Power to the Masses, Part 1

As more and more indoor bikes arrive equipped with power meters, the quest for ways to use this new tool can be frustrating. I’ve witnessed everything from a mega-complicated threshold drill with convoluted calculations to extremely simple and very wrong applications of watts, best described as WTF (not an acronym for watts per threshold test or anything remotely appropriate).

This three-part series will not include a laborious expedition into the minutiae of the newton meter. This series will not delve into the physiology nor physics of power production and sustainability. If you desire to be dazzled by the uber-science of the joule, there are a multitude of resources to obtain such joy, including Cycling Fusion; Stages Indoor Cycling; Joe Friel; Andy Coggan, PhD; Hunter Allen; and more.

So what are we going to discuss? Three simple methods for incorporating power into your classes so that everyone, from the weight-loss conscious fitness enthusiast to the outdoor cyclist, can participate and have fun.

Read Power to the Masses, Part 2 here. Understand whether FTP testing is practical for your riders.


  1. Great article!! I can’t wait for Part 2.

  2. Thank you so much! Is this something we can do at the beginning of the class as well as the end? Maybe after a climbing drill and speed drill?

  3. another thing I’ll def do. I’ve been asking them to notice their average watts at the end of the ride and compare it to what they do in a few months from then, but I think having a definite controlled exercise periodically makes more sense. I’m gonna bring in some index cards and pens and leave them on a table for them to write the date and number down. It might be good to do a couple weeks in a row, because as you all know, some days ya got it, some days ya don’t.

  4. Love this power-to-cadence game…I have been trying to educate my riders about utilizing the power meters and this seems like an easy, fun exercise to do!

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