There are a few common terms used in fitness training, and a few that are cycling specific. We've put together this list of terms used in our workouts to help you get the most out of each workout segment and / or type.
Always to be done at the start of a workout. This is usually a phase of gentle efforts that may increase in intensity. The purpose it to stimulate blood flow to your muscles, increasing body tempuature and heart rate.
A good warm up will not only prepare you for the upcoming efforts (allowing you to perform much, much better), but will also dramatically reduce the risk of injury.
As with the warm up, a cool down is a critical part of any workout. It brings your muscles back down to a relatively normal level of blood flow, allows your heart rate to recover and gives you a chance to catch yoru breath - all at a sensible speed.
Skipping cool down will often result in cramps, muscle tightness and ocassionally dizziness.
A phase commonly used to describe a type of indoor cycling. In this case, we refer to spinning when your leg speed (cadence) is high, but the level of resistance on the pedals is low.
You would typically find a section of spinning during a recovery period, warm up or cool down.
Tempo efforts are to be done at a fast, quite hard but fully maintainable level of effort. It's often described a being a fast and enjoyable pace.
You know you're pushing, but it's not hurting to the point where you need to slow down.
A Sweet Spot effort is often the most difficult to quantify as it is very subjective. As the name suggests, this level of effort is about finding the point at which you are working hard, but find a level of comfort in it.
The level of effort is maintainable but will cause a level of discomfort (and quite probably pleasure!). It sits firmly between a Tempo and Threshold effort.
Threshold efforts are those which are carried out at a level of effort that is hard, but maintainable for up to one hour.
Your theshold is effectively the level of effort at which your body is just about able to manage the levels of lactic acid flowing through your muscles.
If you work any higher than this, the levels of lactic acid (which cause the burning sensation) in your muscles will begin to increase. The result is reduced muscle performance and considerable pain.
Never underestimate the level of effort you can maintain for an hour. It's often more than you think.
Hill climb blocks are designed to simulate the harder climbs you'll find on the road. Usually these will be long, steady and pretty painful. Cadence is usually quite low, whilst resistance is high. The results are pretty hard on your legs, but great for improving strength.
Max / Hard Effort
Typically linked to shorter, more intense blocks of a workout, such as a hill climb, power burst or HIIT effort. These should be done all-out, nothing held back.
A segment of fast and furious riding. Go HARD!