In the quest for peak conditioning, bike sprints have long been one of the most familiar elements of the dedicated squash player’s training. The game-specific nature of short sharp bursts of effort followed by brief intervals of active recovery makes them ideal for enhancing endurance for the sport.
But which is the best bike to use in the gym?
We’ve had a few questions recently about the ‘Wattbike’, and whether it is of any additional benefit for the squash player looking to get to work on their interval sprints – in this fitness blog we’ll take a look.
We’ve featured a variety of exercise bike based sessions here on the site in the past, as well as espousing the benefits of group cycling based classes such as spinning. Using bikes is a great way of replicating the energy demands of squash in an environment outside of the court, and this ‘cross-training’ element along with the minimal impact placed on the joints while pedalling on a bike, is what makes it one of the best complimentary training methods out there.
Wattbikes have been increasingly seen in commercial gyms in recent times, alongside the more traditional standard and recumbent exercise bikes familiar to most gym-goers. Impressively styled with an eye-catching profile and design, the Wattbike, unfortunately, can all too often remain a bit of a mystery for many non-cycling enthusiasts – which is a real shame as they’re perfect for those looking to add a new dimension to their bike interval sprints.
The Wattbike was first developed back in 2008, in association with the British Cycling team after they requested an indoor training bike that could more accurately replicate the feel and demands of pedalling on a real bike, whilst also allowing the opportunity to record extensive data about the user’s work rate and technique.
Once you get going on them, this increased intensity and access to more detailed stats about your training makes them an excellent choice for squash-specific conditioning. The additional workout toughness and personalised feedback that a Wattbike can provide can really add something to your interval training sessions.
For more info, check out this article from the Telegraph website. There are also some excellent user guides and training tips at the official https://wattbike.com/uk/ site, or alternatively, you can just ask a member of your gym’s instruction team for advice on how to get started.
Give it a go, and take your bike sprint sessions to the next level!
B.Sc.(Hons), CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Dip. FTST
SquashSkills Fitness & Performance Director
Sign up to the SquashSkills newsletter
Get world class coaching tips, straight to your inbox!