Watts (also referred to as “Power” here at Torq) are a measurement defined as the rate at which energy is used (energy over time). Wattage illustrates how hard you are working at any given moment. You came to spin class to work, right? Right. So, we thought we’d share a bit more about Watts/Power to help you all achieve a new personal best while on the bike.
At the start of class, Torq instructors will ask you to find your “baseline”. This refers to a wattage that you could hold for 10, 20, maybe even 45, minutes at a speed in the 75 to 85 RPM range. It is moderately challenging, and you feel that your legs are working to push a continuous pedal stroke. Most importantly, you are pedaling smoothly without bouncing in the saddle. Defining this “baseline” wattage is up to you & takes a few classes to find your zone. Baselines range depending on your gender, weight and strength capabilities. As you begin to cycle more often, you’ll quickly see your baseline become established.
As instructors will cue during class, your Power on the bike will increase by adding more resistance while maintaining the same cadence, a lovely little word for rhythm (or speed of your legs). Alternately, you can also increase your Power by keeping that resistance right where it is but increasing your cadence.
Watts are a great objective measurement to track your performance from one ride to another and lucky for you, all riders receive a class stats e-mail immediately following class. So take a look and see how you’re doing from week to week. The goal is to increase your average watts over time because that means you are working harder and getting stronger!
Now that you know a bit more about that “Power” number, play around with the resistance knob during your next class. Set a goal for yourself from class to class and just as we do in our surge efforts … “meet or beat that number”. Maybe you’ll reach your new Personal Best!