Saturday, January 26, 2013

Welcome to Race Day! (Spinning Playlist & Profile)

Welcome Racers!

Coaching Spinning® at one of the "Big Box" gym's you have a massive variation in the health and fitness levels of your class participants.  This is one of the reasons I've always shied away from coaching the RDEZ profile.

I've only participated in one full RDEZ ride and all the participants were Spinning® instructors except one.  That one was a Group X instructor in several other formats and wanted to know what this "Race Day" was all about.

Another neat aspect about that particular ride was we had the opportunity to test drive the Polar Cardio GX System.  The Polar system allowed the entire class to display on the big screen our heart rates.  Being an instructor, I always have my heart rate monitor on anyway, but this provided several new caveats.  The coach leading our ride was able to monitor each participant and provide additional motivation/instruction.  It also showed how you were fairing compared to the other participants; competition can be a fantastic motivator.  Don't worry, only you have to know which heart rate was yours.

What I learned from participating in that RDEZ ride was how strenuous this format is, which is why I had never lead a class at my studio on it.  I really never want to need my CPR training, and therefore because of all the "newbie's" that come to my class had scared me away from it.

Fast Forward to Today

Having picked up a new class time slot (Friday evenings) I made an assumption that IF you're going to the gym on a Friday night instead of relaxing after a long work week, then you're probably dedicated to your fitness.  Training ~ versus ~ Working Out.
So I lead my Friday evening troop on a 6 week routine that started with 3 weeks of Endurance rides (if that doesn't scare you away then you're serious), and Strength rides, all to culminate in last nights Race Day Energy Zone ride.

Aside from two technical issues with my iPod(s) the class was Awesome! Participation was fantastic.  The energy in the room was electric, and as someone after class said to me, "I think I'm on an endorphin high."  The consensus was that they would like this format to continue on a monthly basis so that they can gauge their progress.

Download Race-Day # 1

The Race-Day consisted of a Warm up / Training section and then the actual Race.  Warm up is just like any other class; start out slowly bringing the heart rate up to 65%, getting the quads and calves warm.  I used the next 10 minutes of "training" to make sure the entire class was informed on how to conduct the ride safely (how to stop the bike, etc...).  Reality is everyone should know that by the time they participate in a RDEZ, but it never hurts to remind everyone.   I included parameters for the minimum (80RPM) and maximum (110RPM) cadence.  We did a couple of resistance building exercises and cadence drills using a metronome to make sure everyone had an idea of how much resistance they could push during the ride and still stay at the proper cadence.  And then finally, I made sure everyone understood how I simulated a pace line on a Spinner.

Pace line - Simulate the "drafting" experience that cyclists have closely following another rider.  Typically the lead person pulls along a fellow cyclist forming a wind break.  Team cyclists will share this burden by swapping positions so as to not exhaust any single rider.  On a Spinner, add additional resistance (wind) without slowing down.  Pull the other cyclist for 20-30 seconds and then swap by lowering your resistance while the other cyclist is pulling you.  Cadence should be constant.
The very beginning of the race is done with a sprint to experience the surge that all the racers would have at the sound of the starter's pistol.  After breaking away into the lead group, the first segment is a flat leading to the first of 3 hills and the rest of the race.

~ Spin hard!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Keep in Touch...Tech Review

There used to be a day when you would pick up an actual phone, connected with wires, and you would push buttons to call an individual and to keep them up to date.  AT&T Bell Systems ran that catchy jingle to "Reach out and touch someone."

Today, IF you use a phone there are no wires and you hardly have to push any buttons with voice dialing.  The youth today, and most adults TEXT.  We have email, Facebook, Pintrest, Twitter, Blogs, etc...

So this post is for those that are running their own studio's or have groups of fitness enthusiasts you want to keep in touch with.  I have found two really easy to use and inexpensive (like totally free) solutions to help with communications.

Send hub is a Subscription based Texting solution that can be totally free as long as you have less than 100 people you want to keep in touch with and you send fewer than 300 messages / month.  (If you had a 100 people that would me 3 messages per month if you sent the message to everyone).

People sign up by sending a "keyword" that you pick to a text number that Sendhub provides for free.  After Sendhub receives that keyword they are immediately subscribed.  Each Group Text that you then send (either via their website or even from your phone) also includes the instructions on how to unsubscribe, keeping you compliant with FCC anti-spam regulations, and you don't have to establish TEXT groups on your phone.  This also works even if your phone is lost or off, and you don't have to worry about everyone getting everyone else's phone numbers, and such, or sending a broadcast blast back to everyone.

Check out

Google Groups is just an additional, totally free feature as part of Google Gmail.  Participants don't have to have a Gmail account, only the person that wants to setup the group.  

With Google Groups, you establish a group name and then send out (or provide however you like) the Group Name.  People can then subscribe by simply sending a blank email to the group email address.  They'll immediately get an email asking them to confirm that they wanted to join.  

From that point forward anyone in the group can (if setup properly) send out an email to the entire group.  This eliminates the need to manage a large database of emails, who wants to receive what, delete this person, etc...

Even more important to me is that means my email address isn't being broadcast to the entire group, to be spammed or phished later because someone had my email address and was visiting some illicit website or such.

And example might be to have a group called "SpinningFreak"  to subscribe to this group you would send an email to:

With each email you receive you always get the option of opting out by unsubscribing.  Presto!  You can market to your clients and you don't have to worry about managing the email lists.

Check this out by searching on GOOGLE GROUPS

Okay, what does this have to do with Spinning.  ABSOLUTELY  NOTHING!  
But I have a lot of people that follow my blog that run their own studio and would like to mail out the instructor schedule, or maybe special events announcements to their clients.  These are both tools that I've used to keep in touch with my peeps, because let's face it not everyone is on Facebook.

~ Spinning Freak


Monday, January 21, 2013


If you've been following my blog and not my Facebook you might have wondered,
What the Freak is Wrong?   
Where's  SpinningFreak's Blog?
Okay, I'm sure it was much more dramatic and alarming to me than to any of you, but long story short, Don't let your domain expire, don't even let it get close.  But baby, I'm back and that's my small Victory today!

So I thought I'd take this brief service interruption as a chance to overhaul what the Blog site looks like. Like the new look?  Yeah, I don't know either, but I'm gonna give it a chance to grow on me.

So what's on the docket this week?
For me I have 3 scheduled rides planned, Interval today, Strength on Thursday, and a Race Day on Friday.  Yes, it will be my first ever RDEZ because my studio has shied away from them.  But hey, in the absence of adult supervision, I'm gonna get me freak on. But more about that later this week.

Today it's Interval training, so I can coast (Endurance and Strength) the rest of the week, getting ready for Race Day.

Download Interval 55

Download your iTunes music right here


Sunday, January 13, 2013


Today's profile is a Strength Energy Zone ride (SEZ).  Just as a reminder that the goal for a SEZ ride is to maintain a heart rate of 75-85% of your theoretical MHR.  If you haven't committed to getting a heart rate monitor, why?  Have you bought the new spandex shorts, new shoes, one of those high-tech aluminum water bottle?

If you're an instructor, are you teaching with an emphasis on safety and compliance to the heart rate zones?  If you're not using heart rate zones, why?  If I had to guess it's because your members don't have them.  They haven't committed the $75+ dollars to a heart rate monitor because they haven't seen a need or a benefit to.  So this is a case of the chicken and the egg - Put a stop to it and start coaching instead of just being a DJ on a bike with 1 wheel.

And heaven forbid if you, as the professional doesn't have one.  How do you know if you're using the right intensity if you don't have the tools to tell you?

Download STRENGTH #29

I Gotta Feeling - The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies) I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas
  • Day of the Battle - Jonas Myrin
Lessons in Love (All Day, All Night) [feat. Kaskade] - Picture Show Lessons in Love - Neon Trees
  • Rock The House - Afrojack

Bangarang (feat. Sirah) - Bangarang Bangarang - Skrillex
Some Nights - Some Nights Some Nights - Fun.
Baba O'Riley - The Who: Greatest Hits Baba O'riley - The Who
Hard Day - Faith (Deluxe Version) [Remastered] Hard Day - George Michael
Dance4life (Now Dance) [Radio Edit] [feat. Esmée Denters] - Dance4life (Now Dance) [Radio Edit] [feat. Esmée Denters] - Single Dance4Life - Erik Arbores
Sexy and I Know It - Sorry for Party Rocking (Deluxe Version) Sexy and I Know It - LMFAO
Down In It - Pretty Hate Machine (2010 Remaster) Down In It - Nine Inch Nails
Hit And Run - Hell Is What You Make It: Reloaded Hit and Run - Breath Carolina
On Fire - Artcore On Fire - Astrix
Runaway Baby - Doo-Wops & Hooligans Runaway Baby - Bruno Mars