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Ask the Expert: My Student Puts Too Much Resistance and Pedals Too Slow, Part 2

Instructors should understand the very real risks of high resistance/low cadence pedaling, and know when to provide options for their riders. This article covers the physiological reasons behind why very low cadence is not beneficial either indoors or for cyclists outdoors. I also present ways to address a rider who is resistant to taking your advice and continues to pedal too slowly in a big gear.

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Ask the Expert: My Student Puts Too Much Resistance and Pedals Too Slow, Part 1

I’ve had numerous questions over the years about what to do when riders put on too much resistance that slows their cadence down too much. This is a very important issue because heavy resistance has a high risk of injury. Students may do it with the misguided belief it will “strengthen” the legs (like leg presses). It also usually has a high ego component to it. How do you tell them to pedal faster? . . .

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Ask the Expert: What Does “Going Breathless” Mean During Intervals?

Teri asks if we could expand on what “breathless” means and how it’s different than gasping for air. This is important because at certain points in class we ask our riders to reach an exertion level where they are breathless—but could that mean different effort levels for each participant? Read on to find out.

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Ask the Expert (Follow-Up): Healing the Pedal Stroke—Ankling

It is always great to see the response of our cycling instructor and coach community. A number of questions arose after I published the last Ask the Expert article on “Healing the Pedal Stroke.” The focus was solely on the practice of pushing down or dropping the heel below horizontal during the pedal stroke. In addition to my response to questions and feedback, I created a video using footage from the 2013 USA Cycling Pro Challenge to demonstrate the technique. Hey, pictures are worth a thousand words, right?

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Ask The Expert: Healing the Pedal Stroke

The Question: Should you push the heels down when pedaling?

The Short Answer: NO

Let’s talk about why…

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Ask the Expert: How Much Time Should You Spend in the Red Zone?

Bill Pierce’s challenging profile “Strong Start or Fast Finish” is a series of intervals that either start off “very hard” and slightly back off to “hard,” or start off “hard” and build to “very hard.” We got a great question asking whether this was too much time spent in Zone 5. This article should clarify how much time a rider should be able to spend above threshold. Hint: The answer is it depends!

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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: Does Indoor Cycling Help Bone Health?

I received this question: “One of my riders asked me if indoor cycling is weight bearing enough to be beneficial for someone dealing with osteopenia. Any thoughts or insights or studies that I could pass along?” For the answer, I went to someone with far more knowledge than me. This is an important issue for all of us and our students, so make sure you are informed.

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Ask the Expert: How to Work with an Obese or Very Unfit Rider?

This email I received brings up an immensely important issue—how to work with obese and/or very unfit students. There are many things you can do to make these students more comfortable and increase the chances they will return, but it takes some hand-holding. Are you willing to do what it takes?

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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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