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Reverse Pyramids: Chasing Your Best Average Watts

May 5, 2017

Stages Master Educator Kimball Theoret shared her favorite ride with us. It’s a 3-segment, reverse pyramid where you try to set your best your average watts each time. The goal? “Get stronger, get faster, optimize your performance and have FUN!”

Here’s how it plays out:

 

WARM UP: 5 Minutes @ RPE 5

  • 2′ -Easy, controlled pedalling in 80-90 RPM range.
  • Add a little resistance for 30″ and hold a higher RPM.
  • Increase RPMS by 5 for 30″.
  • Increase resistance and hold RPMS for 30″.
  • Increase resistance again and hold RPMS for 30″ (your legs should be on fire).
  • Take it down to an easy 80-90RPM for the last minute.

 

THE WORKOUT: The Reverse Pyramid.

The purpose of this workout is to increase your best average watts over the course of each of 3 intervals. Each interval has three parts, and each time the intervals get shorter and shorter. We start at 2′, then 1′ and then 30″. Your RPE should be 5-7.

INTREVAL 1:  3 x 2′ Efforts. The first will be seated, the second standing and the third is your choice.

TIP: Don’t go for the cheap thrill of high RPMs, high RPE – fine tune your resistance and focus on optimizing power!

  • 2′ at 80-100RPM in the saddle to produce your best watts.
  • 1′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery
  • 2′ 60-75 RPM of an all out effort out of the saddle (increase resistance to optimize power. Get your weight over your pedals, soft knees at the bottom of your pedal stroke – fine tune your resistance using and find your rhythm!
  • 1′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery
  • 2′ all out, however you want to create your best average power. The goal is to beat your best AVG WATTs of your previous 2 intervals.
  • 2′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery

 

INTREVAL 2

This time instead of 2′ we drop the time to 1′ minute best average watts. So this interval is a THREE x 1′ Best Effort Seated & Standing then Rider’s Choice!

  • 1′ at 80-100RPM in the saddle to produce your best watts.
  • 1′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery
  • 1′ 60-75 RPM of an all out effort out of the saddle (increase resistance to optimize power. Get your weight over your pedals, soft knees at the bottom of your pedal stroke – fine tune your resistance using and find your rhythm!
  • 1′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery
  • 1′ all out, however you want to create your best average power. The goal is to beat your best AVG WATTs of your previous 2 intervals.
  • 2′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery

 

INTERVAL 3

And now we drop the time to 30″ best average watts. So this interval is a THREE x 30″ Best Effort Seated & Standing then Rider’s Choice!

  • 30″ at 80-100RPM in the saddle to produce your best watts.
  • 1′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery
  • 30″ 60-75 RPM of an all out effort out of the saddle (increase resistance to optimize power. Get your weight over your pedals, soft knees at the bottom of your pedal stroke – fine tune your resistance using and find your rhythm!
  • 1′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery
  • 30″ all out, however you want to create your best average power. The goal is to beat your best AVG WATTs of your previous 2 intervals.
  • 2′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery

COOL DOWN:

  • 3′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery

 

NEXT UP: Now that your blood is flowing and your pulse is up, we’ll play with the speed in your legs and see how fast you can go.

In this segment, you need to be aware of your SPEED and how to increase it by using both your RPMs and adjusting resistance. AND get your ego involved as you build to breathlessness and wind up for your top sprint speed!

The goal is to increase your speed in each effort, since each effort gets shorter, you should be able to hold a higher speed.

INTERVAL 1: 

  • 1″ – In the saddle, try to achieve a high speed and hold it. Adjust your cadence so it holds around 70-90
  • 45″ – Increase your SPEED 1mph by increasing your RPMs. Stay in the saddle.
  • 30″ – Increase your SPEED this time by increasing your reistance. Stay in the saddle.
  • 15″ – SPRINT all out. Get out of the saddle, increase your resistance and RPMS. Note your MAX SPEED (safely).
  • 2′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery. If you’re on an Stages Cycling Indoor Bike, hit the AVG/End button if you missed your max speed.

 

INTERVAL 3:  The goal is to beat your max speed from Interval 1 & 2.

  • 1″ – In the saddle, try to achieve a high speed and hold it. Adjust your cadence so it holds around 70-90
  • 45″ – Increase your SPEED 1mph by increasing your RPMs. Stay in the saddle.
  • 30″ – Increase your SPEED this time by increasing your reistance. Stay in the saddle.
  • 15″ – SPRINT all out. Get out of the saddle, increase your resistance and RPMS. Note your MAX SPEED (safely).
  • 2′ seated 80-100 RPM active recovery. If you’re on an Stages Cycling Indoor Bike, hit the AVG/End button if you missed your max speed.

 

COOL DOWN: 5 Minutes @ RPE 2

  • Easy, controlled pedaling in the 80-100 RPM range

If you’re on a Stages Indoor Bike, press and hold your AVG/End button until you see ‘RESULTS’ and note your average and max data for your ride. Jot it down to set your benchmark for the next time you try this workout.