Three is the best number of concepts

If your objective is to communicate (sell) the value of either Training With Heart Rate - or - Training With Power, teaching your class using Three Zones will be the most easily understood, accepted and remembered... here's why.

The Rule of Three

It's no accident that throughout history - thousands of years in fact - three (3) is the magic number in many, memorable fairy tales, myths and marketing campaigns.  They're easily remembered and shared because they follow The Rule of Three...

There were three little pigs, three blind mice, Goldilocks and the three bears, Three Musketeers,  three wise men and the Three Stooges.

{Reduce, Reuse, Recycle} {Earth, Wind and Fire} {Good, Better, Best} {Hot, Warm, Cold} {High, Medium, Low} {Small, Medium, Large} {Gold, Silver, Bronze}

1st, 2nd, 3rd - who ever remembers (or cares) who came next?

This copy writing blog explains the Rule of Three very well in the context of effectively communicating ideas.

It all comes down to the way we humans process information. We have become proficient at pattern recognition by necessity, and three is the smallest number of elements required to create a pattern. This combination of pattern and brevity results in memorable content, and that”™s why the Rule of Three will make you a more engaging writer.

Sticky Ideas

You see the Rule of Three used all the time across diverse areas of life. Why?

Because information presented in groups of three sticks in our heads better than other clusters of items. For example:

  • “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”
  • “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”
  • “Friends, Romans, Countrymen”
  • “Blood, sweat and tears”
  • “Location, location, location”
  • “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”
  • “Faith, Hope and Charity”
  • “Mind, body, spirit”
  • “Stop, Look and Listen”
  • “Sex, Lies and Videotape”
  • “I came, I saw, I conquered”

I'm confident you can add a bunch more to this list, which kind of makes my point. All of our brains are hard wired to create and retain patterns of three concepts... not four, five, six or seven - three is the magic number.

Sally Edwards understood The Rule of Three. Her three heart rate training zones concept called Zoning is designed to appeal to as many people as possible.

Please note that I didn't ask; What's the most accurate/precise/correct number of HR or Power zones? My question was; What's the best number of Heart Rate and/or Power Zones in our classes?

Cameron Chinatti with Stages Indoor Cycling says the answer is 7 Power zones. So does Joe FrielDr. Andrew Coggan. Chris Carmichael appears to use five. All super smart and knowledgeable people to be sure. Administered properly to a committed endurance athlete, 7 power zones is probably the most accurate/precise/correct number of HR or Power zones for them to train with.

But 7 Power training zones is too many IMO for our classes filled with Club Athletes.

The ICI/PRO Power Training Zones follow The Rule of Three.

Three Power/Watts Zones for Indoor Cycling Classes

I'll follow up with more detail later this week.



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