CPCS is the official coaching provider to:
- Taiwan KOM Challenge
- Taiwan Cyclist Federation
- Mongolia Bike Challenge
Here you’ll find testimonials from my Crank Punk Coaching System clients! Places are still available on the program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
ALEC GATES / CPCS COACHING TESTIMONIAL
For coaching enquiries, please email me here.
Alec Gates is a well known and much respected fella here in Taipei, and owner of the fantastic bike shop Taipei Bike Works, situated in Taipei city. He’s also my coaching client!
We met when a friend suggested to me that his bike shop would be great to feature on my Youtube Channel, so I headed down there to say hello about a year ago and really liked the whole ethos of the business, which you can see more about on my video here: A few months later Alec asked me about coaching and soon joined the CPCS roster. The main issue was a familiar one: a stubborn refusal by his legs to put out more watts and a general plateauing of form. So, we got to work!
Here’s his testimonial:
By Alec Gates:
I’ve been into bicycles my whole life. I started with BMX in middle school and moved onto mountain bikes in college. I didn’t get into road biking until I got to Taiwan. I always thought it was boring. But after seeing the roads here, I knew it would be just as fun and exciting. I started to focus on descents.
I was fast, taking KOMs on the downhills left and right. But I was seriously struggling on the climbs. I could not keep up with even the most basic weekend warriors. At this time I just quit smoking and wanted to become healthier. I got obsessed with cycling and knew it would be a good outlet for my well being if I kept with it. I was on and off the bike for about 2 years when I got a hold of Lee.
At the time my fitness was all over the place and I had no idea what I was doing. I should mention I also run a bike shop full time, tutor English in the mornings and have a 2 year old daughter. With Lee’s help I was able to focus and manage myself in a way to raise my FTP from 190 to 260 in less than a year. I was not only fast downhill but I could hold my own going up the hills as well.
With Lee, he was understanding of my crazy schedule and made plans around it. If I asked him why I needed to ride this way or how a certain task should be completed, he didn’t hesitate to explain with enthusiasm. He is very passionate about cycling and really goes the extra mile to get you to your goals. Highly recommended!
And some photos of Taipei Bike Works:
MARK CROKER / CPCS COACHING TESTIMONIAL
When Mark came to me enquiring about potentially joining CrankPunk Coaching Systems back in 2016 he was, in his own words, ‘relatively new to road cycling’.
He had been ‘participating in a few sportives / granfondos over the last few years, namely the last 3 Etape du Tours. Great experiences but my performances were rather average.’ He was looking to get some help from an experienced coach and to give his friends a run for their money in the 2016 Etape.
I created an individualised training plan for him to achieve his goals, and come July and l’Etape, he nailed it. Job done! He then took a little break to decide on his next challenged. A short while later I received an email with this heading in my inbox:
‘I’m gonna ride my bike across the USA: I need YOUR help!’
Yup. He’d made up his mind: Trans Am or bust!
I have to admit, I was surprised. This was a huge undertaking even for a very experienced cyclist. But this is what I thrive on, taking on the seemingly impossible and making it work. It’s the story of my own career and I determined immediately to do all I possibly could to help Mark get it done.
And so, we went to work. We worked on the base, on the stamina and endurance, but also on the high end stuff, the stuff that hurts, that makes you tougher, that amazes you when you get through it. I knew he’d need that mental edge in the Trans America.
Working with Mark was a delight and I looked forward to our calls each week because on top of the almost-continuous gains that he was making, we always had a laugh. I’ve coached many people who have achieved their goals, who have amazed me and inspired me, and Mark is right up there.
One very emotional moment was when Mark called me from the roadside during the ride, not yet half way through. A fellow rider had been killed nearby. We talked through it, calmed a tense situation down, and focused on completing the challenge in the man’s memory. I’ll never forget that call.
His amazing success in completing the Trans Am, way ahead of schedule, was also one of my greatest successes and I thank him for letting me share in that.
Over to Mark…
By Mark Croker
I cannot recommend Lee enough!
He took me from fat MAMIL at the back / DNF’er at various Sportives and Gran Fondo’s to 34th out of a field of 120 in the 6,800 kilometre self supported Trans América Bike Race…….and less fat. From a longest ride of 160 kilometres to averaging 245 kilometres a day every day for 27.5 days.
He did this by:
- Believing in me.
- Putting together a training plan that worked to my schedule.
- Adhering to a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) methodology rather than the more OCD inducing strict adherence to power and watts. This kept my mind fresh and the training fun.
- Regular chats to check my progress and how I was feeling. An essential element of checking progress vs plan and thus enabling any adjustments to that plan, but also highly entertaining and interesting. Lee has definitely been there and done that but he has very much done it his own way. Plenty of stories and laughs.
- Actually caring about and being interested in my events. This definitely fueled the motivation. He was in regular contact during the Trans Am and was instrumental in restoking the fire after the death of a fellow competitor in Kansas, only 30 kilometers up the road from where I was camped. I was thinking very seriously about quitting. “Do it for your fallen comrade” he said. And so I did.
Lee was not only my coach and mentor but over our time together became a mate.
At the risk of repeating myself, I cannot recommend Lee enough.
Head to Mark’s blog, MAMIL CYCIST, here!
Anthony Walker is a fellow Englishman who got in touch with me early in 2020 to discuss an Everesting attempt on the slopes of the iconic Verbier mountain. With only 4 months or so to go before the scheduled date of his attempt, and considering he was coming straight off a ski season in his adopted Switzerland (where he founded Kudos Cycling) and had not touched a bike indoor or out for months – we had our work cut out for us!
Anthony put in some great shifts though and besides being very committed to the task at hand, he has a sense of do-or-die that I recognise in myself. That being said, there are times when even the strongest wills amongst us need some support and encouragement, to negate the second-guessing that can creep in, and to give a gentle push to keep the wheels aligned.
That’s a part of the job of coaching that can’t be learnt, and it’s one I enjoy the most.
Over to Anthony!
Everesting Challenge 2020 / By Anthony Walker
Everesting in 2020 was my cycling challenge. I needed a focus and a goal to train for in 2020. I usually just go out and pedal my bike without really knowing what or how I should be doing to improve my strength, endurance and stamina, as well as my mindset. Obviously all of these were very important attributes when attempting an Everesting Challenge!
I wanted to improve as a cyclist, improve my knowledge of training and techniques. I had never had a cycling coach so I did some research and I found CrankPunk and read Lee’s AboutaPunk bio. Straight away I knew Lee would be my ideal coach.
Professional Without Being Pro
Lee’s cycling experience and knowledge proved invaluable and he created a fun and varied training program which suited my lifestyle and time constraints. He analyzed my training and explained in simple terms where my strengths and weaknesses were which we worked on improving together. As much as numbers are important, Lee advised me not to get distracted solely by the numbers and it worked a treat. Going on feeling, understanding my body, when to push and when not to, was inspiring and I felt free of the shackles I had previously been bound to where I was looking at data and numbers in too much detail.
One of my biggest weaknesses is my head! Being able to speak to Lee once a week about where I felt mentally and also being able to message him whilst I was doubting myself, was one of the biggest aspects that went towards me enjoying my training and ultimately really enjoying the event itself. I made huge improvements to my overall fitness, mindset and cycling knowledge.
I can’t recommend Lee and CrankPunk highly enough. He is an awesome coach, knowledgeable, funny and empathetic.
Owner of Kudos Cycling, Switzerland
Simon was my first client ever to take on an Everesting… indoors!
By Simon Enger
I worked with Lee for a few months in the lead up to my virtual Everest attempt. Having never worked with a coach before I didn’t know what to expect.
I had always trained with power and I particularly enjoyed Lee’s approach in working with the perceived rate of exertion. I found it freed up my mind from concentrating just on the numbers and I enjoyed the training regime a lot more.
I felt myself getting stronger as we worked together and also found that my endurance improved considerably.
The weekly catchup was insightful to both review and recentre one’s self for the next block. The mental challenge is usually my toughest challenge in training so having someone there to keep me grounded was especially useful.
On the day I felt prepared, my body and mind were strong. My goal going into this was to enjoy the experience and finish comfortably. Both of these aspects were achieved, massive kudos to Lee for getting me there.
Gold Coast, QLD Australia
By Joshua Levine
‘At the end of working six months with Lee every aspect of my cycling had improved. Climbing was faster. Endurance was endless. Flats were fast. Recovery was instantaneous.’
Joshua on the start line
Kyoto, Japan is surrounded on three sides by mountains and there are countless opportunities for getting outdoors including cycling, gravelling, trail running, road running, and swimming. My family and I have been living here for the past ten years and training is an integral part of my daily life.
At the end of 2018 my wife and I became empty nesters and it seemed a good time to take on a new challenge. A Swiss friend recommended this crazy event known as ‘Chasing Cancellara’ in Zurich, Zermatt which was billed as 290km with 7000m of climbing and a 15-hour time limit. The distance was believable but combined with the elevation and the time limit it seemed impossible. I signed up immediately as this was the perfect, crazy goal I’d been looking for. The plan was to start training about 8 months out and it was quickly evident that it was time to get a coach. I messaged around to all my cycling mates and my friend Alastair mentioned that he was following Lee Rodgers, aka CrankPunk, and highly recommended that I contact him. It was a great call.
I completed two training programs with CrankPunk Coaching Systems. The first was a 12-week Everesting program. Breaking down the numbers on the Chasing Cancellara event it was essentially an Everesting attempt and Lee had a standard program [pre-written] ready to go. At that point in time I was primarily trail running and my cycling was weak. The 12-week program whipped me into good cycling shape and prepared me for a whole lot of climbing. The second program was the 1-2-1 Elite Plan, a fully customised training plan that features weekly calls.
During the 1-2-1 Elite program Lee focused on building up my pace as well as tailoring the workouts to my abilities/weaknesses. For example, I HATE riding flats and Lee helped me build up my flat and long downhill pace. These ended up being critical skills for hitting the finish line ahead of my planned schedule in Zermatt.
In both programs the workouts were a combinations of high intensity training mixed in with longer endurance efforts. I was a bit wary at first as the workouts seemed to be too short and too efficient in comparison to my standard training schedule. I was wrong. At the end of working six months with Lee every aspect of my cycling had improved.
Climbing was faster. Endurance was endless. Flats were fast. Recovery was instantaneous.
At the age of 55 my motor is more diesel than two-stroke. Long, hard, all day rides are fine, but, please, don’t make me go too hard. Lee helped me push through these self-imposed limitations with two great pieces of cycling wisdom:
‘Go until you blow up. And, then, keep going’.
‘Don’t look at the numbers all day. They are holding you back’. Repeat ad infinitum.
It was a true please to work with Lee. In addition to the well thought out and tailor-made training program, our weekly chats were informative, motivating, and funny. One more big shout out to CrankPunk.
“Training with CPCS”
“I find Lee an exceptional coach, no doubt anchored by his own successful cycling career.”
By Bruce Swales
When I first contacted Lee in 2014 I was recovering from a heart attack that hit me during a race earlier in the year. I wanted to continue cycling (with my cardiologist’s blessing) and wanted to regain and improve further on my strength, endurance and climbing ability. Initially hesitant to coach me, Lee agreed and built a training plan focused on those objectives, while not being too physiologically stressful.
While I ultimately have given up racing I still have personal objectives and goals I want to achieve and Lee’s training is getting me there. In mid 2015 I achieved one such goal, which was knocking off three of the great TdF climbs – Tourmalet, Solour and Aubisque in three days, and since then have accomplished some significant non-race cycling events around South East Asia.
My last annual CPET (May 2016) indicated that my V02max was 15% higher than a year ago, my maximum heart rate was 180 (not bad for 56yo) and my anaerobic threshold heart rate was 86% of HRmax. I could not have achieved these results without a structured training programme tailored for me and great coaching.
I find Lee an exceptional coach, no doubt anchored by his own successful cycling career. He listens to both how I am feeling and what the training numbers are saying, and on a weekly basis modifies my training plan accordingly, never losing sight of my long term objectives. He is accessible, communicative (we talk and review progress and goals weekly), highly experienced, and of particular significance to me he was prepared to coach me even though I am not going out to win races.
September 30th, 2014
Rafael Leyson Amorganda
17th June 2014
Rafael Leyson Amorganda, take the floor. Rafael lives in the Philippines and came to me with weaknesses in his stamina and in an ability to be there in the mix at the end of races. After 8 months or so of working together, Rafael went and won both stages of the Tour of Subic and took the GC in his age group.
Seriously, I was happier than him about all this. Anyway, over to Rafael:
All credits and gratitude to Lee for all my refinements and breakthroughs. The Crank Punk Coaching System has equipped me with great results in my races.
I first met Lee at the Tour of Friendship and I was astounded by his rendition in his category (open), which happened to have a lot of stout and strong competitors. His domination in the time trial and road stages bewildered me and made me curious on how he conquered the stages.
I knew there was something different in him – he was the Crank Punk coach. I never really realized the significance of being taught by someone professional in the field, until the moment I decided to register with CPCS. I was very gratified with how my fettle and endurance increased in just a small span of time.
Lee knows where he needs to focus and he wanted my weaknesses to become my strengths. Last May I just won my first podium as champion in the Bike United Tour of Subic.
What is great about the program is that you don’t need a lot of miles of training, which is perfect for my working schedule. As Lee stated, quality matters more than quantity.
I remember asking Lee which equipment I should buy next, and he answered that I should concentrate on developing my legs, building power and improving my endurance before I worried about new equipment.
So for those of you who think that your bike and hardware will bring you to the top? Nope! CPCS will…
4 May 2014
I first came across Lee at the 2013 Tour of Friendship (“ToF”) in Thailand when he stormed to the General Classification in the Open Category. My own successes had been somewhat more modest – mid-to-lower podium finishes reflected an inability to conclusively break into the limelight on the top step.
My problem wasn’t a lack of motivation or mileage – I had that in excess but clearly those 5am training starts weren’t quite translating into the results I was aiming for.
After a disastrous National’s road race (my legs quite literally seized up with cramps on the finishing stretch and the bike fell onto the grass verge with me still clipped in), I sought the advice of a team colleague, Donald MacDonald, who’d started having decent results; he put me in touch with Lee’s Crank Punk Coaching Systems.
That was September 2013, about a month before the Tour of Matabungkay in the Philippines. Lee and I discussed my goals and reviewed my training including my nutrition and Lee put together a programme tailor-made for me.
The first thing that I realised was that it wasn’t just about piling on training miles. CPCS’s approach is focused and specific, designed to target areas that would make a difference where it would count. Instead of ramping up my mileage, it was actually scaled back but it was no less rigorous.
Another was recognition that rest time is not just down time but an important part of the structure of an overall training programme (although I still wrestle with the sense that my fitness is going backwards when I’m not on the bike). [It’s obviously not though! -cp]
A third difference was whereas I had been trying to train to the ‘numbers’ (essentially using a power meter), CPCS also brought in a ‘Perceived Rate of Exertion’ (“PRE”) scale, combining the watts and PRE. In other words, it was about training your body to “get in touch” with itself so at any time, you knew when to go and when to wait.
The results were dramatic. Within five weeks, I came in 2nd in the Tour of Matabungkay (46+ Cat), much to my surprise. I had gone into the competition thinking that it would just be a ‘warm up’ event for the Masters Tour of Chiang Mai (“MTCM”) in November, but it marked the start of some notable successes.
The MTCM is essentially a climber’s race with the crux being the final stage, an 80km road race with three stonking hills including an 18km climb and Chiang Mai’s infamous “7-switchbacks”, 2.5km at 12%+. Coming into the race, I was lying 2nd in the GC but that counted for little as it was all about the hills. By the time we arrived at the switchbacks, there was only the pre-race favourite and myself left. Suffice to say, I was running on fumes and digging deep into whatever gains CPCS’s training had conveyed when the favourite cracked and I was able to ride away with the KOM and take the General Classification.
My ultimate goal however was the ToF, easily the most important elite amateur stage race in this part of Asia. We looked at this year’s course and concluded that the time trial was going to be of particular significance so we put together a training plan that spent time preparing for this as well. After a break in December, training began in earnest, building on strength gains from the past few months.
In the weeks leading up to the race, I could actually feel the improvements, particularly when riding with team colleagues where it was apparent that I was relatively stronger than before.
All that time trialing paid off because in the Prologue, I took the stage to secure the yellow jersey (actually blue in colour for our age group). In the mountain stage (Stage 3), I took the KOM after over-hauling all but one of the 30-year olds (who were racing with us) and extended my GC gap by over two minutes by Stage 4 of the competition.
Suffice to say, Crank Punk Coaching Systems has worked for me. Clearly hard work, motivation and time are necessary to succeed but what CPCS brings to the mix is an ability to direct those ingredients with a bespoke programme of structured training and blend them into a winning formula.
I can’t think of a better recommendation than that. Thanks Lee!
There are places available on the CPCS roster, if interested please use the ‘contact’ form at the top of this page.
Serene’s was my client since June 2013, when a chance encounter led to us working together, a meeting which also saw the beginning of my coaching career! very talented, Serene hails from Singapore, is 24, and has a whole lot of success, I feel, ahead of her. [She did indeed, going on to race pro in Europe]
The science of bike riding can get rather similar across the board. Some little tweaks here and there, some new technology and insights once in a while – but there is barely any new dramatic or controversial findings for most parts.
It’s the art of putting together this science that sets different coaches apart. I’m happy to have found Lee to help take my riding up a notch. As I always say, when the mind is good, everything falls into place. For sure, the training works the legs plenty. But it makes it all the more effective and efficient when these workouts closely simulate my upcoming race and works the particular energy system in question.
In short, you look at them on the plan and it makes complete sense! That motivates me to do them, and nail them!
I’ve been working with Donald now for something like 2 and a half months, he recently had a very successful Singapore National Championships…
About Crank Punk Coaching System:
Crank Punk is good people and gives great Skype. His training approach is pretty cool too…
Bit of background about how I came to fall under his (heavily tattooed) wing. I’m an expat banker living in Singapore with the obligatory (for Asia anyway) extensive selection of nice bikes and carbon wheels. To my wife’s constant displeasure, I’m reasonably serious about my cycling – training 12 hours+ a week, I watch my diet and rest well.
I’ve read all the books, put in the hours, have all the gear and do reasonably well – racing at a category 2 level. However, my training was in a bit of rut and I found myself looking for something new to take me to the next level. I’ve been on the hard end of some stout spankings from CrankPunk in local races & so when he said he was offering training, I thought I’d give that a shot. Figured that if you can’t beat him then at least get him on the payroll!
Few things I liked about the program:
- Having a structured plan:
The biggest benefit I found was simply in having a structured plan. Each week, CP would design a specific program for me involving Sufferfests, puke inducing individual intervals, timed efforts and/or group rides.My weekly ride time stayed about the same but there was much more focus on achieving specific goals within the week that it felt much more effective. I realized that previously I spent too much time at a middling 7/10 exertion and not enough going really hard (9/10) or really easy (4/10).CP also baked in a regular timed effort (usually a 40km TT) to monitor progress &, whilst painful as hell, came to really enjoy these sessions.
- Flexibility to have fun:
Lee was no number Nazi. He built freedom into the plan so you could adapt to how the legs were feeling or what else was happening locally. Sometimes a day’s instruction would be as simple as “Saturday group ride – Balls out. Have fun!”
- CrankPunk Himself:
Lee is a good guy. Very funny. His Skype alone is worth the monthly training fee.
After 6 weeks of training with CPCS, there was noticeable difference in my form and physique. My legs had veins popping in places where there’d been none & my max heart rate miraculously went up 5 beats. On the results side, I hit my target – getting Silver and Gold in the Singapore National Time Trial events .
CPCS gave me the extra 2% on top of what I already had but that 2% was the difference between 8th place and a podium.
I heartily recommend Crank Punk Training to all (unless you’re one of my local Singapore rivals)
CPCS has helped me improve in a few different ways. I remember reading an article by Lee that really caused me to think about why I was depending so much on my power meter. I was obviously not getting better – a somewhat stagnant category 4 racer with no podiums to my name. So I sold my power meter and heart rate monitor and contacted Lee about coaching me and he agreed. Up to this point I had been self-coached. Lee coaches using PRE [Perceived Rate of Exertion] and this was in and of itself a liberating experience. Not relying on a number helped me to focus on the feel of the effort. Selling my power meter was one of the best things I’ve ever done to help me improve in cycling.
Lee also introduced SufferFest videos. I was excited to try something new but wasn’t exactly sure how these videos were going to help. After agonizing through one of them, I had my answer. I have never sweated so much! These helped me to focus even more intently on how, for example, a PRE 8 feels since there isn’t a whole lot to distract the mind on a trainer. Using these videos within the training plan really helped improve my overall fitness and knowledge of how far my body could go.
One of the first things Lee had me practice, both on the trainer and outdoors, was to pedal with a higher cadence than normal with my hands light on the bars. I was doubtful this would give me any significant gains but I did it anyway. Within a couple weeks I noticed a difference. I was more comfortable on the bike and I was able to apply pressure to the pedals through the entire pedal stroke giving me more power. I was amazed. Pedaling efficiency is one of the building blocks of improvement on the bike and Lee knew I needed to focus in this area.
He introduced me to the 40km TT. I had done only one TT of that distance and was completely unsure whether I’d be able to even finish it. This came along a few weeks into the training plan. He stressed pacing so that I didn’t blow up midway. So I went out and did my 40km TT and finished it. It gave me an incredible sense of accomplishment as well as a benchmark for future tests. Also, the fitness gains for me were significant. After a rest day, I went riding and felt incredibly strong. I kept looking at my speed and thinking the computer must be miscalibrated. This, for me, was another piece to the puzzle.
Now, all of these things added together gave me a very strong base but still there was the uncertainty of how I would respond to racing. The first race under CPCS was a disaster as far as the racing went. I got pulled after being lapped. The worst! However Lee used this as a learning tool. Over the next couple weeks we determined that my body works better in races when I’ve had a harder week leading up to the race. I had never done that before. Just another piece to the puzzle.
Finally, after a disappointing racing season, I had one left on my racing calendar. I felt good and my morale was high. I had a confidence in myself I hadn’t had before. It was a 35min Crit. I lined up with about 30 or so guys, most of whom had been finishing ahead of me in other races. The word was GO and I was in the zone. I kept hearing Lee’s voice in my head to stay calm and save the legs! So I stayed in the pack. A couple times someone would attack but the pack would chase them down. Finally the bell rang for the last lap. The pack nailed it and we were flying around the course one last time. “Stay in the slipstream”, I kept thinking. We hit the only hill on the course at about 400m to go. Strangely it didn’t seem hard. I marked a guy who I knew would be making a move. He started his sprint. I started mine and nearly dumped it in the grass! I regained my balance and saw that he was only a bike length or two ahead of me and going for the line. I put my head down and gave it everything I had and got the win!
So to say CPCS has helped me improve would be, I think, a drastic understatement.