My last blog was about instructing the first trial indoor training session at a dedicated Revbox studio. I didn’t finish talking about all my new experiences which I’ll finish now. Taking an indoor session on Revbox ergs also got me thinking about the interesting concept of how it would work with a Zwift group ride.
But firstly another difference between using exclusively Revbox ergs in an indoor session vs a mixture of traditional trainers: on the former fewer gears are used, where a shift in cadence up or down will often elicit the required change in power zones. On a mag trainer, a change of one or two gears is often required where as a wind braked trainer’s resistance can change remarkably in the same gear (at a difference cadence), as there is a greater range of power.
This becomes an issue when explaining to participants of a class to ‘step up (or down) the intensity’ especially for those not using power as heart rate can be misleading when changing gears (moving to a harder gear can actually decrease heart rate due to a lower cadence being more aerobically efficient - the danger here is the participant goes even harder and outside of the power zone they are aiming for).
This issue exists for any type of trainer, Revbox erg or not. It’s just that it’s important to recognise (especially for instructors and coaches), the significant difference that Revbox users will use less gears over a given power range and therefore may not need to change when asked to ‘step it up.’
If you’re into current road cycling trends then look no further than Zwift. Essentially these are virtual group rides, races or indoor training sessions. You (represented as an avatar on a laptop or tablet device) are in the comfort of your own home, without a care for being mowed down by an anti cyclist but still with the motivation of exercising/riding with other cyclists. This is pretty close to a real life racing experience (so long as Zwift users use their correct weight).
However Zwift group ride/races lack the control that you may need to fit your own training needs. Also a Zwift indoor training session (all participants follow a pre prepared plan according to % of their FTP at the same time), lacks the energy of an instructor yelling to go a bit harder (I’m not too sure that the latter exists).
Having said this - what we did at the Revbox studio in Christchurch could be done on Zwift. What's more those without power meters on their bikes can use the Revbox power sensor kit - a requirement to use Zwift. Imagine if you please:
6pm NZST select ‘Revbox erg Indoor Session: Microbursts’; 3,2,1 and go….
While it wouldn’t ever need to be exclusive to Revbox erg users, it would create a more even playing field. Watch this space!
Thanks for reading