Okay, so I'll admit that there is a small piece of me that hates fitness trends. As in other areas of my life, I kind of stay on the outskirts and observe before I jump headfirst on to the newest "bandwagon." I guess I'm a minimalist, but I just can't see myself swinging from straps in the ceiling...at least not in the Spin room. I also have a hard time imagining interrupting the flow of a ride, to which I am so addicted, to pink up tiny pink hand weights and do some upper-body work. My intention, here, is not to stir up this debate and I fully understand the reasons these things are done. I just can't shake that little voice inside that keeps saying, "Just get on the bike and RIDE, already."
Then again, if it wasn't for jumping into this trend called "Spinning®," taking my first class sometime in 1996 (and, more importantly, giving it a second chance), I would not be writing this right now. I would not have had the opportunity to watch myself and student after student grow in body, mind and spirit, just by hopping on a stationary bike and taking a class with that "crazy/scary girl with the bandanna" (that would be me). Some people mistake (in a good way) my smile while they are struggling as a sick joy I get from people's pain. It is quite the opposite. I don't enjoy seeing someone suffer. What I enjoy is that I know I am about to witness them break through a personal barrier and learn something brand new about themselves. It is a beautiful thing. Seriously.
So, when the Real Ryder® (moving) bikes started rolling into the area, I kind of held back and waited to see where the trend was headed. It would take some effort for me to get to a class and I was happy in my own comfort zone. Yes, I said it. Those of you who know me know I speak and write often about comfort zones and the importance of pushing beyond them. We, instructors, also get stuck in our little boxes and sometimes need a little help for those edges to be blurred. But, it was inevitable...Real Ryders® came to me. A studio is going to open in the same building as a (mostly) personal training gym where I have been teaching for years, barely holding on to a skeletal schedule. The owners took my class and I was soon offered a spot on their schedule.
I figured I'd better get my butt on one of these bikes if I was going to teach on them, so I took a class. Admittedly, I was worried. I really, really, really did not want to suck at it and be frustrated. I had heard strong students say how hard they are. I knew I needed to take off my Spinning® "hat" and just be open to the experience. While it was slightly awkward at first, I was hooked within a few minutes. My instructor brain shifted into high gear, and I thought about all of the fun and challenging things I'd be able to add into a ride.
As with all new things, the studio, Hot Ryde, has created quite a buzz in the neighborhood. We were trained on the bikes this week and it's hard to wait to teach while the studio is completed. It feels great to have some new energy coming in and to have expanded my own boundaries a little bit more. Now I just can't wait to share it.
Today's ride is another example of my leaving a comfort zone behind. It's not the type of ride I usually teach and I can't take credit for it, but I'm going to post it anyway. Another instructor shared it with me during a drought in my creativity. We don't teach exactly the same, so, while we share music, it's the rare profile that crosses over. But, he was raving about this one and I was looking to change it up, so I gave it a shot. Admittedly, it works really well and it's sooo simple. It is my philosophy that you really don't need all the gimmicks in the room to have an effective class. Almost everyone has a love/hate relationship with it, especially while they are riding it. However, they also feel really accomplished when it is over. For many students, it will challenge them mentally more than anything else, and good coaching on the part of the instructor is key, otherwise, you're gonna' lose them....
1. Warm it up
2. 8 minute seated flat: 4 minutes to hold a nice strong pace (however you want to cue it). I usually use RPE and tell them to pick a number around 8/8.5. Then, 4 minutes to push the seated flat, taking the tempo up, taking the gear up, whatever it takes to get their work effort to the next level. They don't slow down, they hold this new tempo for the entire second 4 minutes.
3. 8 minute hill climb: Any position...today is about work effort. Same drill as the flat: 4 minutes to hold, 4 minutes to push, position changes as much as desired.
4. Do the above #2 and #3 2 more times, for a total of 3 flats and 3 hills. Finish line is at the top of the 3rd climb.
All of the core songs are also "about" 8 minutes long:
1. Wonderful (Dave Audé's Nu Romantic Mixshow)/Annie Lennox (warm-up)
2. The Drums (Mix 1)/Basic J
3. Hold On (BT Mix)/Sarah McLachlan
4. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Dirty South Full Mix)/U2
5. Halo (Dave Audé Club Remix)/Beyoncé
6. Beautiful Day (Quincey & Sonance Mix)/U2
7. Love Generation (Featuring Gary Pine)/Bob Sinclar & Gary Pine
8. Lullaby/Shawn Mullins
9. Wash Away (Reprise)/Joe Purdy