You’re not cycling at peak capacity— but you could be.

Updated: May 5, 2020

Cory Williams Professional Cyclist Wearing the cm2 Pulse Band by Nimbus Performance

Hill climbs. I always hated those two words, until I learned there was more than just guts and grind. Way more! Digging deeper into the real science of performance cycling, reveals some gems for those hill climbing savants as well as you weekend warriors. There’s more --and I mean a lot more-- to the science of you and powering your two wheels. By the end of this article, you will understand more about performance than most athletes ever will, and if you're competitive, you might want to keep it that way.

That Shamed Word "Doping"

Unfortunately in our sport of amateur and professional cycling, the word doping, or blood doping has taken some of the glitter off multiple great endurance and iconic athletes on the planet. We continue to ask the wrong questions.

Why did they cheat?

Why would they dope?

But the real question should be what did doping do physiologically to boost these once, super heroes?

Blood doping was brought to the planetary front page headlines in 2012 when the dominant Lance Armstrong spoke out about this oxygen and recovery tool. You may also remember in 2018, Seoul Korea wherein the entire Russian team was barred from participation.

Why? Systematic doping.

Our friends at WADA lay out doping for us in 14 precise words, “any form of intravascular manipulation of the blood components by physical or chemical means”. Translation: blood transfusions, EPO and synthetic blood components to improve (oxygen) delivery by adding more red blood cells to your engine.

It’s pretty safe bet to say doping will improve performance and may send you to the big man upstairs faster than intended, however… back to the real question. If one dopes, what is really happening physiologically and could there be a safe, smart and leading edge work around to gain similar benefits, when all we’re left with today is a Red Bull, grounding and maybe a good massage.

33 Trillion Strong

If you are to ever understand the science of performance cycling, you have to both understand and appreciate the red blood cell. Our estimated 33 trillion red blood, cells (erythrocytes) which look like one of those red velvet donuts with the center filled in are EACH responsible for hauling UP-TO a staggering 1 billion molecules of oxygen. Sounds like enough, so why dope? Old school thinking is simple, more red blood cells in me (doping) equals more oxygen carriers. True, but the actual oxygen carrying ability of each red blood cell can vary greatly, and this is where the science gets exciting for us bikers. As a reminder, our blood viscosity is built to flow, not crawl. If you're still skeptical about the proven dangers of doping and really want to know more, read here.

Your thirty three red blood cells carry those hill busting oxygen molecules primarily on the cell surface. It’s these oxygen molecules being hauled around on the backs of your red blood cells that add power, vo2 improvement, repair and performance to the mitochondria engines within all of your cells. When we examine a drop of blood under magnification, we find most adults and particularly motivated athletes, you will see that a significant portion of the red blood cells appear like beautiful stacks of poker chips on a Las Vegas table. When you perform the same blood test on kids, you know, the ones that adults say, “where in the hell do they get all that energy”, you will think you’re looking at a handful of cheerios dropped on the floor from that screaming high chair.


How to Optimize those Oxygen Carrying Red Blood Cells

The stacking (called rouleaux effect) as well as the separation of red blood cells is affected particularly by the zeta potential or electrical charge on the surface of the red blood cell. Dissimilar charged red blood cells stack and like charge red blood cells repel. Just like two magnets can repel or slam to one other, our red blood cells are affected and behave in a similar manner. Separated and free suspended red blood cells have greater exposed surface area to pick up, carry and deliver more performance boosting oxygen molecules. It’s just a simple mathematical calculation. OK, got it, but how do I magically separate and optimize my red blood cells?

Have you ever wondered how a cell phone can magically charge wirelessly? This is the science of Faradays law of induction and Maxwell’s equation. Nimbus Performance, a company in Utah, a state that has plenty of nasty hill climbs has developed an ingenious wrist device that utilizes similar science to affect the charge of red blood cells as they pass through the wrist. Just like how a wireless charger emits a pulse that is absorbed by your cell phone, this new technology and your red blood cells act in a similar manner. When red blood cells are like charged, science will take over and do the rest by loading up those magic oxygen hill climbing miracles. Separated red blood cells expose a greater cell surface area for improved oxygen loads. This is one of the ways the human body and science coexist safely.

Less is MORE when Cells are Separated

The key is not doping to get more red blood cells but rather optimizing and maximizing what the good lord built in us to carry more oxygen. Check out the numbers on the chart below and then look at the image of stacked red blood cells above. Mathematically, they operating well below 50% efficiency. Imagine what you could do by doubling your efficiency?

You can be the cleanest eater on the planet, but without max oxygen, much of your dietary discipleship may get wasted. Boosting your oxygen delivery is like adding twin turbos to your high octane diet. You can read about a recent collegiate study here where top tier athletes used the cm2 technology and the resulting safe and performance benefits.

If you're a serious cyclist, you probably recognized Professional Cyclist Cory Williams from the top image of this article. Cory is one of our premiere athletes that is using the technology described in this article. Why does he use it, in his words:

"There is nothing more important than feeling great and being consistent that’s why I use the cm2 pulse band!"
                                                  -Cory Williams

As you study the science and understand how oxygen is delivered and trust in the amazing capabilities of the human body, you won’t climb on your bike without this tech strapped on your wrist again.

I’m no spring chicken, but it’s been shamelessly fun passing many of you hip thirty year olds on the 4,010 foot, 7.2% grade vertical climb up to SnowBird ski resort. It’s just science backed with some guts and grind.



We are always looking to partner with premiere athletes. If you feel that you fit this category and want to use the cm2 technology, click here.

751 views0 comments