What is a Wattbike and how can you benefit?


By Helena Combrinck


How does the Wattbike compare to other indoor bikes? A simple answer really; there is no comparison! It is everything and more, whether you are a professional athlete, a weekend go-getter or just someone who has the desire to be fit and healthy.


The Wattbike was first launched in 2008 after the Olympic Games. It was developed over an eight year period in consultation with Peter Keen – Performance Director of British Cycling. It provides accurate, comparable and repeatable data – something that not all indoor bikes can ensure. With the measuring of 39 cycling parameters in real time, such as pedaling technique, power [W], cadence [rpm], HR [bpm], power to weight ratio [W/kg] and more. As the force is measured through the cranks onto the chain from the rider input, the power that is achieved will not be influenced by neither environmental conditions nor by the resistance that is applied – which can give the rider confidence in the data. Resistance can be applied in two ways: from the magnetic climb lever or the airbrake gear lever.


The Wattbike contains a unique Polar view that gives you the ability to track your pedaling effectiveness for every pedal revolution throughout the training session. It tells the rider whether they have a consistent force profile and if not where they can improve. Without an even contribution of force from each leg – it can prevent you from getting the most speed out of your physiology and can influence the athlete’s performance in a race.


The Wattbike can also be used for general and advanced testing with a wide range of tests such as the Maximal Ramp Test, 3 Minute Aerobic Test and the 20 Minute Threshold Test – just to name a few.

The Wattbike is suitable for all levels of fitness and you do not have to be a cyclist to get the full benefit of a Wattbike – athletes favor it across a multitude of sporting codes including cycling, running, rugby, triathlon, athletics etc.


The English rugby team head coach, Eddie Jones, implemented Wattbike training as part of the team’s preparation. Other teams include the All Blacks, the Irish as well as the Springboks. Athletes from other sports include: 2012 Olympic Gold medalist in the women’s Heptathlon, Jessica Ennis-Hill, South African born English cricketer Kevin Petersen and our own former Protea Netball player, Adele Niemand and the VKB Knights.


At the moment there is little argument that Wattbike is the superior indoor bike. At SPC we always strive to ensure that we have the best training equipment available to our clients. With 9 Wattbikes in our studio the opportunity is there for you to come and experience what Wattbike can offer you. You will not be disappointed …


Myofascial Trigger Points vs Injury

By Doretha Hattingh

Myofascial Trigger Points vs Injury

Have you ever heard of the saying : “Everything is connected to everything.”

The biggest mistake that we, as professional athletes, can make…is to NOT listen to your body. We’ve got the mentality of the ‘more I train, the better I perform’. One of the most common causes of pain and discomfort during training, is Myofascial Trigger Points, due to overloading or a lack of recovery.

Again… “Everything is connected to everything.”

One of the main factors to understand about Myofascial Trigger Points, is that where you feel the discomfort or pain is not necessarily where the injury is. The normal functioning of the knee joint depends greatly on the “balance” of muscular effort during walking, running, and other activities. Active trigger points can disturb this “balance”. These trigger points frequently refer pain directly to the knee joint and alter the normal mechanics of the knee joint. Knee pain may be due to overloading of the quadriceps muscles, Rectus Femoris or Vastus Medialis or even overloading of the hamstring muscle, Biceps Femoris. This pain must be understood as a warning that these thigh muscles have been overloaded and need time to recover.


Posterior Thigh pain, lower buttocks pain and pain at the back of the knee may also be the referral of Myofascial Trigger points present in the hamstring muscles, Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus and Bicep Femoris. Even Myofascial Trigger points in Gluteus Minimus, a stabilizer of the pelvis during activities, may have pain referral to the posterior thigh, back of the knee regions and the calf. The abnormal tension in these muscle groups, mentioned above, will either predispose athletes to hamstring strain, tears or to knee pain disorders. The muscle weakness, created by the trigger points, might cause the other thigh muscles to become overloaded and develop trigger points.


How you can prevent an injury:

Understand that “Everything is connected to everything”.

Know the capability of your body.

Individualise your training program.

Learn how to listen to your body


To understand more about Myofascial Trigger Points read the following article.

Etiology of Myofascial Trigger Points

Carel Bron1, 2 and Jan D. Dommerholt3,4,5


Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is described as the sensory, motor, and autonomic symptoms caused by myofascial trigger points (TrPs). Knowing the potential causes of TrPs is important to prevent their development and recurrence, but also to inactivate and eliminate existing TrPs. There is general agreement that muscle overuse or direct trauma to the muscle can lead to the development of TrPs. Muscle overload is hypothesized to be the result of sustained or repetitive low-level muscle contractions, eccentric muscle contractions, and maximal or submaximal concentric muscle contractions. TrPs may develop during occupational, recreational, or sports activities when muscle use exceeds muscle capacity and normal recovery is disturbed.


In spite of a lack of well-designed studies, the best available evidence supports that TrPs develop after muscle overuse. Several potential mechanisms may play a role, such as eccentric overload, submaximal sustained, and (sub)-maximal concentric contractions. A key factor is the local ischemia, which leads to a lowered pH and a subsequent release of several inflammatory mediators in muscle tissue. Hocking proposed an interesting counterargument, which deserves further exploration. Whether overuse mechanisms are the crucial initiating factor or persistent nociceptive input remains a point of debate and further study.




Strength & Conditioning for Adults

By Herman Liebenberg

How we age, is to a large degree up to us. Aging remains a surprisingly mysterious process. Past scientific research has shown that numerous bodily and cellular processes change undesirably as we grow older.

Sarcopenia is the gradual loss of muscle tissue that occurs due to normal aging. Strength training can effectively decrease the rate of Sarcopenia. How much of a decrease in Sarcopenia you experience, will depend to a large extend on your strength training program and what you combine it with.

Strength training isn’t always about feeling better and getting stronger. It is also about moving better. By combining a strength training program with flexibility and mobility exercises your joints and muscles will have the opportunity to move better. You don’t need to take a separate day for these exercises, simply make them part of your everyday program.

At SPC we believe in a scientific approach towards the way we do strength and conditioning. We believe that a good warm-up before and a cool-down after a session can make a huge difference in the quality of a session. This is an effective way to ensure you get an adequate amount of flexibility and mobility into your program.

Strength training doesn’t always entail lifting heavy weights and isolating a muscle group on a specific day. Functional training provides you with the opportunity to do strength training in specific movement patterns, in a single session. The more functional your training is the more activities and movements in everyday life will improve. Everyday movements in the form of walking, climbing stairs or simply getting up from the floor will become more comfortable with less effort.

Age has long been an excuse for inactivity, with all the benefits of exercising it should no longer be an option. By following a scientific, well-planned strength program, your quality of life can improve and you will be able to do and enjoy the things you love for a lot longer.


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