A while back, we caught up with Wattbike Master Trainer Mark Fenn to learn about his story and how he went from tree surgeon to fully fledged personal trainer. This week, Mark shares his thoughts on the Wattbike and its variety of uses, and explains why the best indoor bike in the world is #notjustforcyclists.
It’s very easy sometimes to see exercise equipment as being ‘sport specific’. This is often how the Wattbike is perceived but it is so much more than a cyclist’s training tool. Because the Wattbike can be set up to each individual, and because it rides and feels like a bike would outside, the Wattbike’s familiarity, comfort, and accurate data can help anyone monitor, track or adapt their sessions to fit their specific goals. From a 10 minute warm up before a gym session, to active recovery after a game of football to a group indoor cycling class, the Wattbike can do it all. Let’s take a look at some specific examples.
Running has many benefits - It improves health and fitness, it can improve people’s social lives, and it can even boost mental health and wellbeing. However, like all sports, running comes with a risk of injury, yet many of these injuries are either preventable or the chances of them occurring can be reduced. This can be done by decreasing the amount of weekly runs and adding in some off-feet conditioning on a Wattbike. By doing this, you can focus on quality during your running sessions without the need for excess mileage whilst still gaining the mental and physical stimulation you would get from running - it’s a win win situation.
Many people enjoy taking part in racket sports but restrictions such as court time to partner availability can limit your training time. However, this does not need to stop you from exercising. Instead, take this time to try out some non-sport specific training such as off-feet conditioning on a Wattbike. Because racket sports are demanding, they can place a lot of stress on our bodies through sharp movements and high impact. By improving your cardiovascular fitness using the Wattbike, these types of demands are reduced, and the benefits of your improved cardio without high impact will make a big difference to your racket sport performance.
I have been working in a Wattbike studio which is home to 14 Wattbikes for the last six years. These group classes see more non-cyclists attending than they do cyclists. We have people in their 60s and 70s taking part in the same group classes as age group triathletes and local talented club cyclists. The Wattbike creates an opportunity for anyone to be part of a group class whilst making it personal to each individual and their physical ability. The versatility of the Wattbike also means classes can be attended by those who want to train with heart rate and power, but also by those who just enjoy riding ‘on feel’.
BUT HOW IS THIS ALL POSSIBLE?
Because workouts on the Wattbike can be so diverse and adapted to each individual, anyone can experience progression each and every week. You can either add time to an interval, reduce recovery, or add an extra set when you feel you have improved. By learning to look at cadence, speed, Polar View, and power, you can keep yourself motivated, focused, and you will find that you can achieve constant and specific efforts easier, leading to greater results and less injuries.
Some simple examples of progression that I hear regularly are:
“I have done the session on resistance 4 which I’ve never done before”
“My heart rate comes down on the recovery much quicker”
“I used to start the session at 75rpm, I now start at 90rpm”
With the Wattbike, you have a powerful training tool which can be used for fitness, rehabilitation, sports performance coaching, and for off-feet conditioning for any rigorous and demanding sport. This is why the Wattbike is truly #notjustforcyclists.