Personal Trainer Susan Doyle’s father passed away from cancer two years ago. He battled the disease with courage for 19 years.
What began as prostate cancer in 1991 eventually spread throughout his body. Three years ago he started chemotherapy, which made him so ill that he soon stopped the treatment.
Eight weeks after stopping chemo, cancer claimed his life.
He was 77 years young.
I also know the heartbreak involved with losing someone to this horrible disease. My grandfather passed away from lung cancer in 1995. We were incredibly close. He was vibrant and active and far too young, at 69, to have cancer steal his life.
Cancer does not discriminate.
It affects both the young and the old. The rich and the poor. The once healthy and the strong and the chronically ill and the weak.
Odds are it affects someone you love too.
On Saturday, November 6th, from 8:45-9:45am, Midtown is sponsoring the Second Annual Bootcamp Against Cancer, which honors the memory of Susan’s dad and all those who have lost their lives to this disease.
A $20 donation to the Rochester American Cancer Society gets you a great workout, fun prizes, and refreshments following the camp. 100% of the proceeds raised will go toward finding a cure for cancer.
The Bootcamp Against Cancer will feature:
Three rounds of 8-to-10 trainer-staffed stations, each featuring a different exercise, including cardio, weight benches, a Pilates station, boxing bags, sprinting, and core work.
Raffles for prizes including gift cards to The Spa at Midtown and Macaroni Grill, and gift certificates for free smoothies at the Bon Marche Cafe.
Guests are welcome, so grab a friend and sign up at the front desk with your $20 donation. Over $800 was raised at this bootcamp last year, and Susan would love to raise even more this year.
At noon on Sunday, I was lining up for a cyclo-cross race. Since I don’t own a cyclo-cross bike, I built a “franken-bike.” Mountain bikes are allowed, so with my addiction to riding with power, I rigged up my rear powertap road wheel with a cyclo-cross tire.
Cross is very similar to mountain bike racing, so I could get some really good power data to study and design my winter training around it. However this setup does not allow the use of rear brakes.
Shouldn’t be a problem, right?
1.5 laps and 9 minutes into an hour-long race, my front wheel washed out on a steep, loose, sharp corner and the right side of my ribcage and chest was pile-driven into the ground from about five feet up. There was a large audience to observe and groan a collective “oough.” I was rolling around trying to find some semblance of air, which had been knocked clear out of me, as people then attempted to get me off course so that I wouldn’t be run over.
A few minutes later I was on my feet only to find my protective eyewear in pieces and my seat was broken off one rail.
This illustrates yet another advantage of Psyclewerks 2.0: You Cannot Crash!
Something is askew.
As class time approached, the pain in my ribs intensified, but as long as I didn’t breathe or move it was fine. I brought lots of spare parts, but of course all bikes were a-go. From a distance I could hear some of my athletes “discussing” their homework.
It sounded something like, “This homework is a product of a sick and twisted mind.”
Hmm… now why would they think that?
Sick and Twisted?
This Primary Endurance class was tough. We had three long climbs, lots of repetitive drill work, some longer Z3 threshold and Z4 VO2max efforts, and an introduction to Z5. All of this wrapped into a 90-minute continuous, no rest breaks, training ride.
After some surges, cadence jumps, and pedal stroke drills on the flat roads, we hit the first 11m climb. After more drill work, we hit the final four minutes, and I got into their heads. “If you were watching yourself from the hill across the way, would you like what you see?” If you want to be different, you have to do something different.”
At about the 60-minute mark, we were embarking on the hardest section. We started with Z3 threshold intensity for five straight minutes with some “wave” accelerations. We brought down the intensity with a fun mountain bike drill to The Heavy’s “How Do You Like me Now.”
We embarked on the second, 11-minute climb, which was steep and challenging. We used some “release breathing” to psychologically lighten the legs in the middle steep sections, and then focused on the word “Time” and became empowered by the song of the same name from the movie Inception. This song builds with incredible intensity, and I implemented more motivational phrasing to get into their heads.
“What choices will you make?”
“Reveal what you are made of.”
“Every end is its own reward.”
In the final 30 seconds, with the most powerful, intoxicating musical arrangement, we introduced Z5: very, very steep.
Lots of groaning ensued at the top, as we dumped resistance and regrouped into Z1.
Some easy riding took us to the last 13-minute ascent. We started easy to the excellent cover of “Me and Bobby McGee” by Crystal Bowersox, and I then re-invigorated the class on the steep slopes with “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga.
We lowered the lights and unplugged from our computers for the final five minutes of this climb. It was time to celebrate, and reflect on our dedication and effort. We rode to an absolutely beautiful version of “Free Fallin” by John Mayer.
Job well done.
The classes will get shorter now as we ramp up intensity and start allowing breaks between efforts. We have built a solid foundation, but now we start bringing on the horsepower!
We are strong, we are happy, we are done!
By the way, about 20 minutes before I smashed into mother earth, apparently my daughter was “too aggressive” on a descent as well, falling down five stairs in our house.
She’s fine. There’s just a little road rash on the tip of her nose.
Although this is really our second class in the Psyclewerks 2.0 program, it is really the first “regular” class. With a new program you can always expect a few bumps in the road. After the energy and excitement from the test session a week ago, I was eagerly looking forward to administering the Psyclewerks experience.
I walked into the room 20 minutes early only to find that two bikes were down with blown pedal bearings. This was not good. Mechanicals are part of cycling and they tend to happen at the most inopportune moments.
In true Tour de France fashion, I became our team’s “domestique” and gave up my bike. I scrambled to the fitness floor and grabbed another, which luckily, no one was riding. The team was intact.
Today’s class was focusing on basic endurance. It was 80 minutes of continuous low-intensity cycling. Seasoned runners know this as “LSD,” long, slow distance. Endurance classes are challenging to teach because you need to dial back the motivation factor and power zone transitions. We rode mostly in power zones 1 and 2 with some moderate- length (8m) climbs. I felt a little awkward as I was standing on stage in my skin-tight bike shorts, coaching with no bike, while everyone else sweated away.
I will be the first to tell you, I hate this type of training. It can get a little slow and tedious. But, it is a necessary evil. Basic endurance training is the foundation of your whole engine. Without it, your fitness structure will crumble later on with harder efforts.
This type of training also primarily uses fat stores as a primary source of fuel. This is a go-to tip for any coach trying to convince his athletes to keep the intensity down. We used some subtle cadence transitions and did some “team” riding. I split our group into 3 teams and we shared the workload across flat roads and climbs.
We (I should say “they”) finished 80 minutes later. A few athletes had trouble staying in their zones, while others were somewhat challenged with the length. This is to be expected with a group of diverse fitness levels. Someone mentioned, “You hardly broke a sweat!” Granted I did not get a workout, but I did avert near disaster.
Before next week’s class I will be competing in a Halloween Cyclocross Race. No costume this year.
Retro Psyclewerks Coach
But between the race and the 90-minute primary endurance class, I will have made up the missed ride. I plan on bringing my own bike, spare pedals, tools, extra iPods, and maybe a kitchen sink.
For the next eight weeks, Doug Rusho, Personal Trainer and recently named winner of the “America’s Top Male Indoor Cycle Instructor” award, will be writing a weekly blog post about his Psyclewerks program, which is now in its second week. Want to read the ride report from his classes or learn more about this popular program so you can take it next time it’s offered? Read on!
Take it away, Doug.
Over the next two months, I will be guest posting on this exciting new program created for indoor group cycling. Traditional indoor cycling classes often referred to as Spinning rely on how exercise feels by using a variety of perceived exertion, resistance, and cadence scales. They also tend to lean towards high-energy music and entertainment.
Psyclewerks 2.0 utilizes the latest technology of power measurement to greatly enhance fitness gains. Quite simply, power is exactly how hard one is working for every single second. On the bike, power is derived from how hard you push the pedals (resistance) and how fast (cadence). Although knowing how your body feels still plays an important role, knowing exactly what your body is doing is instrumental to the maximum execution of each workout.
With an initial power profile test, we can also cater every ride to each individual’s fitness level. This means that every person in a Psyclewerks class is getting a near perfect workout for his/her body. Adding to this, we can still keep the “effort matched” music play lists, the entertainment, and the camaraderie of being a team of athletes, all training to improve.
The goals of this series of blog posts are three-fold.
Each week there will be a “ride report.” This will be an overview of the most recently completed class. Outdoor cyclists love to relive their rides, through post-ride lattes, and emails. It is a fun and social aspect of the sport.
I will provide some basic education on power training, exercise physiology, and biomechanics. After all “knowledge is POWER” (get it?).
Finally, on occasion, there will be a fun story from the wacky world of cycling and or/ from your Psyclewerks Coach.
Enjoy the ride!
“Test Day” Week #1
I wasn’t quite sure to what to expect. This class is the first of a brand new program. Our first class was all about gathering personal information and “playing with power.” This would not be like the rest of the classes and I had a small fear of it being boring. I did pose a challenge to myself and to our “team” of athletes. I am looking for a 100% success rate. Everyone improves by the end of this program.
After a thorough explanation and a warm-up, it was time to test. I cued up 40 seconds of “Pirates Pete Remix” and when the bass kicked in it was go time. 20 straight minutes riding as hard as possible. Athletes were told to maintain as high of a power output as possible. The energy was peaked and a little frantic at first, but when “Break on Through” by the Doors came on everyone had settled into a groove.
Athletes began to adjust their resistance and cadence to find their optimal sweet spot for producing power. Through the halfway point, Moby’s “Go” kept everyone on track, although signs of fatigue were beginning to show as breathing rates started increasing. Athletes were coached for pace and patience, but when “Uprising” by Muse plowed into the speakers everyone seemed up for the challenge of going harder.
With 5 minutes left, someone said, “The next song better be good!” Everyone was at his/her breaking point.
I purposely drew back some energy with “Tikal” by E.S. Posthumous. It has a solid driving beat but a calming sense to it. Everyone was going to need that little extra energy to finish strong. “Tikal” crescendos at the end to bridge into the finale, “The Sound” by Switchfoot. After a brief guttural bass guitar and drum riff, the first word of the song is a resounding “BOOM.” This song just bleeds energy and power. You could see and feel everyone just ground themselves into their machine for the final dig to the finish. Everyone livened up and drove it home to the 20 minute mark.
The Functional Threshold Power test was over and the averages were recorded. From the back of the room, someone said, ”That was the hardest I have ever worked for 20 minutes!”
After 10 minutes of recovery and some instructions on power zones, I introduced some drill work to get our athletes used to reading and adjusting power effort. There was a huge “light bulb” moment when everyone discovered what happens to your power when you stand and pedal without making a certain adjustment.
The class winded down, but to my surprise the energy remained high. I have never seen so many people so excited about the next 7 classes and this program.
They were “jacked” on power training!
Despite having presented to over 100 students at the Indoor Cycle Instructor Pro conference in Boston the night before, this first Psyclewerks class was the high point of my weekend. I spent most of Monday calculating and creating power zone cards and their weekly homework training session. Sure enough, Monday night, as I was posting the homework and power zone cards in the files, one of my athletes was asking where it was.
It’s Ask the Trainer time again, and answering your questions this month is Personal Trainer Justin Bradt.
Justin’s interest in fitness began when he was 12 years old. He wrestled in middle school and high school, and he studied Physical Education at MCC. He graduated from SUNY Brockport with a degree in Exercise Physiology, and he’s been at Midtown for one year.
Kristi: What do you like best about your job?
Justin: I get to change people’s lives. I love giving people confidence in themselves, and showing them that they are far more capable than they think they are.
Reader Question: I’ve recently discovered that I’m pregnant, and I don’t want to give up my regular workouts. I usually do yoga twice a week, free weights twice a week, and cardio machines once a week. Can I keep up my routine?
Justin: Certainly! The best thing you can do is monitor everything you do. Take note of your intensity level during cardiovascular exercise, and especially your heart rate during these exercises. If you are new to working out, you should keep your heart rate at 140 beats (or under) per minute, and 160 beats per minute if you are advanced in terms of cardiovascular fitness.
With free weights or resistance training, 2-3 times a week is preferred, with a repetition rate of 12-15 (sorry no one-rep maxes or power-lifting!). However there are certain exercises to avoid after the 12th week of pregnancy, including anything in the supine (on back) or prone (on stomach) position. In relation to yoga, you should consider avoiding inversion as well.
Reader Question: I’m interested in becoming a personal trainer. Do you have any advice? How do you get started?
Justin: Education, education, education. Knowing human mechanics and movement differentiates between a good trainer and a great trainer. A great trainer is a master of human movement, and can recognize not only when his/her client is performing a movement incorrectly, but also why it’s incorrect. Additionally, a great trainer should be able to include exercises or movements to help correct any imbalances.
The next step is picking the right certification. If you Google “personal training certification,” you will get roughly 7 million results. Most of the organizations will get you the certification, but offer very little education.
My advice is to go with a reputable organization such as ACE, ACSM, or NASM, all of which offer certification with a strong knowledge background, and are highly recognized. Do a little research and pick the one you think best fits your needs.
The last step is to figure out if you want to work independently or for a business. There are pros and cons for both: If you’re independent, your potential client base is larger because it isn’t limited by membership, but you’ll also need a facility and exercise equipment, which can are costly.
Working as a trainer within a business (and specifically at Midtown) has one of the greatest advantages, and that is: We are a team. Because of this, our ability to grow and develop as individuals is greatly enhanced. We are able to bounce ideas off each other, which allows our potentials to be much great than if we worked independently. I have learned a great deal from the other trainers here at the club, and I would be nowhere near where I am now if I didn’t have them as a team.
Reader Question: My 12-year-old son is a wrestler, and his coach is encouraging him to lift weights. I’m not sure this is safe. What’s your advice?
Justin: The best thing your son can do is incorporate some resistance training, and your concerns for safety are appropriate. Correct form and progression must be established or serious injury can occur. A trainer can help establish these things and teach proper technique and correct small mistakes before they become big ones.
Reader Question: I’ve seen other members working out with trainers, and it’s something I want to do to tone up. How do I pick the right trainer? Does each trainer specialize in something different?
Justin: Each of the trainers does specialize in certain areas, but any of the trainers can handle pretty much anything that is thrown at them. To help you pick the trainer for you, I will list some questions that may help narrow your decision.
1) Gender. Would you like to train with a male or female trainer?
2) Age. Would you want a trainer that is close to your age?
3) Energy level. If you are a high-energy person, then a high-energy trainer would make the best fit.
Lastly, take a look at the back wall near the entrance to the weight room. Trainer photos and profiles appear there, along with the areas in which they specialize. You can also contact Sam Owens, our Fitness Director, at email@example.com. He can help set you up with the right trainer.
Note from Kristi: You can also find trainer profiles here.
Reader Question: My upper-body strength is really poor. I am an avid cyclist, and take spinning, but I need to improve my core and arm strength. What do you recommend I do?
Justin: This question is difficult to answer because what might feel like poor arm and core strength might actually be improper posture during exercise. Without seeing how you are performing, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where your weakness lies.
A couple core exercises that might help you are the plank hold (forearm bridge) and high-to-low plank march (going from forearm bridge to push-up position and back down). The last thing you can do is during a spinning class, position yourself next to a mirror so you can see your posture. Pay attention to your shoulders, and if they are elevated, try to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
The trainers at the club are incredibly approachable. I ask them questions all the time, and they go out of their way to help me.
But if you prefer an anonymous forum to have your fitness-related questions answered, this is it! Post your question as a comment to this post, or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you email the question, I will ask it anonymously on your behalf, and post the question and answer (but not your name) on the next “Ask the Trainer” post. You do not need to be a member to ask a question.
Halloween is fast approaching, and frankly, the thought of all the candy my four-year-old and twin two-year-olds are going to haul into the house is making me break out in hives.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Halloween. But the holiday is so focused on trick-or-treat fare that I dread the candy battles my daughter and I will have over her stash. In previous years, we were able to give away or throw out a significant amount of her loot. This year, she’s four, and much more aware of what’s going on around her.
Which brings me to this video, which is generating a lot of buzz on the interwebs this week.
This is an Australian PSA, created to address the childhood obesity epidemic.
Here’s what I think:
It’s dark and it’s chilling. This PSA is not easy to watch. But I think that’s exactly what its producers were aiming to accomplish.
It’s flawed. The hamburger is not necessarily the enemy. The boy is eating a fast-food burger, complete with “sesame-seed bun,” but as fellow Midtown member Christina LeBeau said in her post on this topic on Spoonfed, her awesome and Jamie Oliver-recognized blog that focuses on educating kids about food, “there’s a world of difference between a fast-food burger and a homemade pastured burger.” I would have liked to see the boy eating a doughnut, candy bar, or other sugar-laden snack, since the addictive qualities of white sugar are on par with that of cocaine.
It achieved its goal because it made me think about the childhood obesity epidemic in this country, and exactly why it exists. The answers are myriad and complex and I don’t pretend to know them all. But I do know this:
One third of children and teens are now overweight or obese.
The food served in school cafeterias is loaded with calories, fat, and processed beyond recognition in many cases. Schools nourish students’ minds with knowledge, and yet serve them food so unhealthy it’s making them ill. Kids turn on the tv, flip open a magazine, and walk into grocery stores, and are targeted by ads trying to sell them food that is literally killing them.
And there’s also the widespread idea that junk food is somehow “owed” to kids. That to moderate treats is to zap all the fun out of childhood.
But this is a different world than the one in which we grew up. The health climate is much more perilous. Our food has been drastically changed for the worse by the addition of high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, food dyes, hormones, and toxic chemicals. Kids and adults are more sedentary than they were even 10 years ago. And numerous studies have proven that junk food is highly addictive.
So yes, this video is disturbing and extreme, but I believe there is a connection between the negative effects of unhealthy food and those from using drugs.
Veuillez remplir le formulaire qui suit pour obtenir plus de renseignements sur nos divers programmes et pour faire l'essai du club en tant qu'invité. Un de nos associés vous contactera sous peu pour prendre rendez-vous.