Posts Tagged ‘contraindications’

The Risks of Low Cadence and High Resistance in Indoor Cycling Classes

By Jennifer Sage On March 26, 2012 6 Comments

Spinning classAfter my article on the Truth About Cadence in Indoor Cycling Classes appeared in Active.com, I got numerous suggestions to write about the other end of the spectrum – cadence that is too low.

We’ve all seen those Spinning® classes where the instructor asks students to continually raise the resistance or gear, until their cadence drops into the low 50’s, 40’s or even 30’s for rpm. I’ve even seen some Youtube videos where they seem to be pedaling at 15 or 20rpm if they are lucky. They seem to believe that if you have to pull on the handlebars to turn the pedals, that there is some strength benefit. In reality, it it is unproductive and dangerous, and is based on nothing more than “ego”.


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Excellent article on IDEA – all cycling instructors please read this!

By Jennifer Sage On February 29, 2012 1 Comment

I just became aware of this excellent article from IDEA Health and Fitness Association on indoor cycling instruction. It’s by Martica Heaner, Ph.D. and is called A Smoother Ride. “Group Ex Skills & Drills: These 10 tips will motivate and inspire your indoor cycling class and keep people coming back for more.”

To me, the best part of the article is the Sidebar at the end. It is titled Technique: Know Your Stuff.

I left a ‘short’ comment. I want to support any person, club, program, publication or organization that promotes educated, sound instruction on an indoor bicycle that eschews unsafe and ineffective techniques like lifting weights, or doing pushups or crunches. My comment is below. Feel free to leave your comment on the IDEA page supporting their efforts to clean up indoor cycling and encouraging instructors to know their

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When to walk out of a Spinning® or Indoor Cycling class – my Twitter rant

By Jennifer Sage On February 25, 2012 19 Comments

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you might have noticed that I cracked a little bit last week. I hit my tolerance threshold for crappy Spinning® and Indoor Cycling classes and went on a rant about the prevalence of improper instruction in so many cycling classes around the world. I had spoken with too many instructors who told me stories like:

  • the fullest classes at my club are the ones where the instructor is having them do hovers, squats, pushups and crunches – the students have no idea! I have my own core group, but recently had a new person come in and asked why I didn’t do pushups or weights. When I explained they aren’t beneficial and only take away from your effectiveness on the bike, she walked out.
  • Management recently
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The Truth About Indoor Cycling Cadence – Jennifer’s article on Active.com

By Jennifer Sage On February 24, 2012 6 Comments

SpinningThe following is an article Jennifer wrote for Active.com. To read the article on the Active.com website, click here. Please share the link (or this blog) with your students, program managers and instructor peers. As usual, your comments (both on the Active page and on this blog) are always appreciated!

The Truth About Indoor Cycling Cadence

As you peek into the door of many indoor cycling classes, or if you’ve watched some of the many “Spinning®” classes on Youtube or on television, often you will see frantic legs pedaling so fast it’s more like the roadrunner trying to escape Wile E. Coyote. Legs are blurring so fast you often cannot even see them. However, many students in typical indoor cycling classes do not have the skills to pedal quickly with

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“Spinning” and Core Training video (ummmm, not really…)

By Jennifer Sage On February 10, 2012 No Comments

A facility in Southern California called Studio Sweat has announced that it is going to start offering online streaming videos of its “Spinning” classes. They have several of them posted on their site. Here is one they call “SpinCore”.

Before you watch it, has anyone here taken the official “Spin® and Core” Continuing Education Course from Mad Dogg Athletics and Spinning®? I used to teach it….and I have to say, it looks nothing like this……

I use “Spinning” above and in the title of this blog post very loosely – quoting their title on their video. The immediate problem is the blatant misuse of the Spinning® trademark when what they are doing is most certainly not Spinning®. If you are going to call something “Spinning” there are some very important criteria to adhere to,

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The Ralph Nader of Indoor Cycling?

By Jennifer Sage On January 6, 2012 6 Comments

Someone once told me I was like the “Ralph Nader” of indoor cycling! I was reminded of that comment after my most recent post on the dangers of heated indoor cycling classes. It has created quite an uproar on Facebook. People are even leaving comments on CorePower’s blog.

I like the epithet. Nader is a crusader, rallying for the safety of the population. I am a crusader, rallying for the “Keep it Real” mentality in indoor cycling and Spinning® classes around the globe. Not a program, not a philosophy, but science coupled with common sense on a bike.

I am crusading for the safety of our sport. I know I piss many people off, not just the owners of programs (Soul Cycle, other places that are scrambling to instigate Soul-Cycle techniques, perhaps CorePower) but also thousands of instructors who have found popularity

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Indoor Cycling in the heat? Are you out of your mind?

By Jennifer Sage On January 6, 2012 26 Comments

If Soul Cycle’s unscientific, unsafe and ineffective approach to indoor cycling classes doesn’t make you crazy enough, I present to you the next potential threat to proper and safe indoor cycling.

Before I tell you what it is, I have a few questions for you, the knowledgeable Spinning® and Indoor Cycling instructor (or enthusiast) or studio owner, about thermo-regulation:

  • You know how you can get really hot in a Spinning® or Indoor Cycling class because you are working hard? You know how Spinning® and Indoor Cycling studios get really hot because a lot of people are working hard together in an enclosed space? Sometimes really, really hot, sometimes even steamy? And you know how smart facilities do everything possible to make sure there is good ventilation, lots of fans, and cool temperatures?
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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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This could be one the craziest (and most dangerous) Indoor Cycling classes I’ve seen

By Jennifer Sage On October 27, 2011 13 Comments

EDIT Dec 2015: It appears Youtube has removed this video for copyright violations. I always wondered how it stayed up for as long as it did since she used a popular song in its entirety. Even though you can’t watch it, please continue to read the evaluation of these moves below…I am sure you can conjure up a visual in your head! 😉 

This is Fitness and “Spinning” Gone Wrong*

As a new feature on the Sage Advice Blog, I’ll be posting new videos as I find them and analyzing what is good about them or what is lacking from a biomechanical, physiological, anatomical, exercise science, cycling and just plain common-sense perspective. If you are new to this blog, make sure to read the

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Let’s IGNORE science and do what we WANT to on a bike!

By Jennifer Sage On July 29, 2011 12 Comments

Spinning Indoor CyclingFor those of you who know me, I’m kind of a geek when it comes to science. I have a problem with anything that goes against science or what is known to be correct in terms of proper application of science (physics, biomechanics, physiology, etc)…..especially in the name of fitness. Truth be told, in the fitness field most instructors are willfully ignoring science, because they refuse to learn about correct technique, or are afraid to learn the truth about what they are extolling, so by remaining ignorant on the subject they are in a way absolving themselves of any responsibility.

One can draw comparisons to the fitness industry from many other examples in the rest of the world. Watch the following video of a Fox news reporter challenging global warming

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