Instructors should understand the very real risks of high resistance/low cadence pedaling, and know when to provide options for their riders. This article covers the physiological reasons behind why very low cadence is not beneficial either indoors or for cyclists outdoors. I also present ways to address a rider who is resistant to taking your advice and continues to pedal too slowly in a big gear.
I’ve had numerous questions over the years about what to do when riders put on too much resistance that slows their cadence down too much. This is a very important issue because heavy resistance has a high risk of injury. Students may do it with the misguided belief it will “strengthen” the legs (like leg presses). It also usually has a high ego component to it. How do you tell them to pedal faster? . . .
In part 3 of our series on developing a faster cadence, we covered four foundational considerations that should be addressed before attempting to pedal more quickly. In this chapter, we provide numerous specific drills to improve cadence and give you seven different profiles and one virtual workshop that have cadence improvement as an objective.
In part 1 of this cadence series, we discussed why cadence matters so much in indoor cycling classes. In this chapter, you’ll see how form and technique—and ultimately pedal stroke—are at the foundation of being able to pedal more quickly. We give you four considerations to keep in mind when training higher cadence.
Developing a faster cadence requires purposeful, focused training and should be an essential part of your indoor cycling class objectives. But pedaling quickly is not as easy as it sounds. This series will guide you through the reasons why cadence matters and the physiology of cadence, as well as provide you with technique tips, ample drills, cueing, and even full profiles on how to teach your riders about cadence.
I have provided two versions for coaching this high-intensity interval profile. One is with power (watts) and the other is with perceived exertion, for when you don’t have power meters. It’s perfect for those new to teaching with watts. It’s a very challenging profile and not for the faint-hearted. For that reason, I also include a fair amount of cueing suggestions on how to give permission for riders to back off or sit one (or two or three) of the intervals out.
In part 4 of this series I gave you critical information about how to cue resistance so that students find the amount of load or gear they need to meet the goals you set for that segment of your profile. In part 5, we manipulate the variables of that vital equation. I also give you 7 drills that you can use to create your own awareness exercises, solidifying the concept in your riders’ minds.
In parts 1 and 2, I discussed two approaches to avoid when cueing resistance. In this and the following article, I provide tips on how to teach the concept of resistance and inspire your riders to add enough so that they achieve the adaptations your profile is targeting. This article describes the warm-up and provides cues for establishing that first touch of the resistance knob or gear level so riders can prepare the body at the proper intensity.