Monday Motivation: Boosting FTP with Tony Robinson

A band showing brand colours of CicloZone, an indoor cycling app

Hi there, my name is Anthony Robinson. My friends just call me Tony. I am a self employed decorator of thirty plus years and 5 feet 4 inches tall, same as my dad. It doesn’t stop me from doing anything, apart from being a policeman, I suppose…!

I started fitness training around the age of 18 after a glib comment about my weight from a friend. It worked and I began eating and training to get fitter. I lost a chunk of weight and thought ‘well aren’t I fit’?!

At around 23, I took up Karate – now that IS fit – and I loved it, didn’t stop until I went to live in Canada for a year and then, back home a year later,  I was still running a bit but also fell walking – another of my favourite activities, as you’ll see from the photo. I’ve completed 149 Wainwrights so far.

Alongside the fell walking, I started circuit training with a bunch of Judo guys I met – not my sport, Judo – a real tough one but not for me. But I loved circuits and only stopped because of COVID-19.

In the saddle

Anyway, about 4 years ago I started cycling.  I needed something low impact because time isn’t kind and, since my 40s, weight is harder to shift. I really liked it. In fact, next to being on the fells there is no better feeling than being on your bike challenging yourself.

I have done various 100 mile challenges – the Coast to Coast in a day and Le Jog (926 miles in 12 days). Anyway, with being asthmatic I do sometimes struggle if I don’t get the balance correct. 

When the most recent lockdown was announced, I decided to try and stay busy and, because work had dried up for the first time ever, I decided to keep fit.

I was looking for a new spin bike around this time and narrowed it down to three bikes, ultimately choosing the Keiser M3i. My first ride on it left me wondering what I’d done but I downloaded the Keiser app and, along with the Spinnervals DVDs,  I was doing ok – in fact I even started enjoying the M3i.

At about this time on Facebook, I joined the M3 i users group and picked up lots of great tips. This is where I came across Darren Lee. He’d sent me a friend request and we exchanged a few words. Shortly after, he mentioned he was working on this new app, CicloZone. 

From there I started using the app and thought it was good – I enjoyed it! There’s plenty of choice for a structured workout, which really helps with outdoor cycling too. Then came the game changer… he introduced FTP to the platform!

37 rides in 37 days

I was doing quite a lot of CicloZone workouts by this time, sometimes two or more at a time but, post FTP, that was about to change.

On 30 December, I increased my FTP to 140 and four or five rides into the New Year, I decided I’d challenge myself by taking a CicloZone ride every day.  So I did – from the last two days in December until 4 February, I rode with CicloZone every day, until I realised I was beginning to go backwards because I wasn’t taking enough rest days.

Despite this, my FTP increased to 182, which is amazing!

I did struggle for a while afterwards, due to not resting enough as I’d realised, but after talking to Darren, I dropped my FTP to 174 and recently, on my 60th birthday, I actually took three CicloZone classes one after the other!

The app is very cleverly structured, not just for great cyclists but for the average guy in the street, like me.

No matter your level of fitness at the start, it will improve your stamina and your strength, as well as your mind!

The best thing is, although Darren is a busy man, he is always available to give you advice. Respect!

So, what’s next? Keep improving and get out on the roads to reap the rewards. CicloZone has given me a real fitness boost and is constantly evolving. I plan to evolve with it!!

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