Cycling has become a real buzz recently, and is set to become even more popular in the future. Therefore, the trend of combining heart rate training with indoor cycling is growing too.
Delivering effort-based training adds an important dimension of inclusivity to indoor cycling. Indoor cycling is often seen as intimidating, with extremely competent cycling instructors taking the class, and an array of regulars trying to keep up. Focusing on effort — through heart rate training — means even beginners can be rewarded for the effort they put in. However, it’s not only beginners who benefit from this focus on effort. It’s also crucial to the effective implementation of heart rate training within the class.
The issue with heart rate training in a group exercise environment is that it’s only relevant if it’s a consistent metric. Training at a defined heart rate number has no bearing if it isn’t related to each individual’s maximum heart rate. If you ask a 35-year-old to train at 150 beats per minute, they will likely be training at a very different intensity thana 19-year-old in the same class, or even another 35-year-old.
On the other hand, if heart rate training is delivered based on percentage of maximum heart rate, and applied in simple colors, then it doesn’t matter how fit or unfit participants are. It’s all about effort – how hard each individual is having to push themselves based on their own fitness levels. For this reason, it’s a much easier metric for an instructor to coach to.
The key to success behind heart rate training within the facility is to create attention around it. It is one thing for indoor cycling studio owners to simply bring heart rate training into their facility, and it is another thing for owners to change the dynamic of their club to be centered around the strategy. For example, teaching trainers to instruct around heart rate, or hosting facility wide competitions seeing who can earn the best metrics, encourages motivation and requires members to physically engage with the product, highlighting the idea that heart rate training is more than just a simple strategy.
To stay a step ahead of the competition in indoor cycling, it is fundamental for operators to begin to look at more than just the basics. Heart rate training is one of those extras that helps provide motivation, engagement, and allows for a level playing field to be achieved.