Stay tuned for more VismoX instructional videos.
Originally posted 2016-06-14 18:16:24.
This weeks ride is from me, Joey! – “In all honesty, I was dreading putting together this weekâ€™s ride. My classes have been after me to put together a few theme rides, which I almost never do. This weeks ride is focused on music from the 1970s. I am in the endurance working phase of my micro-periodization for my classes, so I had the profile already put together in my mind. I used one of my favorite endurance profiles, where we start with a higher cadence in the 100s and then work our way down to the 60s adding tension the entire way. The wildest thing happened, I had an amazing time. Once I started listening to the music I kept on thinking: “Oh, I remember and love that one” and it just kept on happening. I ended up with over 140 songs on my short list to choose from. It really made putting this class together fun. I hope that you enjoy riding it as much as I have.” Joey
Short version of the ride PDF is available HERE.
Get all of the ride details HERE.
Get all of the ride details HERE.
Originally posted 2018-09-16 21:55:14.
Recovery is one of those interesting words that can be used to describe two completely opposite things. We're often discussing recovery as a well deserved period of rest, like some easy pedaling after after a hard effort or simply a fun day that follows a week of focused training.
But recovery can also be hard work 🙁
Like recovering from a near disaster from when your trusty Dell computer abruptly reaches the end of it's life. So instead of being really productive this weekend, I had the privilege of spending way too much time downloading 300 gig's of files, installing all the programs and drivers I use + uninstall all the BS programs (all very annoying) they stuff into a new computer and adjusting the myriad of computer settings that I've become
accustom to dependent on. I must have clicked Ã agree” thirty or more times, never once reading what I was agreeing to. I hope it wasn't anything important.
My plan to launch the the next Ultimate Instructor Class Profile Contest has been pushed off a week – until 9/22.
But don't let that stop you from getting started. The Grand Prize winner will be vacationing somewhere warm this winter… and they'll need a passport to get there.
Also we have been working on a redesign of this website that incorporates many of the ideas and requests many of you expressed in our recent survey.
Originally posted 2012-09-17 09:13:19.
In this previous post I encouraged you to change your email password. Many of you must have followed my suggestion as I'm getting far fewer emails from hacked accounts. I continue to get them, but not the normal; “I've hacked your account and now I'll send a SPAM email to everyone in your contact list – which alerts your email provider. No. Now the bastards are getting sneaky…
Many of us use the “Out of office” / “I'm on vacation” auto response feature… and so are the hackers. They're only sending SPAM emails from a hacked account, after someone first sends you an email.
We're emailing ~ 10,000 Instructors every week. It's not uncommon for me to receive a few dozen responses; “Sorry but I'm off this week…” But now those responses include a link that is 100% SPAM.
Asking pleading with you here: Go in and change your password now if you haven't. If you are alerted that your account is sending a SPAM auto response go in and check to see if your vacation response has been mysteriously turned 🙁
And yes, I'm seeing this as another “Best Practice” of a Professional Indoor Cycling Instructor.
Originally posted 2012-10-11 07:54:11.
This ride is from Joey!! – “This was a fun ride to create. This is one of my favorite types of classes. I love the increasing tension class because it builds endurance, builds strength, and teaches the riders how to manage their tension
Short version of the ride PDF is available HERE.
You can get all of the ride details as part of our new era of The Weekly Ride HERE. Each week our members get:
Get all of the ride details HERE.
Originally posted 2018-07-23 16:33:38.
The following post is Adapted from the June 20, 2019 article by Joe Hamilton on TrainingPeaks
As a previously coached athlete (and that is what we are as instructors) and a coach myself, the nebulous “listen to your body” mandate once perplexed me. What exactly does listening to your body mean? And does everybody listen to their body the same way? As I have trained and coached, I have gained perspective on how and when to listen to your body to help achieve your goals. As indoor cycling instructors, this can be very important as many of us teach upwards of five classes a week in addition to other workouts that we may do for our own health.
While it can be tempting to focus only on the physiological aspects: Training Stress Score (TSS), heart rate and intensity factor (IF), we need to look at one of the most important (yet overlooked) metrics: how you feel when you wake up in the morning.
For example, there are days when I wake up, measure my morning heart rate, and crawl to the shower. As I make my way out the door, I feel agitated and grouchy. At work, I find that climbing the two flights of stairs is difficult. If I look at my Performance Management Chart, it will usually confirm what Iâ€™m feeling: my Training Stress Balance (TSB) is negative and/or my ramp rate is high. All of these indicators will help confirm what my body and mind are already telling me: to adjust my workout or rest for the day. But, that can be extremely tough if you have two classes to lead this afternoon.
For this reason I encourage all of my athletes to record their morning metrics daily, including their morning heart rate, Heart Rate Variability (HRV), and general sense of wellbeing. With the Performance Management Chart, itâ€™s easier than ever to match an athleteâ€™s “morning indicators” with training stress balance (TSB) and ramp rates to help decide whether or not to adjust a workout.
Of course, many athletes, including myself, either misinterpret or ignore their morning indicators in fear they will lose fitness or not gain results. But I would rather my athletes be rested for a hard workout than to go into that workout fatigued, which will ultimately negate the effect of the training stimulus and response. Learning to be honest with yourself and your coach about how youâ€™re feeling will make you a happier and often stronger and faster athlete.
How to Track Morning Metrics
Each and every morning I have the athlete go into TrainingPeaks and input their morning metrics. I then compare this to their post-workout comments. Things I consider when reviewing morning metrics include resting heart rate variability, motivation to train, mood, sleep, appetite, and current stressors that the athlete faces during the day. I then compare the performance management chart in TrainingPeaks. If trends in the metrics charts show high stress and fatigue, TSB is negative, and post workout activity comments are negative, I then consider whether the next dayâ€™s workout is substituted for a rest day or adjusted to an easier workout. Here are some tips for logging your morning metrics:
Consider Physical Stress
These are the demands we place on our body through workouts, mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, going to the grocery store, hiking with the family, even taking the dogs on a walk or short ride.
On a bike itâ€™s easy to measure training stress through power and heart rate–but the stress we accumulate every day is less measurable. There are no TSS scores for mowing your lawn or repairing that deck–but that doesnâ€™t mean you can ignore the physical stress these activities place on your body.
Training for any sport does not happen in a vacuum. As an athlete and a coach, you have to be able to effectively manage your psychological stress with physical stress, because the two act in tandem.
Any athlete knows the psychological demand of completing high-intensity intervals after a very stressful workday, or even worse, a job loss, any other life set back.
Managing your training stress in relation to your existing physical and mental stress is the key to knowing how much you can handle before becoming overtrained or start logging counterproductive workouts. Remember, give yourself a break and understand that all stress plays into your capacity to train.
Managing Stress and Training
I have heard it said, and truly believe, that amateur athletes have the toughest jobs in the world. They donâ€™t have the luxury of centering their lives around their athletic careers, so they have to have the ability to juggle the demands of training with their lifestyle, kids, jobs, marriage, travel, and finances. The athlete who can manage all of that is a superhero in my mind–but theyâ€™re also often the most stressed.
The key to managing that stress is to strike a balance between work and recovery. When it comes to that balance, the body never lies. It is perhaps the best tool we have to tell us when we move from overreaching to overtraining. Ignoring these critical signals from our bodies (which I often have) can lead to illness, injury, or just total burnout.
Remember, training and competing in your sport are (most likely) not what you do for a living. You train because you love it, itâ€™s your passion, and you want to get better at something you love and that makes you a better and healthier person. So, listen to your body and mind and let it serve as just one tool of many tools available to help you effectively and efficiently train.
How to Keep Your Hands From Going Numb on the Bike
By Michael Nystrom
Adapted from: Active.com
You know the sensation: A bit into class you start feeling some tingling in your hands and up into your fingers. You shake them out, hoping to relieve the dull ache, but it doesnâ€™t seem to make a difference. What do you do?
Many cyclists, both indoor and out, from novice to pro, experience hand numbness from time to time. Compressed nerves in the shoulder, elbow or wrist can cause a tingling feeling that can take several hours to dissipate after your class is over. While the ideas below may not permanently prevent the problem, they can help alleviate or reduce numbness during class.
1) Take weight off of your arms: Whether youâ€™re aware of it or not, itâ€™s easy to fall into a habit of sitting in a more forward position. Next time, think about sitting back on the saddle and use your core instead of your arms to support your body.
2) Change your hand position: The standard bike has three distinct and positions: the drops, the hoods and the tops. Each has their own advantage in certain situations, but itâ€™s important to keep your hands moving between the three to keep blood flowing and take pressure off certain nerves. Donâ€™t spend too much time in one position.
3) Change your arm position: Locking out your elbows while riding is never a good idea. Ride with a slight bend in the elbow instead of riding with your arms stretched out straight. If this doesnâ€™t feel comfortable, it might be time to have your instructor give you a bike fit.
4) Relax: You donâ€™t need to white knuckle your handlebars when riding. Gripping the handlebars to tightly creates tension that can make your hands go numb. If this sounds like you, it is simple: relax and move your fingers. Not only will the numbness subside, but you enjoy your ride more.
5) Buy a pair of cycling gloves: Similar to double wrapping your bars on an outdoor bike, cycling specific gloves have built in padding that protects sensitive pressure points and nerve endings.
6) Get a bike fit: Whether your hands are numb or not, you should ask your instructor to give you a bike fit. They should use a plumb bob and goniometer, if not, you may not be getting a great fit.
7) Stretch: Cycling is a repetitive sport, so immobility and imbalance issues can sneak up on you before you know it. Working on your range of motion and flexibility on a regular basis and help alleviate numbness both on and off the bike. Try for arm stretches, rest rolls and shoulder rolls to strengthen and improve flexibility over time, before and after each class.
The information below is from my upcoming book Ride Inside which will be published by VeloPress and Available on shelves in late November 2019
When looking at the intensity of exercise, especially in the world of cycling, power is the ultimate metric. As we will explain later in Chapter 9, there are times where heart rate is a better metric to use, but overall all, cyclists must train using power to get better, faster and stronger. As we said above, the heart rateâ€™s biggest downside can be it greatest advantage. Conversely, powerâ€™s biggest advantage can be it largest downside. Power is an absolute number, unchanging due to external factors that affect your life (sleep, stress, diet, emotional stability and more).
While many view this as a plus, it can be all too easy to implode during a race or very hard ride because you are trying to maintain a power number that your body is physiologically not able to maintain that particular day, regardless of your training.
So, what is power? Power is simply how much work you are doing on the bike. Power is measured in watts. The definition of a watt, from https://www.merriam-webster.com, is “the absolute meter-kilogram-second unit of power equal to the work done at the rate of one joule per second or to the power produced by a current of one ampere across a potential difference of one volt : ¹/â‚‡â‚„â‚† horsepower.”
Most of the tools we have looked at in writing this guide can provide you with power numbers, or have the capability to do so: trainers, indoor bikes and outdoor bicycles. Before we look at how those devices generate that data, you need to understand that most power numbers are an estimated value. This is a large area of contention currently in the indoor cycling market: if the power number on the bike is calculated or measured, but please know that all power displays on indoor bikes, and the power meters on outdoor bikes, estimate the data based on measurements and algorithms. What this means to you, the rider, is that you should attempt to use the same equipment each time that you train so that your data is consistent. The more serious you are about measuring your gains the more important this becomes.
As mentioned above, power is the amount of work or energy that is being produced. The only true way to measure power is through the use of a dynamometer, or “dyno” for short. A dyno itself actually calculates the power data by simultaneously measuring torque and rotational speed (rpm). This is the type of measurement that most sports science labs utilize and this is the measurement that most bicycle power meters use to calibrate and rate their performance.
Most indoor bikes and outdoor bicycles use power meters that are constructed utilizing one or more strain gauges or load cells. In short, from https://www.merriam-webster.com, “a strain gauge is a device that consists of a fine wire firmly bonded to thin paper and that when attached to an object subjected to stress indicates minute changes in strain by corresponding changes in electrical resistance of the wire as it is likewise elongated.” To truly understand a strain gauge, we looked to Omega Engineering (https://www.omegaeng.cz/prodinfo/straingages.html):
A Strain gage (sometimes refered to as a Strain Gauge) is a sensor whose resistance varies with applied force; It converts force, pressure, tension, weight, etc., into a change in electrical resistance which can then be measured. Stress is defined as the object's internal resisting forces, and strain is defined as the displacement and deformation that occur.
For a more indepth explanaition we look to Omega Engineering (https://www.omegaeng.cz/prodinfo/straingages.html): Today, the typical power meter uses metal-foil strain gages. The metallic foil-type strain gage consists of a grid of wire filament (a resistor) bonded directly to the strained surface by a thin layer of epoxy resin. When a load is applied to the surface, the resulting change in surface length is communicated to the resistor and the corresponding strain is measured in terms of the electrical resistance of the foil wire, which varies linearly with strain. Interestingly, the most desirable strain gage materials are also sensitive to temperature variations and tend to change resistance as they age. So the power meters should be re-calibrated every so often to remain accurate, or at least as accurate as they were designed.
In order to measure strain with a bonded resistance strain gage, it must be connected to an electric circuit that is capable of measuring the minute changes in resistance corresponding to strain. Strain gage transducers usually employ four strain gage elements that are electrically connected to form a Wheatstone bridge circuit. The output voltage of the Wheatstone bridge is expressed in millivolts output per volt input.
Wow, that is a lot of technical knowledge. The most important take-away from all of this is that the power meters that you find on bicycles, both indoor and outdoor, calculate power. While you will use the power data to determine your training zones, and to perform your actual training, what is actually important about that data is the change in your numbers over the course of your training. What we mean by that is that if you begin your indoor training cycle with an FTP of 230w and end the cycle with an FTP of 260w you have gained strength, efficiency and endurance over the cycle provided that you have used the same power meter (or indoor bike) over that period and especially for starting and ending testing. While there are libraries of information on power meter and indoor bike accuracy, the delta in power from start to end is the bottom line. It is for this reason that we advocate the use of a bicycle equipped with a power meter, which can be paired with a Kinetic or Bkool trainer for E-Racing, for indoor training if you are serious about continuing your power when you return to outdoor riding in the spring.
We will take a look at the power applications in Chapter 6, but for now, letâ€™s look at the features that many power meters have. In general, power meters are a measurement tool. That tool then needs to send the data it calculates to some type of computer for storage and analysis. In most cases, that computer is in the form of a cycling computer, such as a Garmin Edge, Polar V650 or Wahoo Elemnt, or a sport (maybe multi-sport) watch such as the Garmin Forerunner, Polar Vantage or Suunto Spartan. All of these computer options have an amazing array of features and the ability to export or download the training data to other programs that can sort and analyze that data to give you unparalleled insight into your training and more importantly your strengths and weaknesses. This data can be paired with heart rate data for a complete view of your fitness level and progression.
Jesse Piersol is a frequent contributor to the Spinning News and also an Adjunct Professor at West Chester University. There she teaches Public Speaking as well as Business and Professional Speech Communications. We discuss an article she wrote for the June 2007 issue – Literally Speaking.
Jesse explains: “Iâ€™ve found that fundamental elements of literature, such as setting, character, plot, and point of view can turn an uninspired ride into a memorable one.”
Leave Jesse any questions you have in the Comments below.
Do you have noise problems / complaints from neighboring businesses? Have you changed class times or cancelled classes to keep the peace with another class in your club? This maybe a solution…
Message from Facebook this morning:
My name is Naomi and I have a summer internship at N2Shape My boss has recently given me a project to implement headset use in all spinning classes as there have been noise complaints in the studio we use. She wants to have it so in addition to the instructor having a headset, all people in the class have wireless earphones or headphones as well so that they can hear the music and the instructor. I have been looking online at a couple different websites such as Iqua Products, AV Now, Amazon, etc, to get ideas but it seems that most places only sell transmitters for the instructor headset. My boss told me you guys have a lot of information regarding spinning and I thought I'd contact you for help! Thank you so much in advance!
My response was easy:
Hi Naomi – thanks for your question. We actually did this back in the late 90's when we first added Spinning classes. What you need is a FM transmitter like this http://www.avnow.com/WES_
FM_Broadcast_System_p/wes-t- fm.htm and then have everyone tuned in with a FM radio receiver (old walkmans were FM) – your folks will need to dig into the back of their junk drawers.Is that enough to get you going?John
Back in the day (mid 1990's) when our club first introduced Spinning® classes, they employed this exact system. They had installed 24 Schwinn Johnny G Spinners (the original version) in a secluded corner of the fitness floor. A loud sound system with speakers was out of the question, so the Instructor's mic and music played through a FM transmitter. Everyone wore headphones connected to a Walkman tuned to the correct FM radio station.
Surprisingly it worked well. As long as you hadn't forgotten to turn off your Walkman the day before and were now scurrying around the club, looking for a pair of AAA batteries.
Talking between members was never a problem and there were no volume complaints with everyone having control of their own levels. The effect of having the Instructor's voice delivered directly into our heads was quite intimate as I remember. I'll never forget the classes lead by a particularly instructor (she's still an active Instructor and ICI/PRO member) who was very “breathy” in her class presentation 🙂
Working under the “everything new was once old” school of thought, could this be something you could offer in your studio? I'll bet if you asked, you'd find many of your members have an old Walkman shoved in the back of their junk drawer at home. Or you could buy a bunch to have for rental.
While it may seem redundant to say, most indoor bikes do not move. Please, stop and think about that for a moment. We are not talking about forward motion or distance, of course an indoor bike does not move forward. But what about the other motions that are involved in cycling.
When a rider is out of the saddle, most riders sway the bike from side to side a bit. Why does this happen? Generally, it is the mechanical reality of the situation due to applying extreme power to each pedal. Since the pedals are not on the centerline of the bike, applying a large force to the right pedal will, physically speaking, apply a rotational force that pushes the top of the bike to the right and the bottom of the bike to the left. Without this counterbalancing motion, the wheel would kick out to the side. By swaying the bike in the opposite direction, the amount of force that can be applied to the pedals is increased without crashing.
The second primary aspect of swaying the bike is that it allows the rider to engage their upper body (especially core and arms) into the movement which increases power.
Take a moment and watch some of the pros race, they only have about a 12 degree sway; less than most avid riders. This is due to their efficiency and power.
The last aspect of swaying the bike is that it allows the rider to more thoroughly align their biomechanics with the work that is being done. By tilting the bike, the rider is able to keep the leg that is driving down with a majority of the force in alignment lessoning the outward lateral stress on the joints.
With the exception of a few new bikes on the market, most indoor bikes do not provide movement side-to-side, and none of them replicate the true motion of an outdoor bicycle. Because of this limitation, instructors must emphasize relaxation when riding and allow gentle upper-body movement. Attempting to maintain a still upper body can place the spine and surrounding muscles at risk from the forces being generated by the legs.
I hope this helps, Joey
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