Archive for November, 2011

LA Times is the first to challenge upper body workouts in an indoor cycling class

By Jennifer Sage On November 28, 2011 1 Comment

This morning many people in California opened up the Los Angeles Times and saw this article on the front page of the Health Section: Soul Cycle’s Mix of Cycling and Upper-Body Workouts Raises Concerns.

I’ve been holding my breath for this moment for awhile now. This is the very first mainstream newspaper to challenge the unsafe methods of Soul Cycle, a company which has seen meteoric growth in the industry. They have had dozens of positive articles written about them, but none have dared taken a close look at their techniques.

Until James Fell.

James Fell is a journalist who is known as a Fitness Myth Buster, and he is very good at what he does. He thoroughly researches his subject before writing a word. I don’t think he would dare write about something unless he felt like he had substantial and credible proof in his favor.

I first read some of

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Even soccer teams are using Heart Rate Monitors

By Jennifer Sage On November 23, 2011 No Comments

Here is an interesting article in the New York Times about the UCONN Soccer Team which uses heart rate monitors to help evaluate what they call the “training load” of their players. What I found most interesting about this article is the discussion that the heart rate responses that they paid the most attention to were those that showed their players were overly fatigued or hadn’t recovered enough from a previous workout. This is right in line with the discussion that Dr. Jennifer Klau and I had about how best to use heart rate training in your own classes.

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SOUL CYCLE does it with bands and weights

By Jennifer Sage On November 21, 2011 12 Comments
Since Soul Cycle has seen practically meteoric growth and nothing but positive press in newspapers, journals and television spots over the past few years, I thought it might be a good idea to reprint an article I wrote 20 months ago. It seems every single week I hear of club owners or instructors lamenting how unknowing and uneducated students ask why they aren’t lifting weights in class or doing what Soul Cycle is doing. The reason they aren’t is because they are intelligent owners and instructors who know and understand proper technique and don’t want to risk injury to their students. Unfortunately, the students don’t realize that. 

No one has dared question the methods of programs like Soul Cycle outside of a few trainers like me to small audiences on blogs or forums or Facebook groups…yet.)

Soul Cycle

Awesome Video – for dog lovers and mountain bike lovers alike!

By Jennifer Sage On November 21, 2011 2 Comments

This video is so fun, I thought I’d share it with you. The only thing I have to say however, is Dude! Why you walking UP the hill? Ya gotta deserve the downhill!

on pinkbike.com

Lily the dog is so adorable. Notice how she plays with the rock at the end!

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My original Spinning® profile “The Gratitude Ride”

By Jennifer Sage On November 20, 2011 1 Comment

Spinning profileIn 2008 I posted my original Gratitude Ride on my blog at the time, Funhogspins. The coaching was specific to the time, but many of the thoughts expressed in this ride can of course still be used. My newest version of The Gratitude Ride was just posted on the ICA website (for ICA members), and has been updated considerably, including the ideas, the coaching, the quotes and the music. And it’s a 90-minute class.

However, anyone can feel free to use this profile that I created four Thanksgivings ago and add your own style and your present-day thoughts. Click here to find it on Funhogspins.

This was back when I taught more of a typical Spinning® style of class. I do things a little different now though.

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Were those intervals?? :o

By Jennifer Sage On November 18, 2011 No Comments

Spinning musicYesterday’s class was hard. I did my Rock n Roller High Cadence climbs (this ride was a popular audio profile on my previous website, and will soon be added to the master class library on ICA). They are short high intensity climbs done at higher cadences, using the songs as guidelines for cadence, from 71-85rpm. Following each one is a 2-1/2 to 3-minute recovery song. Coaching this ride is really fun.

By the second or third climb, they were reaching a point of breathlessness by about halfway into the climb. During the recovery, I coached them to pedal at whatever pace felt good to them, as long as it was over 75-80rpm, and to bring the HR down to Zone 1 and enjoy the recovery. I even stressed how different this

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A Good Indoor Cycling Class…

By Jennifer Sage On November 15, 2011 12 Comments

A few weeks ago I said one of the new features of the Sage Advice Blog is to analyze Spinning® and indoor cycling classes I find on the internet for safety and effectiveness. This doesn’t only mean classes that make you hold your breath as you watch them, hoping no one develops a tweaked vertebrae or a ground meniscus of the knee. This can also mean classes that are for the most part pretty good. You can learn from them as well.

I watched the LA Fitness video of their cycling classes from their corporate website, and I am happy to say I am somewhat impressed.

Did I expect something different? Well, admittedly, yeah. Often with a large commercial chain such as LA Fitness, quality of classes can be on the lower end due to the fact that the pay scale is

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Be Careful of the Wheels of Misfortune

By Jennifer Sage On November 14, 2011 5 Comments

I will not let up in my quest to clean up indoor cycling – until it goes mainstream. Even then I wont stop, because the future of safe and effective cycling depends on it. I have a unique opportunity that the IC programs don’t have – I’m not preaching this from a program perspective but purely from a science perspective.

This has been my quest for 15 years even while I was a Master Instructor for the Spinning program. I’m taking it to the next level by writing articles for online sports and fitness journals about effective training that really works, and commenting on online articles that “praise” these “new Spinning” (their words) programs such as Soul Cycle, yet who don’t understand that the science behind them is sorely lacking. Every time

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How Cyclists Should Approach Indoor Cycling Classes

By Jennifer Sage On November 13, 2011 16 Comments

Spinning ClassThis is the second article by Jennifer Sage that appeared in Active.com, re-printed in its entirety. The target audience is cyclists and triathletes, but the information in this article applies to everyone who takes indoor cycling classes, even those who never ride outside. Science does not discriminate!

Bringing your cycling training indoors (Part 2)

I have good news and I have bad news regarding indoor cycling classes.
Let’s start with the bad news because I want to end on a positive note.

As a longtime Master Instructor in the Indoor Cycling Industry for the past 15 years (meaning I’ve certified and educated a large number of instructors at conferences and workshops) I have found that the really good instructors who are well versed in exercise science and

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Six Reasons to Join an Indoor Cycling Class

By Jennifer Sage On November 9, 2011 No Comments

This is an article that appeared last week on Active.com, written by Jennifer Sage for the cycling and triathlon community to inspire them to attend well-taught (cycling specific) Spinning® and indoor cycling classes. If you are trying to convince your local cyclists to come into your class, send this article to them!

Bringing your cycling training indoors (Part 1)

As the weather gets colder and days get shorter, cyclists begin thinking about how to continue their training indoors. If you are a cyclist who is even marginally serious about improving – or at least maintaining – your performance, then you’ll be searching for ways to train indoors this winter. This is regardless of whether you are a novice cyclist with goals to be able to ride for an

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