Spinning every weekday
February 3, 2019
How in the world can just 45-minutes of pedaling a stationary bike take my body to its physical limits?
Because, behind all the music and lights and scoreboards there’s science that has completely optimized the ratio of work to recovery to reward, resulting in quite an ass-kicking, if you’re doing it right (and, remember, always ride your own ride).
I think I’ll ride every weekday at my local CYCLEBAR on Columbia Pike in South Arlington, Virginia.
Or, rather, continue riding every weekday, that is, because I was actually able to string together five weekdays in a row last week.
While I am surely the weakest and heaviest of my entire life, I wondered for a little while why I was so completely shagged by just five rides of an hour or less, each done around 24-hours apart.
How can bicyclists tour the world, riding every day with eight hours in the saddle, not fall over dead from all the riding? I mean, I used to commute to and from work every day and then ride all weekend long—no worries.
Yes, I was younger; and, people who embark on pedal bicycle tours do end up in the best shape of their lives, to be sure.
That said, every morning at crew killed me. Then I went to class. And often promptly fell asleep. In class.
The classes at CYCLEBAR harken back to college rowing; however, instead of a coxswain motivating us towards to kill ourselves in training on and off the water, the CYCLESTAR instructors are my proxy coaches, tapping into the same thing that made me kill myself during JROTC PT, high school wrestling, and college rowing.
While we’re all encouraged to ride our own ride, each class was designed to extract as much power out of each rider as possible, using some variation of the high-intensity interval training.
HIIT is a form of interval training, a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods, until too exhausted to continue.
The series of sprints, pursuits, and charges—and, if course, recovery—are the difference between touring Europe on a bike and leaving everything in the studio after only 45 minutes.
If you push yourself as hard as you can go—to your own definition of exhaustion—then you’ll surely feel it the next day.
My last ride was on Friday and now it’s Sunday—two days later; now, I’m finally feeling like a rockstar again—and looking forward to riding again tomorrow night.
I’m even excited to maybe start jogging to and from the CYCLEBAR Columbia Pike studio during much nicer days ahead. Maybe even noodle around the neighborhood for a while before the class because there are only .9 miles between where I live and CYCLEBAR.
So, to quote my lovely ex, Betsy, it’s all about the intensity. You can spend all day on the elliptical, the treadmill or even the Concept2 rowing erg or the saddle of a pedal bike or a stationary bike and you might not get the same ass-kicking you’ll enjoy after only 45-60 minutes taking a spin class—as long as you’re doing it right, doing it as hard as you—you—can!
I’m very excited about this week. One thing that I really need to focus on doing, however, is not being physical activity binary: either busting my nut in the studio or sitting on my Duff, inactively recovering.
Gotta fill my in-between time with walking, rowing, SkiErging, kettlebelling, doing some bodyweight training, some calisthenics, and push-ups and sit-ups—that sort of thing.
I’ve given myself a pass on the last three or so weeks; however, it’s time to begin becoming more well rounded, about some gym time, that jogging I mentioned, and maybe even some time back at 9Round.
Good luck to you and have a lovely week!