U of T Cycling Power study through the Department of Exercise Sciences

Hey everyone!

Through our lovely new and hardly addictive social exercise media, Strava, I noticed that many of the people I'm following from the Dark Horse Flyers and Morning Glory CC were posting ~1 hour or less workouts this past month called "U of T Power Test". These "rides" consisted of strictly heart rate curves and no other data was available since they were recorded in the forgotten underground of the Athletics Centre laboratories. In the comments for some of these rides, it became evident that this was a pretty cool study that was being conducted by the PhD candidate Ming-Chang Tsai who is with the Department of Exercise Sciences at U of T.

Each study consists of 5 extremely tough test sessions that are outlined in each of the PDFs attached to this posting. I'll let you read each one and decide if you'd like to take part in either or both studies. I think this is a great opportunity for anyone in the club to learn about their riding potential and limits. I'm not sure how many additional subjects that Ming is looking for, but any additional people will help him make more robust conclusions from his findings. If you're interested, please contact Ming through the email provided in the PDFs. As compensation, he'll setup a separate bonus session to help you determine your VO2 max!

I'm signed on for both studies. My first round is this Saturday at 10am. I'm happy to describe my experience if we there is some interest in this posting.

Talk soon!


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I have told Ming that I am interested.

That's great! He will be happy to have you participate. Thanks QB.

Here are a couple pics that Ming took of me doing my 4-minute all out effort, which is the first test he does to determine your critical power using the old model. Unfortunately, in science, we must validate all of our new methods by using the classical methods. :)

The first part of the all-out effort consisted of a maximum effort sprint. I was allowed to stand for the first 20-30s. I held over 1000W for that entire time standing!

After the standing sprint, I sat down and churned out as high a wattage as I could sustain for the full 4 minutes. The idea was to deplete my anaerobic capacity energy tank with the sprint and then to see what my maximum aerobic wattage output was after that. Basically, my power curve levels off asymptotically. Here is what I looked like after I sat down:

This was the hardest 4 minutes I've ever done on the bike and it hurt A LOT. I was coughing for almost he whole day afterward. It was truly reminiscent of my Brimley KOM attempt. Thankfully, the tests are supposed to get easier after this one. With that said, this felt like an athletic rite of passage. With a proper warmup, anyone can do this test regardless of fitness!

Holy "clinical study" Batman!  No TV, No Music?  

All joking aside, Thanks for posting Paul.  I'm going to do this as well.


In the letter in mentions "compete in in cycling". So you need to be officially racing ?

Not necessarily.... there were many non-competitive people coming through the study. However, Ming finished data collection months ago and began writing his paper/thesis.


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