Need a Coach? Call Coach Troy…A Spinervals Review
I’ll admit that I wasn’t crazy about the idea of spending more time on my indoor trainer; that’s one of the reasons I purchased a Powertap (which I will review within the next month or so…I want to make get in some more rides first). I also wasn’t crazy about the idea of paying $30 for a video when I had never used anything in the line of videos. I was essentially flying blind but made the jump to purchase a couple of Spinervals DVDs when I realized that due to my bar class schedule I was going to be forced to get some workouts in on my trainer.
After a month or so of integrating the various Spinerval DVDs into my workout, I am sold. I’m hooked. Whether you want to get in a good base building workout with the Aero Base series (I have 1 and 5 which are 80 and 120 minute workouts respectively) or want to work on your time trial skills, Coach Troy has the DVD for you.
Now, maybe you’re thinking what I was thinking before I made this jump. You’re thinking “hey, I can put together a workout for myself…I don’t need to spend $30 to have some guy on a DVD yell at me” or “I can just go to my gym’s spin class if I need an indoor workout.” I thought both of those things and I have since been proven very, very wrong on both.
First, unless you are EXTREMELY DISCIPLINED, it is very easy to lose focus on a trainer to the point where the purpose of your workout is lost. You’re cadence might drop or your heart rate may go to high or to low. Maybe you cut a set out or decide halfway through that you just want to punch it for five more minutes and call it a day. Whatever it is, any deviation from the purpose of your workout isn’t doing you any favors in the long run in your training program. As long as you pretend that Coach Troy is in the room with you and follow his program, you’ll know you did a complete and focused workout each and every time.
Second, spin classes are nice…but they simply don’t cut it. Unless you are working with a specialized spin instructor, spin classes are designed for general fitness–not triathlon specific training. If you’re following a program like the ones laid out in the Training Bible by Joe Friel, a spin class is too generalized to have a true purpose. It’s likely too hard and too short for a long endurance ride and not hard enough or focused enough for threshold workouts. If you get a decent mix of the Spinerval DVD’s you can customize your indoor training in any way that you see fit.
Finally, when combined with a power meter, these DVDs may be the perfect workout. You can monitor your output and compare your performances over multiple workouts. You’re indoors so there’s no wind or heat to impact your power output or heart rate: it’s just you and the bike and Coach Troy egging you on to keep that cadence up (he’ll remind you of this several dozen times throughout the course of a workout).
Although I’ve only been using these DVDs once or twice a week for the last three or four weeks, I’ve already seen my cycling improve. My sustained power in the flats has already gone up significantly and I’m climbing hills better than I have in the past (still not great, but definitely better). I’ve come to realize that following a structured workout is critical to seeing steady gains in fitness. As a result, I’m planning on starting with a masters swimming program next week…more to come on that later.
Happy spinning and keep that cadence up!