It's a fact of teaching Indoor Cycling classes using power... not every meter shows consistent - repeatable watts indication, no matter which brand you're riding. Faced with this (often times frustrating) inconsistency you have two choices:
- Throw your hands up as if to say; "what's the use?" and ignore the power meter.
- Accept the problem and offer your class a simple solution.
My hope is that you choose the later 🙂
As far as I know, there's only one solution you can offer the athletes riding in front of you to understand their power, today, on that cycle. Conduct a short PTP (Personal Threshold Power) assessment as part of every class you teach. If you have a different/better solution I'm all ears - please share it below.
These PTP assessments work great as the first real effort, after you've taken everyone through you initial warmup and a series of openers. Every class of mine begins the same:
- 5 minute warmup where we gradually increase intensity @ 90-100 RPM
- 3-4 30 second opener accelerations. We begin in a climbing gear @ 70 RPM, accelerate to and maintain 100 ish RPM for 30 seconds. Recover for 30 sec, rinse and repeat.
- 2 minute recovery (now we're calling this a "reset")
- 3 or 4 minute "Best Effort" where we learn our PTP for this day, on this cycle. I tend to vary how I conduct these; some days are high cadence tempo flats @ 90-100 RPM and others are fast climbs @ 70 RPM
No matter what you decide, you need a great song for your "Best Effort" PTP assessment. For our free track this week I thought I would share one of my current favorites, the Lie To Me opening theme song Brand New Day from Ryan Star. This 93 RPM track is a little short at 3:14 - so you need everyone to quickly ramp up their effort, punch the STAGE button in unison and attack this 3 min Best Effort from GO!
The resulting average watts becomes the PTP for this class, on this bike.
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