Currently Browsing: Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert: What’s the Benefit of Holding the Arms Out to the Side?

I was asked about riding with one arm held out to the side to ostensibly work the core. This, and all versions of one-arm riding, is one of those techniques I call #FakeMoves. Yup, that’s a new hashtag I want you all to start using when the technique is nothing but fluff and has no benefit!

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Ask the Expert: How to Teach Longer Indoor Cycling Classes

Most indoor cycling classes are 45–60 minutes long. Longer rides can serve as great training sessions and an accomplishment for riders to be proud of. You can teach them on their own or use longer classes as part of a progressive program to prepare participants for outdoor rides or multi-hour charity events. However, when you exceed a one-hour workout, you should alter how you design and deliver your class.

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Ask the Expert: Should You Touch a Rider’s Resistance?

I was asked if there is ever a reason for the instructor to turn someone’s resistance knob for them. While as a general rule I would say it’s not advised, I actually have three scenarios where I believe it can be helpful.

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Ask The Expert: What is a Surge vs an Attack?

Laura asks the difference between a surge and an attack. This is an important distinction that all instructors should know. Included are some cues to help you describe them to your riders.

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Ask the Expert: Is Zone 3 a “No-Man’s Land”?

In a recent post of an aerobic-intensity profile called Ebb and Flow, I received a question about the Zone 3 level of intensity of the profile. This zone has been called a “no-man’s land” or a “dead zone” by some cycling coaches. Is this true, and if so, should we be worried about it?

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Ask the Expert: How Do You Do a Spin-Up and Is It Different From a Surge or a Sprint?

I received a great question recently in the ICA Facebook group from Sarah asking what the difference between a “spin-up” and a “surge” is. We had an Ask the Expert post from 2013 with a similar question from Angela asking, “How exactly do you teach a spin-up? Is it different from a sprint?”  So, I have edited the previous article below and updated it with Sarah’s question to help you fully understand what a spin-up is and how to teach one, including referencing a full profile on these drills.

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Hovers and Isolations in Spinning Classes

What exactly does an isolation look like on the bike? Is it similar to a hover? In this article, we discuss the difference between the two and why neither are effective or beneficial techniques to employ in indoor cycling classes. Just don’t do them!

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Ask the Expert: How Much Coaching in Class is Too Much?

Aisha asked me, how much cueing is too much? No one likes an instructor who talks non-stop, but we’ve also been in classes where not enough good cueing is given and the class seems to be at a loss on what to do or how hard to go. Here are 9 things to consider when doing a self-analysis on whether you are talking too much (or enough) in your classes.

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Ask the Expert: To Jump or Not to Jump

Jumps can be controversial. They are a big part of the curriculum of some indoor cycling programs; others avoid them or list them as contraindicated. What’s my take? I say “it depends!” Let’s look at three ways jumps should NOT be taught and four different ways to teach them in the most effective manner, from most to least cycling specific.

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Ask the Expert: How Do You “Keep it Real” Where It’s Not Supported?

Learn how to “keep it real” in spite of being in an environment where other instructors tend to use techniques that are ineffective and possibly unsafe.

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