Assess don’t guess; that’s the mantra we use to remind coaches of the groundwork necessary to write a solid fitness prescription. One tool used in that assessment is the Flywheel Bike. First employed by Swedish researchers a century ago to study force curves during bicep contractions, the bike is useful in assessment in that it’s safe, consistent and provides comprehensive data.
Three tests are necessary to assess your client’s starting point across the three energy systems.
- The first test looks at where they sit with gain or anaerobic/alactic work. Set them out on the bike with a gently paced 2-3 minute warm-up before ramping the pace up and going all out for as long as possible. Look out for the maximum peak wattage and record the score.
- Next, test for their response to pain or anaerobic/lactic work. Again, after a gentle warm up get them going on a 3 minute piece of work at a pace below gain but ultimately unsustainable beyond three minutes. Jot down either the distance traveled or calories consumed.
- Finally, explore their response to sustain or aerobic work. Follow a gentle warm up with 10 minutes of sustainable, repeatable effort. Again, you’re looking out for the distance they traveled or calories consumed.
Be sure to do these tests days apart and use the scores as the basis of your prescription. In that prescription consider what work would be necessary to improve the scores, in time. Keep track of these initial scores as you’re going to re-visit them when you re-test your client in 6-12 weeks to gauge their progress.
If you’re curious about the Flywheel Bike and how to best use it, check out our course, “Program With The Flywheel Bike.”