By Linda Freeman, STAR 3 Certified Spinning® Instructor | Vermont
Most of my Spinning® class participants are athletes. Spinning® training and technical skills put everyone on a level playing field. As each student works to the best of his or her ability, it is up to us, the Instructors, to identify the strengths and challenges, the likes and dislikes, the goals and doubts of each member of the class, each piece of the collective whole.
In Vermont, We Love the Great Outdoors… and Spinning®
Here in Vermont, ours is an outdoors-oriented community. Therefore, our Spinning® class is made up of an diverse assortment of abilities, skills and fitness levels, men and women, young and old, cyclists, runners, hikers, skiers and paddlers.
Spinning really is for everyone. The underlying concept of each class is one of individual training in the supportive community of other like-minded beings — from a delightful and petit woman in class with special needs, an orthopedic surgeon (who credits Spinning for his best Birkebeiner (Nordic ski) finish ever), the professional woman, the kindergarten teacher, the female financial executive and her day-trader road cycling partner, the student and the senior — all have a place in Spinning class and each one is an athlete.
Spinning training makes room for everyone and allows each to define his own athletic profile. You and I, the Instructors, bear the responsibility to recognize this and to give each student a path to follow, a road to ride.
We Celebrate Our Female Athletes
Women, often hampered by self-imposed hesitation, time constraints due to family obligations, professional demands and a seemingly necessary need to modify fitness or athletic ambitions, find that within the parameters of a well-organized Spinning class they can ride side-by-side, pedal stroke by pedal stroke, with anyone.
Moms train too! One mom comes to my classes to relieve the stress and fear of caring for her son who is battling cancer. Another mom comes to leave behind for an hour a hectic life and carve a niche for herself in a corner of the studio. Another rides joyfully, challenging her husband. Another rides with her daughter, modeling for the next generation what it means to live a healthy and active life.
Resistance plus cadence equals intensity — we all know that. But the beauty of this equation is that each and every member of a class begins in stillness, empty space, and can fill that space with her personal energy, her plan, her dream to achieve and her need.
What Might Josh Taylor Say
When Josh Taylor, world renown International Spinning Master Instructor, addresses a room full of riders on their Spinner® bikes, he often speaks to all as “athletes.” We, as Instructors, are privileged to teach a form of training that has a purpose.
Because we are not just marking time or burning calories, we are training. We work in clearly designed Energy Zones that are specifically structured to increase endurance, build muscular and mental strength, spike intensity and quickly recover. We work with cadence, with resistance, with form and technique. We train to be efficient and effective with our precious time, strength and resources. We relate it all to what we do outdoors or we connect solely with the Spinner® bike.
The student who prefers the studio meets the outdoors enthusiast in solidarity in a Spinning® class. The studio athlete can practice skills in a comfortable and safe environment, experience the joys of cycling without fear or a burdensome investment in equipment and can enjoy powerful fitness benefits.
The recreational or competitive athlete finds in her work in the studio the rare opportunity to train precisely in controlled conditions and elevation. Riding or running on Vermont roads, for example, is a constant call to be alert to pot holes, frost heaves, cars and, of course, the ever-changing terrain that takes one uphill and down within short distances.
Yes, Spinning class is a great equalizer in the best sense of the word and offers a level playing field to all who participate. Progress, achievements and pleasures are relative to each who rides.
Results are anticipated and they are empowering.