In part 1 of this series on coaching resistance in cycling classes, I described a popular but ineffective coaching method that fails to account for the difference in abilities and fitness of riders or the differences in the wear and tear on bikes.
The second method of teaching resistance that instructors should avoid is to assign a 1–10 scale of resistance. This one is even worse (in my opinion) than assigning a number of turns—it’s very confusing, it’s subjective, and it’s not anchored to anything. While I’ve seen a few variations, the idea is that a resistance of 1 through 5 indicates a gear that resembles a “flat road” and that 6 through 10 would indicate a “climb.”
Below are four reasons why this method leads to nothing but confusion for riders. It’s even more confusing if you use a 1–10 scale for RPE that doesn’t always coincide with your terrain scale.
In part 3, I will give you a way to describe coaching resistance combined with cadence that should greatly help your riders’ understanding of what intensity you want them to ride.
For your review: