TRAINING: SPINNING CLASS AND REAL CYCLING
It's been a long day at the office – meetings, long hours on the computer and John was feeling cramped up and badly needed a break. He packed his laptop into his bag and zipped off to the car park, his mind wandering to some after-office hours rejuvenation. The after-office hour traffic was frustrating and his car crawled its way to the gym amidst the cajoling horning of other fellow peak-hour attendants. Once he arrived at the gym, he immediately felt his mood lifted. He bumped into a few regulars, exchanged greetings and quickly changed into his cycling outfit. John braved the heavy traffic in time for his spinning class! (Jokes and ficitious Johns aside, read on to find out how you can train more effectively)
The above is an old lingering joke teasing cyclists who attend spinning classes over choosing a light traffic spot for their cycling. But give that scenario some thought and you would notice it's pretty biased. For a start, if you live in the city (that would probably be the majority of persons reading this), and only have a short window of free time, cycling in heavy traffic during rush hours or driving off into the suburbs for some unobstructed cycling may not be all that conveniently and regularly viable. Spinning classes could be a way to work on those muscles that really matters when cycling.
A few brief chats with cyclists revealed that many who attended spinning classes came back with some generally agreed feedback:-
- It is convenient for those who works or live near a gym that conducts spinning classes
- It is safer than cycling on the road on busy or rush hours
- It allows the cyclist to concentrate on the training gains and nothing else
- It allows less skillful cyclists to have a go at achieving high speeds, safely
- It helps improve cycling cadence and cardiovascular health in a more controlled environment
- It is a convenient way to burn calories
- It allows cyclists to adjust the training to their personal progress pace instead of matching a cycling group's cycling speed
- It helps build up the mental strength required for prolonged period on the saddle and on the road/trail
(Note: The above list is based on what we believe to be real advantages of spinning class over actual cycling. Of course, wherever and whenever possible, cyclists should ride a real bicycle to experience the true bliss and fun that cycling is all about. But where training is concerned, spinning classes works great)
For those who wish experience the benefits of spinning class, there's Pro Cycling™ by Fitness First. Exclusive to Fitness First, Pro Cycling™ classes are 30-minute high intensity interval cycling sessions based on the training programmes, techniques and events of 9 times World Champion and Double Olympic Gold Medalist, Victoria Pendleton.These short yet high intensity classes would appeal to high performance athletes and people with busy schedules who need an effective workout in a short period of time. Pro Cycling™ heritage is from the track and while Singapore doesn’t have a Veldodrome, it’s unique workout value makes the three programmes (Keiren, Individual Sprint and Team Sprint) very translatable to the road. All three Pro Cycling™ classes adopt the training methodology of “Supramaximal Efforts” and as such with the right intensity in the class, should only be done for 30 minutes at a time. Generally, if a cyclist can do more than 30 minutes, the intensity should be increased to gain the benefit from this training method.
Pro Cycling™ classes consist of a set of three 30-minute group cycling classes – themed around professional track cycling events:
Pro Cycling™: Keirin
- Focused on improving your endurance.
- Inspired by the track cycling event the Keirin, this class utilizes long bursts of interval style training, followed by short recovery periods, and finishes with a four lap Keirin high.
Pro Cycling™: Team Sprint
- Focused on improving strength and power.
- A power and strength training session involving the whole group; high resistance peddling for sets of 15 second sprints; a group race where power, speed and endurance combine for a big finish. Training at high intensity with short recovery periods increases your fitness levels.
Pro Cycling™: Individual Sprint
- Focused on improving raw speed.
- Combines fast-pace and increasing speed levels throughout; class focuses around speed interval training techniques. Bring out your competitive streak; riders race as individuals and use explosive bursts of speed to sprint towards the finish line. Improve your endurance, power and cardio fitness.
These classes are recommended for intermediate to advanced fitness levels. They are not recommended for beginners.
Benefits of Pro Cycling™
Efficiency: Helps achieve maximum results in minimum time with signature 30 minute workouts.
Motivation: The workout inspires cyclists to achieve more than they thought possible with help from the instructors.
Progression: With three completely different workouts, cyclists can decide which class suit their goals.
Group Effect: Training in a group often helps unleash the competitive spirit and sense of team that pushes cyclists to their limits.
Fitness First's National Group Exercise Manager and avid cyclist Andrew Tierney has this to say about Pro Cycling™:
“Based on a study by the University of Queensland, increased volume for highly trained athletes does not appear to further enhance endurance performance or associated physiological variables. For athletes who are already trained, improvements in endurance can be achieved only through high-intensity interval training.”
“The key to success for advanced athletes is intensity, not volume. How many miles or hours you have accumulated in the 12 weeks prior to your event have much less impact on your performance on race day.”
“In all, Pro Cycling™ presents the avid cyclist with a varied range of classes that translate to real road benefits, something I and many of our Pro Cycling™ instructors can attest to. The harder you train in Pro Cycling™, the more benefits you get on the road.”
SPINNING VS CYCLING
While it is definitely more fun to ride the open roads or trails, there is definitely a place for spinning classes for all types of cyclists – be it for efficiency, motivation, progression or group effect as what Pro Cycling™ states. Forget the old joke, just choose the best and most convenient way to get the most fun, training benefits and satisfaction your training. Ride on!
All information and photo by Pro Cycling™ and Fitness First
For more information on Pro Cycling, visit Fitness First.