I had an enthusiatic group at The Pelham YMCA near Birmingham, Alabama last weekend. They peppered me with questions from beginning to end. I loved that group! I know they're going to make a smooth transition into training the general public with accurate, measurable benchmarks that come with using a power meter.
We began the day with the question, 'how do you define fitness'? There were numerous answers having to do with wellness, such as getting a certain number of hours of sleep every night, or being more conscious of eating better and measuring k/cals in. Other comments were lowering blood pressure, trying to achieve a healthier cholesterol level, or noticing a change in resting heart rate. As far as fitness and performance, some suggestions were noticing they can lift more weight this month compared to last, or they're able to run a mile in 9 minutes instead of 10.
The common denominator with all of those answers is, they're measurable. Hours of sleep, how much I ate, my blood pressure today, what I can lift, how many stairs can I climb, or how far and how fast can I run.
With the ability to measure fitness benchmarks on the Spinner Blade Ion, riders can determine how to pinpoint energy systems and muscle fibre type. As stated in the Spinpower training, power DETERMINES zones, heart rate SUGGESTS zones. No matter who shows up, and whether or not they're wearing a heart rate monitor, we can give them accurate parameters in which to ride within to achieve enhanced fitness.
So the instructors at the Pelham YMCA had the big power epiphany, but their biggest concern was, 'how can I layer power onto the way I currently teach'? We spent a lot of time during Ride Creation on how to morph existing profiles. Here's an example using the popular 'rolling hills' structure:
3 min. seated flat
2 min. seated climb
1 min. standing climb
This could potentially be the whole class. 5 continuous sets would give you 30 minutes of stamina and strength work. Assuming a warmup before and a warmdown afterwards. Coaching RPE for those without a HR monitor, we can suggest they remain aerobic during the 3 min. flat (4-6 RPE) or somewhat hard to hard. Give the option to ride around threshold (7 RPE) or really hard for the 2 min. seated climb, and if they have the capacity, ride a little harder for the remaining minute out of the saddle.
Knowing one's Spinpower zones based on a PST test would allow the rider to dial in and make this profile unique to them. By focusing on the watts, the work is getting done. RPE is subjective and HR can be effected by many factors. If the rider notices that on the 4th set of rolling hills their power is lower and their RPE and HR are higher, 3 sets was enough. 4 is obviously too much, and forget about the suggested 5 sets! This gives them ownership to bow out and recover. 3 sets was enough training stress for them to handle today. Trying to stay with the rest of the class would strip all benefits.
I look forward to being able to share my passion about training with power with you all. I'll keep you posted on the instructors at the Pelham Y, and I hope to see you at WSSC.