Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Class #69 Cycling Wednesday 8:45 a.m.(Lisa C.)

It’s been five days since my last group cycling class so I know it must be time for another. This will make bike class number 17 on the quest, with 7 more to go. Lisa Cooper will be our fearless leader today and I expect a tough go from her.

I’ve taken class from Lisa before a few times and my recollection is that she likes to spin fast whether seated or standing. Watching Lisa ride shoots down my favorite excuse for being unable to sustain high RPM’s while standing, which is, because I’m too tall. Hah! Lisa’s at least as tall as I am and with longer legs to boot. So, I guess I have to fall back on preference – I prefer to push higher gears at lower RPM’s – anyone buying that?

Today in class we do some sprinting but the most memorable sets are what are known as interval training. Interval training alternates unsustainably high effort (anaerobic) bursts with just enough rest to recover before repeating again. There are a number of studies that claim this is absolutely the best way to burn calories and increase aerobic capacity. According to these studies, there is a sustained calorie burn even after the exercise session is finished when interval training is done correctly.

I “enjoy” interval training but there is a delicate balance that needs to be maintained to get the most out of it. It’s critical to push really hard during the effort phase and just as important to have sufficient rest after each set to sufficiently recover – in order to push hard again. In class today, Lisa gets it just right so that I’m able to give a near maximum effort at the end of each push.

Lisa Cooper in retro gear

Thanks to the interval training and Lisa’s motivational teaching style, I end up with better than normal numbers. My average watts from beginning to end of class is 138 (usually it’s about 133) and my heart rate average is 134 – also slightly above normal.

Lisa is obviously a really good teacher – she knows all her students by name and they brag about her to me both before and after class. There are around ten in class this morning and I’m the sole cowboy. The gift certificate winner is Melissa Chance.

Next up, a shot at Zumba redemption in the 4:15 class with Bonnie.

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