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Recently, smart trainers have been blowing up!
Obviously, bike trainers in general, allow for workout efficiency and specificity… not to mention shelter from crappy weather. If you don’t have one, I would recommend one.
Smart trainers, however, add some serious additional value to the idea of riding inside.
It doesn’t matter which “smart trainer” you have or decide to buy, they will all enhance your training experience.
So here are 2 of the biggest benefits of having a smart trainer.
Most people hate riding inside, but a smart trainer actually makes riding inside … ENJOYABLE. Ok, at least slightly more tolerable.
Part of why this is true, is because there are several platforms available that your smart trainer can connect to. You can think of each platform as an application or program your smart trainer can work with.
Obviously, each platform is a little different, but there are plenty of options to suit your needs.
Some platforms allow you to ride on popular “real life” bike routes like IRONMAN Kona or famous rides through the French Alps and throughout Italy. Others allow you to ride in a virtual world with other real people from across the globe.
Additionally, many include pre-programed workouts or training programs as well as the ability to enter virtual races against other real riders. More on the former, next.
Lastly, all of the platforms include the ability to show stats like heart rate, power, cadence, speed, distance, grade, elevation, ect.
As a coach – or really anyone looking to improve their performance, the “performance factor” is what I consider the most significant benefit of smart trainers.
After riding a smart trainer, all other bike trainers will feel like cheating. Needless to say, the power of riding a smart trainer provides tremendous value to your training & indoor riding regimen.
Smart trainers allow you or your coach to design and program workouts. No coach? No problem. Many of the programs have pre set workouts.
When riding on your smart trainer, most of the time you will execute the workout in what is called, ERG mode.
ERG mode is when the resistance of the trainer changes automatically – without changing gears – based on what the workout calls for.
The resistance is typically based off of a percentage of your FTP.
So for example, if the workout calls for a hard interval of 125% of your FTP, the resistance is adjusted accordingly and you are essentially forced to hold that power for the specified time.
Because the resistance is changed automatically, you don’t have to spend time finding the correct gearing combination for the specified resistance level. The resistance goes there and holds it there without doing anything, but pedaling your bike. It allows you to focus on doing the work and also prevents you from wimping out.
So there you have it. In my professional opinion those are 2 of the biggest benefits of smart trainers.
If you found this helpful, feel free to share this with your training buddies. And if you have any questions, leave a comment below or CONTACT me directly and I’ll get back to you ASAP.