Inclement weather used to force cyclists off the roads or trails, and they used to dread training indoors. Those days are far behind us, though, due to the rise in trainer and fitness software technology. For instance, Zwift allows cyclists to ride, train and race other real cyclists around the globe in an immersive online 3-D environment inside their own house.
For people looking to get healthier, indoor training benefits are immense. Riding an indoor bicycle is a low-impact exercise that builds muscular and cardiovascular endurance, while also lowering stress levels. Zwift, however, also brings in-game dynamics to engage its users, like “Call of Duty” or “League of Legends,” and it makes riding in place a dynamic experience with thousands of riders from around the world
Seven indoor training benefits for Zwift users
Training indoors on a stationary bike with a system like Zwift can do a lot for you from fitness, fun and social perspectives, while also being helpful for productivity.
- Cycling in a controlled climate
The most obvious benefit of training indoors is that you won’t be outdoors, where the environment can affect your ability to get a good workout. Whether it’s dealing with the extreme summer heat or the snow-covered roads of winter, cycling outdoors can be dangerous. A smart trainer isn’t required to use Zwift, but its responsiveness to drafting, terrain changes, and workout wattage targets makes for a more comprehensive experience.
By riding in a controlled environment, Zwift riders can train with precise power targets, build their FTP, train for an endurance event and much more.
- Improve your concentration on riding properly
When you ride on the road, you must deal with a lot of outside influences that chip away at your mental endurance. By cycling indoors, you can fully concentrate on your form, breathing patterns, heart rate, cadence and pedal stroke, rather than dodging traffic, distracted motorists and that woodchuck that ran out into the road.
- Safe travels within your home
Cyclist injuries are a harsh reality in the real world. But if you do most of your bicycle fitness training at home, like on your indoor Zwift system, getting hit by a texting motorist is no longer possible. You can also ride at any time of the day or night without being worried if people can see you or not.
- Less time with more training
A few sessions a week on the trainer in Zwift can yield significant benefits for anyone. Without dealing with weather or outdoor issues, a 45-minute Zwift ride can be as effective as a 90-minute ride in the real world. And Zwifters can use power meters, speed sensors or smart trainers to drive their avatar’s performance in the game. Zwift can be the difference between getting five rides in during the week or just a couple.
- Targeted workouts
There are no more junk miles when you train indoors with Zwift, as you’ll be able to focus your workouts and do specific training regimens to build up your stamina and decrease your times. You won’t be dealing with traffic and you won’t have to stop at traffic lights or stop signs.
Zwift has hundreds of prescribed training plans or you can choose to build your own plan with the in-game editor. Opt for a group workout and, regardless of effort level, riders all stay together as they train toward a specific goal.
- Take your family along for the ride
Have a napping baby at home? Got some young children that need a babysitter? You can’t leave your kids alone, which makes riding with Zwift even smarter. As great as this system is as a trainer, it’s just as valuable as a time management tool. Bring the baby into the same room while you ride, or have your kids do some homework while you travel through Zwift’s many landscapes. They’ll certainly appreciate the fact you aren’t choosing to ride across the neighborhood without them.
- Ride for fitness and social engagement
If you ride indoors at home, you can get on your bike whenever you want, train for any length you choose, and warm up/cool down for however long you want. That’s a big difference compared to taking the typical indoor cycling class at a gym, where time is limited because they have multiple classes.
Zwift’s most powerful feature might just be the people using it, as Zwifters can message each other within the community, race with their peers, train together in group workouts and even draft other riders.
Get started with a bike and Zwift’s immersive game, which makes training fun, challenging and beneficial all at once. Ride with thousands of other athletes through beautiful landscapes at different cycling levels. Whether you are training for a triathlon, hoping to get into competitive cycling or just wanting to get healthier, the indoor training benefits of Zwift are numerous.