ICI/PRO contributor Dr. Haley Perlus lives in the town where Jennifer teaches Spinning® Indoor Cycling at a studio. She recently went to two of Jennifer's indoor cycling classes. The first one was a high intensity training interval class, and the next was a threshold field test the following week. Here are her reviews of Jennifer's two Spinning Indoor Cycling classes.

April 19, 2010 (review of class on Friday April 16)
Let me be clear, early morning cycle classes are not my style! Unless I”™m teaching (which means I”™m getting paid) to get to the club for a 6am class, I”™m simply not interested. That said, I did drag my behind out of bed Friday to participate in Jennifer”™s cycle class. Not only did I make the three minute drive to the club, I also brought my entourage including my boyfriend, Brad, and my father, Jon. Jennifer”™s husband, Jeff, was also there so it turned out to be a cycle party! It took all of one minute for Brad and Jeff to start chatting, but as I instruct fitness professionals to do, Jennifer got off her bike, stood between our men, and explained the class objectives. Brad and Jeff got the hint loud and clear, but not before they jokingly blamed the other for starting the chatter. Jennifer walked back to her bike, smiled and said, “don”™t make me have to separate you boys for misbehaving!”

Jennifer”™s wit is one of many strengths she has an indoor cycle instructor. She also knows the wants and needs of her participants. Friday was an interval class and Jennifer explained its components so that everyone could understand what was expected of them and modify the intensity to fit their weekend plans. We live in a ski resort town and it was a good possibility that class participants would want to ski on the weekend (it was closing weekend for the resort). Taking this into account, Jennifer suggested that those planning on skiing reduce the intensity and those not skiing challenge themselves to the best of their ability. This instruction was particularly important for my father who arrived in Vail Wednesday with the intention of skiing four days in a row. I”™m pretty sure he appreciated Jennifer”™s ‘heads up”™.

I also want to share with you a few other things about Jennifer”™s indoor cycle class. It was a full class. Even though I”™m not a fan of early morning training, Jennifer has managed to inspire others to see the value in it. They get excellent training from an excellent trainer. She has a unique way of explaining principles to her participants. For example, instead of talking about the physiology behind high intensity training, she explained, “you shouldn”™t be able to drink water immediately after an interval. If you”™re pushing hard enough and try to drink right after, it would be like breathing in water.” Jennifer”™s teaching experience has taught her that participants need easy explanations and images they can quickly understand and use immediately. Her cycle enthusiasts have developed a tremendous appreciation for her. During the cool down, a lady in the back row yelled out, “can we do one more?” Once again, Jennifer used her wit and responded, “You can stay after school if you”™d like.”

So, have I changed my mind about early morning training? I”™m not sure. All I know is that I plan on making the three minutes drive again this Friday for Jennifer”™s cycle class!

April 23 (review of class on Friday April 23)
Growing up as a competitive Alpine ski racer, I”™ve had my fair share of fitness tests. 400-meter sprint, one-mile run, VO2max, the box jump, and numerous other assessments were the least enjoyable components of my sport training. As much as I hate to admit, I developed a fear of fitness testing. That changed today!

Jennifer guided us through a Lactate Threshold field test. It was the first time I enjoyed assessing my fitness level and I have Jennifer to thank. She was honest and direct in her instruction so I knew exactly what was expected of me. When testing for ski racing, my coaches never informed me of how I would feel, when I would experience fatigue, and when I would need to question my commitment and fight a little bit more. Jennifer communicated all of this to her participants at the beginning of the class and consistently reminded us of our commitment throughout the test.

It is evident that Jennifer takes great pride in her cycle class. She always shows up with a pre-selected playlist to compliment her profile. Today, she used energetic, but even tempo songs. They helped us maintain an even cadence, stay energized throughout the test, and focus on our bodies and work output. One song, in particular, provided us the image of a car race. The introduction included the sounds of race cars revving up and taking off. Jennifer effectively placed this song at the beginning of the test to help us ‘rev”™ ourselves up for the ride.

When the test was completed, Jennifer used the cool down to discuss how to use the knowledge we had obtained. She tailored her explanations to fit the needs and wants of her participants. This might be one of her greatest strengths as an instructor. She knows her attendees. She provides enough scientific knowledge for them to learn something new, but always uses concrete examples that specifically relate to them. Consequently, Jennifer”™s participants connect with her and keep coming back for more fitness and fun.

Thank you Dr. Haley for your reviews!



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