I’ve pretty much relied on RPE for hotel/spin bikes. That means limiting workouts to pretty simple intervals and accepting that you’re targeting more of a range than a specific number. I’d personally just choose which zones you want to focus on, and then search the workouts based on that zone, less than 60min, and choose simple looking ones.
If you have a heart rate monitor you can use that as a rough estimate as well. Like @James said I would still stick with simple workouts but if you have previous heart rate data you can use that as a basis and go off of that and RPE.
On one of the podcasts, they mention taking off the gym pedals and replacing them with power meter pedals, if you have some. One of those painfully obvious things no one thinks of…
I got Garmin Vector 3’s on Black Friday. The only issue is they don’t fit all bikes, I also find that the bike has a hard time giving me enough resistance to push 400+ watts, my VO2 max workouts are at 405
Endurance or sweet spot work best on hotel bikes
Once you have enough volume and experience you can find the right difficulty by matching HR and RPE - it’ll never be as good as a power meter you trust, but you can definitely do these types of workouts on a gym bike to great effect (certainly better than doing nothing!)
Here’s another thread on this topic. I’ve used RPE to “calibrate” the power meter on the hotel bike and then do whatever workout I’m targeting. VO2 max, threshold or sweet spot interval workouts are all very doable using this approach.
Thanks all. Some great advice. Sadly no power meter pedals otherwise that would definitely be my preference (would love to replace those massive saddles too!!!).
What I do is use the hotel bike and run my TrainerRoad app on my phone. I manually adjust the watts (most hotel bikes will show watts, you may have to look for it). The problem is that the workout wont record power on the app, so your TSS will be lower in your calendar. However, you will have done the work and will be fitter for it. I usually put in the notes that I did the workout on the hotel bike, so that I can remember and understand why my TSS varies.
Those saddles are torture.
What’s the TR calendar version of “Strava or it didn’t happen?”
A lot of the hotel gym Life Fitness bikes are older and use (power) “level” instead of watts. Does anyone know of a “Level” to watts conversion for those older bikes? I used pedal feel and heart rate to simulate watts on Carpathian today, but would love to be more accurate.
I can’t change levels to watts on the machines because even were that an option, I can’t read Korean/Japanese/Chinese
Even if they show you a number of watts, it’s going to be +/-50% in my experience. RPE is king on unfamiliar hardware you can’t validate, and even then you’re probably best sticking to endurance or sweet spot efforts.
If the bike reports report calories/hour, you can get a ballpark conversion to watts by dividing by 4 or 5. So 800 kcal/hr is something between 160W and 200W.
Try doing some short interval vo2 efforts like 30/15s. Rattlesnake could be done on feel and heartrate so you don’t need to worry about watts.
Just go hard for 1 minute with the aim of getting your heartrate to 88% of max, rest 15 seconds, then keep doing 30/15s at a level intense enough to keep you at 88-92% HRmax. Because the intervals are short you can keep adjusting the intensity to keep your heart rate on track.
I did a version of this outdoors mostly on feel and HR, and got a good workout out of it.
If you can, schedule your easy days for the hotel days.
I’m away for a week soon and I’ve worked it so that my easy recovery week is during that period
I’m at a hotel right now and using vector 3s. I like to keep the workouts short and hard. Cooling is usually a factor and I heat up too much on the sweet spot or threshold stuff.
I’ve been doing sprints, vo2max or short easy rides.
I spend way too much time at hotel gyms. I often don’t get to pick the hotel and live in fear of showing up at the gym in my cycling shorts at 6am only to find a recumbent bike as my only option
I’m not sure who uses recumbent stationary bikes but it won’t be me if I can help it!
Last week saw me hitting the treadmill and running outside for the first time in ages since I had no access to a bike. Not ideal, but it all helps. You have to make the best of the situation
It seems odd to me you can add TSS to an outdoor ride, but you can’t manually add it to a powerless indoor ride.
you can add TSS to an indoor ride, here is on a crappy recumbent hotel bike: