Whether you are feeling lazy or the weather is not cooperating, cycling outdoors isn’t always possible. Luckily, you can enjoy biking even when you are at home. Aside from the right bike, you also need the right app. This is where Zwift enters the picture. This is a virtual cycling platform that elevates indoor cycling experience.
How does Zwift work? How can you use the app to unlock its maximum benefits? Is it worth your money? Keep on reading and we’ll answer the questions that you have in this short Zwift review.
What is Zwift?
Zwift is a virtual turbo training app for runners and cyclists. It connects your turbo trainer to an online program, which will provide access to expert-designed workouts. The app uses a massive multi-player gaming technology for an improved experience. You will also be part of an online community, which will make training fun and exciting compared to doing it by yourself.
With Zwift, you can mimic an outdoor training experience even when you are indoors. It was initially created as a training aid during the winter months. Today, however, it became more mainstream and is used by riders year-round.
To use Zwift, a basic set-up will require three things – turbo trainer, bike, and a compatible device. You will need to link your trainer to your smartphone or computer. Once it is connected, you can now elevate your cycling experience, such as by choosing people you will be riding with or picking an online course.
To motivate its users, Zwift has what is called experience points (XP). The more you use Zwift, the higher your XP will be. You can choose more clothes and accessories for your avatar. You can also unlock more features.
How to Use Zwift for Max Benefits
To achieve optimal outcomes and have the best experience, this Zwift review will also talk about some of the best things that you can do to achieve the app’s full benefits.
1. Find the Right Equipment
One of the most important things to have is the right bike. Find one wherein you will be comfortable throughout the ride. While you can use different types of bikes, the best would be a road bike. It is a skinny bike designed to be fast and fun.
Aside from the bike, you also need trainers. Direct drive and turbo trainers are popular options. On the other hand, if you are looking for a way to elevate your routine, bike rollers are good alternatives. Riding rollers will help you improve balance and handling skills. You will need to connect it to a compatible power meter to capture data while you are cycling.
2. Choose the Right Sensor
In some cases, your trainer will transmit data directly to your phone or any connected device. However, some people might find this data to be inaccurate. For precise data capturing, it is nest to invest in the right sensor.
You will need speed or cadence speed sensor, depending on what you want to measure. Better yet, install a sensor that can capture both data accurately.
3. Go Big in Your Screen
When using Zwift, you can connect your trainer to your smartphone or laptop. However, these devices have small screens. This means that you will have a limited view of the platform while you are cycling. For the best experience, this Zwift review recommends that you hook Zwift to a large monitor or TV.
With Zwift, a bigger screen will provide a more immersive experience. It will make your training more entertaining. Having good graphics will add to the fun, making it easier to mimic the feeling of being outdoors.
4. Use a Fan
Evaporative cooling is important to maximize your indoor cycling experience. Even if it is cold outside, when the air is still, you will quickly feel hot. This is one of the drawbacks of training in a small and enclosed space.
Without a fan, it will be difficult to cool down. The result is that you will overheat. This will quickly make you tired and your performance will suffer. You should have powerful fans to keep you going.
5. Dress Properly
Even if you won’t be training outdoors, the right bike wear will help maximize your Zwift experience. Wear something comfortable that will make it easy to move around. Choose lightweight and breathable fabrics.
From cycling bibs to MTB pants, you can wear anything as long as you are comfortable with it, It should not restrict your movements.
6. Sign-Up on a Training Plan
To enjoy the maximum benefits of Zwift, sign up on a structured plan. The platform has training plans designed by experts to help you achieve your fitness or performance goals.
When you sign-up for membership at Zwift, you can access more than one thousand training plans. You can build your strength and target your weaknesses by choosing a plan that suits your needs. It is like training with a cycling coach.
7. Stay Hydrated
Even if you are training indoors, cycling hydration is important. You can suffer from dehydration and this will negatively affect your performance.
Before you get on your bike, drink water. Keep a water bottle handy so that you can drink anytime. The trick is to drink even before you feel thirsty. While drinking water is important, you should also avoid over-hydration.
8. Join a Race
When you open the Zwift app, the main menu screen will publish the list of available races. Joining a race will step up your indoor training and make you more competitive.
One of the best things about Zwift races is that there is something for everyone. You do not have to be intimidated since you can choose the right category based on your functional threshold power or FTP cycling.
9. Pick Your Course
Zwift lets you enjoy worldwide courses without leaving your home. This is one way the app can provide a more immersive experience when you are cycling.
To date, there are seven different worlds available – Watopia, Bologna, Innsbruck, London, New York City, Richmond, and Yorkshire. Not all worlds are available at all times. This helps to concentrate users in specific worlds, making sure that you will always be riding with someone.
10. Have Fun
At the end of the day, this is the best thing to do when it comes to how to use Zwift for max benefits. When you are having fun, cycling does not need to be a chore. You can do it often without getting bored or easily fatigued.
Invite your friends and let them discover Zwift. Choose unique courses and locations. Be brave enough to take new challenges and test your limits!
Is Zwift Worth It?
Now that you know how to use Zwift for maximum benefits, should you download the app? Only you can answer this question. To help you out, let’s talk about some of its pros and cons.
Benefits of Zwift
Below are some of the most compelling reasons to try Zwift.
- Train Even Indoors: There are many instances when outdoor training isn’t possible. This is especially the case during the rainy or winter season. When it is too hot outside, cycling can also be a nightmare. With Zwift, you can train even indoors.
- Incorporate Socialization in Your Workout: One of the best things about Zwift is its element of socialization. You can connect and compete with other racers. You can also share your records with other users.
- Prevent Boredom: With Zwift, there are multiple ways to prevent boredom in cycling Aside from socialization, you can also choose from various digital tracks available. It is a great way to spice up your biking routine.
Drawbacks of Zwift
To be fair, let’s also have a quick look at a few bad things about Zwift:
- Expensive: Zwift is a paid platform. For people who are on a budget, paying the monthly fee can be a bad thing. Not to mention, the set-up will include buying a turbo trainer, which will bring the cost up.
- Risk of Saddle Soreness: When you are riding outdoors, you move more based on the direction of the road or trail. When using Zwift, the bike is in a stable position, which can increase the possibility of saddle soreness.
- No Outdoor Experience: While riding indoors and using Zwift can be convenient when the weather does not permit going out, it is a different experience. You cannot feel the sun and the wind on your face. You will also not enjoy a scenic route on your ride.
Q: Are Zwift workouts any good?
Zwift workouts are good, especially if you would like to incorporate running and cycling into your exercise routine. From training plans to group rides, the app offers a plethora of options to make your exercise fun and engaging. It offers more than a thousand workouts from top coaches, so you will not run out of options.
Q: How much does Zwift cost?
Zwift costs $14.99 (or the equivalent in local currency) per month plus sales and local tax depending on the region where you are from. Depending on your postal code, there can be an additional 10 to 25% tax rate.
Q: What is better than Zwift?
While Zwift is an exceptional app, there are several alternatives worth considering depending on your goal. Sufferfest, for instance, is better if your goal is to challenge yourself. TrainerRoad, meanwhile, is a good choice if you want to work on your speed.
Q: Why is Zwift so hard?
Zwift feels so hard because of inefficient cooling. Your pulse rate will increase and blood flow will divert in an attempt to dissipate heat. There is also more resistance compared to riding a bike outside, which will make the experience harder.
Q: Should I Zwift every day?
You should not ride Zwift every day. This is not advisable as it can take its toll on your body. You will need a few days a week to let your body recover. Ideally, you should not be riding Zwift more than three times a week, especially if you are a beginner.
Q: Can I cancel Zwift at any time?
You can cancel Zwift at any time. If you do not cancel before the end date, then your subscription will automatically renew for another month. Even if you choose to cancel your membership at any time, your data will be saved. This means that you can still see your progress if you decide to sign-up again.
Globo Surf Overview
Now that you have reached the end of this Zwift review, it should be clear by now that this is an impressive online platform for cycling. You can socialize with other members and unlock several courses while gaining experience points. From choosing the right equipment to picking the right course, take note of the things mentioned above on how to use Zwift to unlock maximum benefits!