We’re sharing tips from our top instructors to help you get in the zone and step up your workout!
Here’s the skinny from the pros themselves!
- Be consistent with your workouts whether you’re doing them at home or in the studio. And honestly, once a week isn’t gonna cut it. I think to really make progress, you need to get a ride in 2 or 3 times per week, otherwise it feels like you’re always starting over. To be consistent, you have to have a schedule that you keep, and if you have to miss a scheduled workout, then you need to ask yourself when you’re going to make it up. Don’t just skip it. No, no, reschedule it. You can do that.
For those that go to a studio or gym, this is a little bit more simple; you just look at the class schedule and pick a makeup class, right? Right! But when you’re doing your workout from home, it’s not that easy. I get that, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Remember the start point is coming up with your weekly plan.
Say your plan is to do your at-home or in-studio workouts Mon, Wed & Fri at 9:00AM. Cool, you’ve scheduled your workouts! Then Friday, little Ethan has a school Valentine’s party you want to go to. What the average person might do: go to the party (mom of the year – woo woo!), but skip the workout altogether (boo boo!). What the person committed to their fitness goals would do: get up 45 minutes early, and get it done before Ethan wakes up! Do that, and you’re gonna see a change my friends!
Trainer Cat Kom
- Get a Heart Rate Monitor and Wear it! Listen to your instructor and work on keeping your heart rate in the zone they recommend. We design our class profiles with work, active recovery & rest periods (seriously, we do put a little rest in there ;)), to make you stronger and push your body… so listen and follow along; you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.
There’s been a ton of research done on how heart rate training improves your fitness level, by the way. The scientific reasoning is that it helps you work in the zones where your body is going to burn the most fat, but to be honest, where I’ve seen the bigger change is in the mental shifts my trainees see when they where a heart rate strap. They’ll push for the red zone on a sprint, they’ll be mindful of dropping their heart rate during a recovery, and they’ll even stay a little longer on the bike to meet a certain calorie goal they’ve set for themselves. And these are women that often used to skip out on the class before it was over. Ha! The power of numbers people. It’s real, and it’s a real motivator.
You might already have one, but if not, you can get them online or at your local sports store!
Trainer Mere W
- Invest in Spin® shoes; it will be worth it. They allow you to ride the way your body is meant to ride and you can progress safer with a more balanced pedal stroke. When you just use a basic athletic shoe, your quads tend to dominate, but when you’re clipped in, you’ll find the back of the leg (the hamstrings) and the glutes come in to play. It’s fantastic! I guarantee you, once you clip-in, you will never… ever go back.
Watch this Vlog To Learn More About the Power of an Indoor Cycling Shoe!
- Take your body to the anaerobic stage periodically in a spin workout. It’ll build your VO2 max. VO2 max is how much oxygen your body consumes, and the higher it is, the faster, stronger, and longer you will be able to spin! What does anaerobic mean, you ask? Let me put it in simple terms: it’s when you start to get super breathy and you can’t sustain what you’re doing for much longer. It’s when you are over 89% max heart rate. It’s also known as the red zone.
Don’t be afraid to go there. I know many of you have heard that you don’t lose fat there, but that’s not true. Boy, do you, but just don’t STAY in the red zone for too long without bringing it down to recover, or it’s true, you are at risk of burning muscle, not fat. Odds you can stay there long aren’t good anyway, and if you’re with a professional instructor, they’ll guide your ride so it’s not only safe, but it makes you a stronger rider, because those pushes into the red zone will result in a dropped resting heart rate. Good stuff.
- Create some inner-competition with yourself. You have to know what hard work feels like inside to be able to measure your efforts. You can definitely use a heart rate monitor and challenge yourself to ride in different (more difficult) zones when you are working out, but you can also measure your efforts by monitoring such things as speed/cadence and resistance levels. Try hanging on to feeling ‘uncomfortable’ for longer periods of time every time you take class. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into a comfort zone, especially when you are riding tempo. Tempo doesn’t mean easy, so always check to make sure that when you are riding to the beat of the music, you are also pushing yourself by setting your resistance more towards the high end while still maintaining cadence to the beat of the music. You can always back off, but you want to go out of the gate strong and stay challenged.
- Measure your progress with the tools you have! Learn the numbers available on the monitor included on your bike, if you have one. If you don’t, you might consider adding a Spinning Computer to your bike. Can you see calories burned, miles, heart rate zones, or maybe even watts? Find out, and use those tools to measure your progress in those areas. Numbers are power, right!?
- Take advantage of the different class types you have at your fingertips, so that your body never gets used to your workout, causing unwanted plateaus. I know you love Spinning, but consider adding in a Spin Fusion class like a Spin Sculpt, or throwing in some Yoga, or a Boot Camp, to supplement your Spinning routine! I can’t stress how important it is to get in your resistance (strength) training.
I can go on and on about why lifting weights is crucial to your fitness routine, but I’ll suffice it to remind you that our muscles naturally atrophy as we age (so you’re already fighting an uphill battle). Spinning does not build muscle in the arms, back, chest or shoulders, but it does burn the fat off so you can see muscle if you have it, which makes you look sculpted and tone. Tell me you don’t want all that? I know you do, so mix it up.
- When it Comes to a Timed Drill, Don’t Ever Quit Early or Start Late. That’s right, no stopping before the timer ends, and no delayed starts.
Once Cat was leading this Tabata drill where you sprint for 20 seconds, and then ride recovery for 10 seconds, and she reminded the group that if they quit just 2 seconds early, she would have worked 10% harder than them. And, if they started 2 seconds late, that would be another 10%. That really hit home with the group; they were actually starting early and stopping after the buzzer.
If you can do that, you’ll be a winner. If you don’t, you’ll lose every time. What’s the game? Whatever you make it!
Ride on. Ride Strong.