Hi Friends! Did you get a sweat session in yet this year? Those of you who’ve known me for awhile know that indoor cycling is the way to my cardio heart. I sometimes take up running (like I’ll love it for 6 months and then not love it for 2 years, rinse + repeat), but I really don’t like any gym cardio machines unless I’m on a spin bike! I just get so dang bored, otherwise. Am I alone here? Please tell me ya feel me!
Indoor cycling was one of the first group fitness classes I ever took and I’m lucky to have had several wonderful instructors show me what a great class is made of. When I first started teaching, I thought if my music was great and the workout was super hard the entire time, people would love the class. And while that’s still mostly true, I don’t feel the need to ask everybody to add 3 full turns because I realize that each bike is different, all our legs are different and some days we’ll just feel differently.
I have a point with all this. Stay with me. 😉
I took a spin class a few weeks ago and I looooooved the energy the instructor had, but I could not get down with her recommendations for sprinting. Or climbing. People were pedaling 130+ RPMs easily and I just thought, “Oh my god! They’re going to blow out their knees! Please stop telling them to sprint without any resistance!” The same was true when she had us climbing. Students were prob pedaling around 30-40 RPMs and that is not a sweet spot we want to be in. (The sweet spots differ depending on which indoor cycling company you ask, but stay between 50-110 RPMs. A more ideal range is 60-100 RPMs.)
So, I guess my point is, stay safe on the spin bike! Add some tension but don’t add so much that you can’t do a smooth pedal stroke! Try to keep your RPMs above 50 at all times, and preferably above 60. I promise if you load enough tension on and try to stay at 60 RPMs, you’ll get a nice burn in the quads! Equally important, please add some freakin’ resistance before you sprint! You will not receive a training effect from sprinting without tension on the bike. Challenge yourself to add enough tension that maintaining 95 RPMs during a sprint is dang hard! And, try to keep it at 110, max, when you do sprint.
Without anymore lecture, here’s the first playlist of the New Year! And let me tell ya, it’s killer! I’ve tested it out 3 times already and my legs were absolutely jello. It’s for my seasoned spinners, as there is a lot of anaerobic activity going on. BUT, if you’re just beginning, take it easy and rest as needed. Or just do half the class. 😉
Here are the drills:
Just like last month’s playlist, I broke this workout into stages.
- Warmup: Songs 1 and 2
- Stage 1: sprint songs 3 and 4 on the chorus, climb song 5, recover + standing drills song 6
- Stage 2: sprint songs 7 and 8 on the chorus, climb song 9, recover + standing drills song 10
- Stage 3: sprint songs 11 (random sprints – go when the music gets fastest) and 12 (sprint the chorus), climb songs 13 and 14 (do not release the resistance in-between)
- Cool down + Stretch: songs 16 and 17
- The sprints should be intense. You should be completely out of breath after the sprint segment of the stage.
- The climbs are short and quick. Make them heavy and hard quickly.
- The recovery/standing drill song can be whatever you need it to be. Take 30, 60 or even 90 seconds to catch your breath, and then listen to the music and let it guide you.
- Each stage’s effort level looks like this, on a scale of 1-4 (easy, moderate, hard, very hard): —> very hard (4), very hard (4), hard (3), moderate (2) So, after you complete one stage, your heart rate should be recovered from very hard to moderate and as such, you should be ready to rock ‘n roll those sprints again!