Yes, you can ride outside in the winter, but with black ice, messy roads, and darker days the risk to reward ratio is one to seriously consider.
Here are 5 reasons why you need to consider indoor cycling to improve your fitness and form for the 2018 season.
- Safety – No one crashes indoors! Unfortunately, cycling outdoors is not a matter of if but when and how severe your will crash will be. The great news is one hour of indoor cycling can be equivalent to two hours on the road based off the intensity put into an indoor class.
- Improved Pedal Stroke Efficiency – Indoor bikes have direct drive, so you never stop pedaling. This improves your average RPM (revolution per minute) makes you a more efficient cyclist. For example, if your average RPM is 85, you can focus on pushing 90 – 110 RPM’s. Improving RPM’s requires fast twitch muscle fibers that can be trained with the focus allowed in an indoor cycling environment. Be mindful to maintain realistic resistance on the fly wheel at all times.
- Hill Climbing- Keeping consistent resistance on the fly wheel will can improve muscle endurance. Ideally RPM’s between 50 and 75 will activate slower twitch muscle fibers that are essential for climbing. Results can be seen over time as higher average power numbers can be achieved over a longer duration at the same RPM. Higher average power = faster speed up the hill!
- Power- The Schwinn carbon blue indoor bikes at Pro Sports Club are the premium bikes in the industry. These bikes allow you to measure instantaneous, maximum, and average power throughout your ride. This allows for high intensity interval training that can be measured and not simply based on perceived exertion.
- Group training – Indoor cycling provides a social connection with others. There is something special that happens when a full group of people are training together in a studio. It feels like you can borrow energy from the room when you need it. This is something special you must experience, and it can’t be replicated with the best software and online experiences. After each class I ask members if they would have done the same intensity by themselves. The overwhelming answer is always NO! Group energy is something that can’t be measured but I promise you it is real.
It will be motivating to see your power numbers improve and your fitness to reach new levels this winter. The most gratifying thing will be your first outdoor ride in 2018. You just might be waiting for your friends at the top of each hill! I look forward to seeing you in the next class!