STEEPED in science -
builT bottom up
INSCYD is built from the bottom up. Based on scientific findings of more than 150 studies, on regulation and quantification of muscular energy metabolism. The origins of INSCYD started in the mid 1980’s, when scientists like Kushmerick et al. and Katz et al. published numerous findings on enzymatically regulation of energy metabolism on skeletal muscle.
The first theoretical applications were developed in the late 1980’s and were compared and validated with experimental findings of performance tests in athletics, rowing, and swimming.
In the 1990’s, Dr. Jan Olbrecht started to apply theoretical concepts of modeling energy metabolism into the practice of coaching high performance swimmers and triathletes. Dr. Olbrechts work would eventually prove critical in Luc van Lierde winning the Ironman World Championship in 1996 and 1999. He would also have a major impact on the success of Dutch swimmers in world championships and Olympic games in 1998 and 2000. The dominance of swimmers whose coaches were advised by Dr. Olbrecht – from 6 different countries - would continue in the Rio Olympics of 2016, with 18 olympic medals.
In 2001 the first dynamic model was validated at the European space agency using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
In 2002 Weber et al. developed a bike ergometer test to directly detect the maximum glycolytic performance (VLamax) in cyclists. In 2003, this test was used to validate the crossing point of lactate production and lactate clearance, using the gold standard- maximum lactate steady state tests. In 2004 further studies followed at the german sport university cologne, validating the method in cyclists and runner in sub-maximum conditions
Subjects who participated in these validation studies eventually did not want to go back to traditional performance testing. The resulting new methods of performance assessment, developed from scientific studies, were spun off from university. Based on growing demand of athletes to get tested and coached on these newly developed methods, a coaching business named STAPS was created in 2006. In 2016, STAPS became Europe’s largest and most profitable coaching and testing business . This success proved the outstanding business model and economics of the new method. Today, STAPS has athletes like Jan Frodeno, Peter Sagan, Tony Martin and many more professional endurance athletes in their portfolio.
This method of testing became popular within professional sports because of its accuracy. For example, detecting anaerobic threshold is 4-5x more accurate when compared to traditional lactate testing. The 2nd most popular feature with coaches and athletes was the prediction capabilities- being able to identify what to train for. Due to the outstanding accuracy of the methods, and compelling performance prediction capacities (proven by Weber in 2003), professional cycling became interested. In 2006, Weber would become head sport scientist of one of cycling’s biggest teams: T-Mobile. During Weber’s time as head sport scientist of T-Mobile Team and its predecessors (Highroad, HTC, Columbia) would become the most successful teams in the history of cycling. Weber would eventually become one of cycling’s most successful coaches of the past decade. This includes more than 9 world championship medals and more than 130 victories to the athletes he worked with over a 10 year period.
During 2007-2015 this method was restricted to pro sports, primarily swimming and cycling. It was used by HTC for pacing strategy, but more importantly, as a tool to test riders before they were signed by the team. Since this technology was so integral to the success of HTC, the technology was kept secret by the team. Only in the last year of HTC, did small STAPS logos appear on the teams website. Since then, this technology has been used by Cannondale, Katusha, the French National Swimming Federation, and more.