Multi File Quadrant Analysis and Recommendations
It has been a while since I did one of these but I am reminded of the important aspects a simple multi-file quadrant analysis can reveal. For those not familiar with quadrant analysis and what each quadrant represents from a neuromuscular standpoint please visit this link.
This file is from an elite European professional mountain biker whom I am training. We track his training stress on a weekly basis and have set training stress goals for him to reach. Main thing is to make sure he doesn't over do things before he comes to nationals this year in July.
He is looking to improve his limiters and race his strengths. Here in the graph above we see that his strength lies in low cadence/high force output. He is a great hill climber so he can produce a good deal of force at a low cadence which implies that he has a good mix of slow twitch and fast twitch muscles. How much of each no one really knows without doing a biopsy of the muscle fiber. Either way, it is important to know where his strengths lies and even more important to know what to do about improving his limiter.
Speaking of limiter,,,,that would happen to be his ability to maintain his power output over time. Please See Power Profile Below. He is a great climber, his limiter seems to be his sprinting ability when compared to other cyclists. He is quite able to get up to speed but has difficulty maintaining that speed on the flats. He relies heavily on a lower cadence after reaching top speed and may want to consider increasing his cadence earlier on in his all out efforts. Once up to speed you can see that he attempts to maintain that speed by shifting his time over to quadrant I (high cadence/high force)and does a pretty good job of it....
Based on this analysis it is recommended that he improve his force at high cadence on the bike (Quadrant I). This is referring to his fast twitch muscle fibers. Enhancing those fast twitch muscle fibers through the use of limited plyometrics in the gym along with continued 1 minute efforts should help bridge the gap for this highly motivated mountain biker.