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Indoor Cycling Programs for a Fit New Year

Indoor Cycling Programs for a Fit New Year

Today’s indoor cycling experience is interactive, immersive, and honestly enjoyable. Like outdoor riding, it can also serve specific goals such as building a base, losing weight, winning a race, or just having a good time on two wheels. If you're looking to up your fitness in the New Year, an indoor cycling program could be just the ticket to help you not only reach, but crush your fitness goals. Read on about some of the most popular trainer apps available.

Zwift

Best for: Riders who want to bring all the fun of cycling inside

How it works: Pure joy for you is rolling from the coffee shop with 15 of your friends, chasing each other up hills, sprinting for town signs, and chitchatting while you spin down new roads. Watopia and the seven actual and fantastical courses on Zwift are the perfect places for you. You create a personalized avatar, input your height and weight, and zip down the road at speeds based on the power you’re putting out for your weight.

There are tons of options for cycling fun: join group rides, line up for a race, meet up with a friend and just ride, or do some of the pre-programmed Zwift workouts. You can also take an in-app FTP test and follow one of their training plans to get ready for a century or other goal. But the real gold is in the game: earning new wheels, unlocking new courses, “chatting” with fellow riders via the app. It’s all the trappings and socially competitive stuff you love about outdoor cycling, indoors.

Details: $14.99/month; available for iOS, Apple TV, Android, Mac, and Windows/PC; requires a smart trainer for the best experience, but non-smart trainers and rollers are compatible with the use of an ANT+ or bluetooth speed sensor or a power meter.

TrainerRoad

Best for: Riders who want progressive, structured training—no games necessary 

How it works: You don’t really care about dazzling animation, virtual hangouts, or earning trophies or other pixelated bits of bling. You have concrete IRL cycling goals and want a progressive, structured training plan to crush them. TrainerRoad is your jam. The whole system is geared around your FTP, which you establish via an in-app baseline test. Then choose from one of more than a hundred training plans (or 1,000+ workouts) to prepare for whatever races or events you have on the calendar. The professionally-created plans are periodized to take you from building base to honing your performance needs to reach your specific goal. The guided workouts include motivational text from on-screen coaching instruction. But the on-screen entertainment is on you—the app lets you watch whatever you want while the workout streams on the bottom of the screen.

Details: $19.95/month or $189/year, available for iOS, Android, Mac, and PC; requires a power meter and smart trainer to have automatic resistance control. VirtualPower requires only a speed sensor.

Sufferfest

Best for: HIIT fanatics who are hunting for solid power-based training and complete fitness coaching

How it works: If there’s anything greater than hammering through the searing acid-bath of that final high intensity interval, you don’t know what it is. With workouts called “Violator” and “The Hunted,” Sufferlandria is the place you should go for indoor training. The Sufferfest employs a proprietary power measure they call 4DP, short for 4 Dimensional Power. It tests your 5-second, 1-minute, 5-minute, and 20-minute power to see your max wattage measures up from sprinting to time trialing. Your training plans are adjusted according to target the areas you need to build to achieve your goals. If you geek out on HIIT training, you’ll love it. It’s also one of the best apps for multi-sport and all-around athletes, as they have running, cycling, and triathlon videos, as well as mental training programs, strength training, and cycling-centric yoga workouts.

Details: $12.99/month or $99/year, available for iOS, Mac, and Windows; requires an indoor or smart trainer. Android and Apple TV versions coming soon.

Get ready to train!

Need an indoor training to take your fitness to the next level? Stop in store for a great selection of all the latest technology to take your bike indoors during the long winter months. We've got the indoor trainers you need and the know how to get you going on them.

Excerpts taken from bicycling.com.