Jumps can be controversial. They are a big part of the curriculum of some indoor cycling programs; others avoid them or list them as contraindicated. What’s my take? I say “it depends!” Let’s look at three ways jumps should NOT be taught and four different ways to teach them in the most effective manner, from most to least cycling specific.
Are we’re missing out on an opportunity to build our indoor cycling classes because we’ve missed the mark on what boomers want? Are we giving them what they want and need when they come to our classes? We’ve identified insights that can help keep your baby boomers engaged, happy, fit, and most importantly, coming to your classes!
The questions in response to part 1 are fantastic. They highlight the importance of understanding concepts like aerobic capacity and the difficulty in training at that level. I hope you had the opportunity to try one of the workouts in part 1, preferably before you tortured your subjects. As I mentioned, providing the workout before the background knowledge often sets the stage for better learning. I’m assuming you were bombarded with multiple “whys.” Why is this so difficult? Why is this considered aerobic? Why is everything burning? Why can’t I sustain this? Why can’t I repeat this? Why did I listen to Tom, a known sadist?
Two words no one likes to hear regardless of the venue: sustain and pain. Despite the look on your face right now, this is the best definition of an aerobic capacity effort, also referred to as riding at VO2 max. This level of intensity is not for the faint of heart…er…I mean it is not for everyone. Actually both. I just finished watching stage 18 of the Tour de France, which consistently provides a spectacular display of aerobic capacity entertainment. How do they do ride for prolonged times at that intensity? Genetic freakery aside, there are numerous training elements that combine to produce this extreme level of performance.
This chapter analyzes the physiological response of the body to the process of repeated stress on the muscles, separated by periods of adaptation. Numerous benefits of this process are discussed, including an improvement in fat metabolism with structured training. This is quite vividly proven through actual test results (Gene’s and his daughter’s) following a periodized training program based on power.
Leave it to the fitness industry to aggressively destroy yet another sound athletic training concept. Hone in on certain indoor cycling circles and it can be an absolute free-for-all. It is not uncommon to see massive high-speed sprints (with little to no resistance), producing an eye-popping 20 watts (not a typo), upper-body gyrations that appear to be from a scene in the Exorcist, and now Tabata, Tabata, and more Tabata.
Indoor cycling endurance classes are a lose-lose situation. Low-intensity, steady-state classes are hated by your fitness enthusiast (or non-outdoor rider), and the fact that you attempt to deliver an endurance class to your outdoor riders within 60 minutes is just enough to tick them off. Instructors that try to force these mind-numbing, ineffective classes down riders’ throats will receive the same response as parents telling children to eat some nasty-tasting food because it is good for them. Some of you right now are possibly confused, stunned, angry, unfriending me from Facebook… What in the name of Keep it Real is Tom talking about?!
I’m beyond irritated. After watching a couple of online instructor videos and listening to others talk about how cycling is an amazing full-body workout that targets the core, I almost don’t know where to begin. Unfortunately, it demonstrates the lack of science, training, and knowledge that should be required to call oneself an indoor cycling instructor. Those of us who are keeping the indoor cycling industry effective and real have done it via our own determination and quest for knowledge.