"Where the Streets Have No Name" by U2

"Wake Me Up" by Avicii

"Real Gone" by Sheryl Crow

"Danny, Dakota and the Wishing Well" by A Silent Film

"Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

"Vertigo" by U2

Last week I wrote about the "Threshold Check" or "Mini-Threshold Test" that I perform at the beginning of every class.  This week I want to share how I teach the full 20 minute FTP (Functional Threshold Power) Test.  With this post I have also included the playlist and video I use as well as a recording of me teaching an entire FTP class.

[wlm_private 'PRO-Platinum|PRO-Monthly|PRO-Gratis|PRO-Seasonal|Platinum-trial|Monthly-trial|PRO-Military|30-Days-of-PRO|90 Day PRO|Stages-Instructor|Schwinn-Instructor|Instructor-Bonus|28 Day Challenge']If you are lucky enough to be teaching on bikes with power I believe it's important to use this technology and all the available metrics to their fullest capacity.  I find the most powerful use of a power meter is in finding one's maximum sustainable wattage or threshold.  Threshold is that state of equilibrium between high intensity exercise and the body's ability to buffer and filter the waste products produced by this intensity.  With a power meter we can find a wattage number that correlates with this state of equilibrium or your FTP (Functional Threshold Power).

Exercise physiologists have devised many different ways to find one's threshold, but I have found the simplest and cheapest technique is to perform a 20 minute effort at maximum sustainable intensity.  At the end of this 20 minute effort take note of the average wattage and multiply it by 95% and this number is your FTP.  I'll go into greater detail on how to use this number in later posts,  but now let's go over how to perform the FTP Test.

I like to have my riders warm up for a minimum of 15 minutes.  I'll have them slowly increase their intensity for 10 minutes then I like to have them perform 3-4 one minute "pickups" increasing their intensity each interval while recovering for one minute after each.  After a short, 3-5 minute, active recovery from the pickups I have the class perform a maximum effort 5 minute interval.  This effort ensures that the lactate buffering and clearance systems are turned on and ready for the 20 minutes test that follows.  I also have class participants remember their average wattage for this 5 minutes, it's a good number to refer back to when doing above threshold intervals.  After another recovery, about 10 minutes long, we are ready for the 20 minute FTP test.  Make sure all your participants know how to reset the bike console so they can get a new average for the 20 minute interval to come.  Tell them that this is a very simple test, you want them to ride at the highest possible wattage for 20 minutes.  Your job as the instructor is to motivate, but not to talk too much.  Let your riders "settle in" to their maximum sustainable wattage and their most efficient cadence and just let them ride.  At the end of the 20 minutes make sure they remember their average wattage, multiply it by 95% and they have their Functional Threshold Power.  This "Benchmark" test is also great to see improvement over time, with proper training FTP should continue to improve.

Let me know how it goes, my classes love FTP days!  They work so hard every day and once a month they get to see the payoff for all sweat and suffering.

6 song harmonically mixed FTP track , to download Right Click > Save As / Save Target As to download. Open in iTunes and then you'll see this in your Spotify Local File folder.


Recording of me teaching a FTP Class on a Spinner Blade Ion , Right Click > Save As / Save Target As to download on PC or Download Linked File As on Mac. Open in iTunes and then you'll see this in your Spotify Local File folder.


Music AND video I use for my 20 minute FTP Test ,  to download Right Click > Save As / Save Target As to download. [/wlm_private]

Dennis Mellon

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