Our Fitness Philosophy
Steel Wheels is a fitness concept in which men and women of all ages can partake and enjoy. This is due to the personalized nature of an indoor cycling bike, on which only the rider can adjust the resistance knob. Each individual has full control over his or her ride.
Steel Wheels classes last 45-50 minutes in duration and follow a carefully planned program. Programs focus on endurance training, resistance training (hills) or speed training (sprints), with most programs combining elements of all three. Programs are designed around the principle of interval training. Interval training involves exercise at elevated levels of exertion followed by recovery periods. Interval training challenges all systems of the body (respiratory, musculoskeletal, nervous) and pushes the body beyond its comfort zone, enabling it to adapt to a new higher level of fitness.
We use a resistance intensity scale that ranges from “G1” (or first gear) to “G10” (or 10th gear), with G1 being light or no resistance and G10 being the maximum amount of resistance the rider can possibly load while maintaining the prescribed cadence. G1 through G3 are intended to simulate a flat road, G4-G5 a slight incline, G6-G7 a medium incline, G8-G9 a steep incline and G10 a very steep incline. The majority of ride duration is performed in the G3 to G5 range, with higher gears reserved for hills. Sprints are performed with an elevated level of resistance, usually G4-G5. For many riders, a quarter turn of the resistance knob is equivalent to a full gear. However, gear is completely subjective depending on the athlete and may take greater or less increment. For example, some athletes might make five full turns of the resistance knob to reach G5. For others, a half turn will take them from G1 to G8. No two riders will have the same resistance for a given gear.
Each Steel Wheels bike is outfitted with a state of the art power meter, which measures the power output of each rider in Watts. This is the best metric that exists to measure total energy expended in a workout, and total output of the athlete, measured in Kilojoules, translates directly to calories burned (with 4.18 Kilojoules equivalent to 1 Kilocalorie). Power is a measure of force over time. Therefore, Watts are a function of two input variables: pedal cadence (speed) and resistance level (force). An increase in either variable while keeping the other constant will correspond it an increase in Watts.
We urge riders to go at their own pace, which for some will mean pushing their body to the limit and for others will mean a leisurely workout to great music and stunning roads. Either way, the numbers are there--use them however you wish. Go hard, go easy, but any way you go, just keep going.