Trick or Treat: You Choose Your Fate
Have you ever attended an indoor cycling class where someone was wearing a wig, or a tiara, or even a cape? Well, I have and I encouraged it! Yes folks, it's that time of year again when adults get to play dress up, at least in my classes, and we play Thriller by MJ for the whole class!
What will you do with your class this year? Here's one idea (want more ideas? Check out my previous posts here and here on Halloween games) using homemade Trick or Treat cards.
This is an easy way to incorporate “tricks” (i.e., challenging drills) and “treats” (i.e., easier drills). Simply have participants pick a card, either trick or treat, and the predetermined drill assigned to that card will dictate what drill is performed. I’ve decided to have six possible tricks and three possible treats.
1. Two minutes of jumps with 30 second break; repeat two to three times
2. Two one minute standing hill climbs and a couple two minute standing hill climbs; 15 second recovery between each climb
3. Five one minute sprints with 30 seconds recovery between each sprint
4. 15 squats off the bike followed by one minute of seated hill climb; repeat two times (be watchful of participants’ footwear particularly if they are wearing cycling cleats)
5. 10 sprints for 15 seconds. Recover for 45 seconds.
6. Attack the pack power! Six intervals of seated power for 30 seconds, recover for 30 seconds
1. Standing jog/ride for two minutes
2. Meet your neighbor spin out. Participants discuss best and worst Halloween costume they ever wore for three minutes.
3. Steady time trial pace for six minutes singing to the song everyone knows the words to, Thriller (the album version is 5:58)
After you've constructed your family’s costumes and your Halloween decorations, it's easy to whip up these trick or treat cards. Here's how I did it:
Step one: collect crafty items such orange post-it notes, black card stock, "trick" (6) and "treat" (3) labels, and fun Halloween pictures or stickers.
Create Your Own Hill
This past weekend, my husband and I competed in the team event of the 26th Annual Subway Coronation Triathlon. Guess who rode the bike course!?! The course was riding up and down a notorious road in Edmonton – Groat Road. It has a continuous hill climb that deviously plateaus, for what you think is the end, to be followed by a short climb to the top of 111 Avenue. It was with great pleasure that I got to ride the hill four times!
I reincarnated the climb for my cycle participants in class. I wanted them to have a chance to experience the Groat Road climb. Here is how it unfolds...
To start, have cycle participants start with a tension that mimics a hill (cadence will slow down).
The hill has five distinct climbs, which vary in duration. Prompt cycle participants to add a ‘gear’ (read: add resistance) with each hill climb.
Picture credit: static.flickr.com
Hill 1: 30 seconds
Hill 2: 60 seconds
Hill 3: 60 seconds
Hill 4: 90 seconds
Hill 5: 15 seconds
After the cycle participants reach the top of the hill, set the stage for the downhill portion. Groat Road has six turns, which are ~ 30 seconds each. With each turn, instruct cycle participants to drop a ‘gear’ and increase their cadence to the bottom.
I would encourage you to explore the various, hilly terrains of your community and make them into drills for your cycle participants. Take a ride for yourself and see how the hill would be best described. Draw the hill on a poster or white board as this will help participants visualize the course and allow you to place landmarks of interest (i.e., road signs, bridges, shoulder/run off lanes, etc.). On Groat Road, my two major landmarks were a traffic sign indicating a change in speed limit and the 107 avenue bridge which you ride under.
Setting up a drill that can be applied to an outdoor location can help cycle participants’ transition from indoor to outdoor riding and give them an opportunity to imagine riding local terrain.
Each New Year most of us have a 'new year's resolution'. What better time to look at our physical activity motivations and goals? What are your fitness goals for 2010?
I start a new session of classes next week and the drill below is something I plan to use in the first or second class. It's designed to focus you or your cycle participants on their desired outcomes, performance, and process goals within the cycle class environment.
Have cycle class participants reflect on their goals for the class over the next session or if it is a drop-in class, on their general fitness goals for 2010. Develop a list of potential motivators or goals. I do this ahead of time so that I can present the group with a list.
Here is the list I plan to use. This is obviously geared towards a group fitness setting, but most would work for individuals as well:
· Improve aerobic fitness
· Stress relief
· Improve body awareness
· Improve muscular endurance
· Meet new people
· Improve muscular strength
· Socialize with friends
· Improve body composition
· Have fun!
· Improve athletic performance
· Improve health status
Using the above goals, randomly call out (and/or show flash cards) one goal at a time and prompt cycle class participants to increase their resistance while maintaining their cadence if this is one of their goals. Hold the increased resistance (small hill) for 30 seconds. If the goal I called out is not a participants' goal, cue them to maintain their moderate, steady state pace (riding on a flat road).
Continue to call out goals and see who adds resistance to their tension knob for each potential goal.
Once the list is complete, inquire with the group about what motivates them to work hard this class or for this 10 week session. Not only is this a good drill, but it will help you tailor your class to the group for upcoming classes, designing sessions to help them achieve their goals.
I encourage you and your cycle class participants to take some time to assess what motivates you to ride the bike!
Sample flash cards
Let It Snow! Holiday Cheer!
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, prosperous 2010!
Just for fun, here is a holiday themed drill idea!
Using the song "Let It Snow", add 1/4 turn of resistance on your tension knob every time you hear the word "SNOW". And for those of you on a trainer (either road or mountain bike), add a gear every time you hear the word “SNOW”. As the song continues, the tension becomes a progressive hill. Stay seated for as long as possible; get out of the saddle once you max out in the seated position. You may reach your maximum during the song in which you then turn the resistance down and start over! The word "SNOW" occurs 18 times during the song.
Duration: Depends on what musical interpretation you choose.
The original artist, Vaughn Monroe, first sang the song in 1945. His version is 3:09 minutes but you may find the beat too slow to ride to.
Two versions that I particularly like and seem to work for a ride are:
Ella Fitzgerald (2:42 minutes) and the version from the fitness music company, Power Music CD “Tis the Season” (3:22 minutes).
Others song options include:
Michael Buble (2:24 minutes)
Frank Sinatra (2:40 minutes)
Bing Crosby (2:05 minutes)
Boyz II Men (4:12 minutes; “SNOW” is repeated 34 times!)
Diana Krall & The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (4:00 minutes)
Cadence: 60-90 RPM (likely to decrease as the song progresses)
Resistance: Set tension at steady state, moderate pace (e.g., 3-4 out of 10) and add tension as the song dictates!
Note: Depending on your bike, 1/4 turn may be too much or too little resistance to add. Feel free to adjust your increments as necessary depending on the bike being used.
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!