Although not typically a focal point of group cycling, physiology plays an intimate role in the development and delivery of the group cycling program. Class sessions may focus on all or a single metabolic pathway, or incorporate intervals to engage all metabolic pathways within one class. Following is an overview of the energy continuum. Class instructors can use it to stimulate thought and creativity within the class structure.

Maximal oxygen consumption training (VO2max).The goal of a VO2max workoutis to increase the supply of oxygen at the level of the working muscle, which is an absolutely necessary component of performance for endurance events. The work period is three to eight minutes, at 80 to90 percent of maximumheart rate. The work-to-rest ratio is 2 to 1, or 1 to 1 (i.e., four minutes ofwork totwo minutes of rest, or four minutes ofwork tofour minutes ofrest).

Anaerobic threshold training (AnT).The goal of AnTis to produce lactic acid at such a rate that the body cannot dispose of it. This forces the body to adapt to the effects of lactic acid, buffer its effects, increase lactate removal, and increase tolerance physiologically and psychologically to the pain of training and competition. The work period is two to six minutes at 60 to85 percent of maximumheart rate. The work-to-rest interval is 1 to1 (i.e., five minutes ofwork tofive minutes ofrest).

Phosphate training system (Pts).The goal of Ptsis to increase the ability to be fast and efficient with less effort,while improving recovery. The work period is four to 15 seconds at 95 to100 percent of heart rate maximum. The work-to-rest interval is 1 to2 or3 (i.e., 10 seconds of work to 20 or30 seconds of rest).

Aerobic threshold training (ATT).The goal of ATTis to improve high aerobic capacity, which is a decisive factor for all events of medium and long duration, including daily living activities. This is important in lifestyle training when the oxygen supply represents a primary limiting factor. The work period includes a high volume of work performedat a uniform pace (20 minutes to two hours). This can also be accomplished with intervals using repetitions longer than five minutes. The recovery periodtypically equals the work interval.

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