Cycling climb out of the saddle episode

Should You Climb Out Of The Saddle?

Topics Covered In This Episode:

  • Deciding when you should climb out of the saddle
  • 3 factors to consider
  • The main benefits
  • The science behind climbing out of the saddle
  • Proper technique
  • Downsides to climbing out of the saddle
  • Tips for training indoors


Renee Eastman is a CTS Premier Level Coach and has been coaching with the company for more than 20 years. She has a master’s degree in exercise science, has worked for USA Cycling, and is a 6-time Masters National Champion.

Show Links:


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Episode Transcription:

Please note that this is an automated transcription and may contain errors. Please refer to the episode audio for clarification.

Adam Pulford (00:00:07):

Have you ever wondered why some really good climbers sit in the saddle and spin yet. Some others jump out of the saddle and they go for miles. How do you decide, which is better for you and what does a science say about how best to do a hill climb? We’ll explore more of those answers to those questions today on the train right podcast. I brought in a special guest for today too. She’s a, she’s a hellacious climber in her own, right. She is a good friend and a, a great CTS colleague. And, uh, I I’m really honored and pleased to introduce Renee Eastman to all of our listeners out there. So Renee, welcome to the show.

Renee Eastman (00:00:51):

Thanks Adam. Thanks for having me.

Adam Pulford (00:00:53):

Yeah. So for our listeners who may not know you, could you introduce yourself a bit more to the audience?

Renee Eastman (00:01:01):

Sure. My name’s Renee Eastman. I have been a coach with CTS. This is my 21st year with CTS. So that means just about since time began at CTS. Um, I’ve held just about every job that there is at CTS, but my primary role is as a coach and I specialize in road cycling as an athlete. I’ve been a, a road cyclist for many decades. And as a coach, uh, I coach all sorts of athletes, you know, mountain gravel, uh, even a few TRIA athletes here and there, but, uh, predominantly road cyclists.

Adam Pulford (00:01:45):

Gotcha. And I mean, even before you started working at CTS, I mean, you had, uh, stints at the Olympic training center where you originally met and started working for Chris too, right?

Renee Eastman (00:01:56):

That’s right. I’ve actually been working with Chris Carmichael since 1995. I was an intern at USA cycling as a sports, uh, physiologist exercise physiologist is my jam. I’ve got my undergraduate and my master’s degree in, uh, exercise physiology. And I’ve got my PhD in road cycling. Uh, I’m a cat one road cyclist. I still compete as an mature athlete. <laugh> still compete in the pro and two fields. And, um, I’ve, uh, racked up six national championships. Uh master’s level.

Adam Pulford (00:02:37):

Yeah, I was just about to ask, is that one of your national championship jerseys behind you? Is that one of your athletes?

Renee Eastman (00:02:42):

That’s one of mine. Yeah, yeah,

Adam Pulford (00:02:44):

Yeah. Yeah. All right. So as you can tell folks, we’ve, we’ve got some of the MRE, uh, Renee knows bike racing through and through both on the, the science side of things and also kind of the, the art form that we talked about in, in, uh, the background and intro of this episode. So Renee again, thanks for making time to, uh, hang out with us here, uh, on the podcast.

Renee Eastman (00:03:07):


Adam Pulford (00:03:09):

So when we, when we talk about climbing outta the saddle, I, I, I wanna warn our listeners to it’s. It’s probably gonna come across a little bias on today’s show because like myself, Renee, we love to climb out of the saddle. Like we’re, we’re out of the saddle climbers here. And so I am all about it, but I think that when we’re, when we’re queuing up this, this episode too, I think we both realized we do this a lot and there’s benefit to it, but we need the science and we need to kind of shape this up to communicate and educate listeners a bit more as to why it’s beneficial when it’s beneficial and then how to do it so that it is beneficial. Um, either, you know, for the enjoyment of the ride or the hill climb or, uh, tactically in, in, in a race. So when we’re talking about when to get out of the saddle, Renee, what are, what are like the three main reasons when somebody would get out of the, out of the saddle?

Renee Eastman (00:04:09):

Um, the big one is going harder. You need a burst of speed, or you hit a steep pitch on the, on, on the gradient where you just need to generate a little bit more force. Um, sometimes people are just, uh, need a little relief, maybe relief on your saddle area. Uh, maybe been, you know, sitting for a while and need just a little bit of, uh, blood flow to the area. Or did you even change the muscles that you’re using? You know, just cuz you’re kind of, uh, really pressure on your back, uh, just get more blood flow to the muscles and

Adam Pulford (00:04:50):

Stuff. Yeah, yeah. That’s it. I mean, going hard and that can be, you know, a steep hill climb, like you said, or even a sprint. And I think for the context of this conversation today, we’re, we’ll kind of leave sprints out there and not go into that so deep. Um, but then yeah, to change up the muscle groups, because as we’ll talk about, you know, when you stand up, we engage, uh, much more of the lower body muscles as well as the upper body. And that can, that can bring some relief there. Then obviously, you know, sitting in the saddle for hours at a time. I mean, there’s a lot of pressure that goes on your bum as well as your feet and the muscles that you’re working there. And so just changing up the position can really help, um, just bring relief in kind of a, a change in a queue to your mind, to, um, kind of freshen up for the ride and whatnot. Yeah. So, um, Renee, do, do you ever, do you ever prescribe getting out of the saddle to an athlete

Renee Eastman (00:05:52):

Sometimes, you know, it might be, Hey, we’re gonna do a standing sprint, you know? Yep. Um, but not a lot, you know, I, especially on, uh, I would say the general circumstances of when somebody gets out of the saddle, uh, the, about the only drills I can think of are you like these, uh, long tempo drills, like tempo, sprints, you, you know, surge every, you know, for 10 seconds, every five minutes or something like that. Um, but not a lot. I don’t tell my athletes to get outta the saddle a lot. I assume they’re doing it when they need to. And I think that might be a, something that, uh, could actually be communicated a little bit more for some people who, uh, might not think to get out of the saddle. Cuz I think, I think it comes naturally to some people and some people just never think to get out of the saddle.

Adam Pulford (00:06:47):

Yeah. That that’s it entirely. And I think one of the, one of the reasons and one of the ideas why we, uh, wanted to do this podcast is because I think some people just don’t know, you know, when to get outta the saddle, like we just talked about to make it real simple, those three things, right. They’re also scared to get outta the saddle because I think they also, they read a lot or they hear a lot saying that it’s gonna cost you more or cause more fatigue if you get out of the saddle. So I, I, I see a lot of riders, um, shy away from it. However, at the same time you get somebody on a steep hill climb or you tell ’em to sprint, they do naturally get out of the saddle and go. Right.

Renee Eastman (00:07:25):

Yeah. And I think a lot of people might not do it because maybe they don’t feel completely comfortable. You know, there’s a little bit more balance, uh, on the bike or different kind of balance needed when you’re standing on the pedals rather than have your weight supported by the saddle.

Adam Pulford (00:07:45):

Yeah. There’s a lot of coordination that goes, that goes into it at least to feel smooth and be effective at doing it. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So let’s, so we talked about when to do it, let’s talk about why to do it. What gimme the high level of, what are the benefits of getting outta the saddle? Let’s just say kind of in those three situations, either you’re going hard, you’re changing up muscle groups or relief on the saddle area.

Renee Eastman (00:08:14):

I think the biggest reason to get outta the saddle is increased power. Um, we could actually pull studies that will show the high peak power. You can generate higher peak power, like over five, 600 wat kind of peak power out of the saddle. You’re the it’s because of the, uh, increased use of the muscles. And you’re actually contracting your quads for a longer period of time while you’re peddling. So that’s simply why in the sprint, you’re gonna see people out of the saddle at least to engage the sprint and it generate that high peak force.

Adam Pulford (00:09:04):

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I mean, you’re, you’re able to engage so much more muscle groups, uh, bigger muscle groups, bigger nerves, and also kind of utilize your body weight too. Once you get coordinated to produce more power overall, that’s a huge advantage. Huge benefit. Yeah. Yep.

Renee Eastman (00:09:20):

The other way of just not just the use of your muscles, um, you increase your hip angle a lot when you’re bent over on the bike, your hip angle’s real closed. And once you open that up, you can generate a lot more force. You also get, uh, if you’re doing it right. A lot more glute activation as well.

Adam Pulford (00:09:44):

Yeah. I was just gonna ask where, you know, where does that little extra power come from? And when we’re talking about that increased hip angle, I guess from a biomechanical standpoint, like what, what is it about that increased angle to give more power? How, how does, how does that work if you could like simplify it

Renee Eastman (00:10:05):

When, uh, um, when a muscle is on like either end of the contraction mm-hmm <affirmative> is not when it’s the strongest like, think about you’re you’re doing a bicep curl mm-hmm <affirmative> and you’ve got your, the weight, your arms are all the way straight. And it’s really hard to pick up that dumbbell at the low end, cuz your muscle’s on a, a lengthened and then in the middle, it’s the strongest. And then at the top, again, it’s so shortened, you don’t have much contraction to, to uh,

Adam Pulford (00:10:44):

Much to like make the power.

Renee Eastman (00:10:46):

Thank you. Yeah. So on the glute side of things, when your hip angle is closed yeah. That’s the, the, your glutes are on the opposite end of your hip. So your glutes are stretched already. So they’re already stretched when you’re bent over. When you straighten up the, your glutes are, they’re not quite as stretched, so you can get a little bit more force from your glutes in that position. And then on the other side of things on the, the, the, uh, with your hip angle closed, you also have your quads stretched at the top of the pedal stroke more so it’s it’s that increased hip angle does allow more forceful contraction, both from the glutes in the quad.

Adam Pulford (00:11:34):

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense, you know, kind of being hunched over to like fully upright, you’re just able to per to push more using both those multiple groups front and the rear view <laugh> yeah. To make it real simple. Yeah. No, that’s a, that’s a really good when I asked that question, I was like, oh man, without a visual aid, how is Renee gonna answer this? But you crushed it. Nailed it. <laugh> great. Um, so, so in the hips, so that increased hip angle, the quadriceps, the glutes, is there anything like below the knee that’s occurring to benefit us when we stand up and, and get outta the saddle?

Renee Eastman (00:12:14):

There’s actually not too much change in the Glu, not the Glu, the gas rocks, the calves, your calves. Um, people tend to, to down a little bit, when they’re out of the saddle naturally, you’re, you’re not gonna be flat footed outta the saddle. There’s a little bit more activation in the front of your shin. That’s the Talis area, but that’s not a major, major mover. It’s all, it’s all Quas and glutes is, is the primary, uh, force production there. Gotcha. And you know, maybe a misconception might be that you’re actually generating some kind of force with your upper body and you’re not, you’re you’re you, your upper body is there to manage the bike, move the bike side to side and your trunk, your, you know, AB and your low back muscles, they act to stabilize your body, but they’re not really there to generate force.

Adam Pulford (00:13:13):

Gotcha. Gotcha. That’s part of the, like the coordination aspect of that, but I think it’s, yeah, that’s a really important and, and good point to bring up is like that upper body’s not helping you in, so it’s only helping and guiding your bike. So I’ll make this more of a question. Renee, if you have somebody going hard uphill and they’re clenching the bars and they’re just like getting after it, what would you tell that person to? Would you tell that person anything, first of all, to, to change the way that they’re climbing, if they’re, you know, white knuckling, the bars and going after it, uh, versus if you saw that, what, what would you do in that situation?

Renee Eastman (00:13:57):

It, I have to ask you a qualifier question. Is this all out last 200 meters of the race, or is this 90% effort? And I’m on a 10 minute climb and I’m all over the bike,

Adam Pulford (00:14:11):

Touche coach Renee <laugh> I will then return back to you and say both.

Renee Eastman (00:14:17):

Okay. So, but, but I had to ask because when it’s peak sprint last 200 meters, all in, you know, 32nd effort, it’s everything you got. Yeah. It, it almost doesn’t matter how messy you look, so to speak. Yeah. When we’re talking about a longer sustained effort, it’s a five minute effort. It’s a 10 minute effort is a 20 minute effort. Then efficiency comes into play because if we’re lose using a lot more energy than we need to, then that’s, that’s, uh, energy we’re spending that we might need later on. So in that kind of classic sense where I think you started, the question was more, somebody should be aimed to be more relaxed, uh, with their upper body, uh, while they’re climbing in the saddle.

Adam Pulford (00:15:16):

Yeah. Yeah. But the, but you answered it perfectly, especially by asking that question beforehand, because a lot of this is situational, right. And so max is max full tilt. Go for it. But yeah, the main point I was trying to make is I think for many people listening and for many riders, I see, you know, in the middle of a ride that are just trying to get through that hill climb. There there’s a lot of benefit to relaxing the upper body as you heal, as you do the hill climb. Even if it is a pretty hard effort, relax the hill climb and just save some of that energy that you could just be tensing, you know, the bars a little too much. We we’ll get into some of that upper body interaction a little bit more, but I just wanted to bring it up since you, since you did talk about the upper body.

Renee Eastman (00:16:00):


Adam Pulford (00:16:01):

You know, Renee, since we’re on kind of the bio, a biomechanics of getting outta the saddle and climbing, we’ve talked about how, um, there’s some benefits to, um, increasing the hip angle to get more glute and quadricep, um, force to produce that power. Yeah. Uh, we didn’t talk really about the hamstrings. Is there anything beneficial there by getting outta the saddle?

Renee Eastman (00:16:25):

No. There, you don’t use your hamstrings a whole lot out of the saddle. Actually, you, you you’ll use your quads actually more out of the saddle than you would, even normally you, you get a greater, uh, force of contraction. You contract your quad for a little longer. I think that’s even why some people cramp when they get outta the saddle is because all of a sudden they’re generating a lot more force out of those, uh, muscles.

Adam Pulford (00:16:57):

How about as we’re just kinda like working down the legs a little bit hip flexors. I know when athletes are not used to getting outta the saddle and they start doing that a lot. Um, there’s a lot of hip flexor interaction going on. Is there hip, what are our hip flexors to do in, in part of this? And, um, anything to note there when we’re getting outta the saddle?

Renee Eastman (00:17:19):

Yeah, because that hip angle is, uh, more open, you’re able to use your hip flexors a little bit more in particular with the upstroke the pulling up of the pedals. If, if anybody’s tried to sprint outta the saddle on flat pedals, they’ll realize how much they’re pulling up with when they’re clipped in. Yep. Uh, so there’s quite a bit of, uh, there’s more up force, uh, with the, uh, out of the saddle accelerations.

Adam Pulford (00:17:51):


Renee Eastman (00:17:52):

Yeah. So a little bit more use of those hip flu. So if people aren’t used to it, they might notice that a little bit, you know, soreness and activation from that.

Adam Pulford (00:18:04):

Yep. And if, you know, if you’re kind of a sit spin sort of, uh, sort of person and you start to work on getting outta the satellite, that’s an area where I see athletes or hear athletes, um, comment, just like, Ooh, that’s real sore. Uh, but don’t freak out cuz you’ll adapt. You’ll get, you’ll get better. Um, finally, I guess, as we kind of wrap up, um, the bio, um, mechanics of some of this, anything to say about, um, the core in how the core is used in producing power outta the saddle versus in the saddle.

Renee Eastman (00:18:36):

Yeah. The core, uh, in order to produce a lot of power outta the saddle, they actually do need a strong core is not because your core is generating the power, but your, your trunk muscles, the muscles around your hips, abs uh, low back muscles, they stabilize your PE pelvis so that then you can contract those leg muscles and generate the power. So they, you know, act as stabilizers as the name says, cuz I don’t think that’s something that everybody thinks about is that when you see your, your butt is on the saddle, that’s fixing your pelvis in a, in a, in a spot. But if you’re standing outta the saddle, you have to do that with your muscles. Yep. So, um, a strong core is necessary for good out of the saddle fourth production. I say a little bit of upper body strength. I don’t think most people are limited on upper body strength in terms of out of the saddle. But, um, you are using your biceps triceps a little bit more.

Adam Pulford (00:19:46):

Gotcha. Is there any super secret coach Renee core workouts we should be doing? Like, should I just go bang out a bunch of sit ups right now? Or, or what,

Renee Eastman (00:19:57):

You know, Adam, <laugh> the best core exercise is that are going to be really related to out of the saddle. Are those total body movements? Yeah. That’s true. You want, that’s true. You want a strong core do some power cleans. Yeah. Uh, now most athletes, maybe aren’t at that level in the gym of doing power cleans, but doing a lot of, uh, dumbbell movements, body weight movements, where you’re actually having to stabilize your core while you’re lifting heavier weight are great ways to train the core. And then you’ve got your standard, your, your planks and your glute bridges and some of the fine movements there, uh, to really focus on, uh, those muscles in particular. But I don’t myself nor have my athletes do a lot of app crunches on the floor. Cause that’s not really a natural movement.

Adam Pulford (00:20:54):

It’s, it’s not the most effective. And, and yes, uh, one of the reasons why, I mean, I’m a huge fan of lifting heavy and doing some natural work. However, I’d say for most cyclists, even doing some, some planks, just as simple as planking for 30 seconds at a time, uh, front right side left side, that’s gonna, like, if you haven’t been doing anything in the way of core work, just start there, like I’m guessing most people would get sore from it.

Renee Eastman (00:21:19):

Yeah. I, I, I put one of my favorite exercises in there hanging leg braces, like hanging from a, a pull-up bar leg Gras. Um, most, uh, cyclists will have also weak hip flexers and we talked about the hip flexers in the upstroke part of the pedal stroke. So that’s one exercise that does train the muscles around the trunk, but really activates those hip flicks.

Adam Pulford (00:21:46):

Yes. And as we’re throwing exercises out there and I will link to this one, too, Renee, um, I call it a plank crunch plank side crunch, um, is what I typically call it. And, um, I’ll link to that, but that is also a very, that’s a good like bang for the bunk, um, core exercise for athletes teams

Renee Eastman (00:22:06):

Like plank runs too. Mm-hmm <affirmative> or dynamic plank movement like a pushup.

Adam Pulford (00:22:17):


Renee Eastman (00:22:17):

Well what is a push up, but a dynamic plank.

Adam Pulford (00:22:20):

Oh, for sure. Right. Uh, uh, T pushups, uh, is what I think the normal, um, world calls them, but uh, okay. I, I call ’em um, um, alternating side pushups or plank pushups. Uh, we basically do. Yeah, yeah. Push up and then push arm up in the air. I I’ll link to some of these, but these are all like great ideas did not mean to get into the rabbit hole of all the exercises you could do to train your core. Uh, but to the point and kind of to summarize the biomechanics of climbing, um, sure. You need a strong core. Absolutely. You also need to get coordinated by doing it and the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. So if we talk about doing it, Renee of getting outta the saddle and doing kind of this process, yeah. I don’t even know how this is gonna go necessarily on a podcast, but we’re just gonna go for it. Could you explain to our listeners just like you would an athlete who came to you and say, how do I climb out of the saddle coach Renee?

Renee Eastman (00:23:23):

So the first part of it is the, you know, transition from the seated to the standing, you know, moving your, your butt off, up off the saddle. You need a little bit of resistance for that, uh, to be effective if you’ve ever done it in a super tiny gear, when you’re spinning it at a hundred RPMs with no resistance, and then you try to stand up, it doesn’t work. So the step one would be shift to one to two harder gears in the back, unless you’re at the point on a climb where maybe it’s steep enough that you don’t have any more gears or you’re gonna have to ship to an easier gear to keep going. Yep. So the step one is you need a little resistance before you stand up, cuz you need to have some re resistance to basically stand on the pedal.

Adam Pulford (00:24:23):

So a moderate effort and a moderate gearing to even start this process.

Renee Eastman (00:24:29):

Yeah. I don’t also say even heavy gear. Sure. Yeah. You know, and in that transition to standing as you’re, you know, getting up your, you know, one foot is at three o’clock and you’re pulling on the bars as you’re lifting your weight out of the saddle and an important part here is that you should keep pressure on the pedals the whole time. I, I think that’s a mistake as people are just standing up, they stop pedaling and then try to stand. And what that creates is what we call the car maker, kick back,

Adam Pulford (00:25:11):

Call it that coach your name.

Renee Eastman (00:25:12):

Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever been on climb, Adam, where you’re riding behind somebody and all of a sudden their back wheel comes flying at you when they stand up. And that is what we affectionately refer to as, uh, the Carmel kickback, cuz there is one coach in the company who will remain nameless that does that used to do that.

Adam Pulford (00:25:37):

<laugh> Chris. I love you. Uh, but yeah, when he, when, when he would get tired, you gotta watch out cuz when he stands up, there’s a little bit of a kickback and, and so, but Renee’s referring to there. I mean, we, we, we joke, but it’s, it’s a thing and you gotta watch out for that. Especially if you’re in a group, people are getting tired and they’re, you know, changing up their saddle positions. Like if you’re following super close behind that wheel can come back and, and kind of spook you. Right. So I think anytime that you do shift, you know, her point here is when you shift from, uh, getting outta the saddle to, um, standing out, just be mindful of the people around you. If, if there are people around you.

Renee Eastman (00:26:14):

So yeah. And the, the, the number one point keep peddling and keep pressure on the pedals. Yep. And there’s actually you’ll notice or you should notice like each pedal stroke, two pedal strokes, harder as you’re, as you’re standing out the saddle. Cause that pushes your bike forward a little bit.

Adam Pulford (00:26:36):

Yep. Yeah. And to go forward forward is better than backward.

Renee Eastman (00:26:39):


Adam Pulford (00:26:40):

Yep. Okay. So I’ve transitioned up from, from sitting to standing and I’m kind of moving forward a little bit. What’s next?

Renee Eastman (00:26:48):

Yeah. So you are forward your body’s more forward of the saddle. You are, uh, leaning forward and you don’t wanna go too forward. If you go way forward, then all of a sudden there’s no weight on your back wheel. You might even notice the rear wheel picking up or there’s just a lot of pressure on your hands. Um, on the other side, some people just stand straight up and they’re like butts still over the saddle. And then they’re the weight’s too far back and it’s really squirrly cuz you have no weight on the front wheel <laugh> and the ideal is, you know, just in front, you’re just in front of the bottom bracket a little bit. Um, you have some weight on your, your arms. And a cue that I used to use is that when you’re out of the saddle and that bike is rocking back to forth, you could actually feel the saddle hit the back of your thigh a little bit. Um, now, as I was thinking about that, uh, I ride a power saddle now and it’s a short saddle, so it no longer hits the back of my thigh. Yeah. But the, the point there is that your, your saddle shouldn’t, you shouldn’t be directly over the saddle and you shouldn’t be so far in front of your saddle that, uh, your, your weight’s all on the bars.

Adam Pulford (00:28:10):

Exactly. Yeah. There’s a little bit of a hover technique that goes on, you know, in that, and as we kind of move through this, this, um, explanation via podcast, it’s, it’s challenging. Uh <laugh> so just kind of bear with us here. And the main implication is pick a few nuggets to try here, to apply to your climbing and go out there and just do and refine and try, um, because rye, um, because as you are of the saddle, the, the one thing I’ll say there too, Renee is the steeper, the hill climb is the more forward you need to become and then the less steep it becomes, then you kind of move back toward that saddle. Yeah. But there’s always that for AFT, um, negotiation, that’s kind of going on with the, the gradient, um, change. So

Renee Eastman (00:28:54):


Adam Pulford (00:28:55):

As we’re cresting the hill climb and we’re coming back to the seat, what, what does that look like

Renee Eastman (00:29:03):

At the same rule of keep pedaling applies sitting down as, as standing up that you want to keep pedaling and keep pressure on the pedals as you are sitting down. And, uh, one thing that will help that transition be smooth. If you’re actually kind of throw the bike a little forward with your arms, you kind of push the bike forward. As you keep spinning your legs to smoothly transition down to the saddle. Um, probably the most, you know, maybe common mistake I might see is people just stop peddling and then just plop on the saddle. Yeah. And that not only is abrupt and it’s a, a little jarring, it’s also a momentum killer,

Adam Pulford (00:29:54):

Huge momentum killer. I was just about to say that. Yeah. Good point

Renee Eastman (00:29:58):

That that’s maybe one of the things on the practicing and getting smoother on your transitions, both in and out of the saddle is I think if somebody is not terribly smooth with it, even that increased power getting outta the saddle, you’re actually going slower because of your transitions. You’re losing a fraction of a second, uh, or, or little bit less power production as you’re probably more than that transition sitting down would actually go backwards a little bit.

Adam Pulford (00:30:32):

Yeah. I would say that’s probably probably the number one thing for most people takeaways when you are transitioning back to seeded, don’t stop and plop, keep, keep, pedalling keep the momentum going. Especially when you’re crusting over the top. I see a ton of people, you know, they’ve, they’ve reached the hill climb, you know, and say whether they’re solo riding or it’s, you know, kind of who cares, I guess if it’s solo riding cool, you need to stop and get a snack, do it. But if you’re in a group setting or if you just wanna keep it going just a couple more pedal strokes as you go, keep your momentum going and it’s gonna be way more fun, it’s gonna be way more fun. So that’s a, that’s a pretty good explanation, um, via podcast with no visual explanations, Renee of how to climb outta the saddle. Um, I’m digging it. So

Renee Eastman (00:31:20):

I’d like to add one more thing, Adam. Yeah, yeah. Please do about the out of the saddle. Cause we haven’t talked about what do we do with our arms in upper body? Uh, cause that’s out of the saddle, you are gonna use your arms a lot more. And I think that’s, uh, uh, for some people, if they’re not real comfortable outta the saddle, they actually tried to hold their bike still and, and arms are maybe even locked and they’re are straight and they’re trying to, and that’s really wobbly to do that. And out of the saddle, you should be pushing and pulling on the bars with your arms. So your arms are, your arms are actually, you know, straightening and pushing straight and straightening and, and, and uh, and, and pulling back to rock the bike side to side so that your body stays still, your torso stays in the same spot and the bike moves around underneath you.

Adam Pulford (00:32:24):

Yep. Unless

Renee Eastman (00:32:24):

You’re, unless you’re anime van gluten and you move your body all over the bus in your, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen her sprint, but she for sure looks messy.

Adam Pulford (00:32:34):

Yeah. In fact, I had her like kind of visually in my head when you up, like it should be rocking and I’m like, but some people don’t. Um, so it’s, it’s not always true and she can still put down some, some huge power, however, to make it smoothly for most people. And you know, there is that rocking back and forth. That’s going on for our YouTube Watchers, who, who are watching it if this is the person here, and this is the bike underneath, you know, the body kind of stays relatively the same, but the bike is rocking back and forth as they go. Yeah. And that’s helping in their power production, everything that we just talked about in terms of the benefit.

Renee Eastman (00:33:06):

Well, it also is gonna allow you room to get that leg over the top of the pedal stroke, as you’re pushing the bike away from you and pulling it back, you know, tr for, for those of you not, you know, not real attuned, but getting outta the cell, try it with your arm straight and, and, and don’t move your bike and, and you find that you’re, you’re, you’re Pogo up and down and up and down and it’s real awkward. But then if you let the bike go back and forth and back and forth, you actually ha your hips can stay relatively level and get those legs around the top of the pedal stroke. A lot easier if you’re moving the bike side to side,

Adam Pulford (00:33:48):

That’s it, that’s it. Yeah. Really good explanation. Um, what, what else should we focus on while we’re climbing? Let let’s say that our say our listeners go out and they practice it and they did everything that coach Renee, you know, told them to do. And now they’re like, man, I feel a lot more efficient and a lot more coordinated. Uh, what else do, do you ever talk about, or do you ever talk with your athletes about cadence breathing rate, perceived effort? What, what else are you telling your athletes to do to focus on, on hill climb?

Renee Eastman (00:34:24):

Well, when you’re getting outta the saddle, you probably will notice a little bit of an increase in maybe ventilation breathing a little harder. Heart rate gets a little higher. Um, cuz you’re using more muscles, you’re using your postural muscles a little more. You’re certainly using your upper body a little bit more and it can drive up some of those metrics. Um, and I think that’s why people, you know, hesitate or, or shy away from climbing outta the saddles because they think it increases their effort. Now I, I think you can have actually an increased heart rate without increased effort because, uh, just because you’re using your upper body muscles a little bit more doesn’t mean that your, uh, legs are working any harder. You don’t have to be going harder if you’re outta the saddle. I think that’s maybe one of the points to make it’s

Adam Pulford (00:35:20):

Misconception is

Renee Eastman (00:35:21):

That, is that that might be something that I actually see a lot of people do when they’re not used to getting outta the saddle. Every time they get out, they’re sprinting, it’s a sprint. Every time they get out where there is a, a a, especially with the saddle, uh, relief on the saddle area or just changing the muscle groups where you can get outta the saddle and just kind of remain at like maybe a, that slow cadence, 60, 70 RPMs, you’re just really smooth and rhythmic. And you’re just using it for a change of that position, but not using it to increase your effort. So there is a difference of, of if you’re actually increasing the effort or actually taking the little bit of a break. I know for myself, when I stand out the saddle and just use it as relief, there’s actually a, a lower perception of effort. Yeah. Cause I’m now actually using my body weight a little bit to push those pedals over and generate that same, whatever, you know, 300 lots I’m doing

Adam Pulford (00:36:26):

Yeah, exactly. 400 typically

Renee Eastman (00:36:28):

For you 400, 4 50.

Adam Pulford (00:36:30):

Yeah. Um, no, and that’s a wonderful point. And it was, it was a point I was gonna bring up is, is practicing the art of not sprinting outta the saddle. Right. Because that’s where I think for beginners, it’s a, it’s a misconception that if I’m outta the saddle, I must go hard. And so that’s what you should do when you’re kind of like solo practice is like, you can even look down and look at your power meter and just make sure that you’re doing one 50 or 200 whatever you’re doing while you’re climbing, seated, just keep the same power outta the saddle. You’ll have to shift down a little bit, use a lower cadence, stand up and produce the same power, produce the same effort. And that’s when I’m working with athletes save for the first time on some of this, that’s a lot of people like to look at power and that’s a good metric to, to use, but I also encourage them to be like, Hey, you know, let’s do this hill climb at a six or a seven outta 10. And just keep that the same when you’re outta the saddle or in the saddle. Just keep it the same. Keep on practicing you <affirmative> you mentioned cadence, uh, Renee, and you said like 60 to 70, is that like a typical cadence that you do or you prescribe for hill climbs or, um, anything that you kind of change or prescribe on, on cadence or would advise to our listeners?

Renee Eastman (00:37:44):

I think there’s a lot of individuality of cadence, you know, for some individuals, uh, you know, 70 RPMs is low and for others that’s may, might not on the high side, but certainly on the medium side there, you know, I think it, if you’re dropping too much below 60, uh, you’re either on a 25% gradient or uh, <laugh>, uh, you know, if you’re not already in your easiest gear, you might need an easier gear, uh, whether you’re seated or standing, you know?

Adam Pulford (00:38:24):

Yeah. That’s, that’s a good point. And I’d say for people who love to stress and talk about cadence, like here’s where it’s at. If you’re 8,200 for most of your riding, that’s pretty good. When you’re hill climbing drop a below there, 60, 70, maybe 80, if you’re outta the saddle, maybe a little bit lower and kind of playing around that 60 to 70, 70 to 75, you know, find out what works pretty good for you. I’d say if you’re like Renee said, if you start to go lower, become inefficient, we’ll talk about the cost of some of that as we go here. However, also know that if you’re climbing steep grades and you’re still trying to hit like 95 or a hundred, and you’re just spinning and dancing, that’s typically gonna be at a cost as well. Inefficiently just spinning too high. And that’s where the heart rate for in, in this a few caveats there. And in Renee, you can chime in if, if you want to. But I do find for most people who are doing steep hill Clems, if they’re trying to reach for too high of cadence, heart, rate’s high perceived efforts high, and they’re not moving as fast as they can, if they would just lower their cadence and push a little bit more of a harder gear up that hill climb.

Renee Eastman (00:39:36):

Yeah. I think we got into, we coaches, uh, got into a habit of pushing. If you can’t spin, you can’t win kind of philosophy. Yeah. For so long that I see a lot of people, uh, uh, tickling on the pedals. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> on the way up the hill, where if they actually put a little more ump into every pedal stroke, that’s whether, uh, that’s seated and climbing and climbing outta the saddle, um, that they actually can go faster, um, and keep more tension on the muscles. So to, to produce more power is, is the, is the key. But you know, standing outta the saddle at, you know, 90 a hundred RPMs is something that’s going to be a sprint, not something that you can sustain. Um, it’s a peak force kind of effort at that high cadence outside out of the saddle

Adam Pulford (00:40:35):

200 meters ago type stuff.

Renee Eastman (00:40:37):


Adam Pulford (00:40:38):

Yeah, totally. There’s also so like the specificity of an event that kind of goes on with cadence and I’ll queue this up by saying, um, for my mountain bikers in particular is if we’re racing saying Colorado versus central America versus Europe, um, there’s, there’s different gradients that go, you know, in terrain that goes on in those different locations. So if you’re well, even east coast, if you’re used to climbing at, um, you know, on eight or 10% grades, maybe 12% at max and you can hit 65 RPMs, 70 RPMs. Cool. But then you go down to Columbia or central America or, um, uh, some mountain bike, uh, world cup courses over in Europe, you’ll hit these steep punchers that will require you to go down into the fifties for short time periods at max effort and go for it. So I think just, and it’s not going against what we just talked about, but you’re, you wanna look at the demands of the sport, look how steep you’re gonna be going. And if that requires really low cadence, do it in your training so that it, it is not a non-specific thing once you get to the race. Right?

Renee Eastman (00:41:54):

Yeah. That’s a great point.

Adam Pulford (00:41:55):

Yep. And for somebody like Renee, who, I don’t know, he’ll climb champ of the world, uh, she can climb uh fourteeners uh, in, in Colorado where she’ll likely be climbing for, how long does it take you to climbkes peak?

Renee Eastman (00:42:11):

Well, PI peaks, the short one, there’s a short one, but Mount Evans is two and a half hours.

Adam Pulford (00:42:16):

Two and a half hours of climbing. Yes, exactly. So, and <laugh>, I dunno, do randomly, do you know your average cadence going up Mo uh, Mount Evans?

Renee Eastman (00:42:26):

I would have to look, but I would say 70.

Adam Pulford (00:42:31):

Yeah. Which is probably gonna be different than racing. I don’t know, um, a stage in Redlands or something. I don’t know.

Renee Eastman (00:42:40):

Well, yeah, the, the climbs of Colorado are, are for the most part, much more gentle gradients, a lot of 6% grades, maybe seven or 8% grades. You don’t see a lot of double digits. Yep. You see some of course, but not, not like east coast or like you said down Columbia.

Adam Pulford (00:42:59):

Yeah. So just, just a, a point on that specificity kind of know what you’re getting into so that you can, um, train for it in the last bit of it. Um, on a focus on, on hill climbing is I encourage my athletes to focus on their breathing quite a bit, too, just to be aware of it and lean into it and find like that rhythm as they’re going, because what I find on long hill climbs, they, that is usually a better thing to focus on rather than staring at their power meter or making sure that they’re hitting 70 RPMs, whatever you told ’em to do. Right. Just focus on your breath, look around, focus on your breath and that cues them to the awareness of their body as well.

Renee Eastman (00:43:36):


Adam Pulford (00:43:39):

Anything to add to that Renee, before we get into the, the whole costs of climbing on the sale,

Renee Eastman (00:43:45):

Let’s get into it.

Adam Pulford (00:43:46):

Let’s do it. All right. So with everything in life, there’s always a flip side of the coin. Are there any drawbacks to climbing out the saddle Renee?

Renee Eastman (00:43:59):

Yes. I think the, there is an increased, uh, uh, energy demands. Cause you are involved in your upper body a, a little bit more, you know, at, uh, lower intensity. Um, there’s a little bit of increase like metabolic demand, you know, increased oxygen consumption, VO, two rate. That’s gonna, you’re gonna see it in increased heart rate. Uh, maybe increased breathing rate. Um, so you’re burning more energy. You’re using more energy to move theoretically, just as fast. Yep. Um, however, if it’s the last 200 meters of the race and you get to stop after 30 seconds, or it’s the key moment of the race where if you don’t keep up your race is over, then it’s worth that extra cost. So you have to kind of differentiate between, am I going for the long effort and just trying to get to the top the best I can, or do I need to put everything into this peak effort in its worth the energy, uh, expenditure to get that burst of power?

Adam Pulford (00:45:13):

Yep. Yep. Agreed. You know, when it’s, when it’s maxed, it’s maxed, it kind of doesn’t matter in that regard. Um, when you’re outta the saddle, you engage more muscle groups elicited a little bit higher heart rate in, in higher power. So that’s gonna cost more. What else happens as well? Are we, are we push like, are we pushing more air? Like what else is going on to, um, to change our cost when we go?

Renee Eastman (00:45:40):

No, we’re, we’re definitely less aerodynamic. Yeah. Uh, when we’re standing up versus, you know, uh, in that normal racer position, now, it doesn’t always matter if you are going six miles per hour aerodynamics, isn’t a huge factor at that point. Um, but they weren’t gonna talk sprinting, but I’m gonna bring it up for a moment. Uh, the whole kale of UN super low super arrow guy, he puts his nose right down on his stem. Uh, and that’s why he’s so fast. He’s not doing a lot more power than those guys, but he’s super aerodynamic cuz he gets so low. Um, so that’s a very, you know, probably real example of aerodynamic standing where, uh, in a less 200 meters of race that aerodynamics does, does count when they’re going, what 40 miles an hour

Adam Pulford (00:46:32):

For you? 50

Renee Eastman (00:46:34):

50. Yeah.

Adam Pulford (00:46:36):

Um, so, but when we’re climbing does doesn’t matter cuz we’re going so slow.

Renee Eastman (00:46:41):

It, it doesn’t matter a lot. You know, I, I think the, the, the tried and true 15 miles per hour is where our dynamic starts to play a bigger role when your speeds are above 15 miles per hour. Right? Yep. Or maybe there’s a huge headwind.

Adam Pulford (00:46:57):

I was just gonna say, there’s, there’s also winds. Right? So I’ve been top of Pike’s peak with this, you know, it switch backs at the very top, right? So tremendous winds up at the top of a 14,000 foot mountain, a great tailwind going 20, 30 miles an hour, one way, huge headwind going four miles an hour, the next right. And that’s when you just want like an extreme example tucked down and punch a small, uh, hole as possible. But my point is for most hill climbs, unless you’re climbing above. Yeah. I’d say I agree with you too, 15 miles an hour, kind of doesn’t matter. And that’s where I think the advantage of a little extra power, um, as well as changing up muscle groups, I would encourage people to get outta the saddle.

Renee Eastman (00:47:41):


Adam Pulford (00:47:42):

Climbing also, when we talk about that increased cost and will say, I read through Renee, did an awesome job of compiling a bunch of research, uh, ahead of this. I read like three of them out of six. So I’m gonna link to that in show notes and whatnot. But there’s one kind of when we’re talking about the cost in particular, max is max kind of doesn’t matter, like we talked about, but there’s one citation where you talked about, uh, the metabolic cost or the amount of auction that we’re taking in at moderate intensity and that moderate intensity was around 75%, right?

Renee Eastman (00:48:22):


Adam Pulford (00:48:23):

And so can you talk a little bit about that increased energy cost associated with that say 75% or a sub maximum sort of effort where it’s like, okay, if I’m climbing at a, you know, uh, sub threshold, moderate effort, it will cost me more. Was, was there anything to say it will cost me this much more or is there a cost benefit there that you would, um, associate after reading that research? Or can you walk us through a, a bit there and you can even use your coaching experience and say here’s how it is.

Renee Eastman (00:49:03):

I think that increased energy cost, it comes into play when you’re, you’re talking about, uh, uh, your best performance over, uh, uh, three, a, a three, four hour race, certainly a 6, 7, 8 hour race and, and things like that, where if it took you, you know, it’s a 20 minute time and if it took you 200 kilojules of work to, to get to the top, uh, uh, then versus, or, or two 50 versus 200, then by the end of of four hour race, if you add up those extra energy expenditures, every single climb, then you’re into, I’ve run out of gas. When we’re talking about a one shot 20 minute hill climb, you only care about getting to the top. That’s, it’s not that pertinent. Or if you’re talking about an endurance ride where, oh, I expended more energy on this one climb and this, in this context of an endurance ride, it’s not very significant, but when it’s Leadville and you’re needing every ounce of energy to make it through those last 15 or 20 miles, that’s when it really counts. So I don’t have a, I don’t have a number for it, uh, to, I think there’s a little bit of a common sense of, of is this an event where every, every I need every calorie I can conserve.

Adam Pulford (00:50:43):

Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good way of looking at it. And I, I would say too, it goes a little bit more hand in hand with, uh, you know, the aerodynamics aspect of it too, where it’s like choosing when you’re getting out of the saddle, um, is going to cost less, right? So the steep hill climbs get through, ’em get all the saddle, get through ’em, but like when you’re solo and it’s a strong headwind and you’re in the middle of Leadville, you know, going out to Columbine, if you do stand up just to kind of like change up the muscle groups, like do it for three seconds and then get back down. Right. And that’s where I think, you know, we’re not talking about standing out of the saddle, you know, for huge long periods of time here, we’re talking about certain, uh, ti certain times periods throughout the ride key elements, um, for you to do, to really increase performance in the long run. So, Renee, I guess before we like really start to close this out, I do want to talk about the difference between like bigger people and smaller people. Do you see any correlation between big people and small people and whether they climb out of the saddle more or less,

Renee Eastman (00:52:03):

I can speak as a little person <laugh> for those of you who, who cannot VI, uh, who don’t, uh, know me or can’t see me, cuz this is a podcast I’m only five foot tall. Um, I’m I can barely fit on an adult size bike. Um, and I stand out of the saddle a lot and you know, just kind of anecdotally I’m like, oh little people climb outta the saddle a lot. Why is that? Um, and there’s it we’re quick and nimble. Uh, it doesn’t cost me as much energy just on an absolute level to lift my body weight out of the saddle. And the other thing that, uh, so of not costing me as much energy to, to move my smaller mass out of the saddle. I’m I’m lighter. I’m uh, uh, I mean that’s why little people are gymnasts. We can, uh, jump around a lot more easy than the big, you know, seven foot called tall guy.

Renee Eastman (00:53:03):

The other thing is that on an absolute level, I’m I have a smaller person. I’m also putting out much less Watts. I have less muscle mass and I can’t generate as much torque torque being forced on the pedal stroke as a larger person can on. And there’s some physics behind just absolute power that if even, you know, you take power to weight into it, of course, but there is an absolute difference in me doing four loss per kilo at, you know, under 50 kilos versus somebody who weighs 80 kilos doing four Watts per kilo, they’re doing, you know, 70, 80 more Watts than I am. So that’s just to say the, the amount of force on the pedal stroke. I, I need my body weight to get that acceleration. It doesn’t cost me as much overall energy to get up out of the saddle, but I also need to get outta the saddle more because if I’m gonna put a lot of force, I can’t generate as high as absolute power. Uh, so I have to do everything I can to, to get that torque on the pedal stroke. So I need my body weight to do that.

Adam Pulford (00:54:26):

Yep. Yeah. That’s, it’s very true. You know, the, when it comes down to, you know, engaging that mass and moving that mass, that’s huge. And also, you know, back to aerodynamics, you know, bigger people will have an increased drag, especially when they do, um, stand up and get outta the saddle, even if it’s, you know, slow, um, speeds or not. And I’d say, you know, I’m not a big person, grand scheme of things, but I’m a bigger cyclist. I’m not, I’m not a small cyclist by any means. Um, but I’d say I climb outta the saddle quite a bit. And, um, and it feels good to me. It works, um, get up Hills pretty decently, but I guess, you know, where I’m going at is just because I get outta saddle and re Renee gets outta the saddle. Doesn’t mean that our, all of our listeners should get outta the saddle more predominantly.

Adam Pulford (00:55:14):

Okay. But what we are encouraging everyone to do is if, if you’ve had some of these like biased beliefs that getting out of the saddle costs more, or, um, it’s gonna hurt me more and it’s gonna cause more fatigue. It’s, it’s not necessarily true there’s times in places where if you deploy it incorrectly, it, yeah. That could be the case cuz there are costs associated with it. However, there are certain time periods where it’s gonna be really beneficial for you to do. And I’ll kind of cue it over to you. Renee is, is um, is this thing trainable? Like if there is a cost associated with getting outta the saddle and, and then I get really tired and my hip flexes hurt and all this kind of stuff and I get sore. If I do it more, will I get better at it?

Renee Eastman (00:55:58):

Absolutely. Like anything, the more you do it, the better you get at it. And I would encourage people, even if you’re not gonna plan to be an out of the saddle Nier Cantana climber that you should practice getting out of the saddle sum because the, that the, one of the common things I hear is that, oh, at the end of my race, I stood up to sprint and I cramped because they’re using these muscles they’ve never used or, or rarely used. And so that being able to have that, uh, that trick up your sleeves when you need it, you need to practice it a little bit. Even if it’s not gonna be a thing that you do a lot or predominates your, your climbing style, I would encourage people to get outta saddle a little bit. Um,

Adam Pulford (00:56:53):

Yeah. Yeah. I completely agree. And one of the way, one of the things I’ve been doing actually coming off of, uh, kind of this shoulder season from, um, winter and into spring is I still have quite a few folk on the trainer still. And, um, we’ve been doing some pretty long indoor workouts to prepare for the outdoor events. And I have been prescribing and writing different cadence, um, different cadence prescriptions, and also encouraging people to get outta the saddle for 30 seconds, every 10 minutes or something like this to get them dynamic in and out of the saddle to get them moving, to get them engaging different muscle groups, um, to do that. And I don’t know if that is something that you do, Renee. Um, but as, as one way that I’ve found be pretty effective, uh, for people who are indoors quite a bit and, and don’t have the luxury of, uh, getting out on hill climbs right now. Do you do anything?

Renee Eastman (00:57:50):

Yeah, that’s a great idea. Yeah. Uh, no, I think similar things, little accelerations out of the saddle accelerations, uh, interspersed between maybe within the middle of an interval or maybe some same, just some sprints period. Um, that’s something that I’ve, you know, over the last, you know, couple years here I started incorporating more into indoor workout is just throw a three few sprints in there. Yep. Cause otherwise there’s no reason to sprint where outside there often is a reason to sprint like, oh, I’m pushing off from a stoplight or, oh, I have to, you know, zip through this, uh, zip in front of this car or something like that, or, oh, there’s a squirrel. Uh, there’s all sorts of reasons that you might need to have, uh, uh, instigate, uh, a moment down of the saddle. Uh, even just pushing off from a stoplight, you’re outta the saddle for a few pedal strokes. So you don’t have any of that on the trainer. So inter uh, including if you sprinting your warmup is a great idea to just, you know, uh, include some of that dynamic cycling into a more static stationary workout.

Adam Pulford (00:59:07):

Does the sprint inside feel the same as outside?

Renee Eastman (00:59:10):

No, it doesn’t.

Adam Pulford (00:59:12):

Yeah. How, how is, how is it different and what is there to say about getting out of the saddle inside versus versus outside? And you can talk about hill climb or you can talk about sprint or whatever you want.

Renee Eastman (00:59:26):

One of the biggest differences is the bike doesn’t move mm-hmm <affirmative>, the bike is fixed. So when we were talking about rock on the bike, you’re not doing that, uh, I guess you, unless you’re on one of those rock and roll things, the, I can’t remember what trainer that is, but it’s, uh, so you are actually moving your body along around the bike a lot more. So if you, uh, you do need to practice it on the road, uh, to translate it and get that mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, motion down. The other thing I I see is that most people cannot generate as high peak force on the trainer as they can out on the road. Yep. Uh, trainers are a lot better than when, uh, back in my day, uh, like, you know, the, the, I think the, uh, the kickers can generate like 2000 Watts, uh, or something, but that moment of inertia to, to overcome that first force of the pedal stroke, it’s the weight of the flywheel that your body weight against gravity has, uh, the gravitational forces of you and the bike against the ground is much, still much greater than what you’re gonna see on the, the trainer.

Renee Eastman (01:00:44):

So you just don’t have that same level of resistance. You’re not, you’re moving a flywheel. You’re not moving your body against gravity.

Adam Pulford (01:00:54):

Yeah, that’s it. Yeah, that’s it. And, and I don’t remember who actually said this, but I say this a lot. And I say that one of the main differences is you’re producing power outside versus resisting force inside.

Renee Eastman (01:01:07):


Adam Pulford (01:01:08):

You combine that with the fact that the bike is normally, unless you have some fancy setups where, um, you know, a, a platform underneath you can sway, but the bike is generally locked in. And so, you know, all that to say it is still beneficial to get outta the saddle when you’re riding inside, because it’s going to one establish good habits of getting outta the saddle every once in a while, relieving pressure on the bum and the legs, changing up muscle groups, as well as on hill climbs to engage muscles a little bit more and produce a little bit more power. So I’d say, you know, if, if some listeners here are predominantly training inside and they’re training their FTP and they have like, say, I don’t know, like a three by 10 threshold workout. Um, typically what I’ll say is, okay, three by 10 threshold, every, uh, third minute stand up for 20 seconds, same power, same effort.

Adam Pulford (01:02:01):

And that will help to cue you practicing a couple things. One getting outta the saddle, right. Two producing the same power outta the saddle as you are in the saddle. And three, starting to learn how to get a little, um, coordination because a kicker or, um, a tax trainer or something like that will still move a little bit and you’ll still have kind of that general body sway, but that’s a really good way just to incorporate it. And also, I think for most people, whether it’s, I don’t know what it is about the psychology of it, but giving somebody sh a shorter thing or a something to do in a shorter timeframe during a longer thing actually really helps somebody, uh, get through a 10 minute interval. Right. Yeah. So, uh, that’s, that’s one example. And any other examples that you would throw out there, Renee?

Renee Eastman (01:02:54):

No, I think we doing a lot of the same, uh, similar stuff there.

Adam Pulford (01:02:58):

Yeah, yeah, no, that’s, that is good. Um, yeah. And I think, I don’t know any, any last little bit comments of, um, if, if somebody is like super anti getting out of the saddle Renee, is there, is there any final, final comments that you would tell them to just open their mind and, and climb a little bit more outta the saddle?

Renee Eastman (01:03:25):

The biggest selling forage can produce more power.

Adam Pulford (01:03:27):

Bingo. Yep.

Renee Eastman (01:03:30):

The caveat to that is it costs a little more energy, so, you know, use it when you need it, but use it judiciously

Adam Pulford (01:03:40):

That’s right. Yeah. It’s a super secret power, you know, <laugh>

Renee Eastman (01:03:43):


Adam Pulford (01:03:44):

Use it every once in a while, but it takes, takes a while to, to regenerate, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I guess, you know, in summary there’s kind of three reasons to get outta the saddle. It’s, it’s going hard changing up the muscle groups or to relieve pressure in the saddle area. The benefits are you produce more power, the, the costs or the negatives are, it might cost you a little bit, uh, energy to do it, but still when it comes down to 200 meters or the winning move, you’ll be out of the saddle and, and winning just like Renee

Renee Eastman (01:04:19):

Don’t win too many sprints these days.

Adam Pulford (01:04:21):

<laugh>, but, but, uh, all joking aside, uh, we’ve got a pretty decorated coach and decorated, uh, athlete that we talk to today in Renee Eastman. Um, again, I thank you for carving out the time and, uh, kind of pushing your, your, your clients at bay so that I could get you for 90 minutes or so while we talk, um, just outta curiosity, are you taking on any clients right now, Renee,

Renee Eastman (01:04:48):

As a matter of fact, that am gonna have a room for a couple athletes this summer. Nice.

Adam Pulford (01:04:52):

Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Is it, um, I mean, I know you mentioned that you take anything from road cyclists to triathletes, but, uh, are, are all welcome or are you really focused on like another national champion masters, uh, trophy to add to the case?

Renee Eastman (01:05:09):

I am happy to work with any athlete with goals. It doesn’t matter if your goal is, you know, I wanna do a PR on my Strava hill next to my house, or I wanna win a national championships. And I think that’s probably my misconception that a lot of people have about coaching is that you have to be a racer. You have to be a competitor to need a coach. No, you just have to get, wanna get better.

Adam Pulford (01:05:35):

Yeah. Just get after it. We’ll help you. Yeah. Yep. That’s it. Well, great. If, if, um, if people are just curious to, uh, uh, follow you on social media is where you most active.

Renee Eastman (01:05:47):

Um, Instagram Renee Eastman is my handle all the cat pictures these days. So if you like cats and you like bikes, you’ll probably enjoy me Instagram.

Adam Pulford (01:05:59):

It’s a good fit. That’s all right. Well, cool, Renee, thank you again for taking time to be with us on the train right podcast.

Renee Eastman (01:06:06):

Great. Thanks for having me, Adam.

Comments 3

  1. Pingback: Cyclists: Seated and Standing Climbing Mechanics to Ride Uphill Faster - Chris Carmichael

  2. Pingback: Cyclists: Seated and Standing Climbing Mechanics to Ride Uphill Faster - Chris Carmichael

  3. I think breath play and control is an important part of climbing, and so I’m really surprised that you didn’t talk about it more.

    I’ve heard it said that Pros work to slow their breathing on climbs in order to lower their heart rate, but that doesn’t make sense to me.

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