Ed Coyle's paper about LA delta efficiency is a fraud.

Page 16 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Mar 18, 2009
2,553
0
0
Galic Ho said:
The cookie will crumble some day. Just like the subject of this thread did.
You think Coyle "crumbled"? Seems to me that, at a minimum, he fought things out to a draw.

Number of original papers per year:



Number of citations per year:

 
Mar 18, 2009
2,553
0
0
the big ring said:
Ah yes fast and loose with the truth. You posted a link to the ground-breaking new 6-week study that proved Ed Coyle's study and I simply replied to it in its appropriate thread.

Trust me, if you had not said the following, this would have been left well alone.
My comment was in response to matomoro's mention of the Coyle paper. You're the one who dredged up this thread.

the big ring said:
Pretty sure that's you mentioning the paper and claiming the new study proves Ed was right
It doesn't prove it, but it certainly supports it, just like all of these other studies:

Hintzy et al. Can J Appl Physiol 2005; 30:520-528
Paton and Hopkins J Strength Cond Res 2005; 13:826-830
Majerczak et al. J Physiol Pharmacol 2008; 59:589-602
Sassi et al. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2008; 33:735-742
Hopker et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2009; 41:912-919
Hopker et al. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2010; 35:17-22
Sunde et al. J Strength Cond Res 2010 (in press)

(Note how all of these papers appeared after Ed's study.)

the big ring said:
, even though it's a 6 week study,
All the more impressive, I would say.

the big ring said:
not longitudinal
Incorrect: the study did include a longitudinal component (as described in the abstract)

the big ring said:
if I could access the paper itself I could find out how much the GE changed in the 6 weeks. I did ask, but I notice you declined to answer.
Sorry, from my end the paper is freely accessible, and I assumed (apparently mistakenly) it would be for everyone else.

In any case, to answer your question: efficiency went up by ~1% in an absolute sense (~5% in a relative sense, which is what matters from a performance perspective), i.e., from ~19.6 to ~20.6% (~ because I don't have the paper in front of me at the moment, and am working from memory).

the big ring said:
Good luck with having a (non-PhD estimated) 0.03 percentage point change in GE being anything but statistical noise or error.
Good luck indeed. However, you're the only who came up with the 0.03% figure (based on invalid assumptions) - in point of fact, the actually change can be ~33x as great (see above), and hence is readily detectable using a small sample size.
 
Mar 18, 2009
2,553
0
0
ScienceIsCool said:
If I had data that didn't add anything to my body of work, I wouldn't release it as a paper.
I wouldn't either (which I assume explains why my cites-per-paper is so high).

ScienceIsCool said:
Most baffling to me is the idea that Dr. Coyle had even minor suspicions of Armstrong's doping. I haven't read any of his papers, but wouldn't this be a large and confounding factor to his three "other studies supporting the connection between training, fiber type, and efficiency"? Was this discussed in the studies? Disclosed during peer review?
I don't know if it was brought up in peer review, but it wasn't discussed in the studies, and I don't really think it needed to be. The three other studies were of either untrained individuals or local amateur cyclists, who presumably wouldn't have access to the sort of "program" that a pro cyclist might undertake. Moreover, I can't think of any drug (available at the time, anyway...AICAR would do the trick) that would be expected to increase efficiency, and/or that might explain the observed (and expected, based on basic muscle physiology/animal studies) correlations between fiber type and efficiency.

ScienceIsCool said:
And lastly, not knowing Dr. Coyle I cannot speculate too much, but how could he not know that a paper on one of the world's most famous athletes would be of immense interest to others?
As I'm sure you recognize, most scientists view their audience as other scientists, not the lay public. Given the expertise of the audience and the limitations of the dataset, it is possible that Ed thought any paper would be roundly rejected, and hence not pursuing. He then might have changed his mind after the SCA trial (or he might have just found the time, or he might have desired to rub Ashenden et al.'s nose in things, or who knows...).
 
ScienceIsCool said:
This is difficult to understand. Your comments raise some questions.

If I had data that didn't add anything to my body of work, I wouldn't release it as a paper. I would release the data itself with some notes, but no conclusions. Make it available to other scientists.
That makes you the more rigorous scientist than Mr. Coyle.


ScienceIsCool said:
Was this discussed in the studies? Disclosed during peer review?

And lastly, not knowing Dr. Coyle I cannot speculate too much, but how could he not know that a paper on one of the world's most famous athletes would be of immense interest to others?

John Swanson
Gosh, what a surprise that research on a, at the time, practically mythical athlete would generate some interest. This is where from the outside, it looks ridiculous, but inside the system there's all manner of plausible deniability for Ed.

John, you and some others may be well aware, at least in the U.S. much of the scientific process of research then publishing has been subverted for commerical means. One area where it is obvious is in pharmacology research. Ghost written research published in the most prestigious of journals, weak to outright bad conclusions, and statistical sleight of hand all used to get drugs to market. This is one of the fundamental consequences of privatizing research that does not reach a general audience. We get confusion and misdirection instead of scientific progress.

Ed's work in this case is more of the same. Research for hire to reach a conclusion that supports the myth. Thanks again, Ed.
 
Mar 18, 2009
2,553
0
0
the big ring said:
There's this story of a man building his house on sand I once heard...
:confused:

You must be awfully naive to believe that Coyle's career is built on that one paper.

Here's a hint: his h index is 51.
 

the big ring

BANNED
Jul 28, 2009
2,135
0
0
So in 6 weeks training GE rose 1 percentage point?

And Armstrong - the guy who was winning a world championship and a Tour de France and training 3-6 hours every day and had "below average" efficiency to start with went from 21.18 to 21.61 in 2 months. Huh. And he's a pro vs "trained".

What was the initial average GE for experiment 2? Abstract doesn't say.

What I find curious is the paper seems to imply the more your GE improves, the more likely you are to have a poor VO2 max.

And Lance's improved lots (allegedly). So crap VO2 max?

It also seems to be saying what the SIS guys have been saying - that we don't expect GE to be high with high VO2 max ie they are inversely correlated.

So they kinda cancel each other out.

ETA 19.6 - 20.6?

Sounds like they were testing throwbacks or something. That's revoltingly low.
 
Mar 18, 2009
2,553
0
0
DirtyWorks said:
That makes you the more rigorous scientist than Mr. Coyle.




Gosh, what a surprise that research on a, at the time, practically mythical athlete would generate some interest. This is where from the outside, it looks ridiculous, but inside the system there's all manner of plausible deniability for Ed.

John, you and some others may be well aware, at least in the U.S. much of the scientific process of research then publishing has been subverted for commerical means. One area where it is obvious is in pharmacology research. Ghost written research published in the most prestigious of journals, weak to outright bad conclusions, and statistical sleight of hand all used to get drugs to market. This is one of the fundamental consequences of privatizing research that does not reach a general audience. We get confusion and misdirection instead of scientific progress.

Ed's work in this case is more of the same. Research for hire to reach a conclusion that supports the myth. Thanks again, Ed.
That's a nice conspiracy theory, but it doesn't fit with the timeline, nor with the fact that Ed expressed suspicions about Armstrong when he first presented the data.
 

the big ring

BANNED
Jul 28, 2009
2,135
0
0
acoggan said:
:confused:

You must be awfully naive to believe that Coyle's career is built on that one paper.

Here's a hint: his h index is 51.
ie all those papers relying on / refering to dodgy data (sand). I mean if the data is suspect as Ed himself seems to think - dunno if I'd be basing my research on it. If that was my cup of tea. Like string theory and what not. Flavour of the month and all that.

I'll go check out those studies you listed, but not sure whether I can get access to them.
 
Mar 18, 2009
2,553
0
0
the big ring said:
So in 6 weeks training GE rose 1 percentage point?
Correct...which if you understand how things work, accounts for about as much (more in this study, since VO2max didn't change) of the improvement in aerobic performance ability as changes in VO2max and LT.

the big ring said:
And Armstrong - the guy who was winning a world championship and a Tour de France and training 3-6 hours every day and had "below average" efficiency to start with went from 21.18 to 21.61 in 2 months. Huh. And he's a pro vs "trained".
Well that would make sense, now wouldn't it? That is, the more you are training/the closer you are to your limits, the more difficult it is to achieve further improvements.

the big ring said:
What was the initial average GE for experiment 2? Abstract doesn't say.
As I said, ~19.6% (averaged across all power outputs tested).

the big ring said:
What I find curious is the paper seems to imply the more your GE improves, the more likely you are to have a poor VO2 max.
That's been reported before, but only in cross-sectional studies, where selection might explain the relationship.

the big ring said:
And Lance's improved lots (allegedly).
:confused:

The subjects in this study improved their efficiency by ~5% (in a relative sense) over the course of a season.

Armstrong's efficiency increased by ~8% over 7 y.

the big ring said:
So crap VO2 max?
Correlation does not prove causation (and in fact, the subjects in the longitudinal component of this recent study showed an improvement in efficiency despite no change in VO2max.

the big ring said:
It also seems to be saying what the SIS guys have been saying - that we don't expect GE to be high with high VO2 max ie they are inversely correlated.
Some aspects fit, but others do not (see above).
 

the big ring

BANNED
Jul 28, 2009
2,135
0
0
acoggan said:
As I'm sure you recognize, most scientists view their audience as other scientists, not the lay public. Given the expertise of the audience and the limitations of the dataset, it is possible that Ed thought any paper would be roundly rejected, and hence not pursuing. He then might have changed his mind after the SCA trial

acoggan said:
Get your facts straight: the paper was published before the lawsuit came to trial, and Coyle presented the data in abstract before it was even filed.
I'm confused. You say "after the SCA trial", "before the trial". Which was it?
 
Jul 5, 2009
2,440
3
0
Dr. Coggan,

Thanks for your reply. Another questions, as this is nowhere near my field. The first paper you cited, Hintzy from the Canadian Journal of Physiology used only untrained women who are unused to cycling.

- The paper cites large NE% change and low WE% change as would be expected as the women became fitter.
- The adaption of the women to the mechanical motion of pedalling (inter-and intra-muscular motion) was also cited.
- The conclusion states that "it is likely that improved skill permitted the improved efficiency"
- The conclusion also states that "all efficiency indices were PO-dependent"

What is PO-dependency?

How does this study indicate that a trained athlete accustomed to cycling can improve any of the efficiency indices through training?

Why did you cite this study and how does it support your claims?

Are the other citations any better (i.e., related to efficiency changes in trained athletes - whether in their chosen sport or a foreign one)?

John Swanson
 
Aug 21, 2012
138
0
0
I'm reminded of a toad crossing a brook. Eventually the lilly pads stop appearing or can't support the toad's weight as it looks for the other side.

The only difference here is that the "other side" Coggan is looking for doesn't exist, and given that infinite distance he'll inevitably hit water. It's just not possible to label this paper as serious science.
 
acoggan said:
That's a nice conspiracy theory, but it doesn't fit with the timeline, nor with the fact that Ed expressed suspicions about Armstrong when he first presented the data.
Yet, somehow the decision was made to publish it with no regard to the widespread consequences. I've taken my tin foil hat off now. You suggest having some inside knowledge, please explain.
 
acoggan said:
Because I don't fully agree with your assessment?



I can't speak for Ed or anyone else, but in my case it is because 1) I have never really been interested in studying "ergogenic aids" (allowed or not), per se, and 2) it is not what I am paid to do/there is no one willing to pay me to do it (even if I were interested).
Thanks - fair enough on both counts.

Dave.
 
May 19, 2012
537
0
0
jam pants said:
I'm reminded of a toad crossing a brook. Eventually the lilly pads stop appearing or can't support the toad's weight as it looks for the other side.

The only difference here is that the "other side" Coggan is looking for doesn't exist, and given that infinite distance he'll inevitably hit water. It's just not possible to label this paper as serious science.
He's very creative! Otherwise known as making $hit up. Fulfilling an agenda often provides motivation....:)
 
Mar 18, 2009
2,553
0
0
the big ring said:
I'm confused. You say "after the SCA trial", "before the trial". Which was it?
Coyle presented the data in an abstract at a meeting held here in St. Louis in June of 2002, i.e., before the SCA lawsuit was filed.
 
Mar 18, 2009
2,553
0
0
the big ring said:
ie all those papers relying on / refering to dodgy data (sand).
I don't know of any papers truly dependent upon Coyle's report (though it certainly seems to have stimulated a number of subsequent studies).
 
Mar 18, 2009
2,553
0
0
ScienceIsCool said:
Dr. Coggan,

Thanks for your reply. Another questions, as this is nowhere near my field. The first paper you cited, Hintzy from the Canadian Journal of Physiology used only untrained women who are unused to cycling.

- The paper cites large NE% change and low WE% change as would be expected as the women became fitter.
- The adaption of the women to the mechanical motion of pedalling (inter-and intra-muscular motion) was also cited.
- The conclusion states that "it is likely that improved skill permitted the improved efficiency"
- The conclusion also states that "all efficiency indices were PO-dependent"

What is PO-dependency?

How does this study indicate that a trained athlete accustomed to cycling can improve any of the efficiency indices through training?

Why did you cite this study and how does it support your claims?

Are the other citations any better (i.e., related to efficiency changes in trained athletes - whether in their chosen sport or a foreign one)?

John Swanson
I cited that study simply because it is a longitudinal investigation of changes in gross efficiency resulting from endurance exercise training, i.e., in that regard it is similar to the others. If you wish to whittle the list to just those studies using trained cyclists, it would look like this:

Paton and Hopkins J Strength Cond Res 2005; 19:826-830
Sassi et al. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2008; 33:735-742
Hopker et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2009; 41:912-919
Hopker et al. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2010; 35:17-22
Sunde et al. J Strength Cond Res 2010; 24:2157-65

Plus the recent Hopker et al. paper, as well as a few others published between 2010 and now.

(Note the correction in the volume number of the first reference.)

In contrast, here's a list of all the longitudinal studies (of untrained or trained individuals) that I have been able to locate reporting that efficiency does not change:

Roels et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2005; 37:138-146

As for the role of biomechanics vs. biochemistry, it doesn't really matter to the question at hand, i.e., either efficiency is changeable, or it is the immutable "Holy Grail" that Ashenden claimed it was.

Finally, gross efficiency increases with increases in absolute exercise intensity, as the impact of the intercept of the VO2-power relationship becomes less and less - this is what the authors meant by "PO-dependency".
 
Mar 18, 2009
2,553
0
0
DirtyWorks said:
Yet, somehow the decision was made to publish it with no regard to the widespread consequences. I've taken my tin foil hat off now. You suggest having some inside knowledge, please explain.
I doubt that either the reviewers or the editors at JAP gave much consideration to your "widespread consequences", except for possibly recognizing that the paper might draw attention to the journal. Certainly from a scientific perspective, the paper (even if flawless) would not have been expected to have an exceptional impact.
 
Mar 18, 2009
2,553
0
0
acoggan said:
A better way to judge it might be based on citations statistics.* According to the ISI, since its publication the paper has been cited on average 6.8 times/year, which is above average for JAP, but probably right about average for one of Coyle's publications. IOW, contrary to what you might be led to believe based on what is posted to threads such as this one, the paper seems to have received about as much acceptance in the scientific community as you might expect.

(*Even more telling, at least in my opinion, is how it has been cited, which recently has been by follow-up studies it appears to have inspired. IOW, despite the obvious limitations of the original dataset, publication of the paper does appear to have moved the field forward.)
Since the big ring saw fit to dredge up this old thread, I thought it might be interesting to update the above stats. To wit: since its publication, the paper in question has been cited a total of 56 times, or an average of 7 times/year. As such, it ranks almost exactly mid-pack among Coyle's papers (i.e., 48th out of 104). By way of comparison, his other papers prior pertaining directly to the relationship between fiber type and efficiency have been cited 57, 99, and 281 times.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS