ICI/PRO member question from ICI/PRO Podcast #203 Cycle Strong Audio PROfile

What exactly should the "openers" in the warm-up consist of? In Tom's "Getting Started with Intervals" audio profile, he described them as 30 seconds of maximum effort followed by 30 seconds of recovery, which to me sounds the same as the first Muscular Strength interval in this audio profile (30s effort/30s recovery). I would appreciate help understanding the difference.

As always, I greatly appreciate the audio profiles!!! And Marc, thank you for the playlist suggestions!



Thanks for you question. It is a good one. Many people don't understand the purpose of openers and thus never do them or benefit from them. Simply, they are all-out, maximum efforts for the prescribed period of time (openers can be different lengths depending on their purpose and what one is preparing for). How do we define the "all-out" maximum effort? Think of it as the most resistance you can use at the highest cadence. I would recommend a cadence of 85 RPM or greater (I personally prefer 100+ RPM). You should find yourself through into the high-end of Zone 5!

So what's the difference between the openers and muscular strength efforts? The muscular strength efforts are limited by the cadence. In order to more effectively develop strength in the legs, the cadence needs to be slower (60-70 RPM) in order to provide the necessary stress (I.e. Force) on the muscle. This in many cases will not produce the highest heart rates (but pretty high). Simply put, what is the most resistance/stress/force I can place on my legs at for example, 60 RPM.

Openers push every limit for a short period of time in an attempt to activate systems such as your anaerobic energy pathway and lactate buffering. If you prepare and active these systems BEFORE the structured part of the workout, the body will not be behind the 8-ball and will respond more consistently and repeatedly.

Does this answer your question?

Cheers, Tom.

Originally posted 2017-03-28 09:04:06.

Tom Scotto
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