Video Fitness

Sport Cycle

Mindy Mylrea

I find this tape to be my most enjoyable and balanced Cycling video. I have three, Johnny G P2, CIA/Reebok and this one. All three are different with good qualities but I tend to reach for this one lately. I have only been spinning for 4 months and have been able to get in one good spin a week on average. I like this one mainly because of Mindy’s personality but also because of how well see designed a choreographed routine that is able to keep me interested in something that can easily be boring…spinning your legs around in a circle for an hour inside. Mindy split this workout up into sections, this is a big plus, it makes the time go by fast. I don’t ever look at the clock with this video. If one section is really killing me, I know it will be over soon and try to put 100% into it and move on. Having a video that isn’t as clearly broken down into sections tends to drain me. I watch the clock and know I have way too much time left…causing me to drop off in intensity. I love Cathe and the format she uses for her videos…this is similar. If you were looking for a Cathe spin tape (one can only hope)…this is pretty close to what I think Cathe would put together IMHO.


Setting and visual stimulation: I am kind of picky when it comes to production quality. It’s a nicely put together tape but has a few areas that I wish were better. None of the issues were bad enough to turn me off this tape. The bikes are outside on what appears to be grassy field atop a hill in California overlooking a Valley. It isn’t an overly sunny day…a tad hazy and gray, this is one of the icky issues….just wished it was sunnier. Mindy and her two background spinners, Gabe, who takes the high rode and Michelle who is a more beginner/intermediate rider for the video are all in black tights with black jerseys. The background exercises are actually placed behind her; unlike other spin videos that I have…I preferred this view to others. I don’t want to look at everyone’s butts. It is easier to see all the riders’ form and cadence this way.
Sound Quality: The sound isn’t as clear as it could be do to the outside setting..sorta like AM radio compared to FM and there were sections where the volume fluctuated, but I had no problem hearing Mindy. That would be the other issue that might bother those who want perfection on production…still hasn’t stopped me from using it. The music was instrumental and had a great pop,pop beat to it…easy to find a cadence. Good point about the audio, it is very out in front, not buried and low behind Mindy’s instructions.
Intensity and Modifiability: What I want and look for in a video is a challenge. Even if I can’t do the workout the first couple of times through…I want to be able to know at some point I can work my way into it but still have a very challenging, intense and enjoyable workout during the learning process. Might be a reason why dancy hi/lo doesn’t thrill me. If the choreography is too complex and dancy, I have trouble getting a decent workout while learning…I gotta sweat or I ain’t happy;O). I prefer creative choreography that will keep me interested in the video for some time but also incorporate strong athletic power moves that will always challenge me. I guess that is why spinning appeals to me, especially this tape. Mindy did a great job making a fun choreographed routine and the best thing about indoor cycling, regardless of where you are in your fitness program, it can always be modified to your own level of fitness by either adjusting your tension and speed or by taking out or adding lifts/jumps. It will grow with you.
Equipment: I use an indoor cycling bike called the V-bike by StarTrac. The benefit of a true spinning bike is stability. They are also designed so you can position yourself like if you were on a real outside racing bike. I have never tried an indoor cycling video on anything other than a spin bike but feel you could modify a stationery bike or trainer as long as you can increase tension to add intensity for the parts of the workout where you stand or when you use body alignments that your bike doesn’t allow you to do.

The workout
First section: Bike Fit. Mindy gives a decent run down on how to fit yourself to the, handlebar adjustment, foot placement and body alignment. She has you pedal with slight tension to go over proper movement.
This is a great into for beginners and a super warm-up if you have been riding for a while. I don’t think this would irritate intermediates and advanced…it isn’t like doing 50 basic rights while getting stepping instructions...which would bother me…I don’t seem to be bothered(yet) by this redundant beginner phase. It is a great time to warm up and stretch the upper body.
Moderate Hill: Moving out of the warm-up into the first ride, a moderate hill. Mindy has you adjust your perceived tension using a range form 1-10…ten being the hardest. This hill is a 5 and heads up to an 8 before your done. You also do a few standing drills in this section.
Speed Pyramids: Faster cadence…speedy-do as Mindy says…love those Mindy-isms!
She has you pyramid up and down throughout this section. Playing with all sorts of interval time combos. These are all out sprinting combos but they vary on how long you sprint and how long you recover. You start with shorter sprints with long recoveries. On to even sprint to recovery ratio then head into negatives that give you longer sprints and less recovery time. Towards the end you are also doing some standing sprint drills…if you ain’t dripping yet…up your tension;O) then grab your water bottle ‘cause she ain’t done yet!
Rebounds: This section concentrates on how smooth you can sail in and out of the saddle…back on a hill with a tension of 7. Starting with 16 counts up and 16 down, shortening it to 8 then 4...I am really challenged at this point and depending on the day.. I have trouble keeping up with the 4 count. After those you learn to hover LOL..did I say I couldn’t keep up!…you stay up and hover over the saddle, moving hips forward and back with a 4 count rhythm. You do this for what seems to be an eternity and the thighs are burning. At this point you start to feel giddy and it becomes fun to count the sweat droplets that fall from your face onto the bike…any distraction from the pain is gooood!
Anaerobic with no music:The one section without music…deliberately…I worried about this, but it works. You just zone out with Mindy. She says she does this because effort is important and these exercises have ALL your attention. Throughout most of them you are constantly increasing tension and intensity…one example of an interval:
jog seated
uptension run
uptension sprint
uptension and sprint faster
uptenstion to hill with an 8 and climb with running…while standing:O)!!!
recover and do that one move time!
Little fun factor: Mindy narrates this section using a picnic as visualization…ya gotta get there and get your potato salad before they eat it all.
Last Hill Home!!!: Slow pedal stroke to tempo and use a perceived 7 this for a while and then stand and adjust back to a 7(gets easier when standing). Run/jog with this 7 for a little and then race in front of the beat for the 15 seconds.. recover…one more time and your Done!
Cool down: You start to slow down and recover back to aerobic zone pedaling slowly, Mindy has you roll your shoulders and start to cool down the upper body…stretching arms and breathing deeply.
She ends with a very thorough stretching segment that incorporates some innovative stretches on the bike and she also takes the time to show you the stretches off the bike incase your bike doesn’t allow you to do them.
My one disappointment: When the ride is over, I can’t get off the bike and give Mindy and her crew a high-five on a job well done.
A fun addition to the end of the tape..they added the bloopers! I wish more of the instructors did this with the credits.

Instructor comments: Mindy is going to be one of my all time favorite instructors. Her style of teaching is, once again, similar to my other favorite instructor, Cathe; they both are constantly reminding me of proper form without it being annoying… just when I need it! She has that great ability to be professional but at the same time make you feel that she is also just one of the gang. I love her sense of humor and the elements of playfulness she adds to her workouts…you feel like you are out on the playground with your best friend again. I wouldn’t hesitate getting another Mindy tape…she is a great instructor. I give her A+ on the three F’s…Form, Function and FUN!!!!

Nancy C
28 April 2000

After reading Nancy's review, I just had to jump on the bandwagon and write a review! Nancy did such a great, thorough job of describing the tape, so I thought it might be helpful to get a perspective from someone who uses this tape on a regular stationary bike as opposed to a spinning bike. I have a computerized stationary recumbent bike, so it would be difficult (and it would look very funny, to say the least) to do the standing and the jumps. Not that I don't try sometimes, but it sure does give me a good tricep workout--LOL! Anyway... I really like this workout. I find that I can easily modify this for my bike. I leave out the jumps and just increase/decrease the resistance on my bike and it works really well. This is a great interval workout--I can get really anaerobic with this one! I'd say that it's the cycling workout that I can best modify for my bike and still get a really intense workout (I have both Johnny G's, the CIA cycling tape and Reebok Ultimate Island Ride, which I also like a lot but it's nowhere near as intense). I guess my one complaint would be the production value. Nancy described it perfectly. For me, though, it doesn't interfere with the workout; believe me, I'm paying more attention to the burning in my legs and the sweat in my eyes than I am to the sound and the picture!

If you get a chance to see this tape, don't miss the bloopers that Mindy put at the end of the video. They're a riot!

Instructor comments: What fun! Mindy seems like she would be the type of person who would be so much fun to be around. She is incredibly athletic! She is motivating in a very encouraging way, and she is enthusiastic without being overbearing. She explains everything so well, that you have no doubt what she's trying to get across to you. I hope she makes lots more videos!

Kristin Aziz

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