Friday, December 18, 2015

What I've Tried: Watts Up Home Cycling

A little while ago, I was given the opportunity to test out the WattsUp Home Cycling Program.  As a new instructor there, Adam wanted me to get familiar with the workouts and the terminology they use in their workouts.   The Home Cycling program is essentially most of the same workouts you'd experience if you went in to one of their classes but you get to do it in the comfort of your own home at a time that works best for you.   It's all about convenience.

His and Hers Home Cycling Programs in action!
The WattsUp program is a periodized training program that works at building your fitness so you're in peak shape by the summer.  It is a year long program and it's based around your power zones.  If you don't know your power zones, you can book at test with one of the WattsUp testers for It's almost like having a coach but without the hefty price tag.  You get several workouts to choose from each week:  3 recovery workouts varying in length (30 min, 45 min and 60 min), 2 quality workouts, also varying in length (60 minutes and 90 minutes) and then a long ride that is close to two hours in duration.  You could ride every day and never do the same workout.  That's a win / win.

The Long Ride in the Watts Up Home Cycling Program

All of the rides I did had me warming up with with some easy spinning along with various drills like high cadence work and everyone's favourite, single leg drills.  When I normally get on the computrainer to ride, I do the warm up and then ride a course.  I always SAY I'm going to do drills but I never do them.  The WattsUp program incorporates those into the warm up so you actually DO them. 

I used the program 2-3 times a week over the course of 4 weeks.  From that time alone, I noticed a difference in my riding.  Power numbers that seemed a little tough to hit at the beginning didn't seem to be as hard to hit or maintain by week four.  Every workout I did was a little different.  Even the recovery workouts were engaging.  You don't just get on your bike and pedal easy for an hour.   Every workout has some variety in it.  G had the opportunity to try it for a week and he signed up for it before the week even ended.  For $50/month, you can't beat the price!  He absolutely loves it. 

If you don't have a computrainer or another type of power based trainer, but you have a power meter on your bike, that also works for the home cycling program.  If you don't have a power meter or a power based trainer, don't worry, WattsUp has got you covered.  You can rent one from Bike Watts.  They offer monthly computrainer rentals.  They have partnered with WattsUp to offer a Home Cycling package.  You can rent a computrainer and get the home cycling package for $120/month.  That's a pretty sweet deal.

I haven't been riding much because of my knees but whenever I get on the bike, I use the WattsUp Home Cycling program.  The workouts are interesting and challenging enough that I'm working hard but not killing myself.   These workouts are much better that my usual "off season" workouts.  Those would usually consist of mostly aerobic rides with a little bit of tempo work thrown in here and there if I felt like it.  Which didn't happen often.   This program offers people a smart way to train in the comfort of their own home year round.  It's definitely something I will look at using for the long haul.

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