I was just gathering up my photos from some trips my wife and I took and found one of my heart-rate during a spin-a-thon this spring. I was involved in the Goodlife Spin-4-Kids spin-a-thon in March this year, and it was my first spin class ever. So far that’s the hardest 50 minutes of exercise I’ve ever done, and I have the heart-rate data to prove it:
I tell you, those spinners ain’t wusses! Having commuted to work for the past 2 years and all through last winter, I figured 50 minutes on an exercise bike would be a cinch! Boy was I wrong! Granted, you go at your own pace, so I’m more or less to blame since I pushed it too much at the start, but that’s the point. As you can see above, the first ten minutes had my heart palpitating like a jack-rabbit in front of a semi (why do rabbits never turn? they just keep running straight, thinking:”I’ve gotta out run him sometime”). After that ten minutes, I knew I couldn’t keep it up for 40 more, so I started backing off my cadence and tension a bit. I finally managed to keep it in the 160-165 HR zone for the rest.
The two instructors we had pushed us the whole time; it was awesome! They were definitely cyclists and not just gym instructors: one was more of a track star, and one obviously drew from road-racing experience. Not only did they look the part, with full cycling gear, but they put us through our paces and you could tell by how much they were cranking the tension on their bikes that they weren’t faking it. You could just imagine yourself climbing when they said: “crank that knob and stand up for the hill!” When it was the last push of the “race” they had you crank the tension, stand up, and give it all you got for the last 30 seconds. The second half was a track race, so we had a warm up lap, then cranked it up for a race lap (or two, I can’t remember). Great experience, and great instructors at Goodlife. I may try it again. Maybe.
And P.S., my commute became noticeably quicker after that; plus I was able to set my riding position a little better after feeling the proper way on the stationary bikes. I was doing hills in the big ring! Of course, I later I found out I wore out my rear sprockets, but that’s another story.