Indoor Trainer Technique
As we know, indoor cycle training can be very boring and most of us would have experienced the numb feeling of disappointment as you climb off the trainer after half-arsed attempts to motivate yourself. This is where we can help. No more notes, watching a clock or trying to focus on the same video you have to watch over and over. It’s simple – download a session that suits, follow our workout instructions to your level , enjoy the process and feel your fitness grow!
I first started coaching indoor cycling training sessions back in 1992. Getting a group of people motivating each other beyond what we would normally achieve in the privacy of our own shed made indoor training fun. Noisy fun in those days! I was never allowed my trainer anywhere near the lounge/TV. Unlike the smooth quiet trainers you see parked up in prime TV viewing spots in lounges today.
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In this short video we will explain the terms and techniques endorsed by JetBlack Coaching.
Gearing & Intensity
First, for the gearing and intensity levels we suggest, this will depend on the trainer type you’re using and it’s intensity settings.
On the bike it’s simple. In the front, there is a large chainring and a small chainring. If you have 3 chainrings, use the middle and large rings. As for the back gears, it’s simple. One is the hardest gear going up to ten or eleven.
Throughout our MP3 sessions, we will give you simple terms like “Go to S4”. That’s the small chainring in the front and 4 up on the back. Or “L3”, that’s the Large chainring in the front and 3 up on the back. The gearing suggestions are just that… suggestions, so train smart and work to your cadence and the intensity levels we set.
Cycling Cadence & Intensity
Cadence is an important part of our training. A low cadence is 65-75 rpm and we consider a high cadence to be 120+ rpm. For our intensity scale, we keep it simple. 1 is an easy ride and 10 is maximum effort. 7.5-8 of your maximum should be around your anaerobic threshold. Simple! Stay in your zones, train smart and you’ll get the best out of these sessions.
When pedalling, we ask you to keep your heels nice and flat. Most of us naturally lift our heels up to 25-30 degrees. Optimum level for a shoe or foot while pedalling is 15 degrees. Remember when you had someone set your bike up? The person adjusting the bike would have set it to a 15 degree angle shoe. In the video, you can see the difference. If your foot is not at the right angle, your leg is not getting the full extension needed to produce maximum power. when your cadence is low, it is easy to pedal correctly, sitting in the center of your seat and with a consistant cadence. But at a higher cadence, riders tend to lift their heel and slide forward in the sadldle. This is ok if you adjust your handlebar position to maintain good form and stability on the bike.
Another technique we use is “scrape the floor – kick the door”. Keep your heels nice and flat across the bottom of the stroke, lifting your ankle slightly as you pull up and “kicking the door” from 11 o’clock to 1 o’clock. Push the heel flat again, “scrape the floor” and repeat.
The top position, in the middle is for climbing and low cadence.
On the brake hoods, relax your hands, don’t grip tightly or it can cause the elbows to flare out and create bounce and upper body movement. We want to keep our elbows in and face them to the floor. This creates stability in the hips and core and allows the legs to do all the work.
The handlebar drops are for sprinting and the real agressive stuff!
Good technique on the indoor trainer makes for good technique on the road. On the road, you don’t look down. What happens when you look down on the indoor trainer? Your whole upper body collapses.
The difference between a pro rider going hard out and an amateur is shown by their control on the bike. If you can achieve this on the indoor trainer, you too can take it out onto the road and look like a professional. So, keep all the energy in the lower body only. Everything else should be relaxed. with a nice pedalling technique, you will look like that pro as well!
Single Leg Training
Single leg training is a great way to even out your pedal stroke. The best way to start is for technique use only. You can build in strength and power later on. Relaxing the foot on the back of the trainer, keep your hips and knees square on the seat as if you had both feet in the pedals. If you have to put your foot out to the side on a chair and your hips are out of position, then you’re not doing what you would on the road. For variations, you can use bigger gears, a higher cadence of simply change your position on the bars, going from the top of the bar to the drops. Closing the angle on the hip flexor definitely makes it harder work!
Thanks for viewing and I hope you enjoy the sessions we have for you at JetBlack Coaching!