Benefits of power work in indoor cycling

Cycling is one of the most complete sports activities that exist, whether you practice it outdoors or if you carry out your training session at home. With cycling it is possible to exercise simultaneously both the upper body (such as arms, shoulders, abdomen and lower back) and the lower body (buttocks and legs). Cycling helps to oxygenate the brain and combat stress, to tone and strengthen muscles, to improve the aerobic and anaerobic threshold … But what are the advantages of increasing power in cycling, what is it good for? Here is everything you need to know about power training in cycling.

What is power in indoor cycling?

The first thing to make clear, before explaining the benefits of power training in cycling, is precisely what power is in indoor cycling, for example, when using a smart bike like the Smart ZBike 2.0. Simply put, and without going into too much detail, power (P) is equal to the cadence (revolutions per minute or RPM) multiplied by the braking resistance or torque that we apply to the bike. As you would expect, the more cadence and braking resistance you apply to the bike, the greater the power. Moreover, they are aspects that can be worked separately or together depending on the session, physical condition and/or goals set -for example, by increasing power in cycling by increasing the intensity of cadence or by increasing cadence and braking resistance simultaneously-.

Cycling power threshold: How to know it?

Another term you should know is the power threshold, or functional power threshold (FTP), which is usually represented as the maximum power that can be maintained over a period of time. Specifically, it has to do with the amount of watts a person is able to generate during pedaling at their anaerobic threshold. In other words, it corresponds to the amount of watts that a person can move when pedaling and in a state of aerobic comfort -this state is when the cyclist feels fatigue or tiredness, but is still able to pedal-. It should be noted that the most common way to measure the power threshold in cycling is to perform an FTP test. Knowing the functional threshold of power helps considerably to improve both the power work and the work in general in an indoor cycling session. With this you will be able to know if you are able to withstand a certain number of watts throughout the session.

Benefits of power training in indoor cycling

Now that you know how power is measured in cycling it is time to explain what are the main benefits of working power in indoor cycling.

Better control of training

As we indicated above, knowing the cycling power threshold, and improving it, has as a direct consequence a better control of our training and its management. We will be able to manage and regulate the effort more easily, knowing if we can hold in that zone for a long or short time. It is also important to point out that working on power has the advantage of immediacy, since at a glance we can see the watts with which we are working, controlling much better the way in which we should face the intervals, which will make the results visible faster.

Prevent injuries

Along the same lines as the previous point, by knowing what our threshold is, we will be able to enjoy greater safety and prevent injuries, since we will know at all times if we are working above our possibilities.

Effective evaluation of our physical condition

The power work also gives us the possibility to evaluate our physical condition more effectively. By means of evolution and power work, we can easily measure whether our condition and state have improved or not, since this value does not deceive. This is also very useful to define power work zones, as well as to create objectives according to the zone and intensity.

Motivation for power training in cycling

Setting a target in each work zone or interval encourages the effort needed to reach it, which makes it easier to reach our goal. Of course, another very important aspect comes into play here, which is the mind, in addition to having improved power.

How to improve power in cycling

Want to know how to gain cycling leg power? Cycling training is the key to improving cycling power, both in outdoor and indoor sessions. You need to dedicate more hours to it – but always with caution and without overdoing it, to avoid injury. One of the keys to improving power is to follow a longer cadence or, in other words, to ride a longer cadence with the same cadence. In addition, you should do it progressively. For example, when climbing a mountain pass, ride for a few minutes at higher power than you are used to and then return to your normal pace. In your next session, increase the intensity duration for a couple more minutes and repeat this process until you can eventually ride the entire mountain pass at that cadence. Using a bike rollers at home is also a good option, as it will save you from having to leave your home and waste time getting to your training zone. You can follow the same rule explained in this section to gain cycling power while using your favorite cycling simulator.

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