- I want to sweat like crazy and feel like I've had the best workout of the week so I push it hard and my heart rate responds accordingly :)
- I get lost in the music and just forget to check the watch
- I would just feel lame sitting on the bike keeping my heart rate down while everyone else is running or hill-climbing!
I'm trying to get my head around the whole endurance aspect. I compared my last 4 Spinning workouts (below, date order from right to left) to see if I'm getting any closer to the target range of 65-75% of maximum heart rate. Apparently not!
I have the real-time heart rate measurements on my wrist, so why is it hard to keep within the defined range?
Just before Christmas last year I fell in love.
I didn't see it coming at all. So unexpected, yet thrilling and addictive! I have a feeling it's going to last.
I opened my arms wide and welcomed...SPINNING into my fitness regime. Admittedly, the very first time I flirted with Spinning, the experience was truly bizarre. It was about 3 years ago and it turned out to be a virtual spinning class. So, there I was in the class, staring bewilderedly at the rather flimsy-looking bikes around the perimeter of the room, thinking to myself...
Wtf? This sort of thing can only happen in Finland...
Clumsily, I set up my bike and started following a DVD of some wee guy riding through what appeared to be the Rocky Mountains. I suffered on through the boredom and left feeling very weird. That spelt the end of our brief encounter.
3 years later, in need of some lower joint-impact exercise, I ventured back into the Spinning room, but this time I made sure there would be an instructor. It was a 30 minute class in which I literally nearly died. The 30 minutes were spent trying to breathe while frantically clock-watching praying the pain would end soon!
However, like a total sucker for punishment, just before Christmas I decided to give it one more try by going to a 1 hour endurance Spinning class. I had another reason to be skeptical about this particular class and it was because of the instructor. I'd previously tried her kettle-bell class, hated it and promised myself never to go to her classes again!
The result? I was hooked, it was really great fun! I even saw a bit of myself in the instructor. She is a fitness-freak, loves her music, carefully chooses playlists for the class and TURNS UP the volume: an excellent motivator! I like her anecdotal approach, filling in the gaps in tracks with some wee stories. Granted, they are in Finnish language but I try my best :)
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Spinning, it's a calorie-burning cardio workout on a stationary bike. You control how fast you pedal and the level of resistance from the bike. There is (usually!) an instructor telling you how to follow the intervals, stand up, climb hills and sprint etc.
In endurance Spinning, the idea is to keep your heart rate between 65-75% of its maximum. I haven't quite mastered that yet because when I feel like I'm capable of working harder, why should I cool it down!?
If you're a first timer, it's CRUCIAL that you ask the instructor to help you set up the bike to suit your height and to explain why the adjustments are made like that.
Take it from someone who was initially very skeptical about Spinning that it can be a lot of fun, not to mention a killer calorie-burning workout for the legs, bum and your cardio fitness.
Don't be shy, give it a try!
Seriously. Back in the days when I was training in Muay Thai, I would often observe the gym and fitness class-goers finishing their Les Mills classes like BodyPump and BodyCombat and a couple of my fellow Thai Boxers and I would say to each other...
"Check them out...they are so lame. They should try out a real tough sport! Bet they don't get to train to The Prodigy like we do! Suckers!
We were literally laughing at them. We thought it was so cheesy.
These days I can absolutely, 100%, entirely willingly, EAT MY OWN WORDS. This is my heart rate graph from today's BodyCombat class:
It speaks for itself. Now, you could quite reasonably draw a number of conclusions about this:
1. We were extremely narrow-minded Thai Boxing snobs...and you'd be quite correct.
2. This graph indicates that I'm actually quite unfit and the minimal effort required for BodyCombat is way above me...and you'd be wrong!
In actual fact, I'm in pretty good shape (even if I do say so myself) and am doing a variety of different types of exercises in my routine. I typically head to the gym 5 times a week. So, in my humble opinion, the most reasonable conclusion to draw from this is that group fitness classes can be very intense and extremely physically demanding. BodyCombat is a cardio class, based on various martial arts' influences. Although I don't actually hit anyone or anything any more, I would argue that the cardio effect and fitness training here is definitely not lame.
It's a fantastic way to release some aggression and just have fun!
Sports & Remedial Massage Therapist, language-geek, mum, Nordic at heart. Family, travelling, my bike, fitness and music make me tick.