Cycling Tests

Training Guide > Cycling Tests

The primary purpose of a Wattbike test is to set your heart rate and power training zones, monitor changes in fitness and provide information about the effectiveness of your training workouts using scientific, comparable and reliable measures.

In addition the consistent and reliable data output from a Wattbike test is available to track direct changes in your performance over specific distances and durations.

Ideally, tests should only be carried out by qualified personal trainers, coaches, sports scientists (physiologists) and trained medical personnel. However it is recognized that as a Wattbike user you may wish to carry out a basic test to help you understand your current fitness level and to use in conjunction with your own training plan or the Wattbike training plans.

This section is not an exhaustive manual of cycling tests but the tests selected cover the requirements of this Guide. You may wish to use other cycling tests not in this Guide or design your own appropriate test (s). Contact Wattbike if any guidance is required.

Initial testing provides the data and information required to start a Wattbike training plan. Ongoing regular testing will give you a picture of short, medium and long term changes in all aspects of your cycling performance or general fitness.

Tests should be carried out at the beginning of each phase of your training plan and at specific points during a training phase to monitor changes in your performance.

Whilst the tests can be carried out using just the Wattbike and a heart rate monitor, gas analysis and lactate testing can be integrated into the test protocols.

Before any test is undertaken you should warm up correctly. Following completion of a test you should cool down correctly.

Each test has a recommended warm up and cool down and each test protocol clearly states the applicability of the test to individual Wattbike users.

The tests

Whilst there are many different cycling tests we have selected 4 different tests that cover the requirements of this Guide.

  • 3 minute aerobic test
  • 10 minute progress check (based on 3 minutes)
  • Ramp test
  • 20 minute high percentage of maximum minute power test

3 minute aerobic test

This test estimates aerobic capacity. The absolute average power and maximum heart rate achieved during the test can be used as an estimate of maximum minute power and maximum heart rate to calculate heart rate and power training zones.

Aerobic capacity is related to the ability to perform moderate to high intensity exercise for prolonged periods and is an important component for endurance cyclists and for general fitness.

10 minute progress check (based on 3 minutes)

Using a maximal test to measure aerobic capacity is extremely fatiguing and should be used sparingly. This test is a progress check test of aerobic capacity using the result of the 3 minute aerobic test to set the sub maximal level. It has the advantage of being less fatiguing than a maximal test and has a short recovery period.

A regular check is useful to track training progress.

Ramp tests

A ramp test also measures aerobic capacity. The average power achieved in the final minute is known as maximum minute power and together with the maximum heart rate achieved during the test can be used to calculate heart rate and power training zones. A ramp test is designed to last for 8-12 minutes so selection of the correct starting power is important.

Aerobic capacity and maximum minute power are important components for serious endurance cyclists and for general fitness.

20 minute high percentage of maximum minute power test

This is a test for experienced cyclists only (used only for Training Plans 4 & 5 and the Triathlon Plan of this Guide). It is usually conducted at 75-80% of maximum minute power (Z5 heart rate and power training zone) and measures improvement in sustaining a high percentage of maximal aerobic power.

This is a progress check test so cyclists should have first conducted the 3 minute aerobic test to establish maximum minute power and maximum heart rate to establish heart rate and power training zones.

For a more detailed analysis consider live recording your tests in Wattbike Expert Software or transferring the data to the software for later analysis.

All your test results can be stored in the Wattbike Expert database for future comparison (www.wattbike.com/uk/wattbike/expert_software).

Warning

The tests in this Guide assume a high level of basic fitness and should not be attempted if you are a beginner or have been recently ill or injured (use the estimated methods). If in doubt consult your Doctor before you commence a Wattbike test or training plan.

The tests are not suitable for children or young adults under the age of 18 unless under supervision.

3 Minute Aerobic Test



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