Wattbike has funded a PhD study into the benefits of off-feet conditioning led by Tim Rogers, an experienced Strength & Conditioning Coach. Having worked within the sport industry for over 20 years, Rogers is no stranger to working with athletes in order to keep them at their peak performance. He has worked with athletes across a wide range of sports including Rugby Union, Basketball, Waterpolo, Football, Swimming and Judo…. (to name just a few).
Splitting his time between professional and elite-level sport, Rogers has also consulted at organisations including the Australian Institute of Sport, Chinese Olympic Committee, Malaysia Sports Institute and most recently, as a consultant for the Sarawak Sports Corporation in Borneo.
“The focus of the PhD was off-feet conditioning, specifically using short explosive sprints on the Wattbike and seeing what sort of benefit they could provide.” Rogers explains. “We conducted a survey to see how off-feet conditioning was being used in practice.”
This included a review of the Wattbike inbuilt 6-second test in comparison to other testing methods, for example if it was sensitive to fatigue (acute use), a pilot study to check the protocol as well as a training study to identify if there were any benefits to on-feet conditioning.
For the study, Wattbike was the testing tool of choice due to its accuracy, reliability and real-time data. The bikes inbuilt 6-second test was what Rogers wanted the research, and the subsequent training, based around.
“Wattbike was the testing tool of choice due to its accuracy, reliability and real-time data.”
“Other than the written survey, I used the Wattbike in every one of the training studies. We had some great participants from international and professional rugby, elite development rugby league, rugby 7’s and netball, all of whom were completely familiar with using the Wattbikes in training.”
“The Wattbike has the tests already loaded and ready to go, they are robust and impossible to break, give accurate metrics, are easy to use and the data is validated. Importantly, the Wattbike gives a real-ride feel, it was a no-brainer to use the Wattbikes.”
“Robust… accurate… validated…It was a no-brainer to use the Wattbikes.”
The survey suggested that nearly all coaches (over 90%) use some form of off-feet conditioning in their programming, and more often than not, this is utilising an indoor bike such as a Wattbike.
“The primary finding was that the off-feet training on the Wattbike improved or maintained running performance, and athletes reported a lower soreness score post training which could potentially increase sprint speed, especially acceleration. Ultimately, a little bit of off-feet conditioning won’t hurt you and may be advantageous – if the goal is to reduce soreness, then it’s a good option.”
“Ultimately, a little bit of off-feet conditioning won’t hurt you and may be advantageous.”
With the 6-second sprint conducted on the Wattbike (the acute test), the sprint was slightly sensitive, meaning it picked up a decrease in performance but still was found to be a better alternative to a jump test. The protocol test determined that a rest period of around 80 seconds between sprints was ideal for best performance.
“The data has all been collected, but now I am going through the long process of analysis. I’m currently working on the write-up part time, but hope to have the final results together by mid 2023.”
“However, I can say that the survey results suggest that most of the coaches asked, used off-feet conditioning to develop aerobic performance. I’m hoping the findings that off-feet conditioning using the Wattbike can be used to improve short duration maximal intensity performance, as well as reduce fatigue and soreness, will impact how coaches approach training their athletes moving forwards. My experience suggests most coaches already believe this, but to date, the research to back this up has been limited.”
“The Wattbike can be used to improve aerobic performance, as well as reduce fatigue and soreness.”
Wattbike funds and supports independent studies that further research, knowledge and forward thinking in the worlds of sport science, fitness and health. Keep an eye on the blog and sign up to the Wattbike newsletter to stay informed on the latest studies and findings.
To find out more about Tim Rogers and his work within elite sport, visitLinkedIn