This question from a prospective ICI/PRO member got me thinking today, while out on my early AM training ride...
I'm interested in signing up for your programs, but I have a few questions about the information that is received. When you receive the classes, are there instructions included with how to teach each song; meaning what to do when?
I answered her saying that the majority of our Audio Class Profiles are Intensity based - segments of time at a specific level of effort defined by RPE, HR Zone or Power/Watts.
After I hit send I started to reconsider my response - are our profiles mainly intensity based? So I took a one of our most popular profiles (Welcome to the Jungle from Krista Leopold) with a specific focus on how much movement/position/cadence change she had included.
It turns out not much... here's what I found in the PDF download.
Krista's introduction is all about intensity:
Welcome to the Jungle is a high-intensity class. For the student, the prescribed intensity gradually increases from below threshold to maximum effort, which is advisable only for students with previous experience and solid fitness levels. Just as in any class, new and deconditioned students will be coached to ride only where they feel comfortable. This ride is best taught to a group that you already know, and is not a ride to use on a day when you are subbing or just starting out in a new setting. Ideally, you would have announced it in advance so that they are prepared and rested for it. Instead of using heart rate numbers for this ride, we will rely on good ‘ole RPE. You and your students will benefit from having 1-10 scale RPE chart displayed. We will work through four rounds of intervals separated by a complete recovery. Each round will increase in intensity and the recovery time will decrease.
Page two includes this:
For all of the work efforts I recommend the Spinning® movement called “Running with Resistance,” but any movement can be substituted. Running with Resistance is particularly effective because it is a move that is specifically done for short periods. It allows you push a higher resistance at a higher intensity in a way that is different from a sprint. Done correctly, you can easily push your heart into the high end anaerobic zones.
In the description for song #2
Toward the end of the warm-up, we will accelerate as we leave the saddle, almost like jumping,
to finish raising our exertion to right around 6 on the RPE scale.
Then there are a few random suggestions:
It’ll be a fun, high-cadence climb that will be as easy or
as hard as they want it to be.
For this final effort you are mostly cheering them on, reminding them that their cheering squad is
cheering them on, and giving them their starts and stops. Be very clear with every start and stop (of the Tabata intervals) because you don’t want them to miss it. I find that a “3-2-1-Stop” countdown at the end of every
segment helps them by giving them a regular pattern to follow.
Krista's Welcome to the Jungle Quick PROfile only includes one reference to movement
Created by: Krista Leopold, aka GroupFitPower
Training Type: High-Intensity Intervals Working HR Zones: Zones 4-5c
Total Class Length: 60 minutes
Warm-up: 12 minutes Start with a long warm-up to help settle them in. After 8-9 minutes, bring them out of the saddle to get them energized.
1:3 Intervals Round: 11 minutes 30 seconds “Hard” (RPE 7) + 90 seconds “Moderate” repeated 4 times, followed by complete recovery of 2 minutes.
1:2 Intervals Round: 9 minutes 30 seconds “Very Hard” (RPE 8) + 60 seconds “Moderate” repeated 4 times, followed by a complete recovery of 3 minutes.
1:1 Intervals Round: 10 minutes 30 seconds “Very, Very Hard” (RPE 9) + 30 seconds “Moderate” repeated 4 times, followed by a complete recovery of 6 minutes.
2:1 Tabata Intervals: 4 minutes 20 seconds “All-Out Maximum” (RPE 10) + 10 seconds “Moderate” repeated 8 times.
Cool Down and Recovery
After reviewing a few more it appears that I was right, our profiles are primarily intensity (not movement) based. But is that a good thing?
Wasn't the original Johnny G programming nearly all movement based? Jim Karanas made some interesting points about movement based classes in his Non-Authentic Indoor Cycling post.
It won’t last. Silly trend. Dance parties on bikes with music videos can’t last. You can’t even call it training. It’s just physical movement, not sure it’s even considered exercise. It’s totally without direction.
And yet SoulCycle is packing them in and as near as I can tell they're using a whole lot of movement in their classes.
Jim ends his post with this:
If non-authentic IC is going to make a mark, why not embrace it for what it is — a way to train on the bike that makes (some) people fit and happy? Assuming it’s validated as safe and effective (ICG has already contacted the American Council on Exercise and proposed a study), then shouldn’t every indoor cycling education body offer a program on how to teach non-authentic indoor cycling? Why shouldn’t any and every indoor cycling program be taught by those who are truly qualified to teach indoor cycling? That would be the likes of us. We know indoor cycling best. We could create a program — inauthentic fluff, if you will — that’s still authentic in its safety, structure and cardiovascular benefit. Why not?
Could the solution, that many of us are looking for, be as simple as just sprinkling some fun movement into a solid profile that's intensity based?
Originally posted 2013-07-17 12:22:34.
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All good stuff John.
The reason many of us (not me) are searching for a ‘solution’ is because they started to think that indoor cycling was broken.
Here in an excerpt from a post I wrote for ICI that ended up on the editing room floor. It goes to this very issue:
…market was dominated by – for lack of a better term – the culture of indoor cycling. Meaning, most in the industry didn’t think indoor cycling was broken. That has not changed much. While IDC 2.0 sees changing that culture as important, many more do not.
I see the paradigm – that indoor cycling needed fixing – as IDC 2.0‘s largest blind spot.
Keep in mind that ‘the market’ really meant Big Boxes within which – by the time IDC 2.0 arrived – the culture of indoor cycling was firmly established. That culture was called spinning and IDC 2.0 smashed head on into it.
Hardly dented by IDC 2.0, the traditional Indoor cycling culture (spinning) is an experience of sweating and emotion that has a unique reputation in the modern fitness world. Riders are cult like in their zealous commitment to this activity. The rider/instructor connection becomes a sacred bond. Few of them are outdoor riders. When a spinner emerges from spin class they proudly wear that, ‘few dare to go, where I just came from’ look. All generated by loud music, screaming instructors and a passion for the rush of high intensity work.
The culture of indoor cycling is driven by instructors and it seems instructors aren’t ready to change. Do I think instructors are part of the problem. Yes, I think so. It’s not a matter of malice but rather survival within the world we teach.
Riders follow instructors but far more to the point, instructors want to please riders. What we have today is essentially an outgrowth of that simple truth.
So yes I see sprinkling some fun movement into a solid profile as a solution to a problem that never was.
I don’t think it is (or needs to be) an “either/or” proposition. I typically cue based on both intensity AND movement/position. For example, a “flat road” effort is typically higher cadence, but resistance is varied for a moderate flat road or recovery vs a fast flat. Same for climbs (seated or standing) – typically slower legs, but varying resistance for moderate vs “steeper” or higher intensity climbs. I’ll occasionally throw in a shorter, higher intensity “rider’s choice” segment that is cued based on intensity, but the rider decides how to tackle the effort, but other than that, I would say most of my cuing includes guidance on both movement/position AND intensity.
I am unhappy to write this. But, on Friday, I took a class from a new indoor cycling studio that opened 8 months ago in Sacramento. I invited a VP of Marketing of a Fortune 500 company with me for her first time riding indoors. The instructor started off with turning off all of the lights, increasing the decibels you can’t hear her cues – I need say no more it’s so. Then she started the upper body “moves” and hand position changes, same moves all the while at 100+ rpms standing. I couldn’t stand it – but I suffered and made it through the 45 minutes.
I know that there is no science that suggests “newby-barely fit) into the red zone or second threshold. And after class, when I suggested the intro include modifications and teaching for the new riders (they call them students). When she started the swaying and push ups that continued for 80% of the class – I just couldn’t do it – so I just rode with my Blink heart rate monitor flashing red ( T2 or second threshold).
As an avid Cycling Fusionist that the creator of the only-intensity based patented training system in the world – I know (not I believe) that any version, authentic or non-authentic, starts with first and foremost, carrying about the cardiovascular system – first and foremost.
I will of course, never return to the new cycling studio in town, but I urge you to reserve a ride and see what your competition in your area is doing so you can meaningfully discuss your cycling methodology – which hopefully – is Heart Zones Cycling.