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PST - Personal Spinning Threshold POWER

Training zones are most accurately categorized when in correlation to measurable baseline markers in relationship to physiological responses. Since different responses occur at different workloads, establishing and using measured training zones ensures specific fitness adaptations can occur. In the activity of cycling, the power meter is the most accurate way to quantify intensity.

 

Now, with the use of power meter technology on the Spinner® Blade ION, Spinpower™ Zones based on watts (power), can be precisely determined. Establishing Spinpower™ Zones begins by knowing the rider’s baseline ‘work rate’ fitness marker, referred to as their Personal Spinning® Threshold (PST).  

 

Threshold! The word often followed by debates and a variety of descriptions. Since PST is dynamic and one of  the strongest trainable markers of fitness and performance, a thorough understanding of what threshold means and how it is determined is essential. First, understand that thresholds are activity specific. In the activity of cycling, testing the actual performance of the cyclist (field test) establishes baseline markers and training zones on their bicycle, outdoors. Outdoor freewheel cycling data does not reflect the function on an indoor fixed-gear flywheel system, and vice versa. Thus, it is most appropriate to utilize indoor tests on the specific exercise equipment, for fitness goals. On an indoor cycle, it is most accurate to focus on the lab where ramp protocols are performed on cycle ergometers, in conjunction with gas and lactate analysis.  

 

In the controlled environment of a metabolic lab, the tester finds the highest workload associated with producing a given effect or response. While there are many different thresholds, and their definitions quite technical, very simply stated work threshold is the highest work rate not associated with a rise in the cycle ergometer. Aerobic threshold represents the highest sustained workload at which aerobic energy pathways begin to produce an effect of aerobic conditioning. Anaerobic threshold is the intensity eliciting a response of an increase in anaerobic metabolism. Ventilatory threshold elicits a response of hyperventilation with respect to oxygen uptake. Lactate threshold is the highest sustained workload that produces a result of an increase in blood lactate concentration. While each threshold is different, in every case the proven graded exercise test (ramp) protocol is used. The ramp protocol progressively increases sustained workloads, associating the measured work rate at the appropriate threshold markers. While accurately recorded as watts at a given threshold (lactate, ventilatory, anaerobic, etc), once outside of the lab, it commonly just termed threshold power. 

 

The Spinpower™ program is performed in the controlled Spinning® studio environment. The goal is to improve wellness, fitness and performance of all populations, in a Spinpower™ class, on a Spinner®. Since the main purpose of a ramp test is to establish a baseline range of exercise intensities that are appropriate to the exerciser in a practical manner, it works well in the Spinpower™ program. To ensure accuracy outside of the lab environment, a simple, yet repeatable ramp protocol is necessary.  The Personal Spinning Threshold Test (PST Test), achieves all goals. 


  • PST represents the personal exercise baseline intensity appropriate to the individual, not that of anyone else.

  • The PST test is performed in the controlled environment of the Spinning® studio, on a Spinner® Blade ION, in the activity of Spinning®.  

  • The PST test finds the highest workload (power) associated with causing an effect to sustaining the activity of Spinning®, noting the highest work rate (threshold power) not
    associated with a rise in the ‘cycle ergometer’.  

  • The ramp test is science-proven to be reliable and repeatable, and has an easy learning curve.

  • The highest sustainable work rate is achieved at a sub-max effort. Therefore, nearly all populations, regardless of their goals, can and should perform the test. 

  • The result is the maximal efficient effort, or the PST baseline fitness marker. Once determined, Spinpower™ Zone are established. Training below PST reflects aerobic conditioning. Training above PST represents anaerobic training. Training around PST gives threshold-boosting benefits. 

 

Similar to testing in a lab, the PST Test follows a graded ramp process, progressively increasing effort at ramped stages. The rider maintains position and cadence, while increasing resistance at each new stage. Workload is validated with the corresponding wattage measurement, while monitoring efficiency in heart rate and perceived exertion. The rider continues the progression to find the point at which the workload results in a loss to maintain constant steady pedaling and riding technique. Simply stated, the rider’s baseline work threshold is the highest work rate (power) not associated with a rise in the cycle
ergometer function, or the final stage sustained.

 

The instructor or rider can manually record the results or utilize compatible ANT+ devices to save and record the results in software. This will keep track of their personal baseline fitness marker. As fitness increases, PST increases as well, so it is important to retest at least quarterly. Not only does this track progression, but this
also adjusts Spinpower™ Zones around newly established PST, to ensure one is  training at the current exercise intensities appropriate to their fitness level. This will eliminate the plateau effect!

 

Receive extensive education on thresholds, the Personal Spinning Threshold, and taking/administering the PST Test during the Spinpower™ Instructor Training and Program. To register for the gold standard in power-based training or to find a Spinning® studio offering
Spinpower™ and the PST Test, go to www.spinning.com      

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