The gold standard of benchmark testing in indoor cycling is the FTP (Functional Threshold Power) test. I'm a huge fan of this test and perform it with my classes on a monthly basis. In a perfect world every rider would know their power and/or heart rate thresholds and have personalized training zones that are percentages of these values. We don't live in this perfect world and in any given class there will be many participants who have never performed a FTP test and have no idea how to determine their threshold metrics. I deal with this dilemma by beginning every class with a proper warmup followed by a benchmark interval or set of intervals.
My benchmark interval or set can last anywhere from 5-12 minutes depending on the type of class and length of intervals being performed that day. For example if I'm teaching an “@” threshold class with longer intervals I'll do a longer benchmark interval set but if I'm teaching an Above Threshold class I'll do a shorter benchmark interval. These sets or intervals should be be performed at the same intensity that is expected for the main sets of the class and an average HR or wattage should be determined and used as a guide for future intervals in that day’s workout. It is important to cue how the benchmark interval should “feel” especially for new riders who may not have previous rides to base their HR or wattage numbers on.
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Now that each rider has a metric to aim for during each interval or set the instructor can set realistic and attainable goals.
The Power of 3 – “Benchmark Testing”
“Heartbeat Song” by Kelly Clarkson
“Stolen Dance” by Milky Chance
“Shut Up and Dance” by Walk The Moon
3 song harmonically mixed 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 this 3 song set in a 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.
3 song harmonically mixed song AND video, to download Right Click > Save As / Save Target As to download.
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