I had cooked up something special to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. My “plan” (which I kept a secret until yesterday morning) was to drive Amy to a rural town in Southern Minnesota where there’s a company who offers Tandem Skydiving That’s right, I had planned for both Amy and myself to jump out of an airplane at 10,000 ft as a way to punctuate the start of our next 25 years together.
Unfortunately the clouds didn’t cooperate and we have rescheduled this little adventure for next Sunday.
“Are you sure Amy’s going to be OK doing that?” was the response I got from a few of the people I had confided in about my plans. Actually I was pretty sure she’d go along with the jump – Amy had mentioned to me last summer that she thought skydiving would be exciting and she’s always talking about how much fun she had zip-lining in Mexico. To their credit, both kids felt Mom wouldn’t be afraid to follow me out of a perfectly good airplane, so yes I was feeling pretty confident yesterday morning as we drove out of our neighborhood… up until the time I disclosed our destination.
I watched her face carefully for some indication of what she was thinking (she wasn’t taking, just staring ahead with her lower jaw slightly moving in and out) and it must of taken 5 seconds or more before her lips slowly began to form a smile – indicating I wouldn’t need to make a “U” turn back for home – and she sat up straight and asked how long it would be before we’d get there
Now I’ll admit, expecting Amy to go along all of this only worked because I know her so well. I’m not sure I would have sprung this on her 27 years ago as my “plan” for one of our first dates… but what if I had?
What would I have had to do, to sell her on an activity many would consider completely crazy and all of us would feel is scary?
I’d need to sell her on the benefits of Skydiving!
There are a lot of benefits Amy (or me or you for that matter) could experience by jumping out an airplane and parachuting safely back to earth; cross it off her bucket list, over come a fear of heights, demonstrate to your date you’re not afraid of a new challenge, impress friends & family members, etc…
Training with Power can be scary.
While not as scary as skydiving, I have been cooking up an exciting experience for my Thursday night classes starting in November. FTP assessments to help everyone learn their numbers and power training zones, as they come in from outdoors. Obviously I don’t want to just spring this on them and I’m concerned that the 20 minute all-out-effort needed for an accurate FTP assessment, is potentially frightening to students. Not all, but there is a number of participants who continuously struggle through a 5 minute effort. They’d freak if I surprised them with an all out, 20 minute effort at threshold.
I’ll need to be clever and and start the selling process early = starting this Thursday night. But what will I say?
Well that part’s easy. I just printed out a couple of past articles we’ve published here.
This post by Gene Nacey seems very timely – follow the link for the full article.
1. Power Training will increase muscular strength.
With no gear indicators on most indoor bikes, you do not have assurance that you are stressing your leg muscles. I often call my strength classes “leg day in the gym”, this time though, we are using an indoor bike instead of leg machines. Would you go to your leg press machine and close your eyes and pick a weight stack? Would you ask someone to hand you a long bar with “surprise” weights for squats? Sounds silly, but with no gear or consistent resistance indicator, and the variability from one bike to the next, that is basically what you are doing.
2. Power Training will improve the toning of your leg muscles.
If you want better looking legs – and what guy doesn’t – you want to tone those muscles, not bulk them up. Strengthening them while in motion will deliver those results, not leg presses and squats. That type of weight training will produce bulk; not the smooth, longer toning effect most of the ladies like (and men who watch the ladies, like).
3. Power Training will improve your cardiovascular fitness as a natural by-product of focused training at higher intensities.
We often speak of Power Training and Heart Rate Training as if they are completely separate. In many ways they are, but the body remains an integrated unit; an organic “machine” where the systems commingle and complement, not compete. Generally if you train one, you improve the other, just not as specifically or as dramatically.
4. Power Training will help prevent “plateaus” in fitness development or weight loss.
This probably should have been listed #1. But if I did that, you might not have read the rest of these reasons. Just because you sweat and get tired after a workout, does not mean you are getting fitter or losing weight. Is it a waste? No, I’m not saying that. However, your body is incredibly smart. It will not work harder than it needs to. It is possible to workout the same way, every day, and feel good while you are doing it, but the results end up in the realm of maintaining, not gaining. Without an indication of resistance, even though you think you are “turning it up”, in many instances you are not, especially since most bikes that are chain driven will vary in the resistance they apply with the same degree of turn. Without a progressive increase of resistance or “gearing”, your body will soon get accustomed to the resistance you apply, and once again, no adaptation will occur. No stress, no adaptation. No adaptation, no change.