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Welcome to My Spin Class – Geek Turned Athlete

Welcome to My Spin Class

This morning came WAY too soon after my awful migraine that had me puking up my dinner last night. I had to teach spin though, so it was up and at em’ at 5:45am. I teach a very small spin class in a very small gym on the Air Force base here in Spokane. This gym is secluded on base from the other gym since it is only supposed to be for certain people. I teach anywhere from 6-10 people which is quite a change from Germany where I used to teach 30-40 peeps at a time. There are pros and cons to each situation, but I still love it!

Notice how I have all the broken bikes behind me? Yes, there is nowhere to put them but there. Oh, well. All of the working bikes are lined up in front of me. Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of my view of the room!

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Today, we had a great interval workout. If you happen to miss your own spin class or need another trainer workout, feel free to use this:

I use the Perceived Rate of Exertion scale (PRE) in my class since not everyone wears heart rate monitors.

ZERO is you are dead in the ground, TEN is you want to die (cannot move the pedals), and FIVE is walking up a flight of stairs.

Cadence: Climbs or Hills (60-80 rpm), Flat roads or standing flats (80-110 rpm)

  • 5 min warm up, flat road, PRE 6.5
  • 4 min Single leg drills– only use one leg to turn the wheel. Keep “dead” foot still strapped in. Alternate feet every minute.  Keep cadence of flat road, PRE 6.5-7
  • 3 min standing flat (80-110 rpm), PRE 7.5
  • 1 min flat road, PRE 6.5. Use these 1 min active recoveries to bring your heart rate down and calm your breath.  You are still working though!!  This is NOT a break!
  • 2 min standing flat, PRE 8
  • 1 min flat road, PRE 6.5
  • 1 min standing flat, PRE 8.5 (if you had to have a conversation with someone you couldn’t. You are really having to concentrate on your breathing.)
  • 1 min flat road, PRE 6.5
  • do this same method (3,1,2,1,1,1) for standing climbs, seated flat roads, seated climbs (total including standing flats and warm-up — 46 min)
  • Now add in jumps. Keep cadence at 80-110 rpm the whole time.
  • 3 min jumps (8 count). This means you are out of the saddle for 8 pedal strokes, then you are in the saddle for 8 pedal strokes. PRE 8
  • 1 min flat road, PRE 6.5
  • 2 min jumps (4 count). PRE 8.5
  • 1 min flat road, PRE 6.5
  • 1 min jumps (2 count). PRE 8.5-9 You are out, then you are in. You don’t have time to get comfortable in the saddle!!!
  • 2 min flat road, PRE 7.5 (start of cooldown)
  • 1 min flat road, PRE 6.5
  • 1 min flat road, PRE 5
  • 1 min, take off all resistance, sit up, and let the wheel take you around
  • Stretch!!!

This is just about an hour long. Your cadence and resistance combination determines how hard you are working. If some interval is too easy for you and you can still maintain the cadence, that means that you don’t have enough resistance on. If you don’t have anything that tells you rpms on your bike, no biggy. Use your judgement. Obviously, you pedal slower when on a hill, and faster when you are on a flat road (at least in spin class). Have fun!! If you have any questions, feel free to email me!!  If you want, feel free to imagine me yelling at you. 😉

After the class, I had to get my run in that I missed last night due to my migraine. I forgot my garmin, so it was dreadmill time:

  • 1 mile, warm-up.
  • .25 mile 5K pace, .25 mile jog
  • .5 mile 5K pace, .25 mile jog
  • 1 mile 10K pace, .25 mile jog
  • .5 mile 5K pace, .25 mile jog
  • .25 mile 5K pace, .25 mile jog
  • Cool down until I reached 6 miles


After speedwork on treadmill: How do I look with no make-up on? Tired, eh?

Oh, and just an FYI, don’t try to drink coconut water while you are running if you have a sensitive stomach like myself. I usually drink it after teaching class, but I decided to drink it during my run today. I definitely felt the diuretic effects of coconut water if you get my drift.  I kept wanting to run off the treadmill to the bathroom.

Kai Update: Kai is doing great from his little neutering last week. He has not chewed out his stitches yet and is hyper as hell still. He is recovering very nicely. The vet said no running for 10 days which also includes dog park visits. Our walks have been crazy because of this. He is going to be so happy when he can run free again!!


Have you taken an indoor cycling class before?? What did you think?

{ 23 comments… add one }

  • Matt @ The Athlete's Plate March 16, 2011, 5:10 pm

    I really want to take your class 😉
    Matt @ The Athlete’s Plate recently posted..Wordless Sort Of Wednesday

    • Nicole March 16, 2011, 5:13 pm

      You might be scared. That is where “mean” Nicole comes out!!! I always say, “You can hate me during class, but you’ll love me afterwards”! I got some dirty looks during the hills and jumps today. ha!

  • Erica March 16, 2011, 5:13 pm

    ah! Some day we must get together and I’ll take your spin class and you can take one of my classes :). Glad Kai is doing well! Frank got hurt this week :( He is also on rest for 10 days. Trying to keep them from running is RIDICULOUS
    Erica recently posted..E- Variety &amp Oatmeal Chocolate- Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Maggs March 16, 2011, 5:17 pm

    I didn’t realize you had a military affiliation. I always took the spinning classes on base when I was active duty. They were always so much harder than at other off base clubs.
    Maggs recently posted..Ironman New Zealand 2012

  • Sarah for Real March 16, 2011, 6:03 pm

    I wish I could take a class from you! I’ve tried spin once and the instructor told me to take it easy since I was new. I didn’t even break a sweat :/ They’ve gotten new bikes since then with more doodads so I should try again. I need numbers and stats to really push myself.
    Sarah for Real recently posted..Donating to Food Banks

    • Nicole March 17, 2011, 11:09 am

      That is not good!! You should come to one of my classes on base. It is free. 😉 Let me know!!

  • Sana March 16, 2011, 6:22 pm

    I actually really do want to take a spinning class! I just need to get up and go! ) hardest parttt!

  • lindsay March 16, 2011, 6:30 pm

    oh fun! I wish we taught spin at the same place. Then we could do our dreadmill runs together.
    lindsay recently posted..A Successful Runner……

  • Beth March 16, 2011, 8:02 pm

    That looks like a fun class! I’m impressed that you did all of that immediately post-migraine!
    Beth recently posted..Four Courts Four Miler- Race Report

  • Ash @ Good Taste. Healthy Me March 16, 2011, 8:31 pm

    I’ve only been a couple times but it was with the same trainer. I didn’t care for her and the class bored me. But I’ve heard so many people rave about them I feel I should try again with someone different.
    Ash @ Good Taste. Healthy Me recently posted..Living and Breathing Food

  • Kara March 17, 2011, 5:08 am

    I don’t know if your dog park has this, but after my hyper as hell dog got spayed, I took her to the small dog side so she could run back and forth with her friends without any contact. It was impossible for me to NOT have her run (and she was already doing it in the apartment), so the small dog side of the park was perfect.
    Kara recently posted..Zombie Thursday

  • Theresa @ActiveEggplant March 17, 2011, 6:27 am

    I love spin class! I only get in one class a week, but it’s usually my best workout each week. I like that you use the PRE scale – the instructors at my gym use the heart rate method & it’s sometimes hard for a lot of us to relate because we don’t wear HRM’s.
    Theresa @ActiveEggplant recently posted..Sarasota Half Marathon 2011 Race Recap

    • Nicole March 17, 2011, 9:13 am

      I yell out both sets of numbers. It pleases everyone in the class. I’m surprised your spin instructor doesn’t do that!

  • Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle March 17, 2011, 7:26 am

    Spin is definitely my favorite form of exercise…I only get to do it once a week now because I’m training for a half marathon, but I would take it every day if I could!

  • Andy March 17, 2011, 7:53 am

    I do spin classes through the gym I am a member of (LA Fitness). I usually use that workout as a higher intensity workout fo rmy bike, and I also use it when the weather is going to be horrible and I need to log some higher intensity miles in the saddle. My trainer at home is old and ragged, so I really cant do much on it other than spin and seated interval sprints. I really love most of the classes and instructors that do a spin class at my gym. Have not really had a bad experience yet, except that sometimes multiple machines are down.
    Andy recently posted..My 2011 Race Season is Finally Here!

  • Emily March 17, 2011, 9:03 am

    I teach spinning too and I can not imagine teaching to 30-40 people. That must have been such fun! My classes are usually around 20. 6-10 would be tough, but I imagine they must be people that love to go and have high energy for the workout.
    Emily recently posted..Don’t Mess with the Rest Cuz the Rest Don’t Mess

    • Nicole March 17, 2011, 9:15 am

      I have to admit, it was really hard going from that extreme in Germany to what I do now!! There was so much energy in the room with so many people. I got used to the small class, and now it is just as energetic!

  • Joanna B. March 17, 2011, 9:39 am

    I used to love taking spin classes, it’s been a couple of years though. I love the intensity of the indoor cycling workout!

    Seems like you are a better instructor than any that I’ve ever had, they never used HR for gauging intensity, that would be very helpful.
    Joanna B. recently posted..Throwing out the Scale

    • Nicole March 17, 2011, 11:08 am

      Thank you! My number goal in the class is to make sure everyone is safe while working out. Then, it is to make sure that you get a great workout! It kills me when I go to classes where the instructor has people hovering and/or spinning above 110 rpms. That is a good way to cause back and knee problems.

  • Sable@SquatLikeALady March 17, 2011, 5:25 pm

    HI neighbor!! Ha! I am in Great Falls Montana and go to the base gym (don’t teach any classes there! We don’t have too much of a selection of classes although the gym is only two years old sio the equipment is awesome).

    I HATE when I’m doing cardio and I have to get off every 10 minutes to go to the bathroom. Ugh. It’s the worst! And with the sheer volume of water I drink…it’s unavoidable :(
    Sable@SquatLikeALady recently posted..Nearly No Carb Almond Muffins &amp Fears

  • Nicole March 17, 2011, 6:38 pm

    Hi Nicole, I use to love taking spin classes and loved my teacher!! Since I moved to the country our gym/hospital do not have spin bikes, but I do have one at home. I’m thinking of doing it at home but I know it won’t be as fun as with a group, I think I am going to try it on my
    non-running days!! I bet you kick a–!! I would love to have you as my teacher, you rock!!
    Glad Kai is doing well!! :)

  • Leila @ Spinach and Skittles March 18, 2011, 10:03 pm

    Darn, you’re on the air force base? I would love to take a class from you, but I’m not military 😉
    Leila @ Spinach and Skittles recently posted..Everybody dance now

  • Toni March 20, 2011, 7:35 pm

    Migraines are a bummer! I used to get them really often and sometimes they’d last 3 days! Hope you’re feeling better!
    Toni recently posted..Over-night oatmeal mud pie


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