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Success With the Spinning®

8-Week Grand Tour Program

The Spinning® 8-Week Grand Tour Program is a real winner! Far more than a well-designed exercise program thematically based on the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, this is a training plan that provides a grand tour of Spinning training at its best.
The 8-Week Grand Tour Program is for everyone. Though having a sound aerobic base and some previous Spinning experience is preferable, even inexperience is not a deterrent to success. What is, however, a clear predictor of the outcome, is an individual’s commitment to the entire eight weeks of training. Inability to attend a particular  session does not sabotage the end result, because the real work is done daily.
Each dedicated participant is certain to experience his or her own level of accomplishment, and the same goes for the Spinning instructor who coaches the class through each mile of training. Leading the 8-Week Grand Tour Program is a challenge that stretches us beyond our boundaries, beyond our comfort zones, into a world where Spinning technique and cycling skills are linked. The program can increase comprehension, endurance, strength, power and triumph, as well as build a new level of performance that is sure to be repeated.
Another reason I liked the 8-Week Grand Tour Program is because it is clear and concise. When I received my 8-Week Grand Tour Kit for 10 participants, I also received a downloadable Program Leader Guide, as well as the opportunity to earn 5 STAR points by taking the online exam. The Leader Guide suggests how to structure, market and charge for the 8 week program at your facility, so the work is done for you. You do not need to reinvent the wheel—just turn it!

Ideally, you and your group will meet three times per week. However,  I tweaked that, by holding one 75-minute session per week with specific instructions to complete all the suggested rides in class, in the gym, or on the road. It worked; and sharing the week’s successes or challenges became an integral part of our class. Connecting by e-mail throughout the week was also helpful and motivating.

The Grand Tour program brings Spinning technique to the outdoor cycling world. Each week is based on training that is applicable to the road: endurance, rolling hills, steep climbs, team time trials, tempo rides, and sprints. Each participant receives a manual packed with succinct information, and a log book in which to record goals, schedules and workouts. The manual is easy to handle and offers valuable tools, including profiles designed by leading Spinning Master Instructors. The participants in the program I led were surprised to find these profiles both useful and enjoyable—so that was a bonus! From the studio to the road, and from the Alps to beyond, you’ll tour the rules of the world’s most renowned races and learn about good nutrition; giving you a complete training plan for improving your health and cycling skills.

The group that I led included a full spectrum of newbie- to advanced riders. Without exception, by the final week, each had a story to tell. One overcame anxiety and, on a group tour, pedaled up “Cardiac Hill” with relative ease. Another lost pounds and literally cried when she was able to climb a local road that had stopped her in her tracks last season. Another added speed, endurance and power to his daily commute. Each of us could point to one week’s focus that particularly appealed to us. For me, it was the week on tempo training. For some reason, leading this session clicked, and I felt like I really “got it.” The Spinning program teaches us that cadence may become inappropriate if not combined effectively with resistance. Considering Spinner® bikes and the resistance knob within the context of shifting gears on the road helped us to realistically balance resistance, cadence and intensity every time we rode.

The final Time Trial in the Grand Tour Program is, in a sense, a celebration, because it is an opportunity for you to put into practice what you have learned. Perhaps it is the mental aspect of time trials that teaches us life lessons as well as cycling truths. We learn that self-doubt makes us vulnerable and that it is equally as important to practice focus and positive anticipation as it is to perform efficient pedal strokes and hill repeats. As the program states, “When you challenge yourself mentally as well as physically during a race day ride, you will experience the true essence of peak performance, and be one step closer to understanding how the Grand Tour competitors feel when they race.”

As instructors we attend conferences, workshops and classes. We recognize that Spinning training equally benefits the fitness enthusiast and the cyclist. We value the simplicity of work that teaches effectiveness, efficiency and economy, as we honor both the physical and the mental components. And there is always more to learn. If we do not progress, we will become stagnant and our classes become dull and meaningless. The opportunity to lead a uniquely designed, specific program is both beneficial and stimulating. Enthusiasm, a sense of accomplishment, and pure fun cement this program together.

When participants impulsively raise their arms in the air in victory as they cross their own finish line, you know that the program has been a good one. You know that they, too, “get it.”  And you know that we all will be watching this year’s Tour de France with added appreciation and excitement.

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