We’ve all heard the instructor who calls out to the class, “Gimme a full turn!” or “Add another half turn on this hill.”
Some longtime students, especially those who ride outside, will know to ignore this type of cueing, but the uninitiated student, and those who tend to take every word the instructor says as gospel, may be lost without knowing how many turns to give the resistance knob. But because they aren’t being guided to add resistance based on a set of terrain or cadence criteria, or physical sensations (muscular, cardiovascular, etc) they never learn how to be the driver of their own intensity.
As a result of the misguided cue, they may end up having too little resistance on the flywheel, translating to reduced power output and reduced caloric burn. On the other hand, they may end up with entirely too much resistance, turning it up much farther than they can or should handle. That may result in a knee or back injury due to the heavy strain. Without guidance, they may think that’s the way it’s supposed to feel.
Beginners do not know about resistance knob their first few classes. They may think they should start with the resistance turned all the way to the left, which would be far too little resistance. Even if the instructor says, “Give me two turns,” and they turn the knob twice, they may still be free-wheeling it and not realize it.
This type of cueing for resistance is not an effective way to teach resistance or gear because of the following three facts: