If you have ridden with us at The Ride, you may have noticed that our instructors tend to steer away from asking riders to choose a ‘specific’ gear to pedal at. Instead, the focus has been on the importance of individual effort.
Gearing can vary hugely- one gear can feel light for one rider, or it may feel closer to a hill climb for another. It’s for this reason that Keiser coach with intensity rather than gear, and to ensure that each individual rider can get the most out of each class.
Ride intensity can be determined using three main indicators: Power, RPE and Heart Rate.
Power (displayed in watts on your M3i bike) is a measure of work output over time. It is calculated by the following formula: P = F x V, or specifically, Force (your gears) x Velocity (your rpm). Power is produced when a rider is pushing both gear and speed, and it is an effective and accurate method of monitoring effort levels during classes. If watts are displayed on your bike, you will be able to check in and monitor how much power you are producing during your rides. Using the Keiser M series app (download for free: search “Keiser M Series”) is a great way of recording your average watts over time and keeping track of your progress!
To maximize power output, riders must regulate gear and RPM. While pedaling fast may appear challenging, without any resistance the power output is low. In contrast, pedaling very slowly with heavy gears may also provide a less than desirable power output. Therefore, to maximize watts, and in principle a riders effort, manipulation of gear and RPM must always be considered.
In order to estimate your Power Intensity Zones, you will need first to find your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is defined as the highest power a rider can sustain for one-hour at steady state (i.e. lactate threshold). The results of knowing your FTP allow riders to calculate and then train in various individualized power zones. .We created for you an article on how to find your FTP using the free Keiser Mseries App. Please click here
The power zones are as follows:
Zone 1, Active recovery. <55% FTP
Zone 2, Endurance. 56 to 75% FTP
Zone 3, Tempo. 76% to 90% FTP
Zone 4, Anaerobic threshold (FTP zone). 91 to 105% FTP
Zone 5, VO2 max+. Above 105% FTP and below 150% FTP