Triathlon Training - Managing Arrhythmia Part 3

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The final piece of the puzzle drops into place…

Modern Traditional Racing SaddleWell listen up guys and dolls, this is serious stuff that effects all of you! Your sexual health could be at great great risk because of the saddle you use!

On an annual basis, bicycle riding involves several hundred million people worldwide. Studies have linked perineal pressure caused by straddling traditional bicycle seats to numbness, urinary tract and yeast infections, prostate inflammation and impotence.

For male riders, in addition to the discomfort and numbness associated with a traditional saddle, there is an increased susceptibility to restricted blood flow, which can lead to arterial occlusion and permanent erectile dysfunction.

For women, the restricted blood flow and hardening of the genital arteries can lead to an inability to reach orgasm. It has been found that as little as 11% of a person’s body weight can compress the genital artery!

So what has  a bike saddle got to do with my arrhythmia?

This perineal pressure and it’s damaging effect, is far greater for triathletes in the aero position, and although I have had minor prostate issues for many years, it was under control and only became severely aggravated after I started triathlon training and riding a bike just over two years ago.

As outlined in my earlier blog post Triathlon Training – Killing Six Birds With One Stone, it is my enlarged prostrate that prohibited the emptying of my bladder, which then got me up every hour at night to go to the loo, which then prevented me getting sufficient rest to recover from training, which then lead to my being in an overtrained state, which then lead to severely aggravated heart arrhythmia!

…so amazingly it actually all started with the bike saddle!

The traditional bike saddle shape has in effect changed very little since the original “Penny Farthing” of yesteryear, but thank goodness at least one innovative manufacturer has at last taken the matter seriously enough to do the necessary research and develop a new design that completely handles the problem:-

Adamo Racing SaddleISM Adamo Saddles

Here’s an interesting read on the health benefits of no nose saddles vs. traditional saddles.

On September 5, 2006 Steve Toll traveled to the University of Hamburg to have the new Adamo Road saddle and the Adamo Racing saddle tested by noted German urologist Dr. Frank Sommer. At the conclusion of the testing Dr. Sommer was pleased with the results and congratulated Steve on his design and achievements. Dr. Sommer stated, “A saddle where there is hardly any blood loss. Which is excellent to preserve sexuality and for preventing erectile dysfunction.”

While normal testing involves a 15-minute ride on a saddle, the test using the ISM™ was discontinued after 12 minutes.  Why?  Dr. Sommer commented, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”  In fact, blood flow in the perineum area remained at 100% throughout the test with the ISM™, a mark rarely seen in bicycle saddle testing.

In addition, Dr. Sommer’s prior research has indicated that some saddles restrict blood flow in the perineum area by as much as 95% within the first minute of a ride.  Other studies indicate that such restriction over a long period can result in permanent erectile damage.

The ISM™ is a first-of-its-kind seat.  If a family is in your future, or you’re simply tired of the pain and discomfort associated with a traditional saddle, rest your bones on the ISM™.  It’s medically better for you.

Adamo saddles are currently available from Troisport (best price), Wayne Pheiffer and Triangle Sports in South Africa, so get one now as besides anything else your butt is going to thank you big time!

I will never ride again with any other…


NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health) Update

National Geographic Adventure, April 2003 – Riding Rough: New Evidence Continues to
Link Biking to Impotence by Jim Thornton.

Bicycling Magazine, August 1997 – The Unseen Danger by Joe Kita

Other Research Studies: Available Through the National Library of Medicine

“Impotence and Nerve Entrapment in Long Distance Amateur Cyclist”
Andersen K.V., Bovim G.
Laboratory of Clinical Neurophysiology, Trondheim University Hospital, Norway.

“Does Bicycling Contribute to the Risk of Erectile Dysfunction?”
Goldstein I., Marceau L., Kleinman K., McKinlay J.

“Type of Saddle and Sitting Position Influence Penile Oxygen Pressure while Cycling“
Dr. Frank Sommer, Cologne University, March 2003.

“Pressure Distribution on Bicycle Saddles” (a comparison between normal “flat” saddles
with gel and saddles with a “hole” in the perineal area)
Renato Rodano, Roberto Squadrone, Massimiliano Sacchi, Alberto Marzegan
Centro di Bioingegneria, Milan, Italy – November 2002.

“Ergonomics of 2 Bicycle Saddles” (Pressure at the Pudendal Area in Women of a
Normal Saddle with Gel and of a Saddle with a Hole)
Dr. Ingo Froboese – Deutsche Sporthochschule, Cologne, Germany
Dr. Luc Baeyens – Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Brugmann, Brussels, Belgium.

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