When an avid cyclist, fitness professional, and indoor cycling instructor faces an injury, the path to recovery can be daunting. This was the case when Keli Roberts underwent a total shoulder replacement in January and developed an indoor cycling recovery program to help her excel in competitive cycling. 

Previously, she had a left shoulder replacement a decade ago at the age of 52 and returned to teaching indoor cycling within two months, so she was optimistic about her recovery this time around. However, at 62, her recovery proved to be significantly more challenging. 

Keli Roberts is a world-renowned fitness educator and trainer, certified by the American College of Sports Medicine and ACE in multiple disciplines, including health coaching and cancer exercise. She is also a senior master trainer for Core Health & Fitness.  

Keli’s extensive experience became especially significant with the total shoulder replacement and her recovery challenge. Her familiarity with goal-driven program design and the use of the Schwinn Z Bike at home were instrumental in her return to fitness. Her journey underscores the value of purposeful indoor training for effective recovery and fitness gains to get “back in the saddle” again. 



“It goes to show, when you train indoors with purpose and goal-driven program design, it translates into genuine fitness gains that transfer to outdoor riding.”

~ Keli Roberts ~


The Initial Challenges With Indoor Cycling Recovery

Roberts started her recovery journey just a few weeks post-surgery. Initially, she limited her workouts to sitting upright on the bike, but gradually moved to the handlebars for brief stints. She stayed engaged and motivated by focusing on building back her aerobic base in the first month, thanks to the Schwinn Z Bike and the advanced Zone Console.

The Schwinn Z Bike, a state-of-the-art indoor cycling machine, is equipped with a color LCD display, Bluetooth data tracking, and NFC wireless connectivity for seamless integration with devices like the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch. Its interactive features, such as the stage timer and heart rate monitoring, made indoor base training less monotonous and more engaging.  The configurable Zone Console allows for your instructor to design and personalize the class around FTP, Heart Rate, or Cadence for an experience that is never the same twice.

Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is a measure of your cycling fitness and ability to maintain a high but manageable power output for a somewhat lengthy duration. From a physiological perspective, it’s the cycling power you produce when your lactate production has risen, leveled off, and then closely matches your body’s ability to remove lactate. This just barely keeps that lactate flooding at bay. In cycling, FTP is that gray area between the power you can sustain for a very long duration, and the fleeting power you can only tolerate for a handful of minutes.

Building Aerobic Base and Enhancing Endurance

During the first month, Roberts concentrated on steady-state training to build her aerobic base. This involved maintaining a steady heart rate at moderate intensity for increasing durations. Starting with 40-minute sessions, she broke this time into four 10-minute blocks, focusing on consistent average wattage and heart rate for each segment. The ability to connect an Apple Watch to the Zone Console allowed her to track her heart rate and review detailed ride data on the Apple iPhone post-ride, increasing her motivation further.

Incorporating Threshold Intervals And VO2 Max Training

In the second month, Robert introduced long lactate threshold intervals to enhance her VO2 Max. This involved performing three 10-minute intervals at a high intensity, with 3-5 minutes of easy-to-moderate pedaling in between. The Schwinn Z Bike’s Zone Console was instrumental in this phase, allowing her to monitor and compare her performance across intervals, always pushing her to achieve a little more.

By the third month, two weeks before her metric century ride, she performed a Functional Threshold Power (FTP) test to determine her maximum average power and set new intensity zones. This test laid the groundwork for incorporating VO2 Max intensity intervals. Riding at 110% of her FTP for two-to-three minutes with moderate work between intervals, she found the Zone Console’s features crucial for staying motivated and tracking performance.

The Schwinn Z Bike: Features and Benefits

The Schwinn Z Bike stands out with its robust features designed to support various training needs:

  • Zone Console: Equipped with a color LCD display, it offers interactive and engaging training sessions. It supports Apple GymKit and Samsung Galaxy Watch connectivity, making it easy to track heart rate and performance data.
  • Power Measurement: The 4iiii® power meter provides accurate power measurement with over 99% accuracy.
  • Resistance Levels: With 25 gears/resistance levels and a 6 Magnet Non-Contact Magnetic Resistance system, it allows for smooth and adjustable resistance.
  • Connectivity: The bike supports wireless communication through Bluetooth, ANT+, and NFC, and is compatible with personal cycling apps like Zwift, The Sufferfest, and TrainerRoad.
  • Customization: The bike offers various customization options, including different frame colors, branding decals, and pedal types. It is designed to provide a personalized and authentic cycling experience.

The Schwinn Z Bike’s intelligent design, featuring a smooth Poly V or toothed carbon belt drive system, ensures a quiet and efficient ride. Its universal handlebars and adjustable saddle accommodate users of different heights and preferences, enhancing comfort during long training sessions.

Achieving New Milestones and Setting Personal Records

Robert’s diligent indoor cycling recovery by training on the Schwinn Z Bike yielded impressive results. When it was time for the metric century ride, she hit three personal records (PR’s) on Strava during a 9-mile climb, surpassing their performance from the previous year despite having spent significant time off the bike because of surgery.

This achievement underscores the effectiveness of structured indoor cycling training. The Schwinn Z Bike’s ability to simulate outdoor cycling conditions and provide real-time feedback on performance metrics played a pivotal role in this successful recovery journey

Below, see the heart rate information from Robert’s Apple Watch of the three different training sessions: Steady State Moderate, Threshold 10-Minute x 3 and V02 Max 2-Minute Intervals x 8.


indoor cycling recovery blog-schwinn z bike

Keli Roberts Indoor Cycling Recovery Journey

The journey of recovery for an injured cyclist is fraught with challenges, especially as age becomes a factor. However, with the right tools and a dedicated training regimen, it is possible to not only recover but also achieve new fitness milestones. The Schwinn Z Bike proved to be an invaluable asset in this cyclist’s journey, offering the technology, customization, and motivational features needed to train effectively indoors.

For anyone facing a similar recovery challenge or looking to enhance their indoor training experience, the Schwinn Z Bike offers a comprehensive solution. Its advanced features and customizable options make it a standout choice for cyclists aiming to achieve their fitness goals, whether recovering from an injury or simply striving to improve their performance.

For more information on the Schwinn Z Bike and to explore its features, visit Core Health & Fitness.

About Kelli Roberts

Keli Roberts is a world-renowned fitness educator and trainer, certified by the American College of Sports Medicine and ACE in multiple disciplines, including health coaching and cancer exercise. She has received numerous awards, including the 2003 IDEA International Fitness Instructor of the Year, and was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2007. Since moving from Australia to the U.S. in 1990, Keli has become a top private trainer in Los Angeles, working with celebrities like Cher and Julia Roberts.

As CEO of Keli’s Real Fitness Inc., Keli trains diverse clients, including pregnant women, new mothers, seniors, and those with medical conditions. She teaches at Equinox and Breakthru Fitness and conducts seminars and workshops globally. Keli is also a faculty member for SCW Fitness Education, a senior master trainer for Core Health & Fitness, and part of the BOSU elite developmental team. She has been featured in various publications and over 80 fitness videos and DVDs.


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