Benefits of Spinning® for road cycling athletes. By Andres Pertierra - CardiOzone
We are more than glad to share this as there is PLENTY of bad information and myths out there about the Spinning® program.
First lets get this clear. Spinning DOES NOT compare nor can substitute cycling your real butt out there. Period. Spinning® lacks the road vibrations sapping your strength, the obstacles, the dangers, gearing, braking, the wind messing with you from any side, the scorching sun, etc. Also a typical Spinning® session doesn't really do much for endurance. We regularly offer 80min race-day Spinning® rides that are only a glimpse of real endurance cycling out there.
But what is lacking is PRECISELY why it is so useful and effective. Spinning® lets real cyclists focus on the physiological adaptations which are extremely close to adaptations from road cycling. In a REAL Spinning® class you can concentrate on techniques that much to our amazement we see many good athletes ignore every single day or are just plain oblivious to. Not having to worry about the road conditions, weather, shifting, braking, cg transfer, a slide or a crazy highside with the consequent road rash, among other dangers and nuisances allows you to improve on breathing techniques, proper posture, heart rate zones, the feel of carb churning power versus fat burning pedaling to the point of even being able to accurately estimate your current heart rate without a monitor. Yes you can learn all this on your bike but at the expense of precious time. A serious Spinning® facility managed by knowledable coaching and fellow cyclists can teach your all this in only weeks.
Spinning® along with Polar heart rate monitoring is EXTREMELY effective for quickly and safely improving your pedaling strength (power) for climbing, fast riding the big chainring, and sprints. The simplicity of Spinning® gives you time to focus on learning you limits. Let's say you're on a flat at 78%HRmax and just about to climb that 7% gradient hill. With Spinning and HR monitoring it will be way easier to estimate how to approach it, steady realistic or crazy but sustainable sprint that leaves everyone else going woah! Or better yet, have a sense of how quick are you at recovering your heart rate reserve. Outside of the Spinning® room it just takes to much time to concentrate on stuff like this.
Also, a good certified Spinning® instructor can design class profiles (routes) that almost surely are not readily available on the roads near you. If you want to try 12sec sprint running on creatine phosphate cycle, how long does it take you to recover and be able to "turbo boost" again? Will you find the perfect road to safely practice this SEVERAL times in a row? Or on rolling hills, shooting and recovering is usually the norm, but how much HR% will you be able to recover in such short notice. Those of you who have done maximal training know that it is quite dangerous to do so on certain roads albeit conveniently nearby as they might be.
Stuff like this is better answered in a Spinning® room with the proper equipment and coaching.
And lets not forget the fact that a normal cyclist usually LOVES to ride with his cycling friends. But it is ridiculous to expect that everyone in the peloton will be up to par. Everyone has his level of performance and everyone has good and bad days. The end results are the norm in Puerto Rico. The group quickly dislocates into a long stretch of suffering and solitude while everyone rides at their level. On the other hand, a disciplined group will stay together at the expense of the fast riding slow and viceversa. In a Spinning® class each Spinner® cycle lets its cyclist run at its optimal level all the while the group stays together. Yes it is way more fun for all while also being extremely effective and safe for each individual.
The sad news is that Spinning® as a brand has been somewhat damaged by instructors and facilities that won't follow the Spinning® program at all or are not qualified by Mad Dogg Atheletics to offer this fantastic product. For more than 25 years now, this very comprehensive training system has been designed, tested and improved on by Mad Dogg Athletics and proven to work by certified facilities all over the world. It is common practice in Puerto Rico for instructors and facilities to simply not care at all for bike fitting (to simulate the students real road bike as much as possible). Or to come up with dangerous and useless class profiles that bear no resemblance to a real road cycling route. And even more pathetic, the proverbial pedalling at an insane cadence with no resistance whatsoever or a mixture of some other indoor cycling programs. These "instructors" work more as DJs, performers in need of a selfsteem boost with no regard to results and safety.
That is not coaching. That is NOT Spinning®.
And last but not least, for us at CardiOzone it is very important to note that some people "do have a real life". By this we mean people who work hard, have a healthy loving relation with their family and so dedicate a lot of time to their loved ones and to their businesses. In a 24 hour day that leaves very little time for useful SERIOUS training out there on the saddle. And riding the same junk miles conveniently nearby over and over again is just not training. Spinning® gives you a convenient and very effective substitute for riding on those busy days and without loosing focus on the most important things in life.
Cheers! Andres (Andy) Pertierra CardiOzone Puerto Rico
For those not familiar with this type of exercise, Spinning® classes consist of riding special stationary bikes through a series of riding drills while following the directions of a certified instructor. Spinning® integrates music and visualization as motivational aids and camaraderie in a complete mind-and-body exercise routine
Spinning® is a highly aerobic exercise program with three major components: a warm up phase, heart driving aerobic phase, and a cool down period at the end of the class. Classes generally are 45 minutes in length. The instructor’s role is to lead members through the various phases of the class, and ensure members maintain safe and proper form throughout the various routines. There is much variety in teaching styles and music selection. Classes can range from relatively easy geared for beginners, to quite intense for the competitive outdoor cyclists. Attendees can also vary the intensity of their workouts by adjusting their pedaling resistance and/or their pedaling speed, depending on their individual fitness level and training goals.
Also Spinning® training allows participants to experience road cycling without all the associated dangers. The program is also a great choice for the cyclist who wants to take his outdoor cycling training inside during inclement weather. It is considered a non-impact sport, meaning it will not place undo stress on the body's joints. Spinning is non-competitive, so people of various fitness levels can enjoy this workout together. It enhances cardiovascular fitness and improve muscle tone and exercise endurance. Spinning works various muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, hips and abdominal muscles. On average, every program participant will consume approximately 500 calories in a 45-minute class.
Brief History of Spinning®...
Jonathan Goldberg "Johnny G"
Indoor cycling, as a concept was created in the 1980s by ultra-endurance and world-class athlete Jonathan Goldberg ("Johnny G."). Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Johnny G's father was a champion distance runner and squash player. During the 1980s, ultra-marathon cycling became Johnny’s competitive passion and the catalyst for his future success. In a 1988 554-mile non-stop race across the state of Arizona, Johnny set a yet to be defeated record and bested the field by more than four hours with a time of 29 hours, 46 minutes.
Johnny G. coined the term "Spinning" and began the ten year journey that would eventually lead to one of the most successful fitness programs ever. He initially utilized modified Schwinn DX900 stationary bikes for his classes, but the intensity of the program proved the bike to be inappropriate for the Spinning® program. The wear and tear on the bikes led Johnny G. to realize he needed equipment that had more durability and adjustability. So, in his home garage, Johnny G designed the first prototype Spinner®, using the geometry of his racing bicycle. The original Spinner bike was designed by him as a personal training tool to help him in his bid to become the first person to cycle across America in less than eight days,the 3,100-mile Race Across America (RAAM). He eventually placed tenth in the 1989 RAAM and first in the RAAM Open West. After completing his second RAAM, Johnny G. saw the potential bikes had as a training tool for all individuals.
In 1989, he and one of his students John R. Baudhuin opened the first Spinning® center in Santa Monica, California and then developed a program to certify other Spinning® instructors. In 1994, they founded Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc. to manufacture the Johnny G Spinner® and to begin the commercial distribution of the bike and the Spinning program. That year Mad Dogg Athletics also registered and trademarked the Spinning® name and the Johnny G Spinner®.
Johnny G and Mad Dogg Athletics developed the Spinning® Instructor Certification Program. Johnny G and Baudhuin enlisted a group of health and fitness experts to help create the certification program, which teaches instructors how to utilize heart rate training, how to develop a class that is fun and safe for all levels of students, and how to master the program's movements and rhythms.
Since then, Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc. have guided the growth of the Spinning® brand exercise programs and related Spinner® products into a worldwide business. It is today the industry leader in equipment-based group exercise with over 150,000 certified instructors and 35,000 official Spinning® facilities in 80 countries.
What makes the Spinning® program so successful is that it is both a workout and a philosophy. Johnny G knew from his own personal experience as an athlete and as a trainer/teacher, that it takes both mental and physical training to change a body and lifestyle. He developed the Spinning® program to integrate a detailed set of general exercises including heart rate training and motivational empowerment, to enhance participants physical and mental well-being.
Johnny G. currently resides in Santa Barbara with his wife, Jodi, and his three children, Jason, Jaclyn and Jordan.