The Contender Camp – Season Ten

That’s right! This is our 10th season of The Contender Camp. Each year we have refined the program in an effort to optimize a scientific approach allowing us to make the most out of our limited time. At the same time, we strive to keep it fresh and interesting.

Register online, over the phone or in person at the shop. If you are interested in paying for all three blocks in advance, we are again extending a special offer by including your testing free of charge. Once you have registered, your spot is reserved. If you are interested in a class that is full, contact the shop to be put on a wait list. If a spot becomes available later on you will be contacted.

Make-Up/Bonus classes are free to registrants and held on Fridays at 6 am and Saturdays at 7 am. Our trainer room is open during the shop’s business hours for use by all camp participants including over Thanksgiving weekend and during the holiday break. As always, you can store your bike at the shop.

For this season, we’ve changed our testing protocol. Wanting to provide a less invasive and intimidating form of testing, we decided to switch to a MAP ramp test. This test provides equally accurate power zones and a more objective value over interpretation of the lactate curve. Using accurate zones based on your current fitness level plays an important part in maximizing the effectiveness of the training program.


M/W Morning:  6:00 AM – 7:30 AM Camp Special or Block I (CLASS IS FULL – Contact the shop to be put on a wait list)
M/W Evening: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Camp Special or Block I 
T/TH Early Morning: 5:15 AM – 6:45 AM Camp Special or Block I  (CLASS IS FULL – Contact the shop to be put on a wait list)
T/TH Late Morning:  9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Camp Special or Block I
T/TH Late Afternoon: 4:15 PM – 5:45 PM Camp Special or Block I
T/TH Evening: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Camp Special or Block I



BLOCK I (includes initial and follow-up MAP ramp tests): $380.00
BLOCK II: $280.00
BLOCK III: $280.00
CAMP SPECIAL: $840 ($100 savings – all three blocks and two MAP ramp tests)*
*First time participants MUST have a MAP test prior to starting camp. If you start in Block II or III an additional $100 will be charged for testing. For those seasoned veterans, please feel free to use your MAP ramp tests at any point throughout the camp. It is important to have them done during camp to properly monitor your progress and optimize your training.

If you are interested in signing up for all three blocks, click HERE. If you are interested in only signing up for Block I, click HERE.


We apply the latest science-based training principles through a combination of our top-notch facility and your power-testing for catered training parameters and accurate measurements of your cadence and power output. This is essential to get maximum results from your training time in class.

This scientific approach creates the ideal formula necessary to make the greatest improvements in fitness. Our goal is to not only make to get you fit and ready for spring riding but also to make sure that the fitness, knowledge and skills you’ve gained forge a more confident and better performing rider.

Split into three 6-week training ‘blocks’ or phases, each block uses specific training principles. This challenges camp participants of all levels and helps us see improvements along the way ultimately motivating us to become a better cyclist. But let’s not forget one of the best reasons to sign up for the class – the chance to meet cyclists who are motivated to stay fit, to work hard and to have fun during those chilly winter months. Plus our expert staff and the legendary playlists keeps you motivated for the entire 90 minute workout.

We will be doing all testing at Contender Bicycles on Fridays and Saturdays from now until the beginning of camp. To schedule your time to come in and test, please email Blake Vatne at Please note we recommend establishing your training values before the start of camp and retest once during camp to reestablish values in order to maximize your gains and foster continual growth throughout the classes!

For additional information, please feel free to contact our shop (801.364.0344) or email Blake at If you are interested in a class that is full, please email Blake so he can put you on a cancellation list.


MAP stands for the maximal aerobic power you can sustain for a minute at the end of a ramp test. For our protocol, each step will be 3 minutes in duration with the test taking approximately 15 to 20 minutes. We use a three-minute step starting at a low wattage based on your overall fitness and weight. We believe that a three-minute ramp more accurately produces training power zones than ramp tests with a shorter interval. A MAP test provides an objective value where a FTP test is an estimate and a lactate curve can be open to interpretation. Your test will be challenging but relatively short. The participant determines when the test ends or when we see a drop off in cadence. Once testing is complete, the value of the last step you were able to complete is used to calculate your power training zones for camp.


1. Heart rate changes dramatically with temperature.
2. Heart rate is affected by diet and hydration levels.
3. Heart rate lags increases or decreases in the actual workload.
4. Heart rate does not accurately allow you to see when you are riding in an anaerobic state. In short, the combination of power and heart rate provide a clearer picture of how your body responds to your effort

In order to optimize your test, we recommend that you consider the following when scheduling your test:

  • Time of Day – Some athletes thrive early in the morning and some in the evening. If possible, try to test when you would normally prefer to ride during the day.
  • Recent Heavy Training or Competition – Athletes usually have a lower result the day after a hard workout. If the training performed prior to their test is conducted at lower intensities then the athlete’s threshold should not be affected. Please allow yourself one easy or rest day before your test.
  • Diet – Eat plenty of carbohydrates both the day before and the day of the test. This ensures that there is plenty of glycogen available in the muscles (think fuel for the muscles) and that depleted glycogen levels won’t impact the outcome of the test. Make sure to drink plenty of water leading up to your test as dehydration often plays a role in skewed test results.
  • Recent illness – if you have had any sort of viral or bacterial infection or other illness in the last four weeks, we recommend delaying your test until you are out of this window.


Our cycling camp staff brings a unique approach to indoor cycling training. With Ryan and Dr. Eric Taylor having worked closely together to develop our program, our staff shares the same theories and practical approach to training. We believe in using a science-based approach to make you a better athlete.

Ryan brings to the camp thirty years of experience in the bicycle industry. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Ryan started bike racing and working in the industry at the age of sixteen. As a cyclist, he competed as a top regional rider with success on a national level both as a rider and a manager. Ryan helped develop and manage the most successful team to have ever come out of Utah. What started as a team of up-and-coming local riders turned into a launching pad for several of today’s top American professionals including Dave Zabriskie. With an honors business marketing degree from the University of Utah and tons of cycling experience, Ryan has built Contender Bicycles into what it is today.

Eric has extensive experience as a physiologist, coach, and athlete. Eric has a PhD in physiology, completed a postdoctoral fellowship in muscle metabolism and exercise physiology at Harvard Medical School, and is a currently a professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa. His research on mitochondrial metabolism was recently published in the prestigious journal Science. Eric has broad coaching experience with all levels of runners and cyclists. Eric competed as a track athlete for Brigham Young University, running the 800 and 1500 meters. He currently competes as a Category 3 road cyclist and also races cyclocross. Although Eric now calls Iowa home, expect to see him from time to time out on the Utah roads.

Drawn away from his native Minnesota by Utah’s big mountains and deep winter powder, Blake chose the University of Utah to earn a BS in Exercise Physiology. Blake worked at Contender Bicycles throughout college. Since graduating in the spring 2010, Blake has taken on an integral role in organizing and managing the Contender Camp throughout the fall, winter and early spring months. Besides being a great skier, Blake is an equally enthusiastic cyclist who enjoys riding on both the road and mountain bike. Blake is also very interested and knowledgeable about nutrition, so we at the shop often seek out Blake’s advice when choosing nutritional products.


Image of lresewell
lresewell says
September 25th, 2018

Don't forget to rotate some Metallica and other heavy metal faves in your "legendary play lists!"

Lisa aka "Metalhead" Sewell

....see ya in camp!

Reply to lresewell


Image of Cody Wignall
Cody Wignall says
September 26th, 2018 got it! Looking forward to a fun training camp. See you soon!

Reply to Cody Wignall

Image of Becca Levin
Becca Levin says
October 15th, 2018

Hey contender! What fitness level is most of the class? Will an average fitness lady feel at home? Thanks!

Reply to Becca Levin


Image of Alison Littlefield
Alison Littlefield says
October 15th, 2018

Absolutely! Since you will be training at your dedicated power levels, everyone trains at their appropriate level. Participants pretty much run the gamut. We have top level road racers to folks in their 70s.
Just email us if you have any other questions!

Reply to Alison Littlefield

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