The Best Indoor Training Apps and Workouts for Home

With the advent of smart trainers and interactive training apps, indoor cycling is more realistic, fun, and more effective than ever. If you want to race others around the world, just get on the bike for a pedal, or you have a serious fitness goal in mind, there are plenty of options to keep you motivated and plans to follow to stay on track.

Here are four of our favourite indoor cycling apps.  Top Training App


Wahoo SYSTM
Zwift
RGT Cycling
TrainerRoad

Monthly cost

£11.00 £12.00 £6.99 $12.00

Free trial

14 days 7 days 14 days 30 days

Platform

iOS, Android, Windows, macOS iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Apple TV iOS, Android, Windows, macOS iOS, Android, Windows, macOS

Training plans

Power meter required?

3D Simulation

Requires internet access

 

Wahoo SYSTM

Wahoo System Training App

No, we haven't spelt "system" incorrectly, this is a new app from Wahoo, which focuses on helping you to build and follow a training plan. Alongside a large library of workouts and content, SYSTM is compatible with other turbo trainers, too. You don't have to use their KICKR unit.

First up you complete a test to determine your Four Dimensional Power (similar to FTP). From here Wahoo SYSTM tailors training plans and workouts to your individual fitness, strengths, and weaknesses.

The training rides utilise five types of session. There are pre-made videos from the popular 'The Sufferfest' training series, which use real race footage, a pumping sound track' and lots of on screen motivational graphics.

Plus there are sessions set to ride videos of iconic cycling routes. 'A Week With' lets subscribers follow a Wahoo-sponsored professional athlete for a week, doing the same training sessions as them and getting a glimpse ‘behind the scenes’, to see how they live and train. 'Inspiration' is a selection of endurance and recovery workouts set to classic cycling films and documentaries, such as A Sunday In Hell and Outskirts.

On top of all that, there are off-bike sessions incorporating running, swimming, yoga, strength training, and mental training.

Ideal for time crunched cyclists.

Cost: subscription costs £11.00 ($14.99) per month, or £95 ($129.99) per year.


Zwift

Zwift Cycling App

The app Zwift changed riding indoors. It says something about popularity of an app when it switches from a noun to become a verb. 'Hoovering' up, to ride share is 'to Uber', and now to ride on a turbo trainer is 'to Zwift'.

The difference with Zwift is it's both a training platform and a game. The more you ride, the more you unlock. The more you ride, the more you improve your fitness.

When you open up Zwift, your cycling avatar enters a virtual world, known as Watopia. The harder you pedal in the real world the faster your avatar pedals. As you approach a climb you will need to pedal harder to cover the course. You can ride together with people around the world, race them, create a private group ride, or complete one of the 15 cycling plans.

Zwift takes the input from your bike – either via a power meter, a smart trainer or just a speed/cadence sensor using ANT+ or Bluetooth – and uses an algorithm to translate your input data into your avatar’s speed on the virtual course.

You can use Zwift with an iPhone, Android phone or tablet, Mac, PC, and Apple TV.

Zwift has so many features, customisations, and users that it can feel daunting when you first start, and difficult to know what to aim for or set a goal.

 

Our Zwift top tips

Ride with a Pace Partner: There are four virtual riders who move around Zwift's Watopia course. They ride at a steady pace. Joining them on a ride is ideal for an endurance ride, to check your fitness in different categories, recovery ride, or as a warm up. 

Join a Zwift Race: Choose a race from the events list, choose which category you want to compete in, and sign up. Categories are based on your functional threshold power (FTP). If you don't know your FTP, you can complete a test on Zwift to give you a value.

Join a group ride: Group rides can be formal or informal. Some of them are with pro riders and you can pedal along and ask questions. Other rides might be led by a coach who will ask the group to up their pace as part of a workout. You can go to zwift.com/events for a full list.

Follow a Zwift training plan: There are 15 plans to follow for everyone from beginners to elite. The Zwift 101 is a great introduction and only 1 week. There are longer plans which are 4-5 weeks and 8-12 weeks.

Complete a Zwift structured workout: Zwift has hundreds of structured workouts (which are essentially interval training sessions) to choose from, or you can build your own, or pair with Training Peaks. Once your calendars are sync'd you can follow workouts within Zwift.

Ideal for riders who are easily distracted or those who may not want to follow a training plan and ride and interact with friends.

Cost: Zwift costs around £12.00 or $14.99 a month and you cancel at any time.


RGT Cycling

RGT Cycling Training App

Road Grand Tours Cycling (or RGT) looks a lot like industry leader, Zwift. Unlike Zwift where you ride in a made up virtual world filled with volcanos, flashing buttons, power ups and lava, RGT simulates a selection of real roads and climbs around the world.

RGT Cycling’s premium subscription costs £6.99 / $9.99 / €8.99 per month. A basic subscription to RGT Cycling is free. Premium gives you access to structured workouts, race planning and group ride set up. 

Unlike other apps, RGT only works if you can access your power data. That can be either via a bike-mounted power meter, a trainer with a built-in power meter, or smart bike like the Wahoo Kickr. 

You can upload your own routes to RGT and it will build a virtual world for you. All you need to do is upload a GPX file. To ride the route you will need to invite four friends along.

You can race against bots, with their performance based on their parameterised power output, as well as against real people.

RGT is ideal for riders who don't like the gamification of Zwift and riders who want to follow on screen cues.

Cost: Basic subscription is free / Premium subscription £6.99.


TrainerRoad

TrainerRoad Cycling Training Tool

TrainerRoad is an app and online training tool focussed on workouts, results, and performance. Like Wahoo SYSTM, there is not interaction with other riders. It is a no-nonsense platform packed with data, features, and analytics.

There is a highly active forum and a weekly podcast in which the TrainerRoad coaches take a deep dive into the science to answer the cycling community's training questions.

There are numerous training plans that have been devised by top coaches. The plans build from one to the other. You can specify how much time you have each week.

If you prefer to have very clear information, focus on your workout or catch up on a TV show whilst you pedal rather than watch a 3D version of yourself, this app is for you. It is ideal for riders looking to hone their specific racing fitness rather than get fit or lose weight.

TrainerRoad is available on iPhone, iPad, Android, and via a desktop browser. You can build your own workouts, too, and import them to your Garmin or Wahoo cycle computer and follow the plan out on the road.

Cost: subscription is $12.00 per month

 

Previous Post Next Post