Muscle recruitment - ERG v Level

I have been using Wahoo SYSTM for about 4 years and have always used in ERG mode. Is this the best option or should I sue Level Mode for all workouts? I did Full Frontal today and it occurred to me that maybe using level mode would recruit muscles differently to ERG due to the need to change gears to meet targets rather than let the training control the resistance?

@SGALL Definitely use level mode for full frontal. I would also recommend practicing in level mode so that you get acclimated to choosing levels and switching gears.

Agreed with Level Mode for Full Frontal.

Level mode is also recommended for some of the more sprint-oriented workouts like Violator, especially if your trainer doesn’t respond quickly to the power target changes.

And as Sir @JSampson said, it’s good to practice every now and then anyway.

Finally, workouts with lots of frequent, subtle changes in power target (e.g., Team Scream or pretty much any of the Pro Rides) are much better in ERG mode (in my opinion) as you don’t have to spend time trying to keep adjusting your power.


For list of workouts which are best done in level mode, see documentation A Guide to using ERG mode. There is recommendation that Full Frontal should never be done in ERG mode.

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Level v ERG shouldn’t affect muscle recruitment, but using level mode will help you become more familiar with your gearing which will help when doing Full Frontal or riding out on the road.

I think there might be some difference in muscle recruitment with ERG vs level. ERG effectively simulates riding up various inclines to generate by increasing resistance. The flywheel speed may therefore be very slow. In level mode the flywheel speed might be quite fast. It will have a different feel, depending on gearing.

I prefer some MAP based on level mode as I find it easier to hit the targets.

Thanks for the link, interesting. Yep, I do FF in level.