Last month I started this “Keep it Simple and Progress” profile post. In my classes this has been a huge success! Many riders have excitedly shared with me their wattage and/or resistance improvements. It's so rewarding to see and hear how we, as instructors, are changing lives through health and fitness everyday.
I've been using this 3 week progressive training technique, with great success, for many years as a coach, personal trainer, athlete and group exercise instructor. When I'm in a coaching situation I'll have my athletes work through a 3 week progression then take a week for recovery so they can “unload” all the accumulated training stress. In a group exercise setting, where you don't know the exercise consistency of your participants, a recovery week my be frowned upon. To incorporate this sound and proven training techniques in my indoor cycling world I'll set up progressive profiles for 3 weeks and on the 4th week I'll do something completely different. This 4th week is where I'll experiment with new music or video or use an old profile, maybe I'll even have my class cover their consoles and we go “Old School” and ride by perceived exertion only. I tell the riders that have been very consistent with their training the previous 3 weeks that it is time to take it easier and let the body recover and rebound from the straining stress of the previous 3 weeks. This is the time for them to enjoy their fitness level and have fun in class and not to worry about their metrics because we are going to get back to serious training very soon.
In order to provide the members of ICI/Pro with my class recordings, I'm always teaching one week ahead of these posts. This allows me time to experiment and perfect the profiles before I provide them to you. It also lets me hear the feedback and reaction of my class. I'm still amazed at the adaptive ability of the body. In week 1 of most progressions I usually hear how difficult the workout was. This makes sense because the body has not experienced these exact training stresses before. Then in week 2 after the body has had some time to adapt to week 1 the workout is not such a “shock” to the body, but I make some subtile changes to the workout so that the body still needs to adapt as we progress to week 3. Week 3 is, by far, the most difficult of the progression, but since we have taken “baby steps” from week to week this workout is doable. Progression is the only scientifically proven method to safely and effectively improve fitness. There has been a lot of talk in the media about “Muscle Confusion”. To be frank, “Muscle Confusion” is BULLSHIT and I challenge you to find one scientific study the proves it effectiveness. I'm working on another post on “The Myth of Muscle Confusion”, I'll let you all know when it's completed.
As many of you know I am a Master Educator for Stages Indoor Cycling and at our Stages University workshops one of our topics is the creation of “Simple Sets”. Next week I'm going to discuss using the technique of “Lather, Rinse and Repeat” on a micro and macro scale to help make you an even better instructor.
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