What is FTP and why should I care?
Our coach by colour ICG indoor cycling classes uses coloured training zones based on FTP to help you achieve your best fitness by working at the correct intensity. Zones are white, blue, green, yellow and red – white being easy recovery, red being high intensity. This top zone represents your maximum effort and it shouldn’t be possible to stay in this zone for long periods of time if the zones are calculated correctly for you.
Our instructors design the classes using specific zones to work on certain aspects of your fitness, with the intention that your FTP will improve over time. Only by knowing your FTP can you get the most out of the classes and we encourage you to have a test done in the gym before you come to an indoor cycling class. The test session will also familiarise you with the bikes and how to use the ICG training App on your phone to track your workouts (if you wish to do so).
Retesting every few months will show gains in fitness and provide extra motivation to work hard in your class!
Our instructor, Sarah, recently taught a class which was a mix of aerobic and anaerobic intervals, hill climbs and easier endurance tracks, which was based on the Coach by Colour system, using a variety of coloured zones, ranging from Blue to Red. By the end of the warm up, several class attendees were already cycling in the red zone and a couple of them were in this zone for much of the class.
One of these people, Ben, used the estimated FTP value calculated by the ICG bike based on his age, weight and approximate fitness, which Ben put in as ‘medium’. His FTP was 200Watts.
He worked pretty hard, and thought he’d nailed it. However, the fact that he was able to maintain cycling in the red zone for this length of time indicated that the FTP he was using was possibly too low and that he should do an FTP test to get the most out of his ride.
The next morning, Ben came to the gym to do his FTP test, the ICG computer calculated his FTP as 253Watts – 25% higher than the estimate! Obviously this will make a huge difference to the intensity Ben works at in the indoor group cycling classes and will, without a doubt have a real effect on his fitness over the coming months.