Spinning watts, power training

Xavi Royo

12 May, 2021

In the Spinning Watts sessions of the Clubs Claror we do a power training group, where everyone goes at the same intensity, but each person trains within their work areas with the goal of increasing performance.

In this article we tell you what Spinning Watts training is like and its benefits. Before we get into the subject, however, we need to be clear about some concepts.

Spinning, watts and FTP

  • SPINNING: It is a type of cardiovascular training where we use the bicycle as the main and unique tool of training. A training session simulates a cycling stage, both road and mountain, where you pedal to the beat of the music, using different intervals of duration and intensity depending on the session.
  • WATTS: They help us to explain the amount of energy we spend during training or, also, the strength we need to perform to maintain the pace of training determined in that type of session.
Now that we know the meaning of the two concepts, we need to know how watts are calculated, and to do that we also need to know another concept: l
  • FTP: It is the functional power threshold. That is, the maximum force that your legs are able to exert in each of your rides, at a certain cadence and for a certain amount of time. 
The result of the FTP test, expressed in watts, will determine the maximum power you will work on during the Spinning Watts sessions.

How FTP and different types of tests are calculated

This type of test is not a test of effort, but a test of performance that will give us values ​​with which we can better plan workouts. In the case of Spinning Watts, it will help us improve each person’s performance in classes.
To calculate the FTP, you must perform a long-term test at a moderate / high intensity and accumulate lactic acid, to the point where we must maintain that effort, because if we continue to generate lactate, we will exceed the anaerobic threshold and we will continue to accumulate lactate. This will lead us to exhaustion and we will have to lower the intensity or even have to stop the test. 
During the test we must try to make a physical effort in a linear way, always going at the same intensity and not doing sprints or many highs and lows, as this will lead us to increase fatigue and will not be 100% reliable.
There are several tests to calculate the level of FTP, ranging from 1 minute to an hour. The most reliable tests are those ranging from 5 minutes to a maximum of 20 minutes, where the level of physical effort is already beginning to be considerable and optimal in order to draw good conclusions.
Generally in Spinning Watts classes, a 5 or 8 minute power test is performed as they are more enjoyable and at the same time less demanding. It can be easily introduced in a 45-minute session, doing intense pre-warm-up to get to the main part of the session in the best conditions, and after the test do a recovery, all the way to the end of the Cool class. Down and stretches.
The power test will give us a result in watts, and within these results we will get different zones or working thresholds. We usually find 6 or 7 work areas, which go with percentages of watts, which tell us the power or work we have to do to be within that particular area.

Benefits of working with watts

The overall benefit of using power watts within a Spinning class, is that everyone works at the same intensity, but always within their work areas. In percentage, we all work at the same threshold, but each carries a different resistance and cadence.
For example, a person 150 cm tall and 50 kg cannot have the same FTP and therefore cannot have the same work areas, as a person 180 cm tall and 80 kg. Within the same session the two will work in the same area determined by the technician, but each within their percentages established from the FTP Test.
This does not happen when we work by cadence, that is to say by RPM, since the cadence is the same for everyone, whether you have one physical condition or another.
It should be clarified that the absolute power is not the same as the relative power, as the first is the amount of watts that anyone moves by pedaling to their anaerobic threshold, and instead the relative power is the watts that the person moves per kilogram of body weight.
Conclusion: A power watt training job is much more reliable than a RPM job, or a heart rate job.
Thanks to power training, you will be able to perfectly control the watts you move and the time you can withstand that volume of load, so that you can clearly define your work areas.
So we invite you all to come to Clubs Claror to try our Spinning Watts classes, and give your best!


the author

Xavi Royo

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