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sweeneybiker
04-24-2013, 10:57 AM
I took the Group Ride certification this past weekend. I have mixed feelings about it. First, the MI was great so that was a huge plus. And the videotaping, although nobody's favorite part of the weekend, was a great tool for learning what to and not to do. I didn't mind the format and I didn't hate the music (but I did have a screaming headache at the end of each day). I like riding to the beat and had no problem with the "rhythmic" riding or choreography. My biggest issue was with some of the cadences. We have Keiser M3s at our club so I was checking the cadence meter. At one point our cadences were at 128 rpms and that pace had to be sustained for 60 seconds! I asked about it and was told that, although we would never ride at that pace on a bike outside, there's no reason we can't ride at that pace on an indoor bike as long as we aren't bouncing in the saddle. What?! Well, at that pace you'd have to add on as much resistance as you would for a hill to keep from bouncing. There aren't many people who have the strength to spin at that pace with that amount of resistance. I did the best I could but my hips and knees are still sore 3 days later. We were even spinning at that super-fast pace during the recovery track so we were cued to drop resistance. We got some song and dance about using a forward/back pedal stroke rather than an up/down pedal stroke to keep from bouncing in the saddle.

Somebody tell me I'm not crazy for thinking this is just ridiculous.

Vivienne
04-24-2013, 11:22 AM
I took the Group Ride certification this past weekend. I have mixed feelings about it. First, the MI was great so that was a huge plus. And the videotaping, although nobody's favorite part of the weekend, was a great tool for learning what to and not to do. I didn't mind the format and I didn't hate the music (but I did have a screaming headache at the end of each day). I like riding to the beat and had no problem with the "rhythmic" riding or choreography. My biggest issue was with some of the cadences. We have Keiser M3s at our club so I was checking the cadence meter. At one point our cadences were at 128 rpms and that pace had to be sustained for 60 seconds! I asked about it and was told that, although we would never ride at that pace on a bike outside, there's no reason we can't ride at that pace on an indoor bike as long as we aren't bouncing in the saddle. What?! Well, at that pace you'd have to add on as much resistance as you would for a hill to keep from bouncing. There aren't many people who have the strength to spin at that pace with that amount of resistance. I did the best I could but my hips and knees are still sore 3 days later. We were even spinning at that super-fast pace during the recovery track so we were cued to drop resistance. We got some song and dance about using a forward/back pedal stroke rather than an up/down pedal stroke to keep from bouncing in the saddle.

Somebody tell me I'm not crazy for thinking this is just ridiculous.

It's not you.....it sure seems ridiculous to me. It's an oft heard mantra but if you wouldn't do it outside.....

Vivienne

sue
04-24-2013, 05:39 PM
Not you, not crazy. Don't your computers shut off at 120, I think that is the pace ours does. You r right no one can maintain 128 w/o bouncing, that is way too fast.

What grp. cert. was that? Sue

SpinBob
04-24-2013, 06:06 PM
No you're not crazy ... that you were sore for days should be a red flag.

I worked at a club several years ago that had both Spinning® and Group Ride programs. I took a Group Ride class when the program was introduced and the thing that alarmed me was that, at least at that time, you only added resistance. There were no cues to take resistance off until the end of the class, so every class of like going up one big hill. Not sure if that is still part of the program...

sweeneybiker
04-24-2013, 08:40 PM
In answer to both of your questions:
Sue - Our bikes shut off at 140. The instructor didn't bounce at all but he was VERY tall - probably 6'7" and all muscle so I'm sure he was in a high gear. I had the resistance cranked to my "standing climb" gear and I could keep up the pace without bouncing for maybe 20-30 seconds but my joints were screaming and I was completely out of gas. This was a "Group Ride" cert - the BTS version of Les Mills' RPM.
Bob - The profile was actually really solid except for the crazy cadences. There were decreases in resistance, recoveries, and cues to scale back based on fitness level. Those cues were written in the profile notes too. There were also cues to slow down the pace if needed but instructors were expected to be able to ride at the prescribed pace.

Has anyone ever heard of the "concentrate on pedaling forward and back like the connecting rods on the wheels of a train rather than mashing them up and down and you'll stop bouncing in the saddle" thing? Sorry, but I don't get how to do that. He also said something about letting your heel float on the back of the pedal stroke to eliminate bouncing. It all sounded fishy to me.

SpinBob
04-24-2013, 09:21 PM
I sat in on a Spinning orientation earlier in the year and the MI said something about sliding your feet forward and backward, I don't remember the exact phrasing, but it worked when I got on the bike. I will double-check with the MI and get back to you.

kelwend
04-25-2013, 06:13 AM
Faster cadence is a skill that need time to master ... you can go over 120 without bouncing but if you do not master your pedal stroke you will hurt your joints; I spin fast it is how I naturally ride outdoor but I have enough awareness to know when to slow it ... that awareness we do not have it in class and even outdoor ! So we do not have to do it at all, we are the model and when we teach we have to be the model.
It is really easy if riders have that skill not just if they bounce, bouncing is not the only signal showing it. If they use more they caves in the pulling and have a "good" position in the saddle they would not bounce BUT it is for that that they can go and master fast cadence.

Now recovering with faster cadence ... when you want to recover you have to do the OPPOSITE ! Faster cadence help losing the tension in the muscles but keep old your blood in it too and you want it to go back to your chest to be clean. And of cause the "increase" or non release of the stress for your heart that want to recover sometime.
So increase the load and slow your legs to recover.

I am doing the Les Miles RPM program in a few weeks, my main manager not the group exercise one, asked me to do it to start cleaning the crazy pace we see in our gym ...

EuroD
04-25-2013, 12:31 PM
About the sliding forward and back and not up and down.

I see what he means - there are participants who press down on the pedal and pull up thus the up/down. Pushing forward and pulling back engages all parts of the pedal stroke. Think of being on an elliptical (which is how I coach it); you have a smooth pace and touch all points of the ellipses. Another phrase that I use is think of sliding into sandals and not pulling on boots.

Essentially, he was referring to a fluid pedal stroke.

sweeneybiker
04-25-2013, 01:08 PM
About the sliding forward and back and not up and down.

I see what he means - there are participants who press down on the pedal and pull up thus the up/down. Pushing forward and pulling back engages all parts of the pedal stroke. Think of being on an elliptical (which is how I coach it); you have a smooth pace and touch all points of the ellipses. Another phrase that I use is think of sliding into sandals and not pulling on boots.

Essentially, he was referring to a fluid pedal stroke.

Thanks EuroD - that is a much better explanation. Because he was stressing the forward/back thing so much I somehow eliminated the need for the up/down part in my head. It was a long weekend and I was tired - don't judge :rolleyes:. I can appreciate a fluid pedal stroke and we practice working on creating those smooth circles in my classes. Now I've got to figure out how to hold onto a perfect pedal stroke while pedaling like a maniac (if I want to pass the assessment, that is).

SpinBob
04-25-2013, 01:26 PM
About the sliding forward and back and not up and down.

I see what he means - there are participants who press down on the pedal and pull up thus the up/down. Pushing forward and pulling back engages all parts of the pedal stroke. Think of being on an elliptical (which is how I coach it); you have a smooth pace and touch all points of the ellipses. Another phrase that I use is think of sliding into sandals and not pulling on boots.

Essentially, he was referring to a fluid pedal stroke.
Katie,
This is basically how Spinning® MI Angie Scott explains it too. She also says to visualize sliding your toes to the tip of your shoes and then pulling your heal to the back.

sweeneybiker
04-25-2013, 02:34 PM
Katie,
This is basically how Spinning® MI Angie Scott explains it too. She also says to visualize sliding your toes to the tip of your shoes and then pulling your heal to the back.
Yep, the old "Donald Trump Combover" across the top of the pedal stroke and the "Wiping Mud Off Your Shoe" across the bottom of the pedal stroke. Again, easier said than done at 128 rpms. Practice practice practice, I suppose.

Todd S
04-25-2013, 04:28 PM
Cycling folklore can be so hard to kill....

http://www.pedal-on.com/showthread.php?11813-Truth-About-Indoor-Cycling-Cadence&highlight=truth+about+indoor+cycling+cadence

sweeneybiker
04-25-2013, 06:06 PM
Thanks for the link to this thread Todd. Very interesting. Wish I could share it with the folks at Group Ride. Nothing against a beautiful pedal stroke but, as I said in the beginning, those cadences are just unrealistic. Literally. Starting to question whether it's worth it to even try for the assessment. My joints STILL ache.

Paul S.
04-27-2013, 06:55 PM
...those cadences are just unrealistic. Literally. Starting to question whether it's worth it to even try for the assessment. My joints STILL ache.
If you're going to hurt yourself doing a few one-minute intervals at 128 rpm, then of course don't do it. Consider that you if you can get through them for your video, you don't actually have to do them all the time in your class. In the past couple years, BTS has emphasized the need to offer options based on the needs of your class. Of course, consistently offering a slower option may not be considered ideal by BTS, but lots of things that happen in class aren't ideal (instructors making programming mistakes, participants coming late or leaving early...)

BTS consistently reviews their programs for safety. Every new release is tested in over 100 clubs, and they do make fundamental changes in programs based on that feedback. The number of tracks in Group Ride was just increased from 9 to 10 (shortening some to keep the class within an hour).

Consider also that Group Ride instructors may now also teach the newest BTS program, a 30-minute cycling class called R30. The one R30 release I'm familiar with has a maximum speed of 124 rpm, for five 30-second intervals in one song.


...the videotaping, although nobody's favorite part of the weekend, was a great tool for learning what to and not to do....
I may have mentioned before that video recording your class is a great idea, even if you don't teach a preformatted program. You'll probably find some things you could do better, or annoying things to avoid. Video is so easy to do now there's no excuse not to.

sweeneybiker
04-28-2013, 01:42 AM
Paul,
I was hoping you would chime in. Thank you.

I can handle doing the super-high-cadence thing for a few short intervals in order to pass my assessment without too much pain. The certification weekend, as you know, requires more than a few minutes at that cadence hence the sore joints. But really, that's beside the point. I guess the biggest issue I have is why BTS feels it's so important to have these high cadences in the first place. There's no purpose to them and there is potential for injury so why not just slow those super-fast cadences down a little? Classes can still be really challenging and fun without the ridiculous hamster-on-a-wheel pace. I understand what BTS is trying to do - really I do. Our club is a perfect example of a place that should have a Group Ride program. We've been catering to cyclists for years and unintentionally excluding the people who just want a fun workout without all the fuss (HR numbers, watts etc.) I know that we will get people in the door who would never have ventured into the spin room before. Which is great. But I feel really uncomfortable asking them to spin at that pace. Sure, I can fudge and teach it how I want to after I'm certified but I shouldn't have to. It should start out as safe and effective because, as you know, you can tell people a thousand times to go at their own pace but if there is good energy in the room and that driving beat hits them, they will pedal to the beat and go hard regardless of what you say or demonstrate.

We also demo'd the R30. Yep, the cadence was 124. And I still believe that's too fast. And they are marketing it to beginners.

Totally agree with everything you've said about videotaping your own classes. Uncomfortable but very valuable.

Paul S.
04-28-2013, 04:27 PM
Thanks for your comments. Just one more thought: The Group Ride program has been around for over 7 years now. Clubs pay good money to have it. If they didn't think it had some advantages for their members over other cycling programs, or if it were injuring members in any way, it wouldn't still be around. The place where I teach BTS is one of a chain of wellness centers, each affiliated with a hospital, so they're especially concerned about the latter. As the saying goes (in its full version), the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

SpinBob
04-28-2013, 05:11 PM
Thanks for your comments. Just one more thought: The Group Ride program has been around for over 7 years now. Clubs pay good money to have it. If they didn't think it had some advantages for their members over other cycling programs, or if it were injuring members in any way, it wouldn't still be around. The place where I teach BTS is one of a chain of wellness centers, each affiliated with a hospital, so they're especially concerned about the latter. As the saying goes (in its full version), the proof of the pudding is in the eating.While I generally agree with you Paul, that clubs pay for a program does not necessarily mean that the program has merit. All it means is that clubs feel that it is either attracting or retaining members. That is usually the bottom line, from a management perspective. And as long as members are suing or leaving, they are happy.

That does not mean that I think that there is no merit to Group Ride, but for me, just that having paying customers is not how merit is gauged.

Paul S.
04-30-2013, 04:32 AM
Recently, at a training at my engineering job on how our products are marketed, it was mentioned that customers will pay more for your offering rather than a competitor's only if they perceive additional value. Members pay more to go to our club with BTS then others in the area, so they must be seeing some advantage to the classes.

SpinBob
04-30-2013, 05:57 PM
No argument, perceived value sells, but that's not what your previous post said. You said the program had merit because clubs owners bought it, not that the program had merit because members prefer it to other programs. Overall, yes BTS sells, but Group Ride, when compared Spinning®, has always left members flat at the clubs where I have taught. I am guessing your experience is different. Vive le difference!

LAWOMAN
05-06-2013, 12:19 PM
I took the Group Ride certification this past weekend. I have mixed feelings about it. First, the MI was great so that was a huge plus. And the videotaping, although nobody's favorite part of the weekend, was a great tool for learning what to and not to do. I didn't mind the format and I didn't hate the music (but I did have a screaming headache at the end of each day). I like riding to the beat and had no problem with the "rhythmic" riding or choreography. My biggest issue was with some of the cadences. We have Keiser M3s at our club so I was checking the cadence meter. At one point our cadences were at 128 rpms and that pace had to be sustained for 60 seconds! I asked about it and was told that, although we would never ride at that pace on a bike outside, there's no reason we can't ride at that pace on an indoor bike as long as we aren't bouncing in the saddle. What?! Well, at that pace you'd have to add on as much resistance as you would for a hill to keep from bouncing. There aren't many people who have the strength to spin at that pace with that amount of resistance. I did the best I could but my hips and knees are still sore 3 days later. We were even spinning at that super-fast pace during the recovery track so we were cued to drop resistance. We got some song and dance about using a forward/back pedal stroke rather than an up/down pedal stroke to keep from bouncing in the saddle.

Somebody tell me I'm not crazy for thinking this is just ridiculous.

I am curious, what release did you do? April 2013? What track were you at 128rpm?

sweeneybiker
05-06-2013, 01:35 PM
I am curious, what release did you do? April 2013? What track were you at 128rpm?
April 2013 - Track 2 - Call Me Maybe - 124 rpms, Track 4 - Feel So Close - 128 rpms, Track 6 - Sky Full of Lighters - 125 rpms.

Trihardist
08-26-2014, 12:25 PM
I took the Group Ride certification in 2007, and I remember thinking that the whole thing was ridiculous. Our entire club was converting to Group Ride; there were going to be no more "real" cycling classes, and I was not buying into that idea at all. I eventually came to appreciate Group Ride, though, and actually miss teaching the classes.

First of all, when I first started teaching, all of my students hated my music. I have a pre-disposition for punk and metal, and my stay-at-home mom crowd wasn't feeling it. Teaching Group Ride (although I often HATED the music) helped me to learn what kind of music my students were wanting. It was also easier to plan workouts, since I could freely interchange tracks, rather than finding my own music every time (I know there are other programs that do that, but Group Ride is the only one I've done).

The cadences are pretty absurd, starting out. It took me about a month to be able to execute 120-130 RPM with good form. Most riders bounce in the saddle because they push down for just a little bit too long on each pedal stroke. Learning to pedal at 128 RPM usually involves faster neuromuscular response. The best cue I've found to help students stop bouncing in the saddle is telling them to pull their knees up like they're marching. That, combined with instructing them to stop bouncing, often helps. And of course the standard instruction to focus on forward and backward rather than up/down movement also helps. When new students came into classes, I'd instruct them to ride at the half cadence, then cue them to try to pick up the cadence for 20 seconds at a time at certain points in the Spin track. I would do that along with them, and let the more experienced students spin their brains out on their own.

I do think the neuromuscular benefits of fast spinning are great enough to justify short bursts of spinning at 120-130 RPM. I still think that the 6-7 minutes of fast spinning in Group Ride's program are excessive. I always end up breaking it into 2-3 minute chunks with a break in between(the GR releases usually include "stress reversals" at least once in the Spin track, anyway).