So you want to know how to get fit on Zwift? Well, let me tell you that if you love running or cycling but want to be able to do either of those things in all weathers at any time of the day, then Zwift could be your answer.
Not only can you get the flexibility to train at any time of day and in all weathers you also have access to a personalised plan to help you meet your fitness goals.
Many users especially love the social side of Zwift. If you like to race, you can challenge another user to a sprint or join a group race.
Are you competitive? If so then you will love how you can get really serious with the virtual kit to give you an edge over your fellow riders.
So what is Zwift?
The first time I heard about Zwift was via a TV Advert during the Tour De France coverage. I must admit that I assumed it was similar to the Peloton system, which I knew I could never afford on my tiny budget.
However, since looking into Zwift a little more I found that you can start using Zwift with a very small budget indeed, and I will tell you a bit more about that later.
Let me tell you what Zwift is not first.
Zwift is not a kit that you buy and set up at home like, for example, the Peloton system I mentioned earlier.
You aren’t forced into buying expensive equipment (although you can if you want to). I like this because the last thing I would want is to spend the earth on something only to get bored with it later.
You are not limited to just cycling like you are with Peloton. You can run with it too, or do both if you happen to be training for a triathlon.
The circuits are not real-life. You can’t roam through the streets of Tuscany enjoying the view as you go, it’s more like a game rather than a real set. Zwift has a fictional environment that it calls ‘Watopia’, and it feels very much like a game when you use it.
So what is Zwift then?
Zwift is an APP that you install on your desktop computer, iPad or phone. You then connect the Zwift APP to your fitness equipment, i.e. bike or treadmill via a Bluetooth enabled connector. The connector allows Zwift to monitor your progress as you work out.
To use Zwift to get fit you need to buy some suitable equipment, sign up for an account, download the APP and then subscribe to a membership plan.
The gaming side of Zwift ensures that you stay motivated by scoring points and unlocking achievements as you go.
Can you get fit on Zwift?
Yes, you can totally get fit using Zwift, just as you can get fit cycling or running.
Obviously, to get fit you must plan to train regularly and Zwift can help you with that by making you a training schedule.
With Zwift you can set up a personalised and structured plan that adapts to your lifestyle and training goals.
Maybe your goal is to prepare for your next real-life race, or to get to the next level of fitness? Perhaps you just want to have fun or to race with a buddy?
How to get fit with Zwift
When you have your kit set up and your Zwift subscription, the first thing to do is to get familiar with is the APP itself. Zwift has a lot of helpful videos to get you started depending on whether you want to run or cycle.
When you first install the APP you will tell Zwift a bit about yourself, which will include whether you are a runner, cyclist or both. Then you can select your main goal which might be to get in shape, ride with friends or race.
Zwift will ask to connect to your devices. The Bluetooth enabled devices allow Zwift to monitor your workout. These will include a speed sensor and power source device for bikes, plus an optional heart rate monitor.
You can also enter your height and weight into the app and choose an avatar and the type of bike you want to use if you are cycling.
What do you need to get fit on Zwift?
Well, it turns out that you can get started with Zwift pretty cheaply. Have a look at the video above and you will see that you can get started with a very small budget indeed.
The bottom end of the budget will allow you to use Zwift in its basic form. Due to the simpler connections and equipment, you won’t find your bike getting harder to pedal as you go up hills.
The more you spend the more realistic the ride will feel. You can even have your bike rise up at the front as it would do going up a hill and set up some wind resistance too.
How much does Zwift cost?
The best way to get fit on Zwift is to start out with a free 7-day pass. After that, you need to pay for a monthly membership, which in the UK is currently £12.99 per month. For me, this is a lot cheaper than joining a gym.
If you love cycling or running and like a gamified feel why not give it a go?