Why Data Is Good For Indoor Cycling

February 1, 2016 |

by Paddy Murray

Group indoor cycling began 25 years ago.  With great class delivery by instructors, indoor cycling can provide low impact, high energy, thrilling and inspiring workouts. It’s globally one of the most popular indoor classes and in the last few years dedicated indoor cycling studios have raised the bar in terms of class quality and experience. All good there then … no need for change eh? Not so! One fundamental omission from group cycling has finally been properly addressed: the intelligent measurement and use of data. Consumers have shown that data is here to stay with the exponential increase in use of fitness apps, trackers and wearable technology. Data has finally reached the world of indoor cycling! Boutique studios followed closely by some of the large operators are leading the way utilizing big screen displays and cloud-based performance tracking tools to provide an accurate fitness picture to members. It’s not guessing, estimation, and assumptions any longer. Studio owners are able to provide real value to their members through showing them real, measureable results.

Reliable data can be extremely motivational, demonstrate historic improvement, and provide clear and achievable goals. This also equips the studio and the instructor with incredibly important information as to which members are achieving their goals and which members may benefit from some additional instruction, guidance, or motivation. Applications such as VismoX, Performance IQ and MyZone are smart tools that help the instructor and participants with structured predefined classes, simple and clear analytics and goal setting. This is a brave new world for indoor cycling but one that can be rolled out to supplement existing programs with minimal challenges.

With indoor cycling moving into the data world this is also an opportunity to appeal to an entirely new audience … the outdoor cyclist. Outdoor cyclists at the elite level have been training using power meter measurement for nearly 15 years. The benefits are clear, measurable and attainable as a cyclist trains within power ‘zones’ that are set based on his or her personal ability and goals. When this system of measurement is translated to an indoor class, the results are remarkable. Now a class of 30 participants can all train at the correct intensity which is personalized to each rider’s body. For too long indoor cycling classes have been high RPM and lots of sweat, with no tangible gains or goals to strive for. On the simplest level it’s now possible to accurately calculate calorie burn and improve endurance, sprinting or whatever you or your coach/instructor set as your target. The data can be used as an integral motivator real time in a class or it can be tracked in the background depending on the type of class being offered.

The world of data is going to take the world of indoor cycling firmly into the 21st century, attracting a whole new audience, providing more variety in programming, new instructor aids, and personalized goal setting and tracking.

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