Functional Threshold Power aka FTP

So what's new with Group Cycle? Three new riding experiences, explore Peak, FreeBeat and Virtual classes. Combining music, visual effects and performance all in one place, pushing you out of your comfort zone. 

To get the most out of the NEW Group Cycle classes, it's now a good idea to know your 'Functional Threshold Power' aka FTP. Of course, you can still do all the new Group Cycle classes not knowing your FTP, but knowing your FTP allows you the opportunity to get more out of your spin class.

The acronym FTP means 'Functional Threshold Power': the power an athlete can deliver pedalling for an hour at the maximum possible intensity. It is the average number of watts that you can sustain in an hour of cycling. Thus, it acts as a current measure of fitness.

To identify your FTP, it is essential to push to maximum capacity for one hour, which is the equivalent of travelling the longest possible distance or keeping the highest average speed. It's a challenging and complex test to carry out on the road. Due to the conditions of the route, the average athlete would struggle to sustain such a demanding rhythm for a long time. 

For this reason, a simplified protocol was developed, reducing the maximum effort phase to 20 minutes. Completing the 20-minute test with a power meter can sustain for 20 minutes, and then, subtracting 5% to this value, you obtain the power you would be able to maintain for one hour.

Why use FTP?
By utilising the data produced from your FTP test, it allows you to work in power zones, which can be used to boost your overall performance. These zones closely follow your heart rate zones, making sure you always work in zones relevant to your individual fitness level.

Much like a personalised training programme that helps you get the most out of your workout, working to your FTP does the same thing because it is specific to you. It allows you to get the most of each of the individual sessions planned. Each session has a specific aim and focus, allowing you to develop your speed, power, or endurance. Having these vary weekly allows your body to be pushed differently every time you ride, allowing your body to adapt.

How do you test FTP?
This is done via a simple 20-minute session, where you maintain a cadence of 90RPM throughout. The aim is to push yourself as hard as you can in this time by simply changing the resistance whilst making sure the cadence doesn't suffer as a consequence. 

This session should be done regularly to update your score and power zones. This is because the more you ride in those zones, the better your body gets accustomed to them and adapts. In other words, your fitness levels increase, and your old power zones become obsolete. You want always to be working to the best of your ability to make sure you are always progressing.

We've created an FTP class; it's a quick 20minute test plus a 5minute warm-up and 5minute cooldown. Simply book yourself on the class via the Avenue app or speak to reception. Or, for a one on one session, talk to a member of the fitness team. 

For those of us that would rather have an estimated FTP, this is possible via the Wellness app. Check out the video below for your step by step guide.

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