If you hit the gym, it might be a better investment than a Garmin or other specialized watch.
If you hit the gym, it might be a better investment than a Garmin or other specialized watch.
The benefits go way beyond working up a sweat
Exercise is great for mental health; Research has shown that it can lower stress, improve mood and even decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. But new research finds that a group exercise class may be even better for your mental wellbeing than a solo sweat session.
A small study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that people who took group exercise classes reported less stress and more physical, emotional and mental health benefits than those who exercised alone or did not hit the gym at all, suggesting that a social atmosphere may compound the already numerous benefits of physical activity.
At the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, 69 people in their first or second year of medical school—typically a very stressful time—were recruited for the study. One group of students did at least one 30-minute core training class together each week; another exercised alone or with one or two other people at least twice a week; and a third didn’t engage in any physical activity beyond walking or biking for transportation. Students were allowed to choose their own group.
Stages Cycling University is proud to announce its support for the Roadless Ride to benefit Brent’s Place on Friday, October 13th, 2017 at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club in Greenwood Village Colorado.
Join Stages Master Educators Pam Benchley, Marina Mitchell and Dennis Mellon for their Master Classes or ride with any of the other amazing instructors at Greenwood Athletic Club to support the kids of Brent’s Place.
Brent’s Place is a living facility for families with children who are receiving treatments for cancer, bone marrow or organ transplants in the Denver area. Brent’s Place provides a pristine living environment for children whose immune systems are severely compromised due to these treatments or surgeries. The Roadless Ride is a fundraiser held annually at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club that consists of 12 one-hour Indoor Cycling classes where participants donate to ride in each class.
Reserve your bike here!
Dennis will be teaching at 8:00 am
Pam and Marina will be teaching at 3:00 pm
Dennis, Pam, and Marina will be teaching at 4:00 pm
In addition to supporting the kids of Brent’s Place, Stages Cycling University will be offering the largest certification event in its history on Saturday, October 14th also at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club. Join Pam, Marina, and Dennis for Stages Cycling University’s Instructor Essentials Course.
This workshop will help you get acquainted with your new Stages® bikes and power meters in this action-packed, fun-filled workshop! Learn how the simplicity of the bike, innovative features like the SprintShift™, and the information displayed on the console can elevate you, the instructor, from ‘good’ to Rock Star status!
Add simple metrics and watch as your classes engage in powerful new experiences. Walk away with tips you can implement tomorrow, as well as continued resources that you can dig into long-term to keep your classes full and your ideas fresh!
Know what’s up before you show up, by taking our mobile optimized pre-training modules and assessment – an industry first! Then use the SCU app during the live training to immediately dig into the good stuff. Explore our intuitive power console, and learn to interpret the data – all while riding the only indoor bike with a power meter chosen by Tour De France cyclists for its accurate and consistent feedback. Experience the future of indoor cycling for yourself and learn what it means to say #weknowpower.
Use the discount code roadlessrider17, at checkout, to receive our Roadless Ride discount of 20% off the cost of the Instructor Essentials Course. Since Stages Indoor Cycling believes so powerfully in supporting the kids of Brent’s Place, we will donate $70 to the Roadless Ride for every instructor that uses this code.
The SCU App available only to course participants
• Includes an ever-expanding library of Simple Sets, playlists, and screencasts.
• Optimized for any mobile device, tablet or desktop
• Our always-current manual lives in the SCU app. Letting you know any time there’s an update to the content, so you always have the latest from Stages.
This training is open to the public!
#1 Control: No Wind. No Stop Lights. No Traffic. “The biggest benefit is the opportunity to get the most out of a structured session. Riding indoors provides a super consistent, measured environment. Put simply, it’s the only way to free yourself from interruption – cars, stop signs and lights, wind. You name
Below is a video of the experience I created for my riders this past week. It takes them up the famous Lookout Mountain in Golden Colorado with the participants of the USA Pro Challange.
USA Pro Challenge – Lookout Mountain (Profile and Video)
If you’re an indoor cycling instructor and your facility uses Stages Flight you can find my Dennis Mellon – USA Pro Challenge Lookout Mtn. Profile in the Instructor Cloud.
INTRODUCING THE WORLD’S FINEST INDOOR BIKES
We’ve partnered with Stages Indoor Cycling to bring the most technologically advanced indoor bike to Equinox, setting your success in motion with the smoothest, smartest and strongest ride of your life.
Simple and fast bike adjustments allow you to refine your ride from posture to pedal stroke. Reliably accurate data puts your performance into perspective. Designed with an unmatched outdoor road feel, your cycling experience is as elevated as your highest goals.
A carbon-fiber belt replaces the bike’s chain for the most efficient and silent transfer of energy, delivering the most natural road feel.
Adjust gear resistance to build workload rapidly or gradually, or drop it instantly to recover between power intervals.
Whether counting calories or logging in-depth stats, the StagesPowerTM meter ensures the most accurate results from the most competitive workouts.
More than just measuring your power, the EcoSCRNTM stats-crunching computer display feeds off your physical output to give you more detailed input.
Easier to set up for a harder workout, the Stages SC3 indoor bike for Equinox is engineered for maximum comfort and ergonomic efficiency.
Twenty-two years about I moved out west to Denver. I had never been to Colorado, all I knew is that it was full of fitness fanatics, the Mecca for triathletes, John Denver made it sound like Heaven, and it was the home of an amazing concert venue named Red Rocks.
I’ll never forget the day I first heard about Red Rocks. I was hanging out with a high school friend, Ken McCown. Up to that point, I mostly listened to classic rock. But Ken was more of alternative guy. He just bought a new album, “Under a Blood Red Sky (Live)”, by this new band U2. As we listened, Ken predicted that U2 would be the next Led Zepplin, to which I laughed, and he spoke of the venue where this album was recorded, Red Rocks Ampethiature like it was a mystical place where magical things happened.
Well, Ken was right. U2 became the next Led Zepplin, and magic does happen at Red Rocks, just ask anyone who has ever experienced a show surrounded by the red rock while gazing onto the Great Plaine viewing the curvature of the earth.
Last year I was hired by Stages Cycling to be the Brand Manager for VisomX, an indoor cycling group display system. Stages recently acquired VismoX and renamed it, Stages Flight. The goal of an indoor cycling group display system is to create a magical experience for class participants. Most of these systems show rider metrics on a large TV or are projected onto a screen. This keeps cyclists accountable and competitive and improves the rider experience, but if that’s it there’s no room for progression. You only get a board full of numbers. Other systems display rider metrics and include a video game feel to the experience with avatars and team or full class challenges like racing through a time warp or creating a circle of fire. Cool, but as any gamer knows the lifespan of a game that doesn’t progress or add levels is about a week as experiences get boring very quickly.
Stages Flight gives the instructor all the features of the above-mentioned systems plus the flexibility to create their own signature experience. Stages Flight will display rider metrics, has an avatar based race mode, will allow for team and full class competitions, but will also enable the instructor to incorporate their own video and vision into the riding experience. This can be a music video, cycling footage, slideshows, scenery, or anything the instructor feels will enhance the rider experience. With Stages Flight, instructors are no longer limited by the code written by developers; they are set free to let their imaginations soar and create a riding experience that could only have been dreamed of a year ago.
Below is a video of the experience I created for my riders this past week. It takes them to that magical place in Morrison Colorado, Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
This is Red Rocks version 1 (Profile and Video)
This is Red Rocks version 1 (Video Only)
If you’re an indoor cycling instructor and your facility uses Stages Flight you can find my Dennis Mellon – This is Red Rocks 1 (w/FTP) Profile in the Instructor Cloud.
Training with a power meter is the absolute best way to get the most out of both your training time and effort. Unlike heart rate-based training, power allows us to measure the muscular demands of the effort instead of just the aerobic. The metrics-based approach to training that power provides is invaluable in helping athletes reach their goals, but what is it that we need to focus on, and how do we decipher all of the available information when one wants to get started training with power?
There are a few key places we can direct our attention to begin to understand the information generated from our power meters, and how to best utilize it to inform the decisions we make regarding training prescription.
In order to grasp and apply power metrics to our training we first need to understand the foundation on which everything is built: threshold. Threshold is simply the maximum wattage (power) you can maintain while your body can still remove the lactic acid being produced by your working muscles.
It’s also the point at which your body begins to recruit greater amounts of fast-twitch muscle fiber. Working for longer periods of time above your threshold creates the familiar “burn” in the legs as a result of accumulating lactic acid. Athletes can increase their body’s lactic acid clearing potential by spending significant time training in specific ranges below and right at threshold.
Time in these ranges also trains the body to slow the rate of carbohydrate utilization. Once you understand the concept of threshold we can take it a step further with FTP (Functional Threshold Power). FTP is the linchpin of power-based workouts, and the key to executing them properly.
By now you’re no doubt at least familiar with FTP, how it impacts your training approach and your overall performance on the bike. However, knowing what produces a strong and accurate FTP, how to establish it, and how maintain it are vital to keeping your training on track.
Setting your FTP, or rather producing efforts that yield the results you want, takes some practice and know how. With tools like TrainingPeaks and WKO4 we can understand and analyze power numbers more accurately and consistently than ever before.
So how do you know what your FTP is? With the tools we have available to us today there are a couple of things you’ll want to do and look at to ensure your FTP is accurate. The first step is to produce threshold level efforts in training. The “field test” is a tried and true method, and usually the first step in setting your FTP. To perform the field test use the following protocol.
Once you’ve performed the FTP test, upload your data and analyze your performance. To calculate your FTP take 95 percent of your 20-minute, all-out effort. This will serve as a good approximation of your lactate threshold, and a strong baseline number for your training. However, while the field test is a strong indicator of FTP and a great place to start, physiological adaptation and performance is more nuanced than a simple 20-minute test.
WKO4 takes things a step further with the concept of modeled FTP (mFTP), which plots your performances across a curve and generates an mFTP based on historical efforts. Since everyone’s strength isn’t necessarily a 20-minute TT, the PD Curve can be a good way to gain insight into where you’re strongest, and what efforts you may need to focus on to elicit critical adaptations.
If you’re using mFTP and the PD Curve, it’s best to perform all-out efforts of varying durations anywhere from 30 seconds to one hour to get the most out of the “curve.” When establishing any power-based metric, the importance of valid and accurate data can’t be overstated. Power spikes and inaccurate data can drastically skew test results, and can even result in an inaccurate FTP or other power-derived metrics. Whether you’re using the field test, the PD Curve, or a combination of both, you’ll want to perform FTP level efforts four to six times a year so that your FTP is set correctly at key points in the season. It’s tools like this that make training with power so insightful!
Now that you’ve determined your FTP, and understand what it is you need to do maintain an accurate threshold, you can calculate your training zones. Power-derived training zones are what you’ll use for every workout and ride to decipher how intense the ride was, and whether the planned intent of the ride or workout was achieved. Zones allow you to establish the appropriate intensity to induce the adaptation necessary for aerobic, metabolic, and muscular development. Power zones also further highlight the importance of an accurate and up to date FTP. There are several different zone structures available for athletes to use, but ultimately the more detailed and accurately the zones reflect your physiology the better. Below is one example of a seven zone format that can be used:
Zone 1 Active Recovery (AR) = < 55% of FTP
Zone 2 Endurance = 56%-75% of FTP
Zone 3 Tempo = 76%-90% of FTP
Zone 4 Lactate Threshold = 91%-105% of FTP
Zone 5 VO2max = 106%-120% of FTP
Zone 6 Anaerobic Capacity (AC) = 121%-150% of FTP
Zone 7 Neuromuscular Power (NP) = Maximal Power
If you’re using WKO4 you can also use Dr. Andy Coggan’s Individualized Power Levels that allow for an even more granular approach to workout prescription and ride analysis.
The reason that you purchased a power meter is to enhance your training and improve your fitness. So, how do you go about training with power? The variations of workouts that can be performed are endless, but there are several key areas that you can focus on to elicit the greatest response.
These efforts are performed at 88 percent to 94 percent of your FTP and are a great way to strengthen and build your FTP. Typically they’re performed earlier in the season, or mid-season to rebuild toward priority races. The duration of Sweet Spot intervals can vary depending on the athlete, but the goal should be to extend the duration and number of intervals throughout the season.
Threshold workouts are meant to directly improve your FTP and should be completed at 96 percent to 105 percent of your FTP. These should take you to your limit. Much like Sweet Spot intervals, the goal is to increase the length of time you can spend at this level. Typically these FTP-specific efforts build off the time you’ve spent training in your Sweet Spot.
Tempo workouts are the foundation for most cyclists, especially those looking to increase muscular endurance and/or those training for longer endurance events. Tempo workouts occur between 76 percent and 88 percent of FTP, and should be long sustained efforts lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.
These efforts are often the focus for traditional criterium and road racers looking to improve sprint and lead out performance. Lasting from three to eight minutes, they’re very challenging and should be planned for accordingly, as they require proper recovery upon completion of the workout. Depending on the duration of the interval, the intensity may range from 105 percent to 120 percent of FTP. These are valuable when matching race specificity for climbs, sprints, etc.
Power-based training is only as good as you and/or your coach’s ability to track and analyze it! To get the benefits of training with a power meter you have to analyze your workouts and chart your progress over time. Again, the beauty of training and racing with power is our ability to quantify the effort and assign values to it. Here a some key areas to focus on when it comes to analysis:
Often times the barrier to entry for athletes that are new to training with power can be the learning curve as it relates to power-based metrics. Yes, it’s true that there are a lot of metrics and numbers that an athlete can pay attention to, but here a some of the most important ones:
All things equal, the rider with the highest W/Kg will be the fastest. Simply put, it is how much power you produce per kilogram of body weight. The higher the number is, the stronger you’ll be.
Due to the inherently variable nature of cycling, NP is a better representation of how metabolically challenging a workout was. It takes carbohydrate burning power surges into account and thus highlights the overall fatigue of the ride better than average power.
IF is the ratio of the Normalized Power of a ride to your FTP. Think of IF as a snapshot of how intense (hard) a workout or ride was. You can use this metric to understand if your perceived effort matched the actual intensity, and if you were on target for the workout.
TSS measures the total workload of a ride. TSS quantifies how much work was done, and thus how much recovery is needed. Training Stress Score is important to track over time because it drives both fitness and fatigue, which in turn tells you how prepared for a race you are.
Tracking your peak power numbers for key durations will help you not only see how you’re improving, but also ensure your training is matching the demands of your racing. As a rule of thumb if you’re focused on shorter and more intense races you should see higher peak powers for shorter durations, and more endurance focused athletes should focus on longer durations.
Training with power, no matter the ride or race, is extremely valuable to athletes at all levels. The ability to quantify and track efforts, as well as to make individualized training prescriptions ensures that you’re getting the most out of your training time. There’s a lot that goes into training successfully with a power meter, but in the end if you grasp a few basic concepts you’ll be ready to begin. Make sure your FTP is accurate and take the time to review and analyze both your workouts and races. Successful athletes are always looking to improve, and training with power is the best way to make sure it happens.
Ready to dive deeper into the world of power-based training? Download our free ebook, “How to Start Training with Power” now!
This video brings tears to my eyes everytime I watch it!
So many people on the Stages Cycling and VismoX teams have worked so hard and believe so strongly in this product. Stages Flight and Stages Indoor Cycling bikes provide the best indoor cycling experience in the world.
When I’m old and gray, maybe I should say grayer, and I look back at my life, my boys, Seth and Christian will always be considered my greatest accomplishment. I believe, Stages Flight will be second on that list.
So you bought a power meter; now what do you do with it? Stages Cycling hopes its new Dash computer and corresponding Link software will answer this question on a daily basis for riders who want to improve.
While many cycling computers are increasingly focused on GPS-related elements, such as navigation or Strava Live, the new Stages Dash has a myopic focus on training with power.
Although it has GPS, Stages Dash is not a direct competitor to the top-end Garmin Edge computers; its closest comparison would be SRM’s PC8, the training tool found on many pros’ handlebars.
When tied in with the Stages Link software, the Dash delivers specific workout instructions, with a spartan but customizable presentation.
The Dash is the first head unit computer from Stages Cycling, which launched its left-crank power meter in 2012.
Read More at Stages Dash cycling computer review @BikeRadar