Olympic mountain biking coach Filip François reveals his coaching structure, which leads to proven top performance and coaching business success.

When I started my coaching business together with my wife (two times cross country Olympian) we wanted to give our athletes the best coaching possible. We chose to use INSCYD, because we already worked with it during the preparations for the Olympics with Belgian Cycling (official INSCYD partner).

In this blog I share how we structure our coaching, why that leads to peak performances, and how this can boost your coaching business.

“It’s really rewarding when I see we can make an impact on the performance and lives of my athletes, by helping them rise above everything they dreamed of.”
Olympic mountain biking coach Filip François
Filip François
Olympic mountainbike coach & co-founder Built By hard Work

Understand the race demands

Before we start working with an athlete, it’s really important to know the physiological demands of the sport they are in. Only if you know those demands of your sports discipline, you can see where you’re at now – and compare it with the goal you’re working towards.

Incorporating Athlete Profiling and Performance Projections

Do you recognize this crucial first step? It’s the same initial step that Wout van Aert mentioned when talking about switching from cyclocross to road racing and back during the season. You need to first understand the goal and associated physiological demands before you can continue working with your athlete.

INSCYD allows you to understand how the ideal athlete profile would look like for any given event or race. National and State Champion coach in track and field and XC, Ben Tilus, already gave us an example of how he uses INSCYD to find out whether his athletes should increase or decrease anaerobic power (VLamax).

In summary: use the INSCYD performance projection to see how your athlete’s performance would change if you’d increase or decrease performance metrics like VO2max, VLamax, bodyweight etc.

Experience the game-changing power of performance projections firsthand! As a sports coach or lab, you have the opportunity to book a free call with our team of expert. Witness the impact of performance projections in action and discover how it can elevate your coaching business. 

Don’t miss out on this exclusive chance to optimize athlete profiles, drive peak performances, and stay ahead of the competition. Schedule your free call with the INSCYD team today and embark on a transformative journey towards unlocking your athletes’ full potential.

Compare race demands with current metabolic profile

Only once we truly understand the race demands, it’s time to look at their current metabolic profile. With this profile, we can see if their current physiology matches with the physiological race demands of their sport. This also allows us to see where the athlete is able to improve their performance.

“INSCYD gives a full spectrum of metrics every coach needs to have.”
Olympic mountain biking coach Filip François
Filip François
Olympic mountainbike coach & co-founder Built By hard Work

With INSCYD you can create this metabolic profile with all the numbers you need as a coach. You can even do remote testing. In fact, we often start with such an INSCYD Power Performance Decoder test.

With the race demands in mind, we can now look at the metabolic profile which shows metrics like:


LA good example of how we use these insights is a success story about one of our athletes who wanted to switch from triathlon to continental level road racing. With INSCYD we were able to see that his glycolytic (anaerobic) power, or VLamax, was too low for his road racing goals. With training we were able to increase VLamax to make sure it matched with a road racing profile. This resulted in a serious performance increase.

However, with an increase in VLamax, he also needed to change his food strategy. In the past he relied on a low carb intake, but INSCYD showed that his new profile required a higher carb intake. Based on the data, we could create highly individual nutrition (fueling) plan and started to implement this in training. Now he’s able to successfully use this fueling strategy in racing too.

Communicate goals and build trust

Communication with your athletes is crucial. 

Most of my athletes like the explanation of why they need to do specific things in training. This, together with measurable progress gives the athletes confidence.

With the INSCYD metrics derived from an INSCYD test, we can perfectly explain the things we want to improve in training, to reach a better performance. Being able to show this to your athlete in a clear INSCYD report builds trust.

Building Trust and Personalizing Training: How to Stand Out as a Coach

Any coach is able to create a training plan. Nowadays even AI tools like ChatGPT can create training plans.

If you want to differentiate yourself as a coach from other coaches or AI revolutions, building trust with your athlete is important. Some proven ways to do that:

  1. Make sure you have an up-to-date educational foundation. Many athletes are curious and hear about new training methods all the time. You can build trust by being able to answer their questions. With our education platform you will understand the complex topics and learn new methods and techniques, which allows you to answer all your athlete’s questions, even if you weren’t aware of the new training method they heard about.
  2. Tailor your training plan to the athlete. Don’t use generic plans. Instead: measure, track and implement individual metabolic data, to create individualized training programs. Athletes don’t want one-size-fits-all training program, the want what works for them.
  3. As Olympic coach Filip François mentions: communicate with your athlete. The previous tip is useless if you don’t communicate why the training program is tailored to the athlete the way it is. This emotional connection with your athlete will make you irreplaceable. At INSCYD College, you can earn recognized certifications and Approved Continuing Education Units (CEUs), a proven way to build trust and grow your coaching business.

Gain valuable insights and actionable knowledge tailored for coaches and athletes at different expertise levels. Learn from top industry experts, earn certifications, and boost your sales. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to overcome complexity, gain control over performance, and stay ahead in the sports industry. 

Create a highly individual training program

When I first started as a coach it was common to train between lactate threshold 1 and lactate threshold 2 exercise intensities. This was also known as sweetspot training, which was based on a piramide training approach.

With the full 360 knowledge of the race demands and the current metabolic profile of the athlete, we can now shift from a standard training approach to a highly individual training program, based on the specific demands of the sports discipline.

Tailoring every athlete’s training zones to their specific situation is just one example of how I do this, using INSCYD.

Using INSCYD Training Zones Builder to create INDIVIDUAL TRAINING plans

INSCYD allows you to create training zones, based on individual metabolic performance metrics. This is the fastest way to make metabolic data actionable and understandable for the athlete.

Do you want to create VO2max intervals? Base the training zone intensity on a percentage of VO2max. Do you want to create intervals in which the athlete burns a lot of fat? Base the training zone intensity on FatMax!

The Training Zone Builder allows you to create very specific training zones, based on the metric you prefer. From lactate concentrations to carbohydrate combustion, it’s up to you.

Discover the transformative power of personalized training programs by tailoring their training zones based on individual metabolic performance metrics. Whether you want to focus on VO2max intervals or optimize fat burning, INSCYD’s Training Zone Builder provides the flexibility to create specific and effective training zones. Book a free demo call with the INSCYD team to see how it can revolutionize your training programs and maximize athlete performance.

Especially young and ambitious athletes sometimes forget the importance of training in the right training zones. They might ride too much in high intensity zones, which can cause a training adaptation in the wrong direction.

By showing them the effect of riding in the wrong training zone, we keep them focused on the right training intensities and get the performance increase they want so much.

Monitor progress of your athletes

Filip_François_boosts_your_coaching business

Once my athletes are training according to plan, it’s time to track progress. By testing on a regular basis, I have a clear view on what we do and where we are training towards. 

Before I used INSCYD, I didn’t test my athletes often enough. As a result, it was not possible to truly track their performance progress.

Finding the Right Timing for Testing

Most athletes automatically visit a lab or perform a field test every year. But as Filip François mentions, this doesn’t allow for tracking performance progress.

On the other hand, it doesn’t make sense to test every week either, does it?

This article answers the question: How often should you do an exercise test? And maybe even more important: when should you test?

Testing more often has another benefit. It shows how fast or slow physiological changes occur with the training we prescribe. This allows us to change training tactics during a training program. It also helps in planning peak performance on the moment the athletes want to shine.

I like this scientific approach.

“My advice to athletes: get to know the physiological demands of your sport, do regular tests and get help by a professional sports coach.”
Olympic mountain biking coach Filip François
Filip François
Olympic mountainbike coach & co-founder Built By hard Work

With INSCYD I can also go one step beyond monitoring progress: I can even predict future performance with their virtual testing feature.

Performance Projections and Athlete Motivation

Tracking performance is one thing, but with the INSCYD performance projection you can go one step further.

In our experience, that is exactly what motivates athletes to stick to a training program and retest more frequently.

It’s like a carrot hanging in front of them, that boosts both their performance and your coaching business.  Discover the power of advanced monitoring and predictive features that motivate athletes, optimize training tactics, and boost your coaching business. Schedule a free demo with our team to explore INSCYD software.

Sports and business results

Quick summary of François’ coaching structure:

  1. Understand the physiological race demands
  2. Compare it with the current metabolic profile of your athlete
  3. Communicate your findings, formulate training goals and build trust by doing so
  4. Create a training program, by putting the metabolic metrics into action
  5. Monitor progress frequently

With this coaching approach, my athletes won multiple national championships, international races and participated in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

I noticed that when my athletes are achieving great things, new athletes find their way to my coaching business. Word of mouth from our existing customers also helps a lot.

With this increase in referrals and new athletes, I sell more INSCYD tests.

Working with INSCYD also brings new clients who notice the success of INSCYD partners like Mathieu van der Poel and lots of other professional riders. They are interested in how we work with the same software tool. I even received leads directly via INSCYD Coach Finder, when athletes were searching for an INSCYD coach in their area.

Furthermore, INSCYD gives great support to me as a coach. Not only about using the software, but also by providing me with some great resources about getting the best out of my athletes.

In conclusion, besides the coaching benefits, INSCYD also gives a good return of investment (ROI).

Discover the power of understanding race demands, comparing metabolic profiles, communicating goals, and building trust. With INSCYD, you can create highly individualized training programs tailored to your athletes’ specific needs, while monitoring progress and predicting future performance. Don’t miss this opportunity to boost both performance and your coaching business. Schedule a free 1:1 call with us today in your own language to explore how INSCYD can take your coaching to new heights. 

Continue reading another success story: 3 actionable tips from one-man coach Toll Tollmahawk, who more than doubled his athlete coaching and testing business in just 4 months.

Olympic mountain biking coach Filip François
Filip François

Filip is an Olympic mountainbike coach. He co-founded Built By Hard Work, where he currently works as head coach. During 12 years of coaching, his athletes won multiple national championships, international races and participated in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.