What is your favorite pre and/or post-workout meal?
Pre-workout, it’s peanut butter oatmeal made with quick-cooking oats, light vanilla soy milk, creamy peanut butter, and cinammon.For post-workout, if I don’t have a meal right away and I'm in a hurry, I have a recovery drink (Recoverite from Hammer Nutrition). If I have time for a meal, I eat banana sandwiches made from one banana, cream cheese, peanut butter, honey, salt and whole grain bread.
How soon before a workout do you eat a meal?
The timing of my pre-workout meal is key! I make sure to complete my meal no later than three hours before class or workout .Three hours gives my body enough time to fully process the meal and avoid gastrointestinal issues, and it allows blood glucose levels to normalize. Eating beyond that three-hour mark can seriously hinder my performance by reducing fats to fuels conversion and depleting muscle glycogen faster than normal.
What is your regimen for warming up before a ride?
In a regular class 50/60 minutes long, I do a 10 minute warm-up with two 10-second sprints after the first six minutes.
How do you recover after a difficult ride?
After my recovery drink, I do my stretching routine, self-myofascial release and sometimes a massage. I always do a recovery ride the day after.
Please provide an at-home workout or routine that can be done in place of Spinning® for days when one does not have access to a bike:
At home without equipment, you can exercise using your bodyweight by doing squats, lunges, chest push-up, triceps push-ups, crunches, planks and leg lifts. And if you want to boost your cardiovascular system, you can do jumping jacks, running in place or using a jump rope. Never forget to do the warm-up and cool-down.
What type of weight/strengthening exercises do you pair or alternate with Spinning®?
The types of exercises that I use are functional/stability/mobility exercises, and I usually do them in a circuit format. When the season starts, these are the kind of exercises that I do mainly using my bodyweight and free weights:
- Overhead Squat
- Romanian Deadlift With Upright Row
- Single leg split squat (using the TRX)
- Plank Variations
- Triceps push-ups
I'm a cyclist, not a bodybuilder; my main goal is balance between muscle groups and function to prevent injury and acquire better performance on the bike.
Do you have any tricks or phrases that you say (or think to yourself) during a difficult ride or climb?
- “Start smart, finish strong”
- “Allez, Allez” (Come on, Come on)
- “Train, don’t strain”
- “Keep it simple but not stupid”
How do you pace yourself and continue to build throughout the ride?
I start the ride smart and with a plan. After the warm-up, I continue increasing the intensity and I always see how I feel and check my heart rate and/or power meter. Then I bring the intensity to the level that I want to be to attain my goal, always preventing exhaustion. In the last moments and if I'm feeling fine, it’s time to finish strong and with energy.
How can you make Spinning® more fun? (Example: family rides, themed classes, etc.)
I do several themed classes (Tour de France; climbing the highest mountains in the world, and technical riding on the single-tracks). As an outdoor cyclist, I mimic my road and mountain bike workouts in the Spinning classes; we have so much fun and the riders love it.
What is one piece of equipment (ex: HR Monitor, saddle pad, earplugs, etc.) that you find necessary for your workouts?
Obviously the heart rate monitor
and, if possible, I use a power meter.
Example of bike stances or techniques for targeting specific parts of the body (ex: thighs, calves, glutes, arms, etc.)
Targeting specific muscle groups is not my main goal in my classes, but I do use the several Spinning techniques to challenge my riders both physiologically and mentally, taking them to “places” where they are obliged to use different muscles.
What tips do you have for beginners regarding bike set-up for their height/dimensions?
- In your first class, be there 10 minutes early to talk to your Spinning instructor.
- Then listen carefully to what he or she is saying.
- Memorize all the bike set up and apply to your next class
- Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable, talk to your Instructor
- Be aware that with time the set-up may have to be changed.
What are the benefits of becoming a Spinning® instructor?
Becoming a Certified Spinning Instructor means that you are “THE” instructor of the original indoor cycling program. You belong to a group of well-educated fitness professionals that have the support and the tools of the trade to get the job done.
How do you get back on track after a vacation or injury, or just when you fall behind on your goals?
Even on vacation, I never “rest” completely. I use the spare time to do other things related or not with physical activity if I get injured and, if I can, I use the time to train around the injury. If I fall behind my goals, what I do is start to concentrate in a new one and try to see what went wrong before.
What ideas do you have for Spinning class themes and profiles?
- “THE ESCALATOR”, where you climb step by step increasing resistance.
- “HELL ON WHEELS”, an climbing time trial.
- “HELL IN HEAVEN”, a simple climb in the saddle with increasing resistance every 3 minutes.
- “TWO TEAMS–SAME GOAL”, dividing the class in two teams that alternate the lead during the workout.
- “FLAT POWER”, an Endurance Ride at lactate threshold.
How do you motivate yourself when you are having a difficult day, or do not feel like getting in the saddle?
As an instructor, coach and racer, I stop only when I'm ill, but there are times that I don’t feel like getting on the bike and then I think about how fortunate I am of being healthy, with no big problems in life. So I tend to transform nasty thoughts into positive ones and doing so sometimes I do the ride of my life.
What did you like the most about visiting Spinning Headquarters in Venice, California?
What I liked the most at the Venice Headquarters was, thanks to Carlene Yousuf, the Director of International Programs, was meeting the real people who make the big effort to put “the show on the road”. Thanks to them, we have the best program, the best instructors
and the best bikes
. And of course, meeting again with John Baudhuin, the one who is responsible for bringing all this around the world. The atmosphere, the building, it’s beautiful. And I can’t forget meeting Avon, Carlene’s chocolate Labrador.In my gym bag you’ll find
my cycling gear: my cycling shoes, socks, water bottles, energy bars, supplements, my trigger point ball and roller, my tablet and towels.The number one thing on my bucket list
is to regain my world champion title at the age of sixty. My favorite motivational song is
“Hall of Fame” by The Script.When I’m not teaching, you can find me
riding my bike outdoors.My favorite thing about being a Spinning instructor is
helping people become the best they can be and not just on the bike, in everyday life also.A perfect day for me is
coming home after a long ride indoors or outdoors, and then being with my family.Need more class ideas and inspiration? For more tips from our master instructor team, subscribe
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