Cycling Class: The Rules Of The Road
by Lee Wright, BS Program Director for Enron' s corporate
fitness center the "Body Shop"
Studio cycling is an exciting new training program that
brings a new dimension to indoor cycling. It incorporates
the physiological and biomechanical science of cycling
with motivational techniques of sports psychology to bring
aerobic and anaerobic training to a whole new level. When
instructed properly and safely, studio cycling workouts
are for riders of all fitness levels and populations. It
provides an alternative for aerobic training because it
is non-impact but can be weight-bearing when lifting off
the saddle and cycling while standing in the pedals.
Here are several helpful tips to help you receive the
most benefits from your first studio cycling workout:
First check with the facility to learn more about their
studio cycling program:
- Are the instructors certified studio cycling instructors?
- What types of classes are offered – introductory,
beginner, advanced levels.
- Is there a fee or sign-up
to participate in class?
- What do you need to bring
to class – water bottle, towels, and special cycling
Inform the instructor that this is your first class
and ask he/she to:
- Teach you about bike set-up adjustments to insure
a proper fit. Hasty adjustments can lead to injury.
- Discuss cycling techniques, elements of the ride,
resistance controls, safety and injury prevention
- Wear clothes that enhance cooling,
prevent skin abrasions and minimize pressure to seated
- Cycling shorts or gel saddle covers help protect
riders and reduce saddle soreness.
- Cross-trainer tennis shoes that has a stiffer
- Cycling shoes that fit Look or recessed
Bring a Water Bottle and a Towel to Class: Adequate hydration
throughout the ride is imperative. Indoor cycling raises
your body temperature and causes significant perspiration.
Drink plenty of water before, during and after training.
Bring a towel with you to each class. Please be considerate
of other riders by wiping down the bike and surrounding
area after each class.
Take Frequent Posture Breaks: The forward flex position
of the spine during cycling can become uncomfortable
until you have built up your core muscles (abs and back)
in the cycling position.
Rules of the Road
- Work at your own level of fitness.
- It is recommended for riders new to indoor cycle to
remain in the saddle most of the time during their first
- Reduce resistance if you begin to feel tired,
out of breath, or feel leg muscle fatigue.
- During exercise
monitor your exercise intensity by using the Talk Test
(the ability to carry on a conversation
- without becoming winded).
- Take time to sufficiently
cool-down after the workout.
Resistance Controls: Each bike has a resistance knob/lever
which can be adjusted to make the tension easy, moderate,
or more difficult allowing each rider to work at
their own fitness level. As you become stronger and more
conditioned through studio cycling, you will be able
work at higher
levels of resistance controls.
- To increase resistance, turn the knob to the right.
- To decrease resistance, turn the knob to the left.
- To come to a stop:
- Press down & hold the knob down.
The pedals will stop.
- Slow pedal speed and come to a
- Resistance Levers:
- To increase resistance, push lever
- To decrease resistance, pull the lever up.
- To come
to a stop:
- The pedals will stop
- Slow pedal speed and come to a
- Be sure and have enough resistance
when standing in the pedals. Too little resistance
techniques and may lead to knee stress.
- Basic Seated Pedaling – moderate
pedaling with moderate resistance.
- Seated Climbs – slower pedaling with moderate to hard
- Seated Sprints – fast pedaling with
light to moderate resistance.
- More advanced techniques:
- Standing Climbs – slower
pedaling with moderate to hard resistance.
Sprints – fast pedaling with moderate resistance.
– lifting out of the saddle with fast to moderate pedaling
and light to
Speak with your instructor either before or after the
workout if you have any more questions. And remember,
Lee Wright is the avid cyclist with over twelve years
of road and off road cycling experience. She has competed
in many long distance cycling tours and is a group studio
cycling instructor at The Downtown YMCA. Lee is the co-owner
of Cyclistics, a group cycling certification and continuing
education company recognized by the American Council
Exercise awarding 1.2 ACE continuing education credits
and accredited by the University of Houston earning 1-college
semester hour. For information about upcoming Group Cycling
Specialists Certifications and workshops, contact Lee
at 713-869-8355 or their web site at Cyclistics@yahoo.com
View Lee's Bio