Peloton’s Power Zone class training is similar to heart rate training in that there are various zones that you train in. However, instead of using heart rate data to determine your zones, you use your power output to determine your zones. So today, I want to cover seven reasons why I love Power Zone classes with Peloton.
In order to get your power zones, you first need to take what is called an FTP test. This is a 20-minute test on Peloton that helps them determine what your power output is across seven zones. After taking the FTP test, your results feed right into the Peloton system so that you will now have a personalized power zone meter on all of your future classes.
Reason #1: Power Zone is fun & dynamic
The first thing that I love about power zone training is that it is more fun and dynamic than traditional heart rate training. This is because, with heart rate training, the data we recieve is always a lagging variable. This means that it takes a while for your heart rate to adjust to your effort.
So with heart rate training, you need to hold a certain output for a longer time in order to ensure that you’re training in the correct zone for the goal stimulus. With power zone training, however, there are no lagging indicators, which means you can move from one zone to another more freely, without having to wait for your heart to “catch up.”
Whether you believe power zone training is more effective than heart rate training or not, it is hard to argue that it is not more exciting and more dynamic.
Reason #2: Performance goals
The second thing I love about Peloton power zone training is that it gives you a performance goal. I believe this is important for many people, regardless of their experience or athletic background.
Having and tracking a performance goal that is not related to weight loss or calories is a great way to create a focus that won’t cause as much frustration. I know for many people, weight loss and fat loss is the ultimate goal, but that can be slow and have ups and downs, and sometimes, it’s not always the best thing to solely focus on right away. Having a performance school, like improving your FTP score, can keep someone mentally engaged and motivated for longer and can help with consistency, which is key for the other self-improvement goals.
Reason #3: Structure
Power zone classes with Peloton create structure. If you throw yourself into a random workout day after day, you will still likely make progress as a beginner. But long-term, you’ll likely see much quicker and better results if you follow a structured program. Having harder days and easier recovery days and progressive overload is what power zone training can provide.
In fact, Peloton created a brand new program recently called “Build Your Power Zones,” which I have almost finished and think is excellent. I hope that Peloton continues adding new programs like this because I really enjoy that feeling of being on a structured workout plan with a set start date, an end date, and a goal.
Reason #4: Coaching style
Another thing I love about Peloton’s power zone classes, and this will not be the same for everyone, but I like the coaching style more. Some Peloton classes can seem like therapy sessions, but Power Zone classes are way more focused on training and the science of training.
The coaches still share many inspirational stories to get you motivated, but it is a lot less frequent than many other class types. So for me, I enjoy the power zone class experience more because of this.
Reason #5: Individualized approach
Power zone training is focused on providing an individualized approach for each person. During a normal class, you will typically be suggested a cadence and a range for your resistance, but there’s never really an indication of what you should do or what you should be trying to get out of the workout. So most people tend to just push as hard as they can on any given day.
With power zone training, since there is structure to it, everybody follows their own personalized zones and does what makes sense for them as individuals. This is a big reason why Power Zone classes will usually provide much better results and set people up for much more long-term success.
Reason #6: Focus Away from the Leaderboard
This individualized approach leads to what I like next about Power Zone classes, which is the focus away from the Peloton leaderboard. As a coach, I have been telling athletes for the past 12 years that they shouldn’t treat every training day like “game day.” And when every workout has a leaderboard where you compare your scores to others, it can be hard to hold back.
Of course, there are always days where you should push yourself as hard as possible. But those days should not be every day. And to have a program like Peloton’s Power Zone emphasize not to compare against others on the leaderboard for training is a really good thing.
Reason #7: Learn how to work out
Finally, the last thing that I love about power zone classes is that they teach you how to work out effectively. Not only are you following their instructions on which zones to stay in during the classes, but you’re taught over time why and how often you should train in each of these zones.
After power zone training, when you go back to regular classes, you can apply what you’ve learned. It’ll be in the back of your head after a tough ride that maybe the next one should be focused on staying in lower zones… even if the instructor’s suggestions say otherwise.
What do you think about Peloton Power Zone classes? Do you like them, or do you enjoy regular classes more? Let us know in the comments!