From a few elite pro cyclists in the late ‘80s to indoor cycling studios all over the world, cycling with a power meter has become a standard both indoors and out. Here are the top reasons why teaching indoor cycling with a power meter can bring your classes and your members’ experiences to the next level!
1. A power meter is a source of relevant and objective information
A power meter basically measures how much work the rider is putting into the bike (resistance) and the rate at which that work is being done (cadence). In addition to measuring power in Watts, we also get data about cadence, time, distance, speed and/or calories to use for class planning or member motivation.
2. A power meter is the perfect goal setting tool
Using metrics such as Average Watts, Distance or Cadence gives instructors the ability to set specific goals in class. This keeps riders engaged and committed, giving them a reason to work rather than just a command. Riders can then use those goals as benchmarks to assess their level of improvement week after week.
3. A power meter gives the rider metrics to own the ride
Using metrics in class creates a sense of ownership in our attendees. Power is instantaneous, convenient and easy to understand: the harder you work, the higher your watts. It does not require students to invest in or wear specific equipment. Knowing how hard our riders are working allows them not only to set relevant goals but also to make the right decisions, like when to push a little harder and when to back off.
4. A power meter promotes healthy competition
Beating your Average Watts in four minutes by the third attempt or trying to cover the biggest distance in five minutes are just a few examples of how we can promote a sense of healthy competition in our classes, and not necessarily among the group, but within each individual. Being the best you can be is a much less daunting task when you can objectively assess how good you are!
5. A power meter is the key to class variety
If you keep doing what you always do, you will keep getting the same results you always get. By knowing our riders’ FTP (Functional Threshold Power) values, we get the magic number that allows us to provide classes with different intensities for different goals: Aerobic Capacity, Threshold, HIIT, etc. Providing a variety of training stimuli keeps classes fresh and exciting and the periodization of intensity increases results for everyone.