Here is everything you need to perform two FTP tests with confidence: the ramp (MAP) test and the 20-minute test, including how to coach and motivate your riders to stay committed and how to add the most motivating and energetic music possible. You’ll learn not just the theory but also the practical skills to leading these two important functional assessments. If you have a bike, you can ride along with the two videos and test your own FTP. If you don’t have a bike, that’s OK; just imagine yourself at a conference session and view them with pen and paper in hand.
We’ve provide you with a detailed class profile for you to conduct your own MAP (maximal aerobic power) ramp test, including the protocol, the coaching, the music, and a downloadable spreadsheet which will estimate FTP and your riders’ power training zones. This is a viable alternative to the 20-minute FTP test, which requires a solid understanding and ability to pace one’s effort. Pacing isn’t an issue with this test.
Training with power is the best way to set benchmarks, determine workout intensities, and measure improvement. When you are ready to start leading 20-minute FTP tests, we’ve got everything you need in this Coaching Play by Play. It contains information on how to prepare your riders for FTP tests, what elements you should control during the test so it is reliably repeatable, the protocol to follow, and minute-by-minute motivational cues to coach your riders through this challenging event.
While putting the finishing touches on a power profile for ICA, I put myself through the workout so I can experience the entire training session at the desired intensity. The two times I’ve taught it I obviously couldn’t be at that effort and teach it effectively, and I can attest that it’s a good one! I uploaded the training file here and challenge everyone to analyze—or guess—the training objective.
Unfortunately, many instructors and participants are intimidated by power at first because they think it’s too technical, too complicated, or only useful for “serious” cyclists. But once you understand the basics, it’s actually a very straightforward tool, and a great way to challenge and engage participants, regardless of whether they ride outside or not. Here are five ways teaching with power will be a game changer in your teaching.
Using a power to weight ratio is an easy and effective way to determine the amount of watts to target during various efforts. It is a very simple approach that is easy for instructors to use in classes where bikes with power meters are available. With any simple approach, there will be factors to consider for those who desire to be the exception.
One of the gold standards of power is Functional Threshold Power (FTP): the maximum average power one can sustain, with or without puking, for 60 minutes. Sounds fun! If that is more excitement than you can handle in a single sitting, there are other methods or field tests that one can enjoy to determine FTP. However, I recommend first determining whether FTP is practical or applicable for your indoor cycling classes.
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 series will present 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.