Training articles

Do you want to start training with a potentiometer and you don't know how?

potentiometer training can be complicated for many, so we tell you how to learn to use it

Over the years cycling has changed the way of training considerably, now everyone recommends training with potentiometer.

However, potentiometer training it can be complicated for a long times. I personally use the potentiometer Favero Assioma Duo.

Later I will explain the reasons and advantages that exist when using this potentiometer unlike others, If you use Osymetric plates, Rotor or some oval plate, I invite you to pay special attention.

A little history

40-50 years ago, track sprinters used really light 49-14 developments, now we can see sprinters moving extremely hard developments 53-12. Previously you could hear it said that high cadence was related to the fitness of a cyclist, and at higher cadence the fitness was better.

Then it was the heart rate monitor and having really low pulsations at rest was related to the cyclist's fitness state. While many of these statements are largely true, we are now in a stage of cycling where potentiometer training has become indispensable if you want to excel either in cycling or triathlon.

Cadence can be affected by leg length and crank length. Just as the pulsations can be affected by stress, caffeine, rest, etc. Nevertheless, the power measured in watts generated by our legs does not change and is the more exact measurement what can we get so far To measure the effort.

The most accurate method of training

There is still much to improve in the field of potentiometers. Did you train 3 hours in a headwind at 250 watts? Wear is terrible, when environmental factors influence. But it remains the most accurate method of training and The best for now.

By training with the power meter we can observe how our pulsations go from 120 to 160 and vice versa while maintaining the same output power in the legs.

Why should I train with a potentiometer?

It wasn't until long ago that I asked myself the same question. The answer is simple; If I want to make the most of the little time I have to train, I need to train with power.

What is the reason? Unlike heart rate based training, the power allows us to measure the muscular demands of the effort instead of just aerobics. The metric-based approach to training that provides power is invaluable in helping athletes achieve their goals.

Before starting train with potentiometer You must understand the information it will provide and how to use it. This is the first installment in a series of articles to help you get the most out of your power meter.

I already have a potentiometer. Now what should I do?

The first thing to do when you get a power meter is perform a fitness test to establish your training zones. At next article we will talk about the training zones and how to calculate them but before you must know the most important metrics to consider.

Example of potentiometer use
Example of potentiometer use


Don't worry, it's easy to understand and it doesn't have to scare you. Knowing the metrics and mastering them may be the main problem for athletes who start training with potentiometers.or. My athletes keep special track of the following metrics:

Power to weight ratio (W / Kg)

It is perhaps one of the most important metrics, according to the rule, other things being equal, the rider with the highest power / weight ratio will be the fastest.

Simply put, it is the amount of energy you produce per kilogram of body weight. The higher the number, the stronger you will be.

A professional cyclist is around 6 watts, but don't worry if you don't hit those numbers, lWe are going to work together.

Stress score (TSS)

It is a way of measuring the amount of stress that is put on the body after a walk.

The stress score is calculated using Normalized Power (NP), (below) Intensity Factor (IF) (even lower) and the duration of the tour. TSS helps determine the best combination of workouts and rest periods.

A pocas palabras TSS measures the total workload during the journey made. TSS It quantifies how much work was done, and therefore how much recovery is needed.

Normalized Power (NP)

How do you know how complicated a workout was? Distance? Weather? Average speed? Medium power? Uff ... You were close.

La normalized power It is the most useful tool to calculate how challenging the training was.

Average power has a purpose, since provides an overview of the route, but for those uneven runs, you better use normalized power when trying to sense "how hard" your effort was.

Intensity Factor (IF)

Intensity factor is key to calculating our TSS stress score. The IF is the ratio of the normalized power of a workout to your FTP. (below).


Think of IF as a snapshot of how intense (hard) a workout or a walk was. You can use this metric to understand if your perceived exertion matched actual intensity and if you were on target for training.

Although it is useful as a global indicator of training, in the same way that we can analyze variables such as average power, accumulated elevation or average heart rate, it is interesting to analyze the IF of specific sections of training, such as a prolonged repetition in the tempo zone or threshold, areas of which we will talk later.

FTP Functional Power Threshold

We will talk about him in the next article and we will teach you how to calculate it. But, not to leave you in doubt, FTP is the maximum average power that you could develop during an effort of one hour. And do not worry that to calculate it it will not be necessary to try to break the hour record.

Do not miss the series of articles that will help you train with potentiometer, understand how it works and improve your power training. If you have any questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact me.

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Berthy Perez Lases


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