Matt Gilbert

The definition of development

Notable Performances with Njinga

FTP Improvement: 20 watts improvement in 5 months

First Gold finish Sportive: 106km - 3 hours 54 minutes

Tour of Flanders: 141km - 6 hours 19 minutes

L'Étape 2017 v L'Étape 2016: Finished 30% higher up the field


I was about three years into my cycling, having originally started to help with the commute to work and to improve my fitness. I had done some club riding, and enjoyed riding a few Sportives, including Wales Velathon, Ride London and culminating in L'Étape du Tour 2016 Etape. I had fallen in love with cycling and everything it offered: from the discipline of training and respecting my body more, to the fun and freedom of just being out riding. I had proven to myself that I could be fit enough to take part in some of the tougher cycling challenges, and I was proud of that. The issue was that the simple pride of being able to finish was no longer enough. I wanted to know how much further I could take this.


How Njinga helped:

About a year ago, a friend recommended The Njinga lab, saying rather cryptically that it had been a “revelation”. I can’t think of a better word to describe the experience, and looking back I can’t believe I’d trained for so long without knowing the basics of how to train smart.

Before Njinga I just tried to cycle as much as possible, with little planning or science behind it. After Njinga I’ve been able to look at my technique, focus on different muscle groups, train smarter and improve my nutrition.

Training smart really made a difference:

Within a few sessions, I was now aware of my exact power output on the bike, how sustainable it was, and what power zones to train in. I could see in real time the effectiveness of my pedal stroke and how to use both my quads and hamstrings to go further. I could also take the associated heart rate zone data and apply that to my outdoor riding. After a few months I took a trip out to the Pyrenees and tackled a big climb, using the heart rate zones to target different sections of the climb. For the first time ever, I knew that I had an actual strategy that would give me the best possible time, and sure enough the ride went great.


More than just a lab...

The Lab is supportive in lots of other ways, where you can learn some great stretching techniques and nutrition advice. The team there are fully committed to helping you get the best out of yourself and always have time for your questions. They make sure that there are a variety of training sessions to choose from, so you can target different areas of development and keep things fresh. For the first time ever I trained through the winter with them which has been a step change.

This summer I got my first gold time at a Sportive. I caught up with a friend recently to talk cycling, and I mentioned that my recent gains were thanks to my coaching. “You have a coach?” was his reply. And I had to smile, and explain that I had a whole lab.


Matt's journey with Njinga has included:

  • Regular wattbike and yoga classes
  • Multiple multi Week Group Indoor Training Programmes
  • Weekly rideouts with the Njinga Collective




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