At Wattbike we have a number of Master Trainers who work behind the scenes to bring Wattbike education to gyms, hospitals, insurance companies, sports teams, and cyclists across the world. We thought it was time to put the spotlight on these fantastic men and women; so join us in our new blog series where we discover the people behind Wattbike education. Meet Adam Daniel - Lead Master Trainer at Wattbike.
Wattbike: why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background. How did you first get involved with health and fitness?
I joined the fitness industry 23 years ago after my A levels when I decided I didn’t want to go to uni. I had no interest in having a traditional degree or career and end up in the city like all my school friends. I got my fitness qualifications and started working at an independent private health club, where I worked my way up from gym instructor to gym manager. I then worked my way up to PT Manager at Holmes Place, Notting Hill where I had a team of 15 PTs to look after. I then set up PT platforms in Holmes Place Spain and Portugal before deciding to become a self-employed PT, coach, and educator.
During my time as a self employed PT/coach I have consulted for the English Rugby Football Union and British Rowing, have delivered education for some of the world’s leading health and fitness brands, I have presented at some of the world’s leading fitness events on a variety of topics, as well as having trained pro athletes, pop stars, supermodels, and royalty. Throughout my career I have always kept up to date with current trends and science by learning from some of the best educators in the world within health and fitness. This drive to keep learning eventually culminated in an MBA in International Sports Management from Loughborough University.
What a career! If you had to choose, which sports are you most passionate about?
My two main sports have been rugby, which I began playing at five years old all the way to England trials, and then athletics once I decided to take a break from rugby. In my athletics career I ran for England at U21 level reaching fifth in the world for the 400m hurdles until my career was ended by injury, at which point I returned to rugby. Unfortunately I hurt myself playing rugby too, so I took up cycling instead, thinking I would be safer.
That was six years ago, and it’s how I got into working for Wattbike. The coach who I started cycling with recommended I buy a Wattbike, which I duly did. I actually owned a Wattbike smart bike trainer before owning a road bike! Coming from two power-based sports, I spent 18 months working on my aerobic base with a goal to get into crit and road racing.
About 18 months after I first sat on a Wattbike I had my first race, in which I came dead last out of 70 due to launching my sprint too early. But I went back the following week and won! That was the start of my cycling career.
So how long have you been at Wattbike, and how long have you been a Master Trainer?
I have been a Master Trainer for 6 years, and been at Wattbike the same amount of time.
What do you like the most about the Master Trainer role?
I find it a privilege to travel, see new countries and cities whilst getting fitness professionals excited about using the bike. There is nothing better than when a fitness coach/PT has that ‘aha’ moment. It’s the realisation that this is more than a bike and that it can help them be a better PT or coach even though they don’t cycle!
What has been a highlight for you as a Master Trainer? Does a specific event come to mind?
Being asked to become Lead Educator for Wattbike. I can now take all my experience of using the bike over the last six years and help guide the development of the Wattbike education platform to deliver a world class education programme.
What do you think sets the Wattbike apart from other indoor trainers?
From a personal perspective, what drew me to the Wattbike was the feel and set up; it felt just like a road bike, therefore making the performance benefits transferable. I also love the accuracy. When I train I like to hit in-session targets and knowing I have hit my target power goals in the session for me is very satisfying and makes me happy. From a coaches’ perspective, it’s again the accuracy - which allows me to set very specific sessions - and the connectivity, meaning I can coach my clients anywhere in the world.
Do you have a favourite test or session on the Wattbike?
Yes - unders and overs. They have to be one of the most brutal sessions ever, yet the most rewarding once you have survived.
A typical under and over session for me is:
6x6-minute over-under intervals with 1-minute valleys at 95% FTP and 2-minute peaks that ascend to 105% FTP, although the intervals can last anything between 4-10 minutes. Cadence should be kept between 80-90 rpms.
The main goal of overs-unders is to increase your ability to tolerate and utilise the byproducts that accompany riding above your FTP, all while maintaining a reasonably high power output. Being able to do this means you'll develop the ability to handle changes in pace while getting a lot of work done.
Can you tell us your top three tips for people who want to improve their performance?
Consistency- no matter your level of ability, your goal, or your event, to get results consistency is key. That doesn’t mean burying yourself on every session, it means having a plan and turning up and doing what is needed each and every session, both physically and mentally.
Recovery, regeneration, and sleep Health- Without good recovery strategies you are unlikely to see the progress you should, and this is something I educate all my clients on. Everyone is different and so with all my clients they each have different recovery strategies. This covers everything from nutrition, mobility, massage, meditation, epsom salt baths, and sleep. The one thing I always insist on is good sleep health.
Variability and fun- Whilst everyone has their own reason for training and/or cycling if there is going to be any kind of longevity in your “career” then it has to be fun and varied, you have to want to enjoy your training. Yes we all have off days or days where it’s a grind, yet on the whole your sessions should leave you with a sense of self satisfaction and a smile on your face! The great thing about cycling is that you can ride inside and outside, on the road/off road, uphill, downhill, round a track or on a dirt track, you can even throw a bit of running and cycling in for good measure, which means you can always mix it up and keep it interesting.