Note: Gino's articles are supposed to be for ICI/PRO members only. He feels very strongly about this subject and asked that I make it available for everyone. – John
As an Indoor Cycling / Spinning® instructor, you know how important good air flow is. Don’t you? What??? You LIKE your students to sweat buckets!?! It proves how “kick-ass” your class is? Uh… well… not so fast. If that were true, then just build a bunch of steam rooms and saunas and let people sit and sweat. Ah, but it’s not that simple is it? You know they don’t lose real weight that way. It’s just water. But really, it’s worse than that.
Let’s get something straight right off the bat… a cool room, with good airflow, does NOT diminish how hard your people work. Yes, they may indeed sweat less, but they will still sweat. How kick-ass your class is, will be a function of how you teach it, not if you need housekeeping to come in and mop up afterwards. In fact, here is a more radical notion than that – how about we measure how good your class is based on how much weight your students lose, or how much better they get on their bikes outside (for those who ride). Now, THAT makes a lot more sense. Let’s provide real value, not superficial, ego boosting, empty results.
Here is the basic principle in a nutshell. If you don’t have time to read anything else in this blog, or learn anything else about the thermodynamics of the human body, please try to understand this:
The human body does not dissipate heat very well on its own. We burn 4 to 5 calories to perform 1 calorie of work. What happens to the other calories? It turns the remaining calories into heat, which unfortunately must by eliminated for our bodies to function properly. To maintain our bodies at a constant temperature, the body will take blood away from the muscles and redirect it to the skin where it can be used for cooling by evaporating perspiration. The bottom line? If you don’t have some other way to keep your body cool, you can’t use your energy to perform work – the real way to get fit and lose weight. Instead, you’re wasting energy cooling (or at least trying to cool) your body.
Still think it’s not a big deal? Well, don’t take my word for it. The importance of cooling a cyclist who is not riding on the open road can not be overstated. Here is a link to a great article (which includes a video interview) of Dr. Lim from Garmin-Chipotle cycling team. He is their team physiologist: http://bit.ly/Cooling
- “When you do this [keep cool] you don’t have to use as much energy to cool yourself down so more of that blood can be used to actually deliver oxygen [to the muscles.]”
There is a substantial body of literature that will support Lim’s work with the Garmin’s cycling team, as well as my somewhat fanatical need to chastise every club owner or manager that refuses to spring for a few more fans. In fact, it seems that much of this literature is what we call “serious science”, done by formal studies at universities. As such though, I couldn’t get copies of their studies without paying for them. If your owners/managers doubt me, or Dr. Lim, they should pay for and download one or both of these articles to see for themselves:
Science Digest: http://bit.ly/DSmYz
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: http://bit.ly/3EeV97
If you’re willing to spend as little as $20 to change your indoor cycling room, click here to go to my Cycling Fusion blog where I have a call to action that your whole class can do to change management’s thinking.
Originally posted 2009-09-18 16:46:12.