Workout Review: Aerobic Power Ramps

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Coach Amber Neben took a look at Edgar Baselli's workout today and provided this review in the Facebook group:

Observation 1

The yellow arrow in the image above shows the rpm step-ups, and the green dotted line is the 4min natural cadence selection baseline. It looks like Edgar’s natural cadence is around 90 rpm. We can see his first low cadence was below his normal cadence, and it actually took a series for him to settle into 85. However, after that first round, his brain was more willing to find the lower cadence step with each of the following efforts. They may have felt slower each successive series, but he was able to find the low rhythm.


Also, note that as the ride went on, his high cadence ramps got higher and higher. The coordination of firing faster was getting easier for his brain. Edgar did this in one workout. For those of you who are new to training or haven’t trained the neuromuscular system before, this may take a series of workouts to see change, so be patient and keep trying!!


TRAINING TIP: Remember this idea for your fast-pedal warm-ups and for any workouts with high-cadence spins. Never force the speed on the first effort(s.) As your brain warms up and connects, the speed will happen more naturally and within your coordinated pedal stroke.


Observation 2

This is cool. Edgar's natural/self-selected cadence for the 4 minutes never changed. They stayed about 90 rpm. However, look at the last 4-minute self-selection segment in the red circle. It took him a little longer to drift back to that natural 90 rpm. (Inside the circle, you can see the yellow line slowly drift back to the green dotted line.) This is another sign that the NM side of the high cadence was working!


Observation 3

Edgar’s heart rate also drifts upward as cadence increases. This upward drift is consistent across all 4 ramps for him. He appears to be having no issues making power within the zones using the varying cadences; however, he has room to improve aerobically. You can easily see the added cardiovascular strain via the cardiac drift as the cadence goes up.

Observation 4

NOTE THE POWER DISTRIBUTION. You can see this was an aerobic endurance “push” kind of ride. The goal was mostly Zone 2 with a little drift into Zone 3, exactly as you see here. Great work staying in Zones 2 and 3 and out of Zones 1, 4, 5, and 6! Remember to make this a big focus: Zone 2 riding is Zone 2 riding.


Thanks, Edgar, for letting us use your file!

About the Author

Amber Neben is a BaseCamp coach, USAC II coach, 2x USA Olympian, world champion TT (2X) and TTT, author of the book When Shmack Happens, founder/president of the Dare To Be Project, Embracing Adversity expert, melanoma survivor, and 2021 USA Olympic long team member. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook!


PX4 | Perseverance, Patience, Perspective, Power®

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