Power Zone Training on the Bike: Everything You Need to Know


Power Zone Training on the Bike: Everything You Need to Know

You’ve got the power. Now you can use it to ride your way to the top.

Words By Team Peloton

If Power Zone training has remained a mystery to you, you’ve come to the right place. Led by our expert instructors Matt Wilpers, Christine D’Ercole, Denis Morton and Olivia Amato, Power Zone rides are focused on achieving specific output levels at different times throughout a class in order to improve your strength, endurance and overall performance. There are seven power zones, each zone representing a target output range. These output ranges are customized for each rider (which we will show you how to calculate for yourself below). During a Power Zone Ride, your instructor will cue a specific zone, which will direct you to hit the corresponding output range on your Bike. By using these customized output zones as a guide, you will be able to see and feel yourself improve as each zone becomes easier to achieve over time.

Our Discover Your Power Zones program on your Bike touchscreen is perfect for Power Zone beginners, and will guide you through every step from taking the FTP test to measuring your improvement over the four weeks. Below, find everything you need to know to become a Power Zone pro.

Functional threshold power (FTP)

In Week 1 of the Discover Your Power Zones program, you'll identify your FTP, which is central to Power Zone Training. Your FTP, or Functional Threshold Power, is the highest power a rider can maintain for one hour on the Bike. With Peloton, you'll identify your FTP via your average output over a 20-minute maximum effort test. Here's how:

1.) First, we recommend you take one of our Power Zone instructors’ “10-Min FTP Warm Up Ride” in order to prepare for your test ride and learn some tactics for success. You can access this ride under the “Power Zone” Class Type filter.

2.) Next, find your average output by completing a “20-Min FTP Test Ride” on your Peloton Bike. This ride can also be found under the “Power Zone” Class Type filter. You got this!

3.) At the end of your ride, you can find your 20-minute average output displayed on your ride recap screen.

Displaying your Power Zones on The Bike

If you’re riding on a Peloton Bike, you’re in luck—no math required! After your 20-minute FTP Test, plug your average output value into your profile settings on your Touchscreen and have your customized Power Zones displayed for every ride you take on the Bike. On your next ride, you’ll notice a bar below your metrics which lights up in different colors as your output reaches specific numbers. These numbers and colors correspond with your Power Zones and target output ranges. Follow along with instructor cues for which zone you should be in, then hit your numbers! Everyone on the Leaderboard will have different output targets, but you’ll all be working in the same zone.

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Here’s how to display your Power Zones on your Touchscreen:

1.) On your Touchscreen, click on your username in the lower left corner.

2.) From there, click the red gear symbol in the top left corner, and navigate to the Preferences tab.

3.) Under “Power Zones,” click “Edit Power Zones” and “Custom Value.”

4.) Enter your average output from your 20-minute FTP Test ride, and click “OK.”

5.) Make sure “Display Power Zones” is selected.

6.) Choose a Power Zone class and get started!

How Power Zones are calculated

If you’re riding with the Peloton App and a power meter—which you’ll need to participate in Power Zone training—or you just want to learn more about the math behind calculating your Power Zones, check out the steps below:

1.) First, subtract 5% from your FTP Test average output number. This result will be an accurate estimate of the average output you could hold for 60-minutes (i.e. your FTP). For example, if your average output is 115, find 5% (115 X 0.05 = 5.75), then subtract it from the total number (115 — 5.75 = 109.25). Round up or down to find your FTP.

2.) Now that you’ve found your FTP, you need to multiply this number by the percentage ranges of all seven power zones to identify your target outputs. For example, using our FTP of 109 from above, we can calculate Zone 1 by finding 55% of 109 (109 X 0.55 = 60), then calculate Zone 2 (56-75%) by multiplying each by 109 to arrive at 61-82. You can find the percentages for each zone in the chart below. These numbers represent your customized target output ranges for each zone, and therefore, are the output ranges you will need to hit when each zone is cued.

3.) Once you’ve calculated your target outputs, make sure to write them down and keep them near your bike for so you can refer to them during Power Zone classes. We highly recommend calculating each percentage and recording your target output numbers before you start a Power Zone Ride.

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As you continue your Power Zone Training, you will likely notice each zone’s target output becoming noticeably easier to achieve. Feel free to retake the 20-Min FTP Test Ride at that point to see if your 20-minute average output has increased. If so, you can then use your new 20-minute average output to calculate your updated FTP, and apply that number to the percentage calculations for each zone above to update your target output ranges.

Now that you’re a Power Zone expert, it’s time to get started! Count yourself in for our Discover Your Power Zones program, an upcoming class or take an on-demand ride easily found within the “Power Zone” class type filter.

Team Peloton