By: Dr. Scott Townsend and Dr. Derek Mohr, Appalachian State University
Cycling 101 is the first installment of a two-part blog series highlighting the latest web-unit addition to the SPARK High School PE Group Fitness Unit.
Get Cyc’d! The peloton has been in hot pursuit of you over the last few miles. You are about to start your final ascent to the finish line and are sitting in first place! What will you do to win and retain the yellow jersey?
This is not only the dream of a Tour de France rider, but the visualization of an indoor cyclist!
A physical conditioning activity that focuses on endurance, strength, interval and high intensity training, using a stationary bike. Often, this popular activity is organized into a group fitness format. Its popularity stems from being a style of workout that offers a large expenditure of energy with minimal impact on your hips, knees and ankles.
The four common ride positions for terrain simulations are:
- Seated Flat – Downhill or flat, mainly used for warm-ups, cool down and recovery.
- Standing Flat – Downhill or flat, usually for low-to-moderate resistance.
- Seated Climb – Incline, moderate resistance.
- Standing Climb – Incline, high resistance.
Cycling’s three main hand positions (HPs) are:
- HP 1 – Hand placement in center of handles, used for low intensity work.
- HP 2 – Hand placement in upward curve of handles, used for moderate-to-high intensity work.
- HP 3 – Hand placement on top of handles, used when standing for moderate-to-high intensity work.
Know the Lingo
Like most activities, Cycling has its own language. Here’s some activity-specific jargon so you are in the know:
- Basket/Cage – A harness attached to the pedal that secures your foot.
- Resistance – Adjust up or down to regulate the intensity of the workout.
- RPM (Revolutions per Minute) – Known as pedal speed, it’s a measure of how long it takes one pedal to complete a revolution. This is how a rider sets their cadence or tempo.
- Ride Profile – The result of your cadence and resistance on a ride. Many indoor cycles allow you to choose or design a profile.
- Saddle – Aka the seat.
- Seated/Standing – The position one takes while in the saddle.
- Enhances physical conditioning (aerobic fitness, strength, etc.)
- Has low impact on joints
- Reduces stress
- Assists in weight management
- Is a self-paced activity accommodating a variety of fitness levels
Spin Those Wheels!
Now that you know some basics of indoor cycling, couple that with information from the SPARK HS Cycling Content Cards, and you are ready to ride. If you don’t have a cycle, check with your local gym to see if they do. You may want to try a group fitness class, as well.
Share Your Knowledge!
What are your experiences engaging in Cycling? What advice would you give to someone who has never engaged in Cycling? Post a response below and let us know!
Current SPARKfamily members with High School access can find the new Cycling unit under High School Web-Based Units. If you are not a current SPARKfamily member, you will receive 3-year access to the digital content when you purchase a SPARK High School curriculum set.