Thursday, April 12, 2007

RPM : Raw Power in Motion

Yesterday, i had my first experience with RPM class. With basic looking stationery bike (but with highly adjustable stem and seat height and also distance between stem and seat) and a room choke full of people as if everyone is cycling in one major big peloton, i would be an easy workout. So, this is gonna be a really honest review.

Star Trac Spinner NXT

I noticed one girl taking the trouble to replace the pedal (that comes with SPD cleats) and toe clips with a set of Look/Time/SPD SL pedal. Must be hardcore.

SPD Pedal

SPD SL Pedal

The instuctor came in, geared in cycling top and shorts, setting everything in mood.

o_O You Wished!

Lebih Kurang la...

The instructor is a PT (Physical Trainer) in the gym i frequent. He is alright, at least not one of those that constantly sms-es while working with their client, or someone which flirts around with the girls in the gym. But with no cycling tan line on any part of his body, a bit suspicious if he even know what it is like to be on the road.

Nevertheless, the class went on.

Loud music blaring, supposed to bring up the tempo and adrenalin. I had a hard time trying to understand what the instcutor was trying to tell/ask us all.

"Any Newcomer?", I heard faintly.

I did not raise my hand because i only found out what he wanted to says as the words keep repeating in my head. I thought he wanted us to crank the bike up.

So, in it went into the first track. A moderate spinning speed of about 80rpm. Some guys were busier sms-ing on the phone and some were obviously just checking out the butt infront of them. No, i was safely tucked in a corner (because i had wifey's shoe with me, in case she needs it, i don't need to walk far to the other door to pass it to her). But where i am, i see everything (except the people behind me, but that could be arranged).

The aircond was switched to low. I was sweating with the body heat inside the room. When the second song came about, i was still trying to find out what the instructor were trying to convey!

I just saw him twist the lever to either make the pedalling harder or easier; i reckon it should be harder as he then suddenly climbed out of his seat and started pedalling.

"Small hill!!!", he shouted

"But if it's small hill, i don't get off from my seat to pedal, i just sit in tight and quietly pedal my way up", i told myself quietly...

At that point, i was the only one sitting and minding my own business, cranking at 60rpm (count one one thousand, two one thousand....)

Then he twisted the lever again and he sat down, spinning.

"DOWNHILL!!!", he shouted again.

So, i also twist it and crank the pedal up. I must be going in excess of 120rpm (i lost count...the one one thousand thingy went a few thousand more) by then and i was sweating. The Total Immersion "Freestyle for Triathelte" video i converted from vcd to 3gpp to my handphone become a blur.

Swim and bike at the same time

They made it look too simple in the video

By the fourth track, i got the hang of the whole system. It's essentially interval training using stationery bike. I had my HRM on and i was sweating like a pig pumping close to 170bpm by the sixth track.

A quick look around, the same chap is still making love to his handphone, the same guy is still checking out the girls' butt, The girls are all taking it easier by this time, the SPD girl is cranking it up waaayyyy too fast and was literally on superman position on the bike (maybe that is her idea of aerodynamics).

I was sweating. Dripping. Pool of sweat was on the floor, left and right. By the end of the fourth track, which has tonnes of BIG climb (I had to stand up to pedal by now as it's like going up the hill with the 52-15 combo...

I figured it out that for RPM to be doing you any good, a HRM is needed. I adjust the lever just enough to let me cool down on the spinning part and climb up fast on the cranking part. This way, i had my own interval tranining.

Butt checking

The class was over with one last track where it's more of a warm down track. By then, the Total immersion video was half way done and i've no idea what transpire in the pool.

I under estimated RPM. Maybe because i crank up the lever way too high, having to sweat like a pig, when everyone else in the room seems to still be chatting with each other admist the blaring songs and nonsensical instruction from the instructor...

So, after 50 minutes in RPM, i left the room after wiping the bike which was covered with my sweat.

Yeah, they don't sweat!

Right after RPM, i went on to do 6 sets of 10 reps of leg presses and anohter 6 sets of hamstring extension and last 6 sets of leg extension. Those last 3 exercises gave me the final burn i need to feel in my quads and hams. I went home happily knowing that i've sweated like a pig athelete..

Will i go again? Definately.

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