Monday, January 12

Spinning class(es): Endurance climbing

The simplest profiles usually make for the best rides, especially when the music is chosen and mixed well, but it takes a lot of work from the instructor to make sure riders don't lose focus and let their effort levels drop. The two rides below are based on a very simple profile: warm-up, lots of climbing, cool-down. No jumps, no sprints, no surges, no distractions - just climbing at a steady tempo, seated or standing.

Sounds hard but bear with me - if you set out on a 5-min climb, how much intensity could you handle? If I ask you to go for 50 mins, would you go at the same intensity? I hope not or you're the guy who sprints ahead of the field at the start of a climb race, only to be overtaken after the first switchback... never to be seen again!

So why a constant climb at the same tempo? By controlling our effort, there are two benefits:

(1) in the green zone (65-75% MHR) you'll be training your muscles, joints and connecting tissue, getting them used to that constant effort under a specific load (resistance). It's much like finding a comfortable weight and lifting it 100 times - it improves muscle endurance. This is the base upon which we can work further, as it will help prevent injuries due to excessive loads.

(2) in the yellow zone (75-85% MHR) you'll also be pushing your muscles to a higher limit of endurance, so much so that you're challenging your body to respond. It will do so by becoming stronger and better able to handle such efforts. One of two effects will then take place - either you can handle a greater load at the same HR or you'll have a lower HR while pushing the same load.

In either zone, this is the type of training that cyclists will spend most of their time doing - building a winter base as a launching pad, then improving their strength and ability to ride along at 40kph with minimal effort (I wish!).

As an instructor, you'll have to find your own motivational speaking notes - it's not easy to let 50mins pass without any instruction as to movement, changes in tempo, etc. but it is very beneficial and your riders will thank you for it. I'm sure some will say could do without me talking too! To help break up the time, I've put together the following profiles and used the Sunlounger Continuous Dance Mixes:

Profile 1 - Sunny Tales

Warm-up: 4 mins

Then alternating seated/standing climb, timing as follows:
45-min class: change every 5, 4, 3, 3, 2, and 1 min
60-min class: change every 6, 5, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1 min

Cool-down: 6 mins

Profile 2 - Another Day on the Terrace

Warm-up: 3.5 mins

Seated - 1 min
Standing - 1 min
Seated - 2 min
Standing - 2 min
Seated - 3 min
Standing - 3 min
Optional adding of resistance
Three loops for a 45-min class, four for an hour's

Cool-down - 6 mins


No mix from me this week - you can find the Sunlounger albums on iTunes, where they also include a bonus mix of the Chill and Dance CDs of both albums.

I hope it all makes sense - it's easier to ride than to write! Feel free to ask any questions, if you want clarification.


Shannon said...

Looks like a pretty great ride, consider it stolen. :)

KalaSpins said...

I agree. I think that simple rides make for the best workouts. Sometimes it is hard to get that across to certain students, though ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kala,

Thanks for blogging. I've been an avid cyclist for many years and 1 1/2 yrs ago, I finally decided to teach spin. I prefer, simple but challenging rides. Some members believe if their not huffing and puffing on their way out the door, they didn't get a workout. I love teaching and looking forward to getting more classes.

When the members in front of you are ALL on the same page as you, that makes it worth while. :-)