My view from the Free Motion saddle

What a difference a month makes... first they avoided the cycles with power - now they're nearly fighting over them.

I added a Saturday AM class at the Chanhassen, MN Life Time Fitness (LTF). The behavior of students I observed this morning was quite remarkable, compared to classes I attended earlier this summer. They're¬†actually¬†choosing the cycles with power now ūüôā

This club shares the parking lot with Life Time's corporate headquarters. It's frequently used as the "Test Club" when LTF is developing new programming or where new products are tested before being rolled out to the other 90 clubs.

Back in June LTF replaced 50 NXT's with 35 Schwinn AC Performance and 15 Free Motion S11.9 Indoor Cycles. Of the 35 Schwinns, only 15 have the power consoles. They have all the Power cycles in the two front rows, the remaining Schwinns fill the back of the room.

I've taught and taken classes in this room for close to ten years. The typical pattern is for the back rows to fill with riders first and have a smattering of others in or near the front. There are stadium type raised levels and the back tends to be a bit cooler due to the way the ventilation is designed.

But not this morning. I walked in about 10 minutes before class and there was already 12 students warming up in the front rows while they played with their computers. Amazing! When class started there were 38 of us and just one was in the back row.

I'd love to tell you that this migration to the front was in anticipation of my arrival, but they had no idea I was coming. Seeing all this interest in the power meters I asked if they would prefer I leave the lights up. "NO - we use the back lights" was their collective response. And they weren't kidding. I felt like I was performing at a rock concert, as I watched consoles randomly light up, like so many cell phones (or if you are old enough) lighters.

It was Threshold Interval day (we follow a predetermined periodization schedule) and it was with great joy that I could communicate Power based intensities, instead of just HR Training Zones or breathing ques. I used Doug Rusho's mini functional power assessment he describes in Audio PROfile #172 and they really seemed to get it - based on all lit-up displays I saw at the end of the 3 minute test.

In case you missed the "Hey Mikey" bit in the title. Here's where that comes from.


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