Q: What is the goal of IndoorPower cycling classes?
A: IndoorPower cycling classes are all about
training your body to withstand the sort of efforts that typically
leave most riders hanging off the back of a group ride, finishing
climbs well after everyone else, & wondering what their usual
mode of training is missing.
Q: And what's missing from most training plans?
A: Intervals. While it's easy to log aerobic base
miles on your own, very few riders can force themselves to steadily
suffer in the way necessary to cultivate exceptional fitness.
Intervals hurt, no sense in sugarcoating it, but the only way
to get stronger is to learn how to focus your effort and get the
most out of the discomfort inherent in intense workouts.
Q: Why train using intervals?
A: It's no secret that interval training can yield
highly effective performance benefits in short periods of time
because pushing yourself beyond your comfort level - well beyond it
sometimes - for specific lengths of time provides a training
stimulus that forces your body to become stronger in order to deal
with these new demands. Ask your body the right way and it has no
choice but to give you the response that you want.
Q: But why IndoorPower intervals?
A: At IndoorPower, our greatest challenge is to
make the discomfort of intervals both tolerable & productive
since workouts which are too hard are just as counterproductive as
ones which are too easy, and far more discouraging. Consequently,
we've struck a balance between workouts with enough hard work to
bring about steady & predictable
improvement and workouts with the appropriate
intensity for the time of season & your growing
Q: Do intervals really work?
A: With the right combination
of work - both in terms of interval intensity
& length of time - and recovery, each
subsequent IndoorPower workout brings with it another small
improvement in form, power, speed, & good ol' toughness; that
is, assuming you recover as heartily as you work.
Q: Who can participate in IndoorPower cycling
A: Everyone! Endurance athletes of all sorts (e.g.
cyclists, runners, triathletes, rowers, skiers, etc.) can benefit
from the low-impact training affects that power-based training
Q: What if I'm new to indoor cycling?
A: Everyone was new to CompuTrainer classes at one
point in time. Try not to be intimidated, and join us for a weekly
Class where we walk you through the set-up process,
explain some of the fundamentals of power-based training, & put
you through a brief, 30-minute workout in order to show you
how un-scary training with power truly is.
Q: Do I need to be an experienced
A: No. Athletes of all ability levels are
encouraged to attend these challenging and personalized classes.
Whether you're purely recreational or an experienced competitive
athlete, every class is tailored to each rider's own fitness
Q: What's the basic class structure?
A: Most CompuTrainer workouts include a brief but
specific warm-up, a series of very specific intervals, & a
brief cool-down. This all takes place within the confines of 60 or
90 minutes, but riders are also welcome to show up as early as 20
minutes prior to class time to set up & spend a few minutes
lightly spinning, and riders are always welcome to tack on an extra
5-10 minutes of post-workout spinning as well.
Q: How do we measure my initial fitness?
Ideally, each new rider attends an Introductory
which includes a brief workout we can use to
assess his/her fitness. There are also a number of other ways we
measure fitness during regular class times. And don't worry if you
haven't had a chance to assess your fitness because we can also
guess-timate your fitness based on your own estimated fitness level
(1-10 scale) and body weight.
Q: How do we measure progress?
A: About every 6-8 weeks we assess/reassess fitness
via a standard assessment protocol which estimates your Functional
Threshold Power (FTP). FTP is an estimate of the power you could
maintain during a 1-hour time trial. But don't worry, the longest
interval you'll ever have to ride indoors is 20 minutes and even
those are rare.
Q: How are workouts the same for every rider?
A: We refer to the figure derived from the
assessment sessions as FT or FTP. This number is the key to nearly
all of the training that takes place at IndoorPower. With this
number measured (or estimated) and plugged into the computer, you
simply have to turn your legs and work hard while the computer does
all the thinking.
Q: How does the computer handle all the
A: All intervals are performed at percentages of
FT, e.g. 1 minute at 120% FT or 20 minutes at 85% FT. The computer
automatically calculates the appropriate percentage of your FT and
sets the resistance according to your personal capabilities.
Whether your FT is 110 watts or 380 watts, an effort at 120% FT is
just as hard for you as anyone else!
Q: What sort of performance benefits can I
A1: By attending 2-3 classes/week, riders can
expect improvements in power at lactate threshold, increases in
anaerobic work capacity, improved pedal economy, and even
improvements in power at VO2max.
A2: Put another way, riders will become faster,
fitter, and more efficient, and not just on the bike! There is a
tremendous carry-over affect to other athletic and even day-to-day
Q: What sort of improvement can I expect from attending
A: Every rider who has taken part in a structured
series of IndoorPower classes has seen improvements in fitness,
comfort on the bike, pedaling form, and perhaps most importantly,
confidence on the bike. While the level of improvement varies based
on consistency, current level of fitness, and your willingness to
work hard amongst other things, we have yet to train a rider
without a measurable improvement in fitness.
Q: How often should I attend classes?
A: We've found that 2 classes/week fulfills the
intensity requirement for most riders, but wintertime is a great
time to pack on a weekend class to integrate some
moderate-intensity endurance work into your regimen. By
consistently attending 1-3 interval classes each week, you'll learn
just how much your body is actually capable of, and you'll learn
how to tolerate the discomfort that forces you to back off well
short of your potential.
Q: When are classes offered?
A: See Schedule page.
Q: How do I set my bike up?
A: Each rider rides his/her own bike which you
mount on a normal-looking magnetic trainer connected to a computer.
The back wheel is held in place by the CompuTrainer stand and a
leveling block is place under the front wheel. It's that
Q: Are there any further set-up steps?
A: Yes, but they're optional. If you'd like to see
your heart rate, you simply clip the provided sensor to your
fingertip or earlobe. If you'd like cadence displayed, you can
velcro the provided cadence sensor to your bike in less than a
Q: How long does it take to set my bike up prior to each
A: After a few classes, set-up takes most riders
Q: What information do I see during the classes?
A: Resistance measured in watts is either doled out
by the computer or simply measured by the computer depending on the
type of class taking place, and this information (wattage) along
with heart rate, cadence, mph, watts/kg, etc. is displayed on a
screen(s) directly in front of the riders.
Q: What types of cycling classes are offered?
A: See Classes page.
Q: What kind of bike can I ride?
The CompuTrainers can accommodate many types of bikes: road
bikes, fixed gears, mountain bikes, single-speeds, timetrial bikes,
etc. Simply make sure that your rear tire has a smooth tread
pattern, the smoother the quieter.
Q: What kind of tire should I use.
A: Some tire manufacturers make indoor
trainer-specific tires, but any smooth tread tire (no mountain bike
knobbies) will work just fine. Even mountain bikes can be fitted
with a "slick" rear tire and used quite successfully on the
Q: Is there any special equipment I need to
A: No, but we do provide skewers in the event that
your bike's rear skewer isn't compatible with the CompuTrainer
stand - just don't forget to return it after class.
Q: What is a skewer?
A: A skewer is the axle-like device that holds your
wheel to your bike. They are typically quick-release and two types
work very well: old school & Mavic.
Q: What should I bring to class?:
A: Come prepared for a warm-weather ride, but leave
your helmet and sunglasses at home. Must haves: bike, smooth rear
tire, shoes, water bottle.
A: Might wants: shorts with a chamois (pad),
lightweight shirt or cycling jersey, towel, sports drink,
narrow-neck skewer (we have some on-hand too).
Q: Where can I attend classes?
A: See Location page.
Q: Who leads the classes?
A: Classes are taught by licensed USA Cycling
(USAC) certified coaches and/or professional triathletes, national
cycling champions, and experienced riders with extensive
Q: Why train indoors?
A: Indoor training extracts the highest quality
effort from even the shortest of workouts since it's free from most
of the distractions that can hamper a training ride such as
traffic, stoplights, rough weather, flat tires, bad roads, and
being short on time to name just a few. You have little else to
focus on outside your effort and perhaps the music.
Q: Is indoor training just a winter training
A: These training sessions are a perfect way to
perform interval workouts all year, not just during the
non-competition season. Attend just a few interval classes and then
ask yourself, "Can I work this hard on my own? Can I achieve the
same effort level when I'm not forced to?" Yeah, me neither.
Q: What's the difference between being strong and being
A: We're not just training the body here
(strength), we're also training the mind (toughness). Just as you
progressively condition your body to deal with the rigors of
intense training and perhaps racing, you must also build your
mind's capability to endure discomfort. Oftentimes, it's not the
strongest riders but the toughest riders who put in the most