TEREZA HUŘÍKOVÁ - 02/25/2019
Rouvy is changing the current 5 training zones into 7 levels. Are you curious as to why you should follow your power output and why we decided to do this update? There are many reasons to do so.

Power vs. Heart Rate: Which Metric is Better for Training?


If you’re serious about getting faster on the bike, there are two training tools you shouldn’t be without:  a heart rate monitor and a cycling power meter.

A heart rate used to be the key metric for systematic training years ago. While heart rate can be affected by a number of external factors, it becomes a tool for determining how the body is responding to training sessions, how well you’ve recovered in between workouts and if you’re hydrated. 

That’s where POWER is different. Power is not affected by your physical well-being. And that’s why power has become an essential training metric for amateur and pro cyclists and triathletes in only a few years.


Power shows the work you're doing; heart rate shows how you're handling the work.

In the present system, seven zones were felt to be the minimum needed to represent the full range of physiological responses and to adequately describe the different types of training required/used to meet the demands of competitive cycling. 

Most of today’s coaches and training platforms use 7 training zones, so anyone can easily follow his or her training plan and control the pace while now riding with Rouvy. Syncing the daily workout between Rouvy and TrainingPeaks can be even more straightforward. 


How to set your power zones?


To calculate baseline fitness numbers so you can set your power zones, you need to know your FTP. Functional Threshold Power is defined as the highest power output you can sustain for a one-hour time trial effort. You can complete the FTP test outdoors with a cycling power meter, or on Rouvy by using your smart trainer.



  • Warm up for 15 minutes. Repeat three times - a 30-second sprint to prepare your muscles for intensive effort.
  • Perform a 20 minute time trial. Your effort should be done as if it was a race for the entire 20 minutes—all out, but sustainable for the 20 minutes.
  • Cool down for 15 minutes.
  • Multiply your average power of 20 minutes time trial segment by 0.95 to find your FTP.

In the Rouvy application, you can use special FTP Test training that will guide you throughout the FTP test.


Once you’ve calculated your FTP, you can use these 7 power training zones*



% of FTP

Use for


Active Recovery


Active recovery, very easy spin, warming down after a hard effort




2 or more hours long, endurance rides, easy to speak




Tempo rides aimed at improving endurance at high effort, deeper breathing, endurance in climbs


Lactate Threshold


Repetitions of 8-30 minute intervals focused on improving FTP, frequent breathing




Repetitions of 3-8 minute ‘V02 max’ intervals, hard effort


Anaerobic Capacity


30 seconds to 3 minutes of intensive efforts focused on improving anaerobic capacity


Neuromuscular Power


Maximum efforts less than 30 seconds, sprinting, all out,  neuromuscular power

*The power zone descriptions are sourced from “Training and racing with a power meter” by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan.


Lactate Threshold - During heavy exertion, lactic acid is produced in the muscles. When you begin to produce lactate faster than your body can remove it, you’ve reached your lactate threshold.

VO2 Max - The maximum or optimum rate at which the heart, lungs and muscles can effectively use oxygen during exercise; used as a way of measuring a person's individual aerobic capacity.

Anaerobic Capacity - The total amount of anaerobic (without oxygen) energy that can be obtained from anaerobic sources in a single bout of continuous exercise.

Neuromuscular Power - The ability of the neuromuscular system to generate maximal power.


How to set your HR zones?


As described above, heart rate and power work together nicely, when training. Optimize your cycling by using both metrics to guide your training. To calculate and set your HR zones, you need to know your maximum heart rate. 


HR Training Zones:




% of HRmax

Use for




Recovery, very easy spin


Fat Burning


Easy endurance rides, cooling down


Basic Endurance


Long endurance, easy to talk


Aerobic Endurance


ride improving endurance at high effort


Road Race Intensity


Road race intensity, hard effort


Speed Training


Anaerobic effort


Anaerobic Sprint


All out, sprints

*The HR zone descriptions are sourced from BCF/ABCC/WCPP Revised Guidelines.


With these zones, you can target different attributes to suit your goals through the year. For example, if you want to improve your fitness, try our suggested Rouvy Guides for improvement of VO2 Max or Lactate Threshold.


Where can you set the zones in Rouvy app?


  1. Login to the Rouvy websites.
  2. Tap the "Settings button” and choose "Zones".
  3. Fill your body proportions out and press “Save and Edit zones” button.
  4. Enter your HRmax and FTP or choose estimated values. 
  5. Your training zones will be selected automatically but you can adjust them manually.

You can read more about it in the Rouvy Knowledge Base.




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  • RicardoBoaventura - 02/17/2021
    Ola! Como sincronizar o smart trainer de Cyclotronic com o aplicativo ?
  • Flatpack - 01/31/2020
    Thanks. I need a guide on building an extended training plan. I'm happy with these ideas but I need to be able to work out what 2 weekly sessions will have the biggest impact for me alongside my run and swim training.
    • edutoro1 - 08/13/2020
      A Bike training plan which consists of 2 sessions per week should include a long low intensity (HR zone 2) for one day and a second VO2max interval session for the second day. The high intensity session should be shorter (maybe 45 mins to an hour). There is a great book I would recommend that you can find in amazon: Be Iron Fit
  • jacomunkie - 01/18/2020
    Can someone assist me. I want a 12 week program, what workouts do I have to do for a good 12 week program to improve overall fitness.
  • emidioland - 03/12/2019
    A professional platform, I have been using it for 3 years for my training and I could not do without it!
  • sergio722a - 02/27/2019
    tenho o TACX Neo e emparelho com o Rouvy e o garmim edge 520 e a distancia calculada em qualquer treino a distancia percorrida no garmin é sempre inferior ao do Rouvy, a diferença chega a ser de 1,5 Km alguem tem este problema e sabe como resolver.
    • edutoro1 - 08/13/2020
      NOrmalmente esto se debe a que las distancias calculadas por el Garmin son sin considerar las pendientes, las calculadas por Rouvy consideran las pendientes. La diferencia de distancia es mayor si el recorrido tiene más subidas y bajadas, si es plano, suele ser menor la diferencia detectada entre los dos dispositivos
    • terehu - 02/28/2019
      Oi Sergio, Isso porque queremos trazer você à realidade o máximo possível e estamos exibindo velocidade virtual em vez de "velocidade real".
      Leia mais aqui:


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