Monday, December 30, 2013

It's Complicated? (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

I know there there are instructors out there that use the iTunes Store exclusively because they're using an iPod.  But you don't have to be limited to iTunes simply because you use some type of Apple device.  Don't get me wrong, I encourage you to use the iTunes store, especially when getting the music for my playlists using the links I provide (after all the little bit of commission I get from those links helps fund this site).  But there's a wealth of other music sources to consider as well.

In this article I want to address YouTube.  YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine out there.  When you want to know how to do some new task, more often than not, people are searching YouTube videos for

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Luck has nothing to do with Results (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

When I'm not Spinning® my real world job (the one that pays the bills and funds my Spinning addiction) is doing Hi-Tech Sales to a variety of manufacturers.  

I made the leap from engineering to sales nearly 2 decades ago, with very few regrets.  There are many wonderful "perks" to sales like setting my own schedule among other things.  But the huge downside is that there are times when your ego takes a huge beat-down.  Customers chose your competitor over you for whatever reason, or they won't even entertain the thought of something or someone new.  It's times like these that I rely on habitual practice I call, "Minimum Daily Objectives" or MDO for short.  These are the tasks that I HAVE to perform until I can find my next round of inspiration.

The same is true for fitness.  You hit a plateau, maybe you get bored with your routine, maybe you get distracted from your routine.  Elite athletes aside, you have to have some minimum activities (be it daily or weekly) if you want to stay healthy and physically fit.  

We can all find reasons for NOT going to the gym; skipping a workout, etc...but the truth is how many times have you ever regretted the workout that you actually did?  I bet they're few and far between, if any. many times have you ever regretted the workout that you actually did?

I was thinking of this a lot recently as I've spent time over the holidays shopping and seeing the number of obese people in the stores, and prepping for the new year and the inevitable influx of new members to the gym.  Sociologists tell us that it generally takes 3-8 weeks to establish a habit.  Daily activities are probably closer to the 3 week time frame, while activities like the gym that your do maybe 3-4 times a week probably take a bit longer to become habitual.  

Unfortunately that means many will give up on their fitness goals before it becomes a habit if they don't attain early results.  As a fitness professional, it's our job to help motivate them in the class and to come back even if they're not seeing results YET!

It's about performing the minimum objectives toward the goal until they become automatic.

Years ago, I would have never thought it was possible that you can become addicted to fitness and working out; but now I have a hard time understanding why everyone isn't.  Let your enthusiasm show and it will become contagious to your participants.

Download INTERVAL 81

Thursday, December 26, 2013

reCYCLE (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

I introduced my 100 HIIT Profile earlier this month and its been very popular with my classes for the last couple of weeks, probably mostly because it was just something different in the class, but even so.

So what I did was to use the exact same profile and simply substitute a different playlist so the music was different, even if the profile wasn't.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The 100 HIIT Profile (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

Imagine that you're on your bike when a storm blows in suddenly and you see this monster.  First you're brain seems to short-circuit as you stare at it. You're unable to process the spectacle, the power, or the forces at work here.

Only seconds pass before your instincts take control, propelling you to MOVE.

The adrenaline surges through your system and you push your body beyond what you've done before, sustained it for longer than you thought you could.  You can feel your heart hammering in your chest, and the muscles in your legs burn as they propel you to safety.  How long can you maintain this level?

Truth be told the you'll soon be affects of the adrenaline and you'll have depleted your body of cretin, so now it's pure strength of will to maintain these levels beyond the 20 second mark.

So my 100 HIIT profile is building on intervals at lactic threshold and then a recovery interval each for 1 minute. We repeat this twice during the ride so we end up with a circuit of:

  • 5 positions
  • 10 intervals (5 high intensity intervals / 5 recovery) 
  • 2 times during the ride

5 x 10 x 2 = 100 HIIT

Each interval peak interval during the HIIT should be performed at the highest level possible while still remaining aerobic.  This also provides the population without a heart rate monitor a reference point, if they lose their breath they need to back down and regain control.

Also expect that the second time through the HIIT that heart rates will climb faster and/or recovery may not bring you down to the expected level.  If more time is needed for recovery do that instead of starting the next intensity level; once you achieve the recovery level it's okay to complete the interval with the remaining class.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pinnacle (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

I was looking to do something a bit different with my profile so I dropped the Tabata for this ride right in the middle.  Just before that we have a brief resting period and then a recovery period right afterward.

I thought the picture on the left kind of looked like the heart rate profile so it was fitting.

Several new songs, and a different profile shape should bring a little interest to the class with this ride.

Let me know what you think.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

That Power (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

A true interval work out with short active recovery's to allow you to drop your heart rate right before getting you jacked up again.  

Lots of jumps so imagine that you traded your road bike in for a session of riding mogels on your mountain bike.

With the finishing touch being a full 1 minute break right before that final 4 minute Tabata session.

As always, remind your participants that Tabata sessions shouldn't be done on back to back days and they can substitute a (S)tanding (C)limb instead.

Final coaching/cuing tip.  I reference Switchbacks on Hill 3 - That's nothing more than if you were going up a long seated (C)limb and found a turn where the road came back on itself abruptly, you would increase resistance heavily, come up for a brief time while making the "turn" before the resistance would decrease again.
Doesn't it make you tired just looking at it?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Paceline (Spinning Technique)

The Paceline is by far one of my favorite routines to coach during indoor cycle.  Not only because I can vary it to get different results, but also because it introduces some real world cycling components to a group of uninitiated.

So what's a Paceline?   
They didn't teach us that in our Spinning® class.

In the real world a paceline is what cyclists call their drafting formation that teams use to share the burden of driving through the wind. Let's back up a bit; ever see geese migrating?  They fly in a V-formation so that they can "draft" off of the goose just ahead and slightly below them.  With geese, the strongest takes the lead, and when he gets tired he swaps position with another to rest.  In this manner the geese can fly much further (over 71% further) and faster than they could left to their own motivations.  My favorite part about the geese comparison, and you can atest to this if you've ever seen them flying, is they're noisy.  The geese in the rear of the formation are making all that honking noise to goad on the leader to fly faster; essentially talking smack.

So the paceline in cycling performs much the same function.  One cyclist, just inches away from the cyclist ahead of her, essentially getting an active recovery period while the lead cyclist plows through the wind resistance. 

So yeah, I know they didn't teach you this in your Spinning® certification class, but they did teach you that you could vary resistance and position AND that you can do combination movements as long as you don't do anything contraindicative.

I coach pacelines in two different manners, but reality is they're both segments of a rotating paceline.  

Watching a rotating paceline you see a fast line and a slow line.  In the fast line each change results in you moving closer to the front, which equates to working harder.  In the slow line each change results in you moving further from the front so your working less.

Looking at my profiles you'll see instructions for a paceline like:

F > F > R :20
R > SF > F :25

or some variations of the theme.  Let's break down the instruction set and then I'll explain how they relate to the paceline.

The number is the duration in each position in seconds.  I adjust my duration depending on what I want the heart rate to do.  If I want the heart rate to climb quickly, I'll make the duration 15 seconds; climb slowly then 20 seconds. Average out to a no net increase, greater than 25 seconds.  I find recovery with general populations to be around the 25 second mark; so short duration pacelines won't allow you to recover before the next exertion.

Both instruction sets above would be above 80 rpm because that's what the minimum speed for a (F)lat is.  If you want to do the paceline on a hill or in heavy wind the instruction might look more like:
 C - C - SC :25

Alright so if we're in the fast line, each change brings us closer to the front and thereby increasing our effort.  So for a  F - F - R :20 instruction you start with at your flat road resistance, this is where you're drafting.  On the next change (20 seconds later) you increase the resistance to whatever you can WITHOUT slowing down or coming out of the saddle.  20 seconds later you take the lead position by increasing to heavy resistance into a (R)unning with resistance position.  The next move resets the entire thing by "coasting" to the rear of the line with a light resistance (F)lat for 20 seconds

For simplicity sake I encourage you to stay to 3 positions.

Technically you could do the entire paceline in the saddle (looking more like what a real paceline would be, but since we're manually applying the resistance I think it works best to show distinct changes; rather than being subtle.

The slow line means each change moves you further from the front with lessening effort.  That would be something like the R - SF - F :25 instruction.  Starting with a heavy resistance you're pulling the group for 25 seconds while performing a (R)unning with resistance move; 25 seconds later you take the edge off the resistance for a (S)tanding (F)lat and then finishing in the drafting position with a (F)lat before starting the entire cycle over.

You could do a full paceline where you do a combination of both the fast and slow lines, IF you have cadence monitors.  Making the Fast line 10rpm faster than the slow line.

I have broken my room up into different groups where each group is performing a different stage of the paceline.  A word of caution, this can be confusing for those unfamiliar so make sure to explain the cuing before hand.

One that I've not had the opportunity to try because of my class size, but I've spoken with people in smaller studio's where they circled the bikes for the class.  Then your next move is always the move of the person just to your left.  If their doing a (R) this time, at the next change you do the (R), resulting in a follow the leader effect.

One last coaching tip:
Be sure to explain what position your in and why you've change the resistance in the manner you did for your participants.  This lets them understand the real world implications of what you're doing.

I hope this post helps demystify some of my profile instructions, and even more important gives you something new and different to introduce to your classes; bringing a bit of road cycling into the studio.  

~ Spinning Freak

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Afterburner (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

I've used this profile before but it went so well the first time, I wanted to see if lighting would strike a 2nd time.  I am pleased to say I had the same results, I woke up this morning a bit sore.  We all joke about things like, 
"Pain is weakness leaving the body", or  "No pain, No gain", 
but the truth is that bit of soreness after a work out simply means that you've stressed your system which forces the body to adapt.  And that's what we want, to consistently force the body to adapt and change for the better.  

So this morning I'm feeling a bit of a burn in my quads, the day after I pushed my class through this profile, that is why this is called Afterburner.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Roller Coaster Race Day (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

Question: What do you get when you combine a roller coaster & a bike?  

Answer:  You get yourself a butt kicking, sweat inducing race day ride.

Normally I reserve Race Day until my last class of the month, but I made an exception this month for two reasons:
  1. It's October, and I'm gonna have to do a Halloween Ride
  2. I have a long term participant that has been taking my class for as long as I can remember, moving and she requested it.  
So this is the result of their song input and my sadistic side.  A word of caution, as always I tell my participants to "Know Your Limits!"  That is especially true during RDEZ rides especially one that incorporates SPRINTS (Xh) on a Hill during the race.

The parameters are the same as any RDEZ ride.  Minimum cadence is 80RPM so even the Climbs or Standing Climbs are at that pace; and the heart rate will be 80% MHR or greater.

I also used Flashing for Money which was not available from iTunes.  Check it out on YouTube.
Don' t know how to get from YouTube to your iTunes?  I use VidtoMP3 to get mashups.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Play Hard...Very Hard (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

I am absolutely fascinated by cyclists in a pace line; the precision, harmony, and teamwork.  That's why I like to put them in my profiles so much.  I also find that it's a more realistic interval movement than jumps.

Don't get me wrong, I still believe jumps are a legitimate movement for Spinning® simulating something from mountain biking, but also Spinning is not riding, it's group exercise.  I just like the flow of pace lines.

I do pace lines 2 different ways, the first is all in the saddle with 3 different resistances, albeit the resistance changes are not as dramatic.  This would be a pace line on a flat straight away with no gusts of wind.

The 2nd is more of an incline or maybe with wind.  Heavy resistance up to the far position on the bars, then take the edge off, and next to the drafting position. repeat.  If I want to make the heart rate climb, I make the interval time < 20 seconds.  My instruction shorthand for this would look a bit like this:

SC - SF - C :20
R - SF - F :20

So what's the difference between these two instructions?  The cadence.  If the pace line is meant to be done at  greater 80RPM then you Run with Resistance (R) and draft in a Flat (F); slower is a Standing Climb (SC) then draft with a seated Climb (C).
Lot's of opportunity to overload your system during the Sprints on a Hill (Xh) and then the Tabata at the end of the ride.  Caution your participants to know their limits.  I put these back to back for my Friday night class because it's full of regulars and I wanted to emphasize the procedure for a proper sprint so that they could integrate that into their Tabata Intervals.

Download INTERVAL 74

Monday, September 30, 2013

Back in the Saddle again (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

Wow!  It seems like forever since I had a blog post, but I assure you that I've been plenty busy.  I was off from my normal routine due to a broken leg.  During that time I continued coaching, albeit off the bike.  It was a great experience, but I'm certainly happy to be back in the saddle.  Absolutely amazing how fast your cardio level wanes.  But let's put that behind us.

Okay, now for a couple of changes...

You'll notice the blog has taken a different look.  I'm just toying around to try to keep a fresh look.

You'll also notice no Amazon links for music.  I have to assume from all my reports that just about everybody that frequents my site is almost exclusively downloading from iTunes.  So rather than to give myself busy work I have decided to leave Amazon behind.  (Maybe people only use Amazon for books?)

You'll see some other changes in the future, but for now lets get you a new profile...

I did this profile tonight and was rewarded with 690 calories being burned according to my Polar FT7 and an average heart rate of 77% of my max.  Oh, and there was a huge puddle of liquid, freakin awesome under my bike!

Just like any other STRENGTH ride you should be staying in the 75-85% of your max heart rate, but we're not going to spend as much time on hills in this particular profile.  In fact we don't really hit our first hill until song #5 where we'll have some switchbacks.  For those non-road riders, a switch back is when you change direction as you're climbing a hill.  As you can imagine, this change in direction requires some extra effort.  On your Spinner® you'll want to leave the seated climb by first going from medium resistance to heavy resistance, and then coming to a standing climb for 15 seconds.  After you've "completed the turn" you dial back the resistance to where you started before the switchback.
Got the idea now what a switchback might be like?  
Just looking at the picture makes me tired.

I play around with a lot of fast flats on this ride, whether it be before the first hill or on a plateau.  The key to these flats are that you play around with the resistance to simulate wind, and you have to have enough resistance that you stay >75% of your max heart rate.  Those without monitors, if not careful may end up with a nice low intensity interval ride, which is okay, but you may want to caution them against going too light.  I always try to coach the participants to imagine what riding into the wind is like, that way their windy flat doesn't turn into a downhill with now resistance.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Question from the Audience...

I want to start doing a better job of helping people work within their heart zone, But not everyone wears a heart monitor. What is an effective way of doing this? I somewhat know how to manage this if I were to do an endurance ride, much like one you have posted. But what about if to are doing intervals or something like tabatas?

My Approach...
Wow! If you're doing this with EEZ rides with people that don't have a HRM then you're doing better than most.

When doing an EEZ ride I generally go around ahead of class with a chart I made that shows them the BPM versus their age to stay in the zone we want, and then during random intervals (2 or 3 times in a ride), I'll have everyone check their pulse for 15 seconds.  This works okay during an EEZ ride because your rate should be pretty steady-state.

This approach is less practical during SEZ or IEZ rides.  During a SEZ ride I use the aerobic threshold (AT) for reference.  I will coach that IF they've lost their breath, IF they can't breath easily in thru the nose, out thru the mouth, then they are too high on their heart rate.  For the average participant that puts them somewhere between 83-85% MHR.  That doesn't help you to make sure they're above 75%, but at least it keeps them from going too high.  I remind them of this multiple times during class and put the responsibility on them to change something (resistance, cadence, etc...) if this happens.

During an IEZ ride you have the entire spectrum to play with so it's less of an issue but again I use AT as a reference point.  If you're climbing and they should be a high 4 or 5 heart rate zone, but they're not breathing hard, then they need to turn up their workout.

On the inverse of that, during a low portion of an IEZ ride, I simply use perceived exertions scale of 1 to 10 and tell them they should fell like a 3-4 with 10 being, "Dear God, why did I come to this class? Again?"

Other things to note, I always refer to heart rate zones in percentages of MHR.  Make sure that the participants understand you're talking about percentages not BPM or they may quickly decide they're too far out of shape to participate.  And since I do this in every, single class, they come to expect it and it gives them a perceived value in maybe investing in a heart rate monitor.  I have been to some gym's that offer loaner HRM, which may be a good alternative for those that don't want to invest.

Finally, loan someone (a regular to your class) that doesn't have one, and loan them yours so that they can experience it for themselves.  I find this works best when doing a SEZ ride because THEN they "Get it".  Bing! (the light comes on)  "I've not been pushing myself hard enough." or "I've been pushing too hard all this time."

You asked about Tabatas...Don't bother coaching zones here.  There isn't enough time.  The participants know if they're giving it their all or not, and THAT is what Tabata is all about.  Your coaching here should be helping them to time their intervals and to stay above the 80 rpm minimum.

During a Tabata, tell them to not take the time to drink. They can hold out for 4 minutes until the protocol is over.  It's more important to get oxygen during that brief 10 second span than water.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Comfortable? (Spinning Technique)

Boy doesn't that pup look all comfy and cozy?

Is this how you feel coaching your Spinning® class  from your bike?

What about off the bike?
Maybe you're one of those instructors that never venture from the safety and security of your firmly clipped in biking shoes.

Maybe you're that instructor that when you do muster the courage to get out of the saddle you simply give a quick fist bump to each student, saying hello on the way, quickly retreating back to the protection of your handle bars, all while thinking, yeah I can/do teach off the bike.

If you follow me on Facebook then you most likely know that I recently broke my fibula forcing me to coach from the floor.

First...How I broke my leg.
Short answer..."A waterslide."  The long answer, I was running in one of those benefit mud runs, this one was benefiting Autism Speaks.  I was coming down a 200' waterslide down the side of a hill and when I hit the pool of water, my foot became entrapped and rolled with the momentum of my descent.  That translated into a torque, twisting my fibula until it fractured in the top 1/3rd. Ouch!  A second person came down right after me, duplicating my error and breaking his ankle.  The obstacle was immediately shutdown.  Now you know why you have to sign the, "You can't sue us under any circumstance" waiver to participate.

As soon as I realized that it was a break versus a simple sprain, I alerted my Group X coordinator that I was going to need a couple of days off.  She immediately signed me off for 4 weeks....
WHOA!  I just needed the time to get into a walking cast. I'll coach from the floor.

So I show up for class on Monday in my monster of a aircast, and everyone was thinking how's this going to go?

I'll admit that there were a few technical difficulties, but nothing that was insurmountable.  I also made my personal heart rate monitor available to a regular participate that hasn't invested in one (yet), heck I didn't need it.

One of the best observations I made had to do with form.  I had arrived early enough to watch the class ahead of mine and noticed multiple poor forms.  My class, with the exception of 2 new folks in the room had virtually perfect form because I'm always talking about it.  Since I was on the floor, eye level with them for the entire class I was able to clearly see the results of this coaching.

When class was over, I put it to them.  Would they prefer I find a sub for the remainder of my classes, or have me coach them from the floor.  The result was that many stated they would prefer my floor taught class as opposed to other instructors, and that they enjoyed it.

All this to say, strive for quality and don't be afraid to get out of your comfy zone and get eye to eye with your participants.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pedaling backwards is spelled "gniladeP", and that doesn't make any sense. (Cycling Technique)

Just the other day I became part of a revolving email thread with a bunch of my fellow cycling instructors for the gym that I coach at.  I say cycling because the group that I work for was recently acquired by LA Fitness and they're affiliated with Keiser versus Mad Dogg Athletics Spinning®.  Prior to the acquisition we were all Spinning® certified, since then it appears that pretty much any certification is acceptable.  

This is not a knock on Keiser, or any other brand for that matter, I just bring it up to point out that we have a variety of credentials at work here.  Elaborating even more, there seems to be a lot of indians and not enough chiefs, if you get my meaning.  No consistency and/or accountability.  I haven't determined if this is an LA Fitness characteristic or just a general disarray as the group I am working with becomes assimilated.

So on to the email thread.  Apparently at least one of my fellow instructors had been having his participants pedal backwards.  That was brought to the attention of on of the other instructors who blasted out an email saying that we should not be doing this because it is contraindicative and that according to one of Spinning® Master Instructors, incorrectly loads the knee joint applying pressure at a position that the knee isn't equipped to handle it.

At least one instructor that was coaching this acknowledged that he was guilty of this instruction but justified it in that it was to prevent the participants from plateauing in their workout.  Hats off to him for admitting that he was the source.

Okay so this is not a definitive article but here's what I've found:

  • Apparently Les Mills RPM at one time included pedaling backwards as part of their program.  I'm not sure if this is still true so any feedback would be great.
  • The Spinning® program advises against pedaling backwards so that the pedals don't unscrew and goes on to say that their is no caloric benefit to pedaling the opposite direction. reference
  • If you've every put new pedals on a bike you will find that one of the pedals screws in normally (you know, Right/Tight, Left/Loose), while the other is just the opposite; so that all gives credibility to Spinning®'s position. reference
  • Rehab centers will often have patients after knee replacement surgery pedal backwards on a bike because it results in less pain. reference
    • Keep in mind that they are going for knee flexure not muscle strength so they are using very light resistance.
  • Personal trainers will often instruct there clients to pedal backwards.
    • What this means to me is that they have no formal training on a bike but they will make the same argument about avoid a plateau.  Most PT's I know are very good on the resistance side of things, but not so much on cardio conditioning.
  • When using an elliptical machine it's very common to "pedal" backwards because it results in a different muscle recruitment.  
    • Forward pedaling uses the biceps femoris, part of the hamstring muscle group.
    • Backward pedaling works the rectus femoris, part of the quadricep group.
    • Note that on an elliptical your pedal's won't unthread by going in this direction.
  • Build any speed on a fly-wheel weighted bike common in indoor cycling rooms and you run the risk of having your leg be pulled into hyper-extension.
    • Think of having a machine pull your knee to a locked position - Ouch!

To summarize:
If you wouldn't do it on a real bike you shouldn't do it here, and unlike a real bike a Spinning® type bike usually pushes back so keep that in mind.

If you need to come up with a new technique, position, or instruction to keep your students either engaged or from plateauing then you're not doing your job.  Remind them there are other classes they can augment their workout with to prevent the plateau (yes we all know that Spinning® is the best).  And if they're bored with what you're doing then it's either your method of instructing or it's them.  You can't fix them, change your instruction to coaching and tell them why they're doing each thing and help them establish some goals and a plan.

~ Spinning Freak

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The full gambit...Endurance to Race Day (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

I'm sure that many of you are in the same situation as I am.  I coach at a big box gym alongside a number of other instructors.  Each of us is essentially left to our own devices, meaning there is NO guidance as to they type of ride profile should be taught on which dates.  The beauty of this is that you can do whatever you like, unfortuanately that means your clients are working out more than they are training.  The difference being a plan with measurable goals.

So I run the place like I own it.  I come up with my own schedule and once a month (my last regularly scheduled class of the month) I coach the group through Race Day.  

Which brings me to June 2013.  My last class is today, so as to not burn out my participants, yesterday when I coached we did an Endurance ride.  For many participants it was actually the first EEZ ride they had ever done because instructors are afraid to teach that class; they think it will be boring, contain only songs from Yanni, and you'll lose participants.

I don't instruct - I coach.

Tell your class why they are going to do it, and the benefits of it, and go at it.  Endurance is my favorite class, but I also find it the hardest to coach because so few have the tools like heart rate monitors to make sure you're working the appropriate levels.  Don't sweat it too much.  If they go over then they have a nice strength ride.  Always a good time.

That being said, I coached Endurance the day before Race Day, which means this post has both profiles.  Have fun!

Endurance Profile 008
Remember that Endurance rides are about your heart rate not the movement.  Get out of the saddle.  When I'm taking a bike ride and my butt hurts I move, stand, shift, whatever.  The goal is to keep your heart rate between 65%-80% (expanded parameters).  I try to stay as close as possible to 75% as I can, and then when I want to stretch my legs with a bit of speed running, I have 5% to play with.

Download Endurance #8

Race Day is a measurement tool.  It's meant to provide your clients with something a bit different so that they can see how they are progressing.  Caution them about knowing their limits.  During this profile you'll have several songs at the beginning to go over proper form and safety.  Just like a normal race try something a bit different, start from a dead stop.  Allow the music for Starters Horn to give you the count down, and everyone takes off at the same time.  The starting line should be performed like a series of sprints or even a Tabata without the huge swings for the resting cycles.  Once the race starts you should be >80MHR and >80RPM the entire race until you cross the finish line.

Free Download
What's a race with out a starters gun / whistle / or horn?  It's just a bunch of people waiting around to start sweating asking, "When do I go?"
Here's your Starters Horn Download

Sunday, June 16, 2013

On the verge (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

Usually when fitness professionals talk about exercise and effort they talk about giving 100%.
Do it.
Don't give up.
Push harder!

What we're really talking about is not effort or Muscle Power, but instead Will Power.  And yeah you should absolutely give it all when talking about will power.  But for a Strength ride (SEZ) we want to stop at 85% of your MHR (Maximum Heart Rate).

I had the "opportunity" to attend Keiser bike training this week.  And "No!", I am not switching to the dark side, but I did go into the training with a open mind to see what I could learn here. Sometimes you learn something new to integrate into your own style, and sometimes you learn what complete and total rubbish is being promoted.  I was pleasantly surprised that the Kieser trainer was very good and I came away from the experience with an overall positive impression. My reason for attending is that the studio I coach at was recently purchased by LA Fitness International which is closely aligned with Keiser.

The Keiser methods are more "technical" in that they put so much coaching emphasis into using the computer on the bike that the participant actually becomes fixated on the numbers.  What it reminded me of was Rocky IV when one boxer is training to the machine and the other is using his passion to drive him through his training.  I heard a lot of references about how things related to a real bike and real cycling, but never during the coaching rides was there any visualization references.  We seemed focus on drills and wattage versus things like, "you're fighting against the wind", or "you're running a 3 person pace line and the wind is pushing back against you as your pull to the front."  So I'm thinking that is something missing from the "program".  My guess is this is the very part that  Gene Nacey's group, Cycling Fusion has brought together.  The technical with the real-world visualization and coaching.  Some day I'll get over to attend one of Gene's classes.

Having said all that, there are still a lot of clubs and studio's without the watt meters, be it the Keiser bikes or the all new Spinner Blade Ion.  What I think is the most critical component is you, the coach, to motivate and educate, regardless of what equipment you have.  You need to be able to coach using the tools available; if you have power available coach with it, but remember that it's a person your coaching not a machine so that connection is very important.

Strength Ride = 75 to 85% MHR
Download STRENGTH # 34