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Training for Peak Performance

Performance in a Spinning® class is about combining training and trust to achieve your goals. You should feel as challenged physically as you are engaged emotionally and mentally in the class experience. I have found a unique method called “Train-to-Trust" where a Spinning instructor or rider in class differentiates between a “training mindset” and a “trusting mindset” within the Spinning class.

A training mindset is left-brain oriented, highly analytical and is tapped into when concentrating on Spinning mechanics and technique. A training mindset is often the mindset used in warm-up, cool-down, recovery and technical skill drills. 

A trusting mindset is right-brain oriented and is focused in the present and with lots of confidence. A trusting mindset is when you are riding at a high-intensity, race-like effort.  Sprints, hill climbs and high cadence flat roads are all done in a trusting mindset.

An individual needs to train the skill of developing a smooth, efficient pedal stroke, before trusting the stroke at a higher cadence and power-output. Simply, a rider needs to be able to "train" to "trust." Developing the mental skill of transitioning from a training to a trusting mindset enhances mental toughness. The controlled environment of a Spinning class provides an ideal setting to learn how effective thinking and differentiating between a training and a trusting mindset positively affects performance in class.

What is mental toughness in the context of a Spinning class?

1. Use a training mindset for practice and switch to a trusting mindset for consistent performance.
2. Control what you can and let go of what you can't.
3. Balance between a process goal and outcome goal perspective.
4. Use positive attributions to manage energy levels.
5. Remain free of fear or failure.

How does Train-to-Trust help to instill confidence?

By preparing or training progressively with the appropriate amount of challenge, you will increase your likelihood of perceived success and become more motivated to push yourself slightly beyond your comfort zone within and outside of the class environment. The more often you test the edge of your comfort zone and perceive success, the more often you can shift into a trusting mindset. Thus, the essence of the Train-to-Trust mental skill kicks into high gear.

What type of goals should you set?

Set goals that are challenging yet attainable. Once a goal, such as a specific level of resistance and cadence is met, you can incrementally increase resistance and cadence for the same Seated Climb in the next class. In contrast, if you begin at too high of a resistance or cadence, you can set yourself up for failure.

Incorporating the differentiation of a training and trusting mindset and how to switch mindsets will teach you a fundamental mental skill that will enhance performance. Practicing in a training mindset is the key to the being able to put it on automatic pilot in a trusting mindset. Once in a trusting mindset, you can experience flow, which is a precursor to peak performance.

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