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Maximum Performance for Cyclists Paperback – March 10, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Velo Press (March 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193138262X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931382625
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,465,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Dr. Ross's book has been invaluable in my training.
Eric Silva
Dr. Ross has done meticulous research, footnoted every fact, and yet writes a very accessible, readable book.
Neil Hornbeck
Any serious or competitive cyclist should have this book in their library.
Wendy J. Sagett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Neil Hornbeck on June 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the best book on this subject that I have ever seen. The chapter on bike fit alone is worth the price of the book. Dr. Ross has done meticulous research, footnoted every fact, and yet writes a very accessible, readable book. The only drawback is that there is so much information that one reading is not enough. You would also have to be a truly dedicated cyclist to follow all of his advice, but this book is an excellent compendium of state of the art training tecniques.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bilbo on February 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is written by a US sports and emergency medicine physician who provides excellent physiological explanations as to what happens to the body in cycle training, and uses evidence to explain how to force these changes by targeted training in the shortest time.

For muscles, fitness for cycling comprises of increased mitochondria in each muscle cell (the cells 'batteries') and increasing the blood supply to the muscles by growing new blood vessels (angiogenesis) to optimise oxygen delivery and waste removal. A compelling argument as to why muscle fibres type IIa are optimal for cycling is given, and then ways in which to train so as to increase mitochondria, angiogenesis and performance of type IIa muscle fibres are provided, all referenced.

The author makes the point that traditional cycle training aims at volume of many hours riding to develop base endurance, then adding intensity and recovery. This is proven with many outstanding athletes having world championships and gold medals from it. This long slow miles approach is based on the then revolutionary training techniques of late Arthur Lydiard who produced a group of world champion middle-distance runners in the 50s and 60s. So why change a good thing? Citing referenced research, Ross contends, however, that long slow base miles can actually hinder performance by working only type I muscle fibres.

In essence what the book says is that to optimise performance intensity and recovery are the keys. This means hard work, intervals with maximal effort accompanied by recovery periods. Improved cycling performance is body adapting to vigorous exercise, and he defines how to optimise the adaptation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wendy J. Sagett on November 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Dr Ross has done an impressive job of putting the research into a usable resource for cyclists. His ideas are newer and different than some of the traditional training approaches. For example, he talks about making training more effective by using intensity in workouts instead of just slow base miles. He explains how his theories maximize the body's natural ability to maintain hormones that improve performance. My performance has improved due to this book, and so has the performance of many of my friends. Additionally, my bike fit is much better. This is the only book of its kind written by a physician and is a worthwhile investment. Any serious or competitive cyclist should have this book in their library. I also highly reccomend Dr Ross' other book Sports Medicine for Endurance Athletes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Justman on February 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found this much easier to read that than The Training Bible for some reason. It serves up some very non-traditional training ideas. For example, it rejects the idea of doing extended LSD training, arguing that it doesn't stress the right muscles enough and that it can actually hinder your fitness development! He has some easy-to-understand science to support this. Very thought-provoking at least.

I found the scientific explanations of how the aerobic engine gets built and the functions of Type 1/2 muscle fibers to be much easier to understand yet more in-depth than other resources I've read.

Very much worth a read for someone with some fundamental knowledge of periodized training for racing.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By K. Mills on April 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
Okay, first of all, 90% of this book is just a rehash of Morris's better-written Performance Cycling. See my review of that for more specific criticisms than you're going to get below.

What seems to be happening here is that about every 2 years, some amateur coach looks at a few lab studies and cries "Eureka! High intensity training is more effective than low intensity training!" Then they write a book, which quickly goes out of print.

Ross basically wants to you to do a modified Conconi test to figure your Critical Power which he (and no one else) defines as the power you can sustain for somewhere between 50 seconds and two minutes, depending on who you are. Then he bases his whole philosophy on that rather arbitrary number. Essentially, you will have to do intervals at some percentage of that power output for 4 days in a row, then take 3 days off.

He seems to think that long endurance training reduces type1 fiber size and that this reduces your endurance. So in his world, training endurance makes your endurance worse. I think the actual theory is that the reduction in fiber size allows for more efficient oxygen diffusion, but why get bogged down in all that complexity? He also still seems to think that lactic acid causes muscle fatigue--an embarrassingly outdated notion. Of course, there is also no discussion of things like Intensity Factors and Training Stress Scores that have become so important with the advent of power meters.

The idea here is that coaches like Michele Ferrari and every pro endurance athlete on the planet are just wasting their time and that they'd be much better off reducing their total training volume to about 3-4 hours/week.
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