Archive for the ‘Heart Rate Training’ Category

What are Your Most Pressing Heart Rate Training Questions?

By Jennifer Sage On November 6, 2012 1 Comment

Spinning with a heart rate monitorHave you ever been confused about heart rate training? Has a student ever asked you a question that you just didn’t know how to answer, or you weren’t sure your answer was correct? You aren’t alone! But now, you can get your question answered.

As most of you know, I’ve been involved in educating indoor cycling instructors since 1977, when I first became a Master Instructor for the Spinning® program. Over the past 15 years I’ve realized that there are many misconceptions about understanding heart rate and how to prescribe heart rate training zones. The industry is partially at fault for allowing the misconceptions to not only continue, but to flourish.

A very large book could be written on heart rate training for fitness, even just in

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Can you trust cardio machine calorie counters?

By Jennifer Sage On September 17, 2012 No Comments

Another of my regular resources for articles and information is Angry Trainer Fitness. The blogger, Alfonso, analyzes fitness claims and discusses whether they are “fact or fiction.” While I don’t agree with him 100% of the time (he is more forgiving about Soul Cycle than I am, though he does question the effectiveness of their methods), he usually is quite accurate in his assessments, and I really appreciate anyone who is a fitness “myth buster.” His goal is to highlight and promote the more realistic and effective methods and expectations for fitness (based on science) instead of the fluff that is so prevalent in the fitness world.

In this article he discusses whether the calorie counters on cardio machines or heart rate monitors

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Spinning® and indoor cycling instructors: It’s time to get that “lactate thing” right!

By Jennifer Sage On September 10, 2012 1 Comment

While I’m not an exercise physiologist (and I try not to play one on the Internet!), I do want to bang my head against the wall at times when I read articles that state, or hear commentators on TV (or worse, fitness or Spinning® instructors) say things like, “lactic acid makes you sore” or “lactic acid makes you slow down” or “you’ve got to spin the legs to get rid of the lactate.” I can only imagine when a scientist reads or hears these things—to them it must be like someone saying the earth is flat.

Alex Hutchinson, a scientist whose blog I avidly read (and whose book I refer to like the bible), just wrote a post called “The Unkillable Lactate Myth” in which he speaks about how

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Validation is so…validating!

By Jennifer Sage On August 30, 2012 1 Comment

I’ve validated my threshold heart rate many times over the years, and as a result can usually verify within a beat or two when I am at my threshold. Nevertheless, every time I validate it again, I get a smile on my face and feel so…well, validated! It really works when you pay attention! I did that last week on a long eight-mile climb up Independence Pass in the Rocky Mountains, while riding to watch Stage 3 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. I took the photo on the right on the lower slopes, before we got into the steeper parts and the section of the climb that was lined with thousands of cycling fans. Before I describe what I was feeling as I rode, let me give you a little

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Learn More About Lactate Threshold – my goal for the industry since 2007!

By Jennifer Sage On March 5, 2012 4 Comments

I have been teaching and coaching my indoor cycling classes using lactate threshold-based zones for a long time. In the early 2000’s I was very active in metabolic testing and encouraged my students to have the tests done. That got a little expensive for many of them, so I began to research how field tests were performed outdoors and translated it to the indoor environment. I was using field tests indoors for a few years before deciding to propose it to Mad Dogg Athletics and Spinning as one of my sessions at the next year’s conference.

So, in 2007 I was the first to introduce the concept of field testing to estimate lactate threshold in a Spinning® (or any indoor cycling) class at a major fitness conference*. (First introduced at WSSC in 2007, and later ECA and Can Fit Pro) My goal then was, and continues to be, to utilize the

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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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Learn about the Lactate Threshold from Lucille Ball

By Jennifer Sage On August 7, 2011 3 Comments

Happy Birthday, Lucille Ball!

The I Love Lucy show provides one of the most humorous and excellent analogies for the lactate threshold (LT). In honor of Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday, I want to share this hilarious video. I’ve been using this analogy since my early days as a master instructor for Spinning.

When we speak about exercise intensity, we refer to the lactate threshold or LT. LT can be a fairly complicated concept to understand, but this video should help clarify it for you.

What is the lactate threshold? Lactate is a metabolic byproduct of anaerobic glycolysis. Normally, as lactate is produced, the body clears it from the blood and converts it into useable energy. As long as the body can easily clear the lactate, the effort is still at a level that is aerobic. As intensity increases, lactate is produced at a faster rate.

When the

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