In my last blog post, I discussed how to use a simple deck of cards to jazz up any indoor cycling class. Since there are many ways to play with the cards, I’ve come up with two other drills that can raise the stakes and ace the workout!
Drill #3: Using the Suits to your Advantage
Have you ever wanted to put cycle participants into groups? Using the deck of cards, the suits will help you randomly assign groups. Pass out a card to each cycle participant (place in front of the bike or simple attach an elastic band to each card and affix to the handlebars). Since there are four suits you can split the group into four distinct groups. Determine four different drill types (e.g., seated hill climb, standing hill climb, seated down hill, seated flat) and call out which group is to do what drill. For example, all those cycle participants with hearts are to complete a standing hill climb. Rotate the drill types through each of the groups for a total of four minutes (one minute for each drill).
Alternatively, use the colour of the suits to break a large group into two smaller groups. Alternate work and rest between the two groups. For example, all those cycle participants with black suits are to complete seated power drill for 30 second while those with the red suits are in active recovery.
Drill #4: Add it Up!
Similar to last blog post, use the values of the cards to determine drill duration but use the rules of Blackjack. Instead of you as the Group Fitness Leader listing the duration from the cards you pull, have cycle participants in each row, usually four to eight people long, add up the total value of their cards. Again, distribute the cards to each cycle participant (as described above). For example, in the studio I teach in, I have six rows of six to seven bikes (approximately forty bikes). Each row of cycle participants is randomly picked to add up their cards and the whole group proceeds to complete a drill for the assigned duration. Here is a refresher to Blackjack rules:
Ace to 10 cards = 1-10 points/seconds
Face cards = 10 points/seconds
For example, a row of 6 cycle participants have a king, 3, 8, ace, 3, and queen. That would equal a 35 second drill. After each row has had a chance to add up their cards and the whole group does a pre-assigned drill for that duration, consider shuffling the cards and starting over. Feel free to pick a second drill type for the next round. The duration of all the drills will be totally random or at least the probability of the same cards being pulled would be very low!
Consider “hitting” the class with a “double down” and see who will “bust or break”!
Got other ideas how to use a deck of cards in an indoor cycling class? Post your ideas!
Did I get your attention? Aren’t diamonds a girl’s best friend? Well, I’m not giving away any freebies this blog post, especially not diamonds; but I am giving you a new outlook on how to include a deck of cards, yes a deck of cards, of all things, in your cycle classes.
Take your standard deck of cards, 52 cards to be exact. You’ve got your four suits each with an ace, king, queen, jack and cards two through to ten. Now depending on your deck, you may have one to four jokers as well. So many cards and so many things you can do with the deck to spice up you next cycling class. And think, how many card games you know that you could ‘play’ in a cycle class?
Drill #1: Pick the Number, Pick the Duration
Take a typically drill (e.g., hills, power, sprints) and let the deck dictate the duration. I typically use only the number cards (tack an extra zero on the end of the number to equal seconds) with random jokers in the deck. For example, I pull a three of spades and thus the group needs to do 30 seconds of the drill. Now, if I pull a joker, it is a random card and I let the group yell out the duration. Watch those highly motivated cycle participants yell out a 10; thus, the drill is for 100 seconds!
To keep the cycle participants engaged, pull four cards from the deck. The first and third cards are the duration of the drill and the second and fourth cards are the recovery duration. Boy, you can sure get some mismatching happening in which cycle participants can get more work than rest!
Drill #2: Numbers Count - Jumps and Lifts
Using the whole deck of cards, randomly distribute a card to each cycle participant. Since the cycle participants could receive any of the potential cards in the deck, ensure that you announce what each cards represents. Of course the number cards would be pretty self explanatory but say face cards are worth 15 jumps/lifts and all jokers are worth 20 jumps/lifts.
Throughout the class, call on participants to reveal which card they have and follow their direction on how many jumps/lifts the class is to complete. Expect to call on at least five separate cycle participants to help dictate the number of jumps/lifts the group is to do. Alternatively, depending on your duration of jumps/lifts (four, eight, or sixteen beats of the music or using stop watch every 10 seconds) you may need more or less cycle participants to participate.
Now who knew that a simple deck of cards would be so handy in a cycle class?
Stay tuned for part two, of Diamonds, Hearts, Clubs, and Spades…
Workman's Cycle Drills & Skills
Enjoy some of my favorite cycle workout drills either in a cycle class or on your own bike at home!