What is PowerWatts?
PowerWatts is an indoor performance-based small-group cycling program. Eight to Ten riders participate in a training session (where I coach, there is a max of eight). Riders ride on custom-made multi-adjustable PowerWatts bikes properly fitted to their body. Further, riders are able to practice gear shifting because the bikes are equipped with Shimano gearing like an outdoor bike. Plus the bikes can simulate uphills, downhills, rolling hills and courses using CompuTrainers indoor trainers.
PowerWatts Training Sessions
During a PowerWatts class, riders have personalized power targets (in watts) based on their cycling capacity. But the wattage targets we prescribe are percentage based. So all riders in the class are exerting at the same level relative to their abilities!
A PowerWatts Coach guides each class. This is critical! The coach makes the training environment more fun and educational. Plus through observation the coach helps the riders with not only quantitative data (like the wattage targets), but also qualitative feedback on body position, gearing, breathing and other skill-based elements.
Exercise physiologist extraordinaire Paulo Saldanha and myself meticulously design the workouts. We aim to maximize the fun and engagement of riders while ensuring improvement in everything from sprints to hill climbs to time trials and more. In the last 10 years alone, Paulo and I have designed and implemented over 1400 unique workouts. Thousands of riders across all the PowerWatts centers complete each workout. Then using the results and feedback of coaches we constantly improve the workouts.
Our workout structure and methodology is so unique that, with the help of uber-programmer Nic Siggel, we developed our our group cycling training software called cpX. It can handle (almost) everything we want to do during our training sessions with an exiting and intuitive graphical interface for the rider. We also developed an analytic engine to crunch all the data we collect and present it to our riders online in a user-friendly manner.
The PowerWatts Season
The main PowerWatts season is a 28 week block of training from Oct to May. We produce five workouts per week: three are 60min in duration, one and 90min and the other is 120min. Most riders participate in two 60min workouts per week. But some do more, others do less.
During the season the goal is not only to improve on a single metric like FTP (any rider that trains with power knows what I mean by FTP). We aim to help riders improve on the amount of power they can generate for 5sec, 10sec, 20sec, 30sec, 1min, 2min, 5min, 10min, 20min, 30min and in some cases 60min. This keeps Paulo and myself “on our toes” to develop trainings that can lead to improvement over this wide spectrum time domains. But it also recreates the real life demands of cycling that are so much more complex than a single number like FTP.
Want to Try PowerWatts?
I coach at PowerWatts West Island, a center location in Pointe-Claire, Quebec. Here is our Online Schedule of classes. There are 16 other locations across the world. Check out the list of PowerWatts Locations.