less than a year ago you were the new guy on the bike that didn't fit too well...takes a while. Most coaches expect it to take
    three years to get decent...five years to get good...you've made decent in less than a year. That's a compliment.
    Definitely a compliment. Thanks. Now hopefully I can get good before I'm too much of an old man!! :-)
    "Go out hard. When it hurts... speed up"
    I have a grande hairy chest and I am of Italian descent.
    2010 Cannondale Supersix
    2011 Dolan DF3

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