erg mode vs regular- which gets better results for intervals?


(JJ McFarlane) #1

I’m curious what others think about erg mode for workouts.  On the one had, I like that I don’t have to mess with gears and alter my cadence to fit my power input into the prescribed range.  Erg mode also makes failing different- I can’t just slide out of the range and give up, I just manage to pedal or I don’t.  On the other hand, it doesn’t seem very natural to pedal against a constant resistance, I guess we do this on hills IRL, but the phenomenon of slipping below the range and having to push harder to get back in seems like it might be part of the training stimulus.  

Do you think results from interval workouts are better using erg mode or not?  I haven’t found much discussion of this, point me in the right direction if it exists.


(John Binns) #2

Really interesting post there JJ. I do all my set workouts in ERG mode. Workouts have a very specific fitness aims e.g. anaerobic, sweet spot etc, they are not races or general rides. I would say therefore that anything that can help you achieve that aim is extremely useful when you are following a training programme or just wanting to improve.

If you don’t use ERG then, especially on certain types of terrain, it gets difficult to maintain the target power so defeating the object of the workout. What I try to do is to keep the intervals at roughly the cadence I would do those power zones when doing a long ride. 

That’s not say all rides should be ERG workouts. 

Anyway that’s my take on it!


(Bill Kipper) #3

I’ve found erg mode during workouts useful for understanding my body’s response to various workloads by paying attention to heart rate and cadence. As fatigue increases, I find I have a strong tendency to employ a lower cadence, which tends to bring down my heart rate and perceived exertion as well. To compensate for changes in rolling resistance with decreased cadence and thus lower wheel speed on my Kickr Snap, I shift into a bigger gear. This wouldn’t work well with erg mode off.

 

I’m trying to find my cadence/HR/power ‘sweet spots’ this way, and sometimes throw respiratory rate and style in for good measure. Is it better to pant like a dog or breathe in deep full breaths? That kind of thing. Erg mode allows me to pay full attention to those aspects of my training, making it easier to be my own exercise physiologist, as it were.


(Joe Daknis) #4

"If you don’t use ERG then, especially on certain types of terrain, it gets difficult to maintain the target power so defeating the object of the workout. "

The terrain has no bearing on trainer resistance during a “workout”, regardless of whether ERG is enabled or disabled.  Any difficulty maintaining target power (again, in ‘workout’ mode) with ERG disabled stems from difficulties in selecting the proper gear and cadence for each interval.  Whether you’re virtually ascending or descending is moot. This is what it’s like for anyone doing a workout with a dumb trainer and zPower.