Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm Going To Be A SPINNING® Instructor!

Lizzy Hoffman
This past Saturday I took a Spinning®  Instructor Certification Class!  It was all day at the Brunswick County Community College in Bolivia, NC.  There was ten of us in the class plus our instructor Elizabeth Hoffman from Charlotte.  Elizabeth "Lizzy" is a Master Spin Instructor and was amazing.  She had great energy and a really positive outlook on Spinning®, exercise and life in general.  She also owns the Urban Bliss Yoga Studio in Charlotte.  Lizzy became a professional ballet/modern dancer when she was in her teens, and has danced for companies in the United States and abroad. She has a degree in Dance/Kinesology and Choreography from the University of South Florida.  She became a Master Spinning Instructor in 1996 and taught an extremely informative and engaging class.  She also knew two of my favorite riding buddies Furman Hammonds and Jen Doyle from Fayetteville, both of whom are Spin® Instructors!

"Spinning®" was created in the 1980's by ultra-endurance and world-class athlete Jonathan Goldberg, better known as "Johnny G."  Johnny G. was an ultra-marathon cyclist in the 1980's.  In 1988 he set a record that to this day that is undefeated in a 554 mile non-stop race across the state of Arizona.  He finished in 29 hours and 46 minutes more than 4 hours ahead of the rest of the field.  In his home garage he designed the first prototype "Spinner®"  bike and used this for training to help him in his bid to become the first person to cycle across America in RAAM (Race Across America).  In 1989 he placed 12th in the 2911 mile RAAM and 1st in the RAAM Open West.

In 1994, Johnny G. and John R. Baudhuin founded Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc. to manufacture the Johnny G Spinner®.   The Spinning® Program was born!!  With the help of health and fitness experts they developed the Spinning® Instructor Certification Program.  Today the program has grown into a worldwide phenomenon; it is the industry leader in equipment-based group exercise with over 150,000 certified instructors and 35,000 official Spinning® facilities in 80 countries.  

 Our class started with a classroom lecture discussing Bike Setup, then we learned about terrain, and basic techniques of sitting and standing and more advanced techniques including jumps and sprinting.  And also concepts such as rhythm releases, pedal efficiency and the fundamentals of breathing, relaxation, visualization and stretching.  By combining the positions, techniques and fundamentals workouts are developed.  We also learned advanced riding techniques - Cadence Building, Resistance Loading, Running with Resistance, Jumps on a Hill and Sprints on a Hill.  Then we met in the Spinning® room for get on the bikes with Lizzy leading us physically through what had been discussed in the lecture.  We did a short role play where we introduced ourselves and coached another student in setting up their bike for fit.  I was happy to have received a comment from one of them that it seemed like I've been teaching class for a long time already.  Thank You, Hawleys Bicycle World for a year of excellent information on fitting bikes!!!

After a short break for lunch we were back in the classroom to discuss Heart Rate Training, Class Design and how to develop Spinning® Profiles.  The Heart Rate Training was really interesting for me.  While I do train and race with a heart rate monitor, I use it primarily out of curiosity. In road races I've seen my heart rate peak at 203 but usually max at183 at the end of the race.  In a triathlon, the numbers usually peak at 188 for the run and 179 during the bike segment. Since I started racing so long ago I do my training "Old School" by Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE).  Which is also something utilized in Spin® classes for those who do not or choose not to use a Heart Rate Monitor.  I think this season I will pay closer attention to my heart rate zones while training and see what will happen. 

My fellow future Spin® Instructors!
We went back to the Spin room one final time for a short Road Ride with Lizzy conducting the workout like she would had us in "Race Day" or a peak performance "time trial" effort at the end of the ride - I thought I was going to see my lunch again.  I remember feeling that all I wanted to do was get down on my aerobars at the end of that ride.  I know I can push myself much harder in that position because that is how I've trained my body over the years.   But - there are no aerobars in Spinning®. 

I'm excited to be learning something new to add to my life.  In two weeks I'm taking a Water Fitness Instructor Certification.  I was approached one day last fall after I finished a swim workout by one of the Water Fitness Instructors at the pool, and she told me about the certification.  I'm really looking forward to this class too.  I'll post about it after the course!  See you then!