Video Fitness

Spinning I with Johnny G

For those of you interested in spinning, particularly at home, I strongly suggest you begin with this video. The instructor-Johnny G-inspired and developed this fitness movement and it is easy to see why after listening to him for a few moments. He is so motivating and throughout the workout, inspires you to do your absolute best.

The video begins with an introductory section designed to educate you on what exactly spinning is as well as basic aspects of the sport. It also addresses the issue of the differences between a spinning bike and traditional stationary bikes. In short, the primary difference is that a spinning bike is designed to permit you to stand safely-something that cannot be accomplished on "most" other stationary bikes. As an aside, there are bikes available for a lower price than many spinners but you need to make your selection carefully. If you haven't purchased a stationary bike yet and a spinner isn't in your budget (the ones I priced start at approx $700), then I suggest you visit cycling shops and speak with someone who is knowledgeable about spinning. They can help you select a safe bike. Now, back to the video. There is more information provided at the end of the video on how to set up your bike and safety tips for spinning. I suggest you watch it before you ride. It will greatly enhance both your comfort and your performance.

After this section, you are ready for your ride. Ok-this comment may sound silly to you BUT-if you turn out the lights and do this workout in the dark, it will be soooooooooooo great (I wouldn't recommend that for other cycling videos :)) I really does make it easier for you to visualize and totally "get into" the ride. The music is terrific-kind of a mix between new age and jazz-and really sets the mood. You begin by doing some gentle stretching on the bike while Johnny reviews the hand positions used during the ride. You then begin your ride and before you realize it, you have learned and accomplished all the basics-adjusting resistance, flat rides, climbing hills and accomplishing a series of "jumps" where you raise up off your seat and sit down repeatedly. This movement takes strength and balance but if you are new to the sport, don't be discouraged if you can't do all of them. You will be astounded at how quickly you will see results in your strength and cardio capacity. Throughout the workout, Johnny really interacts with is cast and with you. His wife is there as is his 75-year-old uncle and friends. Everyone is in terrific shape and you really do feel as if you are there along with them. The last few minutes of the workout, you climb a LARGE hill-if you close your eyes and listen, you can actually visualize it. Johnny motivates and pushes you to work hard but stresses that you pace yourself. After you reach the top, he "brings you home" and reviews form technique as you do so. He then takes you off the bike and demonstrates some basic stretches for you to do. v If you haven't guessed by now, I think this is a terrific video. However, there is one disadvantage. If you already spin and are knowledgeable of the basics, this workout might not meet your needs. There is a lot of instruction and no sprint or more advanced work. Spinning II, the workout for the advanced level, would probably be more to your liking. I haven't done it yet, though, so I can't review it as of yet.

Kathy Martinez

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