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Archive for the ‘Form and Technique’ Category

How NOT to Row!

By Jennifer Sage On September 27, 2014 No Comments

Whoa, take a look at these two videos…


Enough to make you shake your head in disbelief, right?

There is a very specific, biomechanically correct way to row. If you venture outside of that proper technique, you are putting yourself at a pretty big risk. Same with boxing and kickboxing, and pretty much any movement, including lifting weights, but it is heightened when the movement is repetitive…like rowing or riding a bike.

Wouldn’t you like to know what that correct technique is so when you get on the rower you aren’t wasting your time doing ineffective, silly moves that might actually injure you?  Rowing correctly offers optimal power output and maximal fitness gains, not to mention a greater caloric consumption, while reducing the chances of injury.

Of course you would want to know how to do it safely and effectively!

Crazy, potentially dangerous moves on a piece of equipment like this have no place in

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Awkward Gym Moments That Make You Go “WTH? Is This For Real?”

By Jennifer Sage On September 22, 2013 6 Comments

My bet is that most people would have the same reaction to this lifting “technique” if they witnessed it in the gym, whether they are instructors, trainers, or just the general public:

The reaction would include one or more of the following: Facepalm. Mouth agape followed by a breathy “O.M.G!” An incredulous “WTH?” (or other similar letters). Hysterical laughter. Some might even run to her aid to protect her from herself.

But many of those same people who recognize the danger and stupidity of this monkeying around on the lat pull-down machine will turn around and go to an indoor cycling class in which they ignore all tenets of biomechanics, exercise, and cycling science. They will rationalize that it’s OK because “we’re not cyclists” or “this is not cycling.” They won’t draw the parallel with this woman’s dangerous lifting antics in the video above.

So, if this woman rationalized her technique by saying,

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Spinning® Humor

By Jennifer Sage On March 27, 2013 1 Comment

Nothing says “I know nothing about fitness or cycling” like doing pushups while pedaling! Thanks to Marylou on Facebook for this image!

Spinning contraindication

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20 (Unspoken) Rules of Indoor Cycling (Fitbie)

By Jennifer Sage On March 20, 2013 3 Comments

Rachel Rachel Buschert Vaziralli is a Schwinn Master Trainer from New York who I’ve written about on this blog before. Well, Rachel and I are completely on the same page with indoor cycling. She is currently getting her master’s degree in exercise physiology and agrees with me about why instructors shouldn’t be doing some of the popular, trendy (read: silly) moves on an indoor bike, and in fact, we often share rants on Facebook about the shenanigans instructors and/or students do! (Note: Incidentally, regarding that post I just linked to about Rachel, she won the Fit or Flop competition!)

Anyway, one of Rachel’s recent rants got picked up by Fitbie online magazine, which posted it as an article. (Click here to read the post online.) I’ve pasted it below

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Josh Taylor: The Spinning Voice of Reason

By Jennifer Sage On February 21, 2013 12 Comments

After so many articles in major publications filled largely with nonsense about lifting weights while in a cycling class, holding in the core to stabilize your body while pedaling, or working the whole body through push-ups and crunches, it is so nice to see the voice of reason interviewed in the Huffington Post about what a “true” Spinning® class experience should be.

You should read that excellent article in the Huffington Post, but I’ve got another story to tell you about Josh Taylor and his voice of reason.

Spinning conference

WSSC 2008: Master Instructors Michael Ferrante, Jennifer Sage, and Josh Taylor

I’ve known Josh, master instructor for the Spinning program, since 1998. We met at Johnny G’s house at the Spinning Master Instructor Training Camp. He’s always

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“I’d Rather Sell My Soul Than Soul Cycle”

By Jennifer Sage On January 29, 2013 37 Comments


“I’d rather sell my soul than Soul Cycle, frankly.”

That was the quote in an article in Gawker, an online entertainment magazine. Three employees from Gawker were invited to take a free class at Soul Cycle in Manhattan. The article is quite entertaining, and Soul Cycle will no doubt rue the day they invited Rich, Caity, and Leah to attend a class. But hey, they opened themselves up to honest evaluation!

I realize that these three have never taken any kind of Spinning® or indoor cycling class; in fact, they aren’t really exercisers at all, so they might joke about any class. But I do not think they would be quite as irreverent if they attended a cycling class in which the instructor taught like a

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Is Your Saddle Set Up Correctly?

By Jennifer Sage On December 7, 2012 No Comments

Are you set up on your bike properly? Those of you who have known me for a while know I am always reiterating the importance of proper setup in an indoor cycling class. I have seen it over and over again during my 16 years of teaching and training instructors: too many instructors do not set their students up correctly—if at all! It’s astounding to me when I travel to another facility and I set someone up, and the rider says these words:

Wow, thanks! No instructor has ever done that for me before!

Really? How can that happen? Isn’t that one of the jobs of an indoor cycling instructor?

Anyway, I know it’s probably not the instructors who are reading my blog who neglect to check their participants’ setup, because my

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Cycling Training – Fact, Fiction, Formula or Philosophy?

By Jennifer Sage On April 20, 2012 No Comments

This is from Gene Nacey’s (founder, Cycling Fusion) new blog Evidence Based Cycling. Gene and I share a similar passion of merging indoor and outdoor cycling, as well as working to spread the word of indoor training techniques based on science and proper training principles utilized by the top cycling coaches. You know, evidence-based cycling! The title of Gene’s blog is brilliant, isn’t it? I for one will be following this closely, and will contribute whatever I can to his goal of doing our own research to help this industry do its homework.

Gene has agreed to post his ramblings here on Sage Cycling. Make sure to follow his new blog as well, and to like Cycling Fusion on Facebook. Enjoy!

Cycling Training – Fact, Fiction, Formula

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Real Sprinting: here’s how to do it!

By Jennifer Sage On April 12, 2012 4 Comments

Sprinting in Spinning

This is good timing – Bicycling magazine had a post yesterday on How to Sprint Like You Mean It. A few days ago I posted a link to Clair Cafaro’s post asking why many indoor cycling instructors turn DOWN the resistance to sprint, which is the opposite of what should be done if you want to, you know….sprint!

Here are a few quotes from this Bicycling magazine article with advice from World Cup mountain bike racer (and Olympic hopeful) Willow Rockwell. These quotes emphasize the importance of having a fair amount of resistance (gear) and going all out.

When inserting sprinting into her training, Rockwell says:

If there’s a small hill, I just stand up and hammer to the top.

In cycling lingo, “hammer” means

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Here’s a cool video on pedal stroke

By Jennifer Sage On April 11, 2012 3 Comments

Instructors, I think you’ll enjoy this!

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