The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.  

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Over the last 2 years I've been performing a FTP (Functional Threshold Power) test on the first Thursday and Friday of every month in every facility I teach in that has bikes with power.  I have yet to have anyone complain or comment that I test too often or that the 20 minute FTP effort is too hard.  What I have been told is how much people like knowing their threshold numbers and how much they enjoy the challenge of the test.

Last week I was involved in a conversation on Facebook where some indoor cycling instructors were discussing various ways to estimate FTP with their class.  My response was “Why estimate it when you can perform a REAL test and get some REAL FTP numbers?”.  Some of the responses I got back were that the test is “too hard”, “too long”, “too complicated”, “newbies might get scared away”, or “some people just want to ride and not focus on numbers”.  I was, quite frankly, shocked by the lack of confidence these instructors had in their class participants.  If we, as instructors, don't have the confidence that our riders are strong, tough and smart enough to handle and understand the benefits of a FTP test, this doubt will quickly turn into a self-fullfiliing prophecy and class participants will never reach their full potential.

I believe the best instructors don't only know the science of exercise physiology but are also masters of physicology and expert motivators.  It is our job to show each and every rider the respect they deserve by having the faith that they are capable of completing any physical task we ask of them.  I am in constant awe of what my riders are capable of, they impress me every day, but amaze me on FTP days.

Bikes with power are becoming the norm in most indoor cycling facilities.  This new technology will keep riding a bike that goes nowhere in the forefront of group exercise for years to come.  If your facility is going to invest in these state of the art bikes, instructors and facility mangers should program regular FTP tests so they can be used to their fullest capabilities and riders can be aware of their current fitness levels, set up proper training zones and track improvement over time.  The use of power can be a bit confusing at first, but after performing a FTP test most riders quickly gain an understanding of their maximum sustainable intensity or threshold wattage.

 

Believe in your students and they will surprise you, doubt your students and they will affirm you. 

Here are some links to articles I have written about FTP and Threshold over the years.  My testing profile may have changed slightly but the science is still the same.

Full articles are only available to ICI/Pro members.

FTP Mix – Harmonically Mixed Set for Functional Threshold Power Test

The Power of 3 – Three Song Harmonically Mixed Indoor Cycling Sets – Call the Plumber

The Power of 3 – Three Song Harmonically Mixed Indoor Cycling Set – Benchmark Testing

Click here for a Training Peaks article explaining FTP

Click here for an article explaining the different zones

Power Based Training Zones (Coggan Power Zones)

Trainer Road Profile (If you're Trainer Road Member join my Team to get this and all profiles)

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 4.52.02 PM

Trainer Road movie that can be used by the instructor or shown to class to keep time for each interval

 

 

FTP Profile to Print

FTP_Profile

 

Billy Idol's Mony Mony ski video that can be used for the three 1 minute intervals

 

AC/DC's Thunderstruck concert video that can be used for the 5 minute test

 

USA Pro Challenge Vail Pass Time Trial movie that can be used during the 20 minute FTP test

 

Recording of me teaching this FTP profile with Power on the Stages SC3 Indoor Cycling Bike

 

Recording of me teaching this FTP profile with Power on the Ion Blade Indoor Cycling Bike

 

To download any of the above media on a Mac:

  1. Right Click on the blue underlined link
  2. Select “Download Linked File As”
  3. Select a download location
  4. Once file is completely downloaded, find it in the location you selected
  5. Drag the file into your iTunes or Spotify library OR
  6. Right Click on the file and Select “Open With”
  7. From the drop down menu select “iTunes” or “Spotify”
  8. File should begin playing and is now part of your iTunes or Spotify library

To download any of the above media on a PC:

  1. Right Click on the blue underlined link
  2. Select “Save Link As”
  3. Select a download location
  4. Once file is completely downloaded, find it in the location you selected
  5. Drag the file into your iTunes or Spotify library OR
  6. Right Click on the file and Select “Open With”
  7. From the drop down menu select “iTunes” or “Spotify”
  8. File should begin playing and is now part of your iTunes or Spotify library

Click here to watch a video on how to download media files from ICI/Pro.

Originally posted 2015-09-07 21:49:16.

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