Since my last post, more progress in the GRYMCA Cycle Studios! There has been much discussion about FTP in preparation for LAUNCH WEEK (this week!).

Below are some brief highlights from the certification training last Sunday and other helpful resources I have found for instructor and participants.

BUT FIRST, a few links related to our ICG Master Trainer Melanie Carvell! It’s was great working with Melanie during our 9-hour condensed training…and finding out more about her amazing background post-training!

Melanie is a Physical Therapist, speaker, author, (tri)athlete, instructor, volunteer, consultant…ROCK STAR!

Check out her website:

…her LinkedIn profile:

…one of her TEDx Talks on YouTube, on the subject of Reinventing Healthy Living:

…her book:
Running with the Antelopes
A review – https://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/running-with-the-antelopes-offers-substance-encouragement/article_7c466c99-ca3a-524f-b20e-d315438f875c.html

Melanie also shared these “favorite resources” with us:
The ICG app
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37oXHXPqMaE – this short video will show you the steps of pairing the app with your smartphone. Make sure the participant has their phone’s Bluetooth on and knows to look for their correct bike number. The App allows for a quick start up for the rider, saves their workout info, and also provides sample workouts.

Quick IC-series bike set up video

British Cycling team handouts
These are great to look at to brainstorm ideas for your (workout/)class. Most of them are written for outdoor cycling workouts, so you would have to adjust times to fit. I love that they also review the PURPOSE behind the workout and the guidelines of the workout too.

Here are some of Melanie’s favorite short definitions of FTP:
FTP is…
• short for Functional Threshold Power, also written as Functional Threshold Watts (FTW)
• the threshold where we cross from functional exercise that we can maintain, to the non-functional red zone exercise that we can only maintain for a relatively short while
• a measurement of the highest power we can maintain, just under our all-out effort
• is found on the color zone chart at the threshold between the top of yellow (zone 4) and bottom of red (zone 5)
• a measurement of the highest power we can maintain, while still being able to clear the lactic acid and provide oxygen to our working muscles
• the highest sustainable level of discomfort you can tolerate at the top of zone 4

FTP is important because…
• it is a very valuable and direct measurement of our best effort baseline fitness
• it provides our baseline best-effort measurement at the top of zone 4 which then allows the ICG computer to prescribe our other 4 training zones individual to our fitness level
• it is extremely valuable tool for participants of all levels
• it allows us the ability to best track and quantify our fitness efforts
• it helps all athletes get the most out of their training time

I (recommend) an e-book on How to Start Training with Power. It is written for / geared more to outdoor riding, but is really a good review and great resource to build your knowledge and comfort in (understanding) the amazing benefits of training with POWER.


These are ADDITIONAL resources that I found helpful in understanding / explaining important information about FTP…

What Exactly Is the FTP Test, and Can It Really Improve Your Performance?
It’s one of the most misunderstood terms in cycling, but we’ll break it down for you.
By Molly Hurford, Sep 25, 2018
Good read to get up to speed on FTP!
Molly answers these 5 questions:
1. How do you measure FTP?
2. Can FTP tests help improve my performance?
3. How do I know if my FTP is good?
4. What if my FTP sucks?
5. How often should I test my FTP?

What is FTP?
Another great resource to check out!
“Power-Pedals” touches on the following 6 points:
1. Why and how to calculate it
2. Understanding 6 FTP / Power training zones
3. Working with a Power Zone Calculator to estimate watt levels by zone (DO THIS!)
4. Power Zones defined
5. What about Heart Rate Training?
6. Further reading…

ICG Coach By Color® / LifeFitness

On-board FTP Testing options:
• 5-Minute Test (with a warm up and cool down, a total of ~15 minutes)…best option when time is limited!
• Ramp Test (generally takes at least 12-16 minutes, but continues in 4 minute increments to 32 or 40 minutes!

Power, Watts and the Keiser M3


Find me on Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & other places on the web...or at my local YMCA in the Cycle Studio! Recently ICG® WATTRATE® POWER certified, I've been a certified Mad Dogg Athletics Spinning Instructor since October 2012. I have taught classes at Davenport University, The University Club, SNAP Fitness (Watermark CC), Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation Dept., and Greater Grand Rapids YMCAs. Be Well... Enjoy the Ride! 🚴🏻🎶😅

3 thoughts on “ICG + FTP = MORE POWER

  1. What a great re-cap of our Coach by Color training, and extra resources, too! Thank you for your very kind words about your Life Fitness Trainer…I really appreciate the shout-out and links that you shared! It was wonderful to spend the day with you all. What a crazy wealth of knowledge in that room, including YOU!!

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