Workout Review: Heath Paukette's Aerobic Endurance with Surges

This workout review was provided by Coach Amber Neben in the Facebook group.

Here’s a file review for Heath Paukette and some thinking behind this workout. Let’s keep this fun and remember I am not a neuroscientist. I know just enough to help you understand the WHY of the workout.

For the review: Let’s focus on cadence and form. You will hear it often: a watt = how hard you pedal x how fast you pedal. Tonight we were working on the speed component by using leg speed to generate the watts. We don’t think about the neuromuscular signaling very often, but let’s think very superficially about it now.

Every time you make a pedal stroke, your brain sends a signal via a neuron to your muscles to contract (FIRE)! Tonight we wanted to send the signal to contract fast while being really focused on initiating the pedal stroke from the glutes/hip (coordinated recruitment pattern). The added power helped you feel this recruitment and also added some strength (via speed) to the mix. The goal was speed first and then power, so you had to spin fast and then try to hold-hold-hold the power (hopefully from the glutes) as you fatigued.

With every 30-second surge, your brain had to be able to repeatedly send this signal (more than 50x for the 30-second interval), and it also had to send the signal in a coordinated manner to get the desired recruitment pattern. Sleepy glutes first.

The final piece of the puzzle was whether you could continue to fire your glutes across the 30 seconds or if that signal fatigued out. Did you default to your quads? It's something to think about, and actually not very easy to do! That’s why I was cuing you to maintain your form as a priority over power and legs peed. As you fatigued, it probably got harder and harder to make the leg speed. It also probably got harder and harder to keep your glutes firing.

This workout tonight probably 1) was deceptively hard in the back half as your neuromuscular system began to fatigue, or 2) got a little better with each interval as the leg speed got easier and easier until your brain fatigued out, or 3) caused you to really struggle to find the power from your glutes.

If that last one was you, cue yourself as you work through Menechem’s strength movements. Be intentional and think about firing the glutes… especially when you do the bridges (hip thrusts) and the goblet squats. Start to wake up those powerful guys by thinking about contracting them! When they wake up, they'll bring watts you never knew you had.

WARM UP NOTE FOR FUTURE: Heath does this well. See his cadence progressively increase. When you do your fast pedals with your warm ups, let the speed come and don’t force it. Keep your form first, and then add speed as you grease your nervous system and allow the signal to fire faster and faster while maintaining your form (coordination). The idea is always to strengthen a functional pattern.

Great work, Heath! And everyone else who joined in tonight! That was fun.

By the way, thanks for everyone who volunteered their workout for review! Garry, Lynda, Greg, Greg, Evans, and Bruce too…I really did draw Heath’s name out of a hat 😉

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