Spinning with POWER – FAQs

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It’s been an exciting first few classes on our new Spinner Blade IONs! The feedback has IMG_1854been overwhelmingly positive and the new lingo, technology and challenges have presented lots of questions! Hopefully we can address some of them here and give you more knowledge to enhance your PowerCycle experience.

  1. How do “kcals” on the power meter differ from calories burned on other cardio equipment? The Kcal reading on the power meter represents an accurate energy expenditure in kilojoules. This number takes into account the food calories burned resulting from your power output on the bike. It does not count calories you would otherwise burn (at rest) during that time period. Other cardio equipment provides only an estimate of calories burned based on a formula. It is not determined by, and does not measure,  your effort.
  2. Why is my wattage low if I’m pedaling fast? Power is measured as frictional load between the brake pad and flywheel. Without adequate resistance, the rider is not expending energy to move the flywheel.
  3. Does the computer take into account my weight? Power output alone does not reflect the strength and fitness of one rider compared to another. A heavier rider may generate higher wattage but the power to weight ratio must be considered.
  4. How can my wattage and kcal reading be so different from one class to another? Wattage and kcals are a direct measure of your power output. Muscle fatigue, dehydration, lack of rest and many other factors can affect your energy level.
  5. Why is it important to know RPM and wattage? Your RPM, or cadence, is one component of power output. The instructor may use an RPM range to help you reach the a desired training zone and reading this number eliminates the guesswork. The wattage is an accurate measure of the power generated on the bike. Speed and resistance will change the wattage reading in real time. Using these numbers in class creates the opportunity to accurately implement training principles.
  6. What are training zones? There are 6 training zones in PowerCycle. Recovery, Aerobic, Threshold, Anaerobic, Peak and Max. Your instructor will use these zones to describe the expected level of intensity at different points in class.
  7. How are personal training zones determined? Instructors will explain the focus of each class and will help you determine your zones. Everyone’s training zones are different and will change as you get stronger. We will offer several “Threshold Testing” classes each month for those interested in truly defining their Personal Spinning Threshold (applicable only on a Spinner). Thirty minute one-on-one sessions with your instructors are also available at $45+tax for anyone wanting more education on the bike along with threshold testing. Threshold testing can be repeated periodically and offers a way to measure progress.
  8. What is threshold and why do I need to know mine? Threshold is the point between aerobic and anaerobic training. Determining your threshold allows you to know and work in your personal training zones. An increase in threshold and power represent gains in fitness.
  9. What are Threshold Testing classes? Threshold testing classes will include a warm up, 2 ramp tests (increasing resistance at 2 min intervals until failure), a recovery between tests and a cool down. To get the most accurate measure, participants should be well rested, hydrated and properly fueled. This format will be approximately the same length as other PowerCycle classes and is extremely challenging!
  10. Can I still benefit from class without focusing on the power meter? We know that not everyone is interested in monitoring wattage, kilojoules and RPM. Feel free come for the group dynamic and good music. You can throw your towel over the computer and still get a great cardiovascular workout. But we bet you’ll peek!

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”

If you have questions or comments, please email Kim Wallis at kimw@NutriFormance.com.
 

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