What is it?
CompuTrainer is one of the leading indoor power trainers in the world. Elite cyclists and triathletes to recreational cycling and triathlete enthusiasts use them to optimize their bike training. Power (reflected in watts) is the guiding force behind each workout. Power is an absolute unit of measurement and most accurately represents the quality of your workout. The goal is to push the power levels higher so the athlete can tolerate greater work output at the same or lower "perceived exertion" levels.
The beauty of the program is that everyone works at their own prescribed power (wattage) levels to build their power output capacities. Individuals work within five power zones during the workout with the majority of time spent in Zone 3. Zone 3 represents the "sweet spot" of optimal training whereby the athlete keeps trying to push their own threshold upward. Small changes can produce demonstrative results.
How do I start?
Most people get one of two tests that determine their individual power levels. A blood lactate test is one option that determines your personal blood lactate threshold which is the key number and primary driving force that predicts your zone levels. Option two is a Functional Threshold Power test (known as FTP) that requires you to ride as hard as you can for 20 minutes. The power level held and achieved during that test is used to extrapolate your personal Zone levels. A third option is to use a Perceived Exertion subjective scale whereby you are tested in a guided progression to determine what power levels represent Zones 1 through 5 based on your effort.
What training results should I expect?
Assuming that you are training at the proper Zone levels with enough consistency, you should expect anywhere from 5% to 15+% increase in your cycling fitness. Increased power equals increased speed. It will make you faster, but it will also make your riding much more enjoyable whether you are riding alone or with a group of friends.