Doing supplements to improve performance in club cycling: a life-course analysis

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Stewart, Bob, Outram, Simon M and Smith, Aaron C. T (2013) Doing supplements to improve performance in club cycling: a life-course analysis. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 23 (6). e361-e372. ISSN 0905-7188 (print) 1600-0838 (online)


Using qualitative life-course and pathway analysis, this article explores the beliefs that serious club cyclists have about performance improvement, and what they think are appropriate and inappropriate ways of achieving it. We interviewed 11 cyclists from suburban clubs in Melbourne, Australia, and invited them to discuss their approach to training, racing, and supplementation. We found that each of the 11 cyclists were not only committed to the sport, but also paid a keen interest in bike technology and training regimes. In addition, they believed that supplement use was integral to meeting the physical and mental demands of their sport, even at club level. They also understood that supplement use, like training regimes, followed a sequential pathway where the accumulation of capacity, know–know, and knowledge, allowed progression to the next level of performance. And, like similar studies of club cycling in Europe, this cohort of cyclists balked at using banned substances, but also believed that in order to effectively transition to the elite – that is, professional – level, some additional supplement and drug-use was essential.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1111/sms.12090
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords supplements, drugs, Melbourne, clubs, athletes, transitioning
Citations in Scopus 12 - View on Scopus
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