For All Spinning® Enthusiasts

All This Talk About Endurance, Part 5: On the Receiving End

For this fifth in the Endurance series, I post this out to the enthusiasts in hopes of swaying those who are resistant and also in hopes of extending the conversation beyond this blog point and on into the halls, changing rooms and cycling studios of your gym. The thing is, my feeling is there may be an imbalance in the very delicate equilibrium of the coach and the coached relationship, so if we can maybe set a few things straight, EEZ may get to stand up and be counted among the best classes ever, rather than the spot light always going to IEZ and SEZ. Here is how I see it. When you go to a class, you do so for several reasons. Rather than doing it yourself on the cardio floor or outside, you choose to go into a studio. It might be because you can?t motivate yourself to stick to it for 40 to 60 minutes, the cardio machines might not be available at the hours you can get to the gym, the weather where you live may deter you from being outside or you may like the group camaraderie and being told what to do. All of those are very solid reasons to get to a group class. In doing so, however, you defer decision making to the instructor and the gym (regarding class start and finish time, policies for taking care of the equipment, and coaching and cueing for technique and motivation.) Once you defer decision making to the instructor, the balance shifts a little in the partnership. The instructor takes on a little more power and you forfeit some. But through the years, the balancing act is countered by some strong external forces and the strength of the group has skewed the partnership more. As a group, and among individuals, there is a perception that an instructor needs to be a drill sergeant and grind the participants into the ground. Blame Hollywood. Blame that ?no pain, no gain? attitude prevalent in the fitness industry. Blame your father, I don?t care, but some how the original quest of Johnny G (a man I do not know, by the way, so I am okay in being corrected on this next statement) of offering cardio training (a training program) got lost because of a group held mentality that harsh is better than smooth, pain and discomfort are a more efficient avenue toward fitness and that one killer hard core workout a week is better than several endurance zone classes per week. And as this perception began to cement ? just think how boring all the military-esque movies would be if they involved moderate energy, rather than boot camp screaming and scrambling. (Go ahead and bring up Forest Gump and his run across the US and back several times?that was an impressive scene that supports EEZ . . . but they are few and far between). Instructors and management folded to this notion. ?If we want soft, we?ll take pilates and yoga; if we want brutal, we?ll go for indoor cycling and kickboxing.? Instructors who love the hard-core classes were an easy sell to the demand for hard-core classes. You, the participants, flocked to the meanest instructors, with a breathless thumbs up. Management watched carefully and filled the time slots with the popular instructors and thus the imbalance made a hefty lurch to the side of ?workout? vs. ?TRAINING? as was originally conceived by Spinning
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