by Angela Reed-Fox
If you're a cyclist anyway, you'll want to be able to achieve a higher power on the bike for competition and personal satisfaction as well as the fitness that comes with being able to ride at a higher level.
However, there are benefits to be had for focusing on power, even if you have no plans for leaving the studio and striking out on the road. Power is a great indicator of your increasing fitness, whereas heartrate isn't (heartrate is a good way of training and monitoring your workouts, it just isn't so good at showing your improving fitness). As you focus on power, you'll be challenging your muscles more - this will help to build and strengthen muscle and speed up your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories.
So how do you do it?
Warm-up and Recovery
Obviously before you make any changes to your workouts, make sure that you're warming up adequately in the first place and giving your body the recovery it needs. These two things will serve to reduce the chances of injury, enable your body to get the most out of the workout, and then afterwards, to adapt so that you get the results you're training for. These two points are very often missed.
This is a technique where you take two or three days to do very hard workouts, and then you take the same number of days as recovery. So for example two days for workouts, two days recovery. This works by initially challenging your cardiovascular and muscular systems at a higher level than normal, and then providing the opportunity in recovery for the body to repair,build and adapt. Always ensure that there is approrpiate recovery before tackling your next block of training days.
Challenge yourself when you have a timetrial or long challenge - maintain the same cadence (ideally 80-90rpm) and then every minute increase the resistance but keep to the same cadence. If you find cadence is dropping, reduce the resistance and try again.
Intervals are great for giving you hard, yet short challenges. Build your muscular strength by maintaining a cadence of around 80rpm, stay seated, and fire off some 20-40 second high power intervals.
Effective cadence is the key - there is no need to go above 110rpm, in fact between 90-110rpm, you'll find your sweet spot where you can maintain the greatest power. Work on intervals of around 3-5 minutes to improve neuromuscular coordination, which enables you to work at a higher level. You should be aiming at the top of your aerobic zone (around 87-90% of max heartrate) drifting higher towards the end of each interval.
Functional threshold power
Do a functional threshold power test. Armed with your results, go for 75%. Do 75% of your weekly training at 75% of your FTP. the rest of the time you'll either be working at 90%+ of your max heartrate and between 105-150% of your FTP, or recovering from these high intensity hits. This ways you'll be building cardiovascular and muscular endurance as well as strength.
At the end of longer challenges such as time trials, go for a power finish - when there are only 30-40 seconds left on the clock, add more power (even if you're already tired) and go for broke.
And there you have it - six lovely ideas for boosting your power - and your results - regardless of your fitness goals. Don't forget the warmup and recovery!
For the highest quality safe, effective and efficient cycling classes, join us. You deserve it.
Attenzione! Thursday is not to be missed, my dears. There's a rather special phenomenon brewing up especially for you, courtesy of Bella. She will be taking the two evening classes this week - come for the progressive one at 6:30 or come for the advanced one at 7:30, or bite off considerably more than a civilised person can chew by coming to both. Each session stands alone, but the advanced session will build on achievements from the progressive one, so if you're partial to a boxset, this is your binge of choice. What could be more beautiful than that luscious tired-legs feeling after a twix (as a double-sesh is known in the Foxy business)? Indeed, what could be more hideous than that feeling of wonderful tiredness, yet not being quite finished yet? Ahh, it's all to play for. Anything could happen. Seriously anything. Don't say we didn't warn you. Just don't miss out, OK?
Just letting you know that the IT-fixing squirrels have been very busy over the weekend and iQniter is now up and running again, ready for you to start your week with the hottest challenges.
Lovely selection of classes tomorrow led by Kate, Foxy and Celine as the Ninja is an International Man of Mystery this week. 5.45pm is a comfy half-hour newcomers' class where Foxy shows that he's really just a big pussycat, and 9.30am and 6.30pm will have Kate and Foxy turning up the heat - and then at 7.45pm Celine has promised to give all comers a right proper drubbing on behalf of the Ninja. It's game on. Enjoy, y'all!
Blind man's buff meets indoor cycling... The one with the 'six out of ten' Saturday Series 3 session 2.
Well, well, well, you frisky little porpoises, you nailed that one. Wasn't sure how that was going to go with the lacklustre applause for Emily being Emily (better luck next time...)
Kudos goes to Rachael P for making the front row her own. Literally. Rachael L powered from behind and quietly got on with the job with her usual immense style.
Adam's haircut is now a bit longer, and so the aerodynamics was handed over to the very able Richard R. Short back and sides? Suits you, sir.
Foxy was previously convinced that I spat into the mic when I talked - clearly that isn't the case, because only chemistry teachers spit when they talk. (You know it.) But that is why the mic needs its own fan - because it can't take the pace of the #8amClub, not like you performance machines... Talking of performance machines - you were in the company of awesomeness as you pedalled with Sue. In fact, special mentions go to all our naked riders - Sue, Richard, Speedster and Rachael. Excellent work from all. At least it looked like that.
The #9amClub on the other hand tackled a natty little game of Blind Man's Buff (which we're probably not allowed to play anymore because it's probably politically incorrect and too much fun). Claire admitted that she wasn't really feeling on it, but decided she was going to trash everyone else anyway (northern attitude right there - love it!) Jan decided that she was coming down with flu and Tracey had a dodgy knee. These may or
Want toget started? Join our newcomers' session on Saturday at 9am, or try a frisky progressive at 8am. All welcome - all will be nurtured and challenged. Except for Richards. Richards just get challenged. ;-)
Try us for free - book with the promo code blogfreebie. Enjoy! xxxx
We want to keep you in the loop; as more and more of our lovely riders enjoy MyZone, we are continuing to review options for potentially replacing iQniter.
iQniter annual licence fee prices have increased dramatically, and the feedback we receive from foxy riders is that they prefer the reliability and added features of the MyZone strap.
The MyZone group training system is good - but it is one of a few options we are reviewing, but the MyZone ride profile facility needs development to meet the expectations of what our riders have been used to with iQniter. We have been talking to MyZone about this.
Whatever system is used going forward, it will provide Fox with a unique indoor cycling experience and will be compatible with or complement the MyZone heartrate straps.
We will keep you updated - ensuring that you continue to get a unique and top-quality indoor cycling experience unavailable elsewhere.
Hello Foxy Riders,
As you may be aware we have had some tech/IT issues at the studio. We are sorry, and we are working to resolve the issue with the iQniter screen and sound/volume control as soon as possible.
We'd like to thank our isntructors for their professionalism and their excellent classes while we work to sort things out.
Thankyou for being patient - we'll keep you updated.
Well, well, well, you frisky little badgers. Whoever would have thought?
Lightning doesn't strike twice in the same month - that session was mentally challenging. It was designed deliberately to give your psyche a drubbing - don't worry, back to nice, polite intervals next week. ;-)
Have a great weekend - don't forget you get 7 #sofahours for this cheeky little number, as well as an extra 1 sofa hour uplift because the mic went a bit weird. Next time: power intervals, boosting your metabolism, strengthening muscle, and making you altogether more epic in every way. You're very welcome. Have a great weekend, you've earned it.
by Angela Reed-Fox
What's a girl to do?
Remember when Bristol got gridlocked recently and no one was able to escape to Portishead? Shona, our instructor does – when it became apparent that she wasn't going to be getting anywhere in her car and needed to make it back to Portishead for her Tuesday evening class, what did she do?
She put on her comfy shoes people, and RAN. Yes, RAN to Portishead. Now, I don't know about you, but that shows a certain British Bulldog spirit, n'est-ce pas?
In the event, Tracey, one of our lovely riders spotted Wonder Woman just outside Portishead and kindly gave her a lift for the last part.
We (Steve and Angela) would like to say a huge 'thankyou' and also 'wowsers' to Shona (and her sidekick, Tracey) for tremendous dedication to ensuring our classes run on time and with the style, panache and frankly grit and determination that you'd expect. We are so happy that riders and instructors are helping us to make Fox Cycling as we want it to be – friendly, dedicated, caring, and excellent.
Nice work Shona and Tracey – this week's Awesomeness Award is yours. You rock. Thankyou.
by Angela Reed-Fox
It might be something you've never considered doing - but if you've had your cycling helmet for a couple of years already, or if at any point you have the misfortune to fall off your bike, you should check your helmet.
Impact can weaken the structure and integrity of your helmet, and impair its ability to protect you.
If in doubt, splash out on a new one - don't risk a head injury. If it's an old helmet, you're probably overdue for a change anyway.