Sebastian Weber / INSCYD

I just finished listening to the new episode with Sebastian Weber about INSCYD test profiles. Great info as always. @trevor and @chris: the solution is pretty simple to me. Based on your test results, you should just swap events…Chris should do the stage race and Trevor should go make a lap of Ireland. This means you can just keep training as you are and you will both be ideally suited for your respective season targets.

Additional note: we will now be referring to our carpet cleaner as a vacummizer for the foreseeable future. Thanks @jana for leaving in that critical discussion :slight_smile:


I just listened to the podcast as well. I agree with @colbypearce, switch events.

Likewise I loved the Easter egg at the end as well. I will now use the term vacuumizer (we need to decide on an official spelling) as well; at least in my internal discussions. Did Sebastian ever send a picture? I’m sure it is simply a leaf blower where you switch the housing and it becomes a vacuum, I happen to have one. Since the neighbors are German, my mental image is a husband in lederhosen with a Bosch (of course) upright floor vacuum carefully vacuuming the lawn twice a day to leave a cross hatch design. :smiley:

BTW, I’m not German; but, of German decent with a German sir name. Sebastian’s story would be something the German side of my family would find hilarious and say something very tongue in cheek like: How German, why wouldn’t they be vacuuming the garden!


Your spelling is better @Schils

Just finished listening to this and thought it was really interesting how Chris and Trevor are both looking to do something totally different than what they’re great at. Really appreciated hearing how Inscyd can take that info to show how to train their weaknesses as it were.

One thing that stood out to me was the description of strength training to increase VLAMAX… Made me think about strength training that WOULDN’T Increase it… Or even decrease it? If higher reps, no rest would increase, would something like eccentric isometrics with rest between reps reduce or at least not increase it…

Gotta go, wife is yelling at me to vaccumize my house

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Strength work that would not increase Vlamax might look like sets with reps that are purely neuromuscular, IE total time under tension of <8 sec with very heavy weight.

Or, “strength endurance” work in the gym, such as high rep/ low weight. We are talking at least 20 reps/ set with short recovery between sets.

Anything in the hypertrophy range, with longer rest, could bring up Vlamax. To be clear, you have to consider not just the number of reps, but also time under tension and tempo of the lift.

For example, you can do front squats and call it 8 reps. If athlete A uses very fast tempo and gets 1 rep/ sec done, total time under tension [TUT] would be 8 sec per set. This would be short enough to avoid being glycolytic at all. But most cyclists in the gym who are doing front squats are probably closer to 3-4 sec / rep, so 8 reps can be 24+ seconds easily. This is squatly in the glycolytic time frame for a maximal effort on the bike, and the same rules apply in strength training. But the damage to muscles is compounded because of the eccentric load, and in some lifts, because of the continuous muscle tension, both of which we do not have in cycling. This is one reason why it is common for us to hear comments like “Oh I don’t life anymore, my legs were always trashed.” When the rider doesn’t understand how TUT can compliment or be additive to the work done on the bike, it is common to just add strength on to the existing riding load in a given energy system, and this can really make training load ramp rate too high. Add in the fact that the PMC thinks that strength training doesn’t exist, and you have a recipe for a chronically smoked bike rider.


I vacuumized my whole house today, I even made the battery poop out. It was very satisfying. tomorrow maybe I will try my lawn.

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What about timing of the workout? Sebastian mentioned rested as far from a ride as possible? What about directly before/after a ride (e.g. do a couple hour fatmax ride, then do a 20min strength session)? Or as glycogen depleted as possible?

Less specifically, since you posted and I’m only now catching up on your podcasts and just learned your my cycling spirit animal (in that you love the hour)… How do you use strength training in your training and not give yourself too much VLAMAX? Or since training on the track is more variable than say a flat or uphill TT you prefer to have a bit higher VLAMAX?


Regarding timing, I think you could try your suggestion of a couple hour fatmax ride and then do a strength session. That said, I have found that doing strength directly after a ride can be problematic, depending on how complicated the lifts are. If you are doing strength that requires a high neurological demand, and you are fatigued, the training probably won’t be constructive. If the training is relatively simple, training after a fatmax ride might work well. That said, I don’t recommend things like leg sled or ham curls on a machine. In fact, I really don’t recommend machine training for anyone. We get enough interaction with levers and pulleys in cycling, so in strength I prefer free weights, unstable surfaces, kettlebells, and other tools that require the athlete do move their body in open space. So if you try this, practice lifts that are well within your abilities, and focus on perfect form and a pretty hard session, but avoid nuclear hard.

While doing the strength in a state of glycogen depletion is conceptually a good idea, I have found that in practice, it is horrible. It is really hard to get good work done in a strength session when you are truly empty, it is impossible to move the weight with good form or any crisp or athletic quality at all. But even worse, it absolutely destroys your muscles, it’s like the damage goes up by a factor of 10 and you can make yourself sore for days. When you finally come out of it, it’s not like you become superman, instead you just are not sore. That has been my experience.

Regarding my own training, right now I don’t worry about what my VlaMax is, I just train to enjoyment and for challenge. My training goals are: connection with my body and with nature. I am racing this season in some gravel events, but I am not invested in the outcome in any competitive sense. 35 years of racing will do that do you. You might enjoy my podcast with Paul Chek for more discussion on this topic.
In 2018 when I trained for the hour record, I wasn’t lifting much in the summer before the trip to Aguascalientes, which was in late September. IRRC I had a basic program of squats and DL going then, but I was keeping the reps high and the recovery short between sets. I am fortunate to be pretty adaptable one way or another in terms of moving my VlaMax up or down, a few short snappy workouts and it comes back pretty quickly. But for now I don’t have a goal like the hour. I turn 49 this year, maybe after I am 50 I will give it another crack for the next age group but I don’t know for sure. It will depend on how I feel about it in another 2 years.


Listened with interest to this podcast - in it Sebastian mentions the relationship between a high Vo2Max and high VLAmax. “The influence of a high VLAmax increases as the VO2Max increases”. What does this mean in practice - for racing and training?

There is no chance I’m switching events! Why would I do something I’m physiologically “made for” (but also, crucially, not inspired by) when I could do something I know I’ll physiologically and psychologically struggle with (but am super excited about) because I know the struggle will teach me things I could never learn otherwise?

It’s kind of like asking, why rake when I could vaccumize?


I’m with Chris… a big part of the fun of this challenge is not letting ourselves do what comes easily to us! But all of us definitely need to switch to vacumizers!

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@trevor Just a question or two here on Inscyd. So I understand there is a guided audio to tell one what to do as in duration of each protocol. Is there an app that interacts with the test in real time as in gathering data or is the test ride obtained by accessing the ride via Training Peaks?

HI @bawihair, I’ll actually pass you along to @ryan for this. He has put everything together into a really good package.

Hi @bawihair, great point! Thanks, @trevor, for the tag.

Yes, so far we are finalizing an audio walkthrough that will guide you through each phase of the test. You can put this on your phone, throw in an earbud, and get audio cues, snips from Trevor, Chris, and others, and some educational information as you ride along. We are almost done editing this, so it should be ready soon.

To your question on the app, there is not a specific app that interacts with the test in real time (but cool idea!). Instead, what you’ll do is record the ride with your GPS/bike computer and then send that .FIT file to me for analysis. This allows riders to use whatever platform/computer they prefer as we just need the .FIT file for analysis.

Let me know if you have any more questions on that!
Coach Ryan

Inscyd needs to evaluate the data after the fact and a coach needs to interpret… But if you do it on zwifts you get a lot of awesome prompts during the ride (and you can go all out without worrying about stopping or falling over)… The only downside is you have to do max 20s, 3min, 6min, 10min efforts in one ride… :crazy_face:

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From a practical point of view: when your VO2max is rather low you don‘t need to care a lot about VLamax when it comes to raising fatmax, spare carbs or increase MLSS.
But the higher the VO2max, the more important VLamax becomes for this

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Sebastian, is that a vacumizer I see in your photo??!


Nice catch, must be the neighbors. Or @Sebastian-Weber was bullied into getting a vacumizer of his own.

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Hi @Sebastian-Weber, when you say rather low what value of VO2max would you say it becomes something to think about?

Ballpark: when you are below 50 but you are confident you can increase VO2max, don’t bother VLamax.
If you are in the ballpark of 60 or above: better make an accurate check of your VLamax is - no matter what you think how much you can increase VO2max.

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