Merritt Clubs Blog


Training with Power Meters—How Indoor Cycling at Health Clubs Can Help You Win Races

Posted by RaySa

Jun 11, 2013

Although heart monitors will keep you apprised of your level of fitness, they may not necessarily help with your performance. Training with a power meter, however, tells you exactly how much work you are putting into your cycling. It measures this work in terms of watts and spits out a number representing watts per hour. Competitive cyclists such as Miguel Indurain, winner of the Tour de France, average about 500 watts per hour in a controlled lab setting whereas the average gym rat clocks in at about 280 to 310 watts per hour. With these numbers in mind, it’s possible to use power meters to slowly increase the amount of power you’re using, even if you’re training indoors in a health club. Here are a few tips to incorporate power readings into your training:

1. Improve Your Performance by Comparing Your Readings with Others: If you have a friend who cycles faster than you, you can find out his/her power output to figure out exactly how much more power you’ll need to put into your workout to get the same results. Heart rate won’t give you the answers you’re looking for because two people can have the same heart rate and still average totally different speeds.

2. Use Power for Interval Training: Most coaches recommend interval training to improve overall performance. You can use your power meter to figure out what your usual power output is and then increase the power you use in intervals to improve overall performance. A few bursts of power in the course of a workout can lead to long-term results.

3. Use Power to Maintain Your Pace: If you’re participating in a race, you need to keep your power output as consistent as possible. Some people start out fresh and use up a lot of power in the beginning but don’t have enough left for the middle or the end. Others, who are trying to pace themselves, start out too slow. A power meter takes the guesswork out of things and makes sure you keep going at an even pace.

4. Keep Track: If you train regularly, your performance is going to improve. It can be a real boost to look back at your average power output six months or a year ago and compare it to your power output today. Plus, keeping track can help you figure out what your weak points are. When exactly do you stop working as hard, in a race or in a health club? Once you know this, you can tailor your training to address this issue.

Power meters may seem like yet another gadget that you don’t want to deal with, but training with power is simpler than you imagine and can help you to reach your cycling goals. Contact us for more information about training with power and watch your performance improve.

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Topics: group fitness classes, Merritt blog, how to, interval training, Fitness Tips, how to improve athletic performance, baltimore cycle classes, train for change, group fitness, how to boost metabolism

Choose Merritt Athletic Clubs to Lose Weight and Boost Metabolism

Posted by RaySa

Mar 8, 2013

“If you never had problems losing or maintaining your weight in your 20s or even in your early 30s, you may not be ready for what happens next,” warns Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D., director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Your metabolism slows by 5 percent each decade. Compared to age 25, you’ll burn about 100 fewer calories a day at 35 and 200 fewer at 45. Do nothing, and you could gain eight to 12 pounds a year.”

Read more: Boost Metabolism - Lose Weight - Middle-Age Weight Loss - Good Housekeeping

Is this where you find yourself? Running just to stay in place? It may not be your metabolism slowing down at all. It may be about body fat. The more body fat you have, the fewer calories you will burn. As we age, our bodies develop more fat than muscle unless we work at building muscle and keeping fit. Merritt Athletic Clubs are a great place to get help.

Ask for a body-fat reading at your health club or from your doctor. Then chart your progress approximately every three months. You can also check for a general idea of body fat. If you can pinch an inch or more of fat at your waist or upper arm, you are carrying more fat than you should.

Then it's time to set up workouts with an expert to gradually lose weight and build muscle. The key is to lose the weight slowly so it stays off and to develop the habit of a regular fitness routine. Many weight loss plans fail because healthy eating and healthy workouts never become a habit. Just as we can have a habit of snacking and late night pizzas, we can develop the habit of exercising and eating appropriately. It has to become a lifestyle change and not just a weight loss plan.

Exercise has so many side benefits beyond weight loss that it should be an easy habit for us to develop. We just plain feel better when we move more and sit less. Merritt Athletic Clubs can help you feel good and lose weight all at the same time.

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Topics: Merritt Athletics, Personal Training, Merritt blog, Weight Loss, losing weight, Fitness Tips, how to lose fat, how to lose weight, best weight loss plans, ways to lose weight, nutrition, healthy weight loss, group fitness, how to boost metabolism