Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Gadgets And Techniques To Boost Your Cycling Recovery

Difficulty: 0

- That's actually mental.

(dramatic sound)

Welcome to part three of my quest to take on the hour record

and see if I can beat the legendary Eddy Merckx

and his distance of 49.431 kilometers.

This is going to be the hardest physical challenge

I've ever undertaken.

And no matter what you're training for, in order to improve,

get fitter, and stronger, you need to recover.

Now recovery is often overlooked,

but it's where the gains are made.

It's where the body rebuilds itself

and becomes stronger than it was before.

Given the task at hand then,

and given I'm going to be training harder

than I've ever trained before,

I need all the help I can get.

Several brands have got in touch to suggest things

that I could do.

So let's see how I can try and maximize my recovery.

(dramatic music)

Starting with this, the Theragun.

The Theragun looks

like Marvin the Martians disintegration pistol,

but the only thing this bad boy

is going to be disintegrating

are the knots in my tired limbs.

One of the advantages of Theragun is

you can self-administer massages with it.

Ideally I'd be getting daily sports massages

while I'm training for this challenge,

but unfortunately that's not possible.

So this makes for an alternative.

Right, prepare to be disintegrated.

(Theragun whirring)

Using percussive therapy it vibrates

and pounds your muscles much like a robot masseuse.

The 40 percussions per second have 16 millimeters of travel

helping to improve circulation

and blood flow.

(groovy music)

There are different head attachments

and post exercise two minutes per muscle group

is recommended with the corresponding app

and well, feels quite good actually.

Interestingly the Theragun is increasingly being used

by physiotherapists and masseuses too

and is said to be beneficial in breaking up scar tissue

and alleviating joint pain.

However I am mainly using it for the massage benefits

and if there's one thing pro cyclists swear by for recovery

it's massages.

(upbeat tempo music)

The next thing I'm going to try is a PowerDot.

Now this is an e-stim unit

that attaches electrodes to your muscles

and then sends electric current through to stimulate them

and supposedly aid recovery.

Several top cyclists are said to be using it

and swear by it.

So I thought I'd try it out for myself.

The PowerDot works with a corresponding smart phone app

and in that you select the muscle group

that you want to target,

in my case the quads

and then it shows you visually

where you should put the pads in order to do that.

Then you get to select which kind of program you want.

So I've gone for recovery

but there's also things like

a massage or a warm-up.

Things like that, as well.

(calm uptempo music)

Right, I'm going to start it up.

I don't know what's going to happen.

Using the app you control the intensity

of the electrodes.

I'm up to three and it's tingling.


(upbeat tempo music)

I'm up to six and my legs are really starting to feel it.

The idea is that it's able to give temporary pain relief

from sore or aching muscles that you've got from exercise

and the electrical stimulation when effectively combined

with regular physical training

is said to significantly improve the performance

of those muscles too.

They're certainly stimulating my muscles (breathy laughing).

It feel like I'm having a massage

which is quite strange

but next I'm going to look at sleep.

Sleep is absolutely crucial to recovery.

Loads of important processes happen when you're asleep.

Your body releases hormones like human growth hormone

which is crucial for rebuilding your body

and insufficient sleep

can lead to increased level of cortisol

which is the stress hormone can lead to weight gain.

(wind blowing)

When I said I was willing to try anything,

I wasn't lying.

This is an altitude tent

and despite my blood oxygen saturation being 89%

no we're not camping in a field

at 3,000 meters above sea levels.

We're in fact in the urban serenity and convenience

of my bedroom.

(calm deep music)

Top endurance athletes reportedly use altitude tents

for endurance gains.

The theory being that they help your body produce

more red blood cells.

The more red blood cells you have,

the more oxygen that your body can process,

the higher your VO2 Max

and the bigger your aerobic capacity.

The composition of the air is 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen

and 1% argon.

Now, by connecting the tent to a hypoxyic generator

the composition of the air can be changed.

The generator pumps in air

that has a higher proportion of nitrogen.

Meaning that the oxygen is only around 14%

and the theory behind this is that it forces the body

to adapt to what is available.

Now in doing this the body then starts to produce EPO

in the kidneys.

EPO being a hormone responsible for making red blood cells.

(calm tempo music)

You can basically get fitter just by sleeping.

Sounds brilliant, doesn't it?

One caveat with this technique though

is that not everyone responds to altitude training.

You might feel the benefits

or you might be one of those people

that doesn't get any physiological response.

It might also negatively impact your sleep.

However one skill I do have in abundance is sleep skills.

I could sleep for Britain.

However to make sure that my cat naps aren't curtailed

and my hibernation isn't hindered,

I've literally got a gadget up my sleave.

(upbeat drum tempo)

Now this is a WHOOP.

You may have seen Psy and J-Pow talking about them

and wearing them in videos in the past.

And it's a gadget that's specifically designed

to monitor your recovery.

Now it does so by connecting to an app

on your smartphone

and it monitors your sleep.

But it also tracks your heart rate

and your heart rate variability, too.

And using special algorithms it's able to quantify that

and give you a score.

This is useful as it tells you how recovered you are

and able to therefore perform and train.

I also find it really useful in my life

because I'm training around a full time job

and other commitments

and sometimes I'll have a busy day at work.

I'll be on my feet lots

but I've not actually trained

and I feel like I've not done anything

and I'll have a session planned in the evening

from Neil and Mack from the Sufferfest

and I'll go home and I'll just feel really tired.

But then there's a danger

that you can beat yourself up mentally

because you tell yourself,

well you shouldn't feel tired,

'cause you've not actually done anything today.

And that's where the WHOOP comes in handy

because it says actually you've done a lot today.

You've been on your feel a lot and you should feel tired.

Don't worry that's normal, chill out.

And it's nice to have that positive reinforcement

but also it's used for teaching you

how other things affect recovery.

So if you drink alcohol or you don't get enough sleep

or if you spend all day on your feet

or even if you're not hydrated enough,

you're not drinking enough water.

And it's cool that it makes you accountable

by way of a score.

It might not work for everyone

but for me it's kind of like a game.

I want to beat my score.

Interestingly if you're ill or coming down with a virus,

your resting heart rate will usually be higher

than a couple of days before.

And the WHOOP measures it

at a specific point in your sleep cycle every night

for consistency.

And just before I got ill with a virus last week

my resting heart rate was about 10 beats per minute higher.

(calming music)

In addition to my other training

my coaches Neil and Mack from the Sufferfest

have been getting me to do some yoga.

Now having never done it before

I wasn't sure why either

but I'm now a convert.

It helps me relax but it's also great

for joints and muscles

and key to riding in a really agressive aerodynamic position

is flexibility and it's great for that too.

(peaceful music)

I find it more mentally stimulating then just stretching

and it pushes me more in terms of flexibility too

but yoga's said to have a whole host of benefits

for cyclists.

Things like improved core strength,

decreased injury risk, improved breathing,

but to be honest it just kind of makes me feel good

and puts me in a positive mood

and I don't think you can ever underestimate that.

Oh, god (murmurs).


It's worth bearing in mind

that as much as you should look to enhance your recovery

it's not a replacement for training

and you also shouldn't neglect the basics, as well.

You need to focus on good quality sleep,

rest, and nutrition above all else.

And it's kind of like

what I said in a weight loss video as well,

you can't out train a bad diet.

The same can be said for recovery.

(swiping sound)

When you finish a workout getting in protein

and carbs is absolutely key to recovery.

And while I'm a fan of real food,

sport specific products are great

'cause they're really convenient

and they contain the exact right quantities

of what you need backed up by science.

It's really important that you replenish

your glycogen stores

and also take in protein to rebuild muscles.

Hope you've enjoyed this video

and found it useful.

And if you have then please give it a thumbs up

and share it with your friends.

And if you'd like to stay updated on my,

hour record challenge,

then there's going to be weekly updating on the GCN show

and also longer form videos

like this one every now and then.

So make sure you subscribe for those

and if you'd like to see how I've been getting on so far

then you can do by clicking down here

and if you'd like to watch a different video

on weight loss then you can click down here.

The Description of Gadgets And Techniques To Boost Your Cycling Recovery