While we can all agree that a tri bike is likely the right machine to race a triathlon on, how about during training? Rick Prince, the founder of UESCA and author of Enduranerd, submitted a journal article to PLOSone based on research conducted at the Institute for Human Kinetics that examined the training effect of “heavy load training.” The study conducted consisted of 40 amateur triathletes, split into two groups: 20 trained and raced on their tri bikes and the other 20 trained on Huffys but raced on tri bikes.
Your ‘Secret’ Training Weapon!
The group that trained on the Huffy’s outperformed the control group in almost every category including VO2 max, lactate threshold, etc… and not surprisingly, upper body strength – as the subjects had to lift the 40 lb bikes up to get them back on their bike racks.
When asked why training on Huffy’s was better, a IHK researcher stated, “It’s the same principle as why people wear weight vests to strength train, more work for the body.” The researcher continued, “We view this as the ‘Rocky’ method of training – if he was able to beat Ivan Drago by shoulder pressing logs and lifting boulders up on a pulley, this type of training can definitely work for triathletes!”
However when pressed on specifics such as the model of the Huffy’s, as well as their tire pressure and frame color, the researcher simply stated, “That’s proprietary.”
Subjects that rode the Huffy’s were less than enthusiastic. In a post-study survey, they stated that while they enjoyed their new found fitness level and having a kickstand (“Give me a break” said one participant, “these things are heavy to pick up off the ground!”), they found the bike’s handling to be akin to driving a bus and the rear reflector got in the way of the saddle bag. The constant teasing from training partners was also noted as a negative, despite the “Titanium” labeling on the Huffy’s.
What this means for your training
If you want to increase with your bike fitness without spending tons of money (your new Huffy bike will cost less than your seatpost!), it is strongly advised to head down to your local Wal-Mart and pick up a Huffy! While your ego may take a hit, when you hit a PR in your next tri, you know it will have been well worth it!
The results of the study were released on April Fools Day and upon further review, were determined to be invalid as it was discovered that the paper’s author, Rick Prince, fabricated the study and data to try to negatively impact the training methods of his training “friends” so that he could beat them in their next race.