Posts Tagged ‘technique’

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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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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Push-ups While Spinning: Why or Why Not?

By Jennifer Sage On February 18, 2013 10 Comments

Superfluous moves that have nothing to do with real cycling are pretty rampant these days in indoor cycling classes and studios around the world. These include popular techniques such as push-ups, crunches, one-arm and no-arm pedaling, hovers, tap-backs, and many more. If you are lucky enough not to have seen this style of “Spinning” or indoor cycling before, then here’s your chance in this YouTube video of a German cycling class that contains some of the most aggressive “push-ups” I’ve seen. [Of course, this is not true Spinning®, as the official program does not teach or condone ineffective and unsafe moves such as this. But the vast majority of the population still refers to any indoor cycling as such, hence the quotation marks.]

Warning: Turn down your volume before you view this video.

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

By Jennifer Sage On January 29, 2013 38 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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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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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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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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Learn How to Conquer Back Pain and Improve Your Cycling (and Indoor Cycling)

By Jennifer Sage On February 22, 2012 4 Comments

I follow a couple of cycling podcasts and blogs, and I’m always impressed with what I hear and read at the Bicycle Lab. Here is an audio interview with the founder of the Bicycle Lab, Victor Jiminez, and the two authors of the book Foundation (Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain and Move With Confidence). The authors are Peter Park and Eric Goodman. I’d pay attention to what they are saying; Peter is Lance Armstrong’s Strength and Conditioning Coach! (Have you seen what Lance is up to lately? Only coming in second in the Panama Ironman 70.3 triathlon.)

On this article, there is also a video posted on a core exercise that targets the back.

We as indoor cycling instructors, as well as our students, especially those who teach or ride a lot, need a lot

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Spinning®

By Jennifer Sage On September 13, 2011 45 Comments

This is a hilarious rendition of what NOT to do in a Spinning® or any Indoor Cycling class, by ICA member Juliet Underill, that she first wrote as a response to someone’s post on Pedal-On. I urge you to share this with every instructor and program manager you can. If we can’t get to them with science, maybe we can get through to them with humor! The following is Juliet’s post in full. Thank you Juliet for making thousands of instructors across the globe smile! =)

What not to do in Spinning
The Seven Deadly Sins of Spinning®
By Juliet Underill

Thou Shalt Not Hover! It doth not work thy glutes, it doth not mimic mountain biking but you shall be cursed with an aching back!

Thou Shalt Not Performeth Isolations! This

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High cadence in Spinning® is hard stuff!

By Jennifer Sage On September 8, 2011 9 Comments

Spinning musicThose of you who have been following me for awhile have heard me preach about the benefits and challenges of legitimate high cadence work, and the ineffectiveness of non-legitimate high cadence work in your Spinning® and Indoor Cycling classes.

This morning I taught a ladder class of high cadence intervals. We maxed out at a “high” of 108rpm, and ouch, that hurt!

Let me explain what I mean by legitimate high cadence….

When you work at cadences from 90-110rpm, with the proper resistance, it is one of the most challenging things you can do in an indoor cycling class, both in terms of technique and cardiovascular challenge. Proper resistance is the key concept there. The ride I did this morning was based on the beat of the songs, which were 85, 88,

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