There’s another psychological factor that’s making me feel stronger too. I’m on one of the “magic” bikes (that’s the nickname that cycling class participants and teachers call them). Actually, it’s only semi-magical but it’s enough to make me feel like I’m doing more than I really am. Let me explain.
We use Keiser bikes in our Group Cycling classes and they’ve been fantastic – much better than the three previous versions we’ve had. Instead of a mechanical brake where the wheel is squeezed to create tension and increase workload, these bikes use a magnetic brake. The use of a magnetic brake creates much less wear and tear on the bikes and therefore far fewer mechanical issues.
Anyway, by changing a gear lever on the bike the magnetism is increased simulating riding into wind or up a hill. The gear level corresponds to a read out showing “watts” which is a matter of workforce and one way we measure how hard we’re working. The problem is that on a few select (magic) bikes, the gearing is slightly off so it “appears” that one is working harder than usual. For instance, my normal basement level gear (i.e. the place where my workload is about 50% of capacity at 90 rpms) is 6 but on the “magic” bike it’s 8. Every other gear level is correspondingly higher so I’m pushing more watts (but not really) and burning more calories (but not really) than I do in a normal class. The odd thing is that I know that none of this perceived extra work is true but still it makes me “feel” like an animal.
The most reliable way to ascertain how hard one is working is by using a heart rate monitor. I’m wearing my monitor today and my average heart rate for the 50-minute class is 128. Since that includes warm up and cool down, my average work heart rate is probably in the 130’s, which is around 80% of my supposed maximum heart rate (i.e. 220-age – 54 in my case). That’s about average for me so I know I’ve worked fairly hard but no harder than usual.
This morning’s teacher is Cary Andrews. I’ve taken classes with Cary several times previously when she’s subbed for Carla’s noon class. She gives a good hard workout with a nice mixture of climbs, sprints and pyramids. She has us do more “hovering” than I’m used to, where the hips are pushed back over the seat while doing a standing climb - this isolates the hamstrings and I’ll probably feel it tomorrow.
Cary uses an interesting mix of music ranging from progressive country to hip-hop. I don’t recognize much of the music but that’s nothing new since my sweet spot is more like James Taylor, Jackson Browne and Van Morrison – not really bike class material. (See Cary's play list printed at the bottom of this post.)
Cary attended the University of Utah where she majored in Exercise and Sport Science. She has been teaching at the Club for several years and loves it. She’s also passionate about adventure racing – events like Raid the Rock. She’s completed several marathons, along with numerous 5 and 10K races.
Outside of the sports world Cary is a licensed cosmetologist and has worked in that field for 17 years. Her favorite hobby, she says, is riding her horse Rambo. Her ideal race would be something like Raid the Rock with a little barrel racing thrown in so Rambo could shine.
There were 15 in the peleton this morning with a nice mixture of boys and girls. The $25 gift certificate goes to Scarlett Moore.
I’m immediately off to Heather Isbell’s 10 a.m. On The Ball class, report back in soon.
Cary's play list for today's class follows:
Barefoot and Crazy- Jack Ingram
Beautiful – Akon
Young and Wild- Eric Church
Bob that Head- Rascal Flatts
Mesmerized-Faith Evans( Freemasons Remix)
Tik Tok- Kesha ( Fred Falke remix Club)
Money Honey- Lady Gaga
Sweet Child O’ mine- Guns and Roses
Gimme More- Power Music Workout Remix
Steamy Windows- Tina Turner
Guajira (I Love U 2 much)- Yerba Buena
Click Click Click- New Kids On The Block
Say Goodbye-Chris Brown