Our Favorite Training Apps
Our Favorite Training Apps
By Colin Levitch
For the vast majority of us, leaving the house at noon for a five-hour ride on a weekday is a no-go. With jobs, kids, pets and other commitments cutting into training time, keeping fit for local crits, bunch rides, or even just so that your six pack doesn’t turn into a keg involves riding the trainer indoors.
With this limited training time, it’s important to make the most of it, and you won’t get much out of spinning aimlessly on a trainer. Fortunately, there are a host of apps out there that work with our Interactive, Smart Fluid Power and Classic trainers to provide targeted workouts which will keep you fighting fit.
What you’ll need to use a training app
No matter the Kurt Kinetic unit you have, you can utilize the latest crop of training apps to get the most out of your time riding indoors, however, depending on your setup the riding experience and required gear will vary slightly.
To use indoor training apps you’re going to need:
With a wireless connection–
Bluetooth - usually built-in
ANT+ - often requires a USB dongle
One of following–
A power meter - can be used in collaboration with all three trainers and riding outside too
And most importantly–
The biggest fan you can find
Our favorite training Apps
Now you know what you’ll need to get started, here are a few of our favorite ways to pass the time riding indoors. Our trainers will work with any app that uses Bluetooth FTMS or ANT+ FE-C protocol, but the developers we’ve partnered with will offer the best compatibility and ride experience.
Our own training app, Kinetic fit, is a structured training app, with plans designed around what you’re trying to get/keep fit for; road riding, MTB, triathletes, general fitness and even cross training too. It’s also the best way to calibrate and update the firmware on the Interactive and Smart Fluid Trainers.
The app offers access to 62 workouts and a professionally designed training plan for free with the ‘Core’ subscription. For a few bucks a month, the ‘Smart’ subscription offers access to 200 workouts, 28 power based fitness plans, and features like video integration to the smart devices you already own, meaning you can use your Apple TV to watch Bad Neighbors or catch up on Game of Thrones with your power targets on the same screen. The app also allows you to import custom workouts from Training Peaks.
With the purchase of any Kinetic trainer, you also get a six-month free trial of Kinetic Fit.
Zwift is an interactive training video game, where your pedaling guides a customizable avatar around the virtual world of Watopia or routes inspired by real-world courses like Prudential RideLondon, the 2015 UCI World Championships in Richmond, Virginia and the 2018 UCI Road World Championships Course in Innsbruck-Tirol.
Within the game, you can ride with, draft on and chat with Zwifters from around the world, join group rides for an easy spin or races for a leg-breaking slugfest, with structured power based workouts also on offer.
Zwift offers a 7-day free trial.
Unlike Zwift, TrainerRoad is a straight training app, no customizable avatars or interactive courses to be found here.
Instead, TrainerRoad uses colorful bar graphs and a clean intuitive interface to guide you through a massive catalog of over 1,000 workouts and 100+ training plans. The app also utilizes text cues throughout the workout to contextualize the intervals, provide reminders about form and explain drills like standing for 10-seconds or one-legged pedaling.
TrainerRoad offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
Before there were apps, The Sufferfest started as a series of video workouts overlayed with officially licensed UCI race footage, complete with storylines about Sufferlandrians representing the fictional country of Sufferlandria.
Now in the form of an app, The Sufferfest is a full training suite with over 54 cycling workouts, 30 yoga videos, a mental training module, over 100 training plans, and even guided strength training. While the majority of training apps base their workouts off of FTP (Functional Threshold Power) The Sufferfest uses what it calls 4DP, which takes into account supra-FTP thresholds to better tailor workouts to each individual rider based on their physiological systems.
The Sufferfest offers a 7-day free trial.
If Wattopia, bar graphs or UCI race footage don’t tip your fancy, FulGaz offers 415 routes of high-def POV outdoor routes, with everything from famous climbs like the Tourmalet and popular bunch routes and hidden gems from around the world which you can ride indoors.
The app employs advanced physics modeling taking into account your weight and power output to adjust the speed of the video and the resistance on your smart trainer (if you have one) in an effort to mimic the sensation of outdoor riding.
FulGaz offers a 14-day free trial.
Of all the training apps, Rouvy (formerly VirtualTraining) probably covers the widest range, offering a mix of real-world POV ride videos, multi-rider modes for group rides and interval workouts. The Czech outfit is even working on augmented reality riding that allows you to race your friends with avatars, road signs and finish banners overlaid onto real footage, though this feature is still in beta testing, slated to be released next year.
There’s also a large library of categorized power based workouts which can be used in combination with any of Rouvy’s video content, and the app also allows you to build custom workouts or import from activities from TrainingPeaks.
Rouvy offers a 14-day free trial.
Like Rouvy and Fulgaz, Kinomap offers geolocated POV ride videos from around the world which changes resistance based on the terrain in the video. According to Kinomap they have 147,191km of courses for cycling, running or rowing available in their library, and you can even film and upload your favorite routes, so you can train on them during the winter. For the KOM hunters out there, Kinomap partnered with Strava to allow you to train on your favorite segments too.
Kinomap offers interval training too, which it calls Core Interval Training, and features two modes with either targeted power outputs or fixed resistance.
Kinomap offers a 60-day free trial with the purchase of any Kurt Kinetic trainers.