Video Fitness

Spinervals Ultra Conditioning 2.0 - Ultra CORE-Strength Builder

Troy Jacobsen

Type: Spinning
Length: 60 minutes
Difficulty: Solid intermediate
Set: not distracting
Music: I don't think there was any!
Background exercisers: About six or so, combination of men and women, several triathletes.
Equipment: Stationary bike or bike on a trainer, stability ball, something to like on (yoga mat was perfect, carpet or a towel would work, too)

What a breath of fresh air!! Finally, a Spinervals that is tough but not killer, and incorporates ab and back work on the ball. Could it get any better??
The workout begins with a steady state warmup and then progresses:

Single leg drills, fast cadence, 1 minute each x 5 (maybe 6) minutes.

Crunches on the ball for 40 seconds, 20 second rest, 3 times.

One minute steady state
5 minutes of 5 seconds on, 5 seconds off fast pedal.

Reverse crunches on the ball for 40 seconds, 20 second rest, 3 times.

One minute steady state
Single leg drills again, this time 30 seconds each leg, higher resistance.

Back hyperextensions (Superman) on the ball for 40 seconds, 20 second rest, 3 times.

One minute steady state
5 minutes of 10 seconds up, 10 seconds down (jumps).

Reverse back hyperextensions on the ball for 40 seconds, 20 second rest, 3 times.

One minute steady state
"Burn out set"
Basically a TIFT of everything you have done so far, with minor variations (5 seconds up, 5 seconds down, etc)

Burn out set for abs:
1 minute each of crunches, back hyperextensions, reverse crunches, reverse hyperextensions, no break in between.

3 minute cooldown.

This is one terrific workout, and I really don't like 1-legged drills. While its not killer like Suffer-O-Rama, its a nice change of pace. I really liked getting on and off the bike, and the different challenges were good, too, tho perhaps a little too long at 5 minutes each. For the last set of jumps, I did a standing climb, because I love standing climbs.
Another nice change is the layout of the screen. In the upper left corner it has percentages, presumably for heart rate. So, it shows 60% for the slower parts, 80% for the faster parts, for example. There is a countdown timer for the entire workout (not the segments) in the lower left corner AND (get this) the tension level as well as the gears appear on the screen for those of us not using a real bike. What a great feature!!! Loved it!

I give this workout an A+. I was sweating buckets even tho this isn't Sweating Buckets and I got a great ab workout. I can see myself doing this once a week. I still prefer Cardio Coach for my hard interval cycle work because of the great music and I can close my eyes, but this Spinerval will have a solid place in my workout schedule. Well done, Coach Troy!!

Instructor comments: Troy is pretty laid back in this one. He talks about needing core strength and how you'll be working on 6 pack abs with this workout, and then says "I'd show you MY six pack abs, but... heh heh.." Too hilarious! Coach Troy says this workout is not too difficult, and you could do another Spinervals afterwards. Yeah right, Coach. Troy.

Peggy T

Length: 68 minutes

Difficulty Rating: 9.1

Type: Circuit spinning workout with all core work for the strength. It uses a stability ball for all core sections. The focus of the spinning workout is on cycling technique (cadence, 1-leg spins, standing).

Here is the format:
~ Standard Spinervals warmup
~ 1-leg spins easy gear and high cadence (1 minute each leg - 3 times)
~ Crunches. (40 seconds at your own pace, 20 sec rest - 3 times)
~ Cadence work (5 seconds > 130 rpm, 5 seconds easy for 5 minutes)
~ High cadence for 3 minutes
~ Reverse Crunches (3 sets)
~ 1-leg spins hard gear and low cadence (30 seconds each leg - 5 times)
~ Hyper Extensions (3 sets)
~ Standing work (10 seconds seated, 10 seconds standing for 5 minutes)
~ Reverse Hyper Extensions (3 sets)
~ Burn-Out Set on bike (repeat each of the bike sets above for 1 minute each with no rests)
~ Burn-Out Set for core (repeat each exercise for 1 minute with no rest)
~ Cool down

There is 1 minute of easy spinning each time you get back on your bike after the core work. As you can see, there is a lot of variety, which is why I love this workout.

I always think before I do this workout that it is going to be an easier Spinerval, since you spend a lot of time off your bike, and it is true that you do get cardio breaks while doing the core work. However, it always ends up feeling harder than I expect. Cadence work is always hard for me and the 8 minute long set is really tough. The 1 leg sets are also hard for me and my legs are usually shaking towards the end of those sets. (I guess this means I need to do more technique work on the bike.)

I do not feel like this workout is perfect though, and my biggest complaint is the core work. With a great tool like the stability ball, there are so many options beyond the 4 exercises Coach Troy chose. They are good exercises, but there was no focus on the obliques or any plank work which I do think would be helpful to cyclists. However, with the format, it is incredibly easy to just substitute some other exercises.

I came up with substitutions for the 2nd and 3rd sets of each exercise, realizing that I would get to repeat each original exercise during the Burn Out set. My substitutions:

~ Oblique Crunches on the ball
~ Roll-Ins while in plank position with my feet on the ball.

~ Ball Transfers (from feet to hands while crunching)
~ Toe dips (with ball in arms, or without the ball)

~ Hyper Extensions with a twist to each side.
~ Planks on the ball, lifting one leg

~ Side planks on elbow with ball between my feet (like in TLP Core Foundations). Do hip dips and rotations with elbow to floor. 1 set for each side.

I feel like these substitutions make this a much more effective and total “Core” workout. The options are limitless, of course!

The Burn Out set was a lot of fun. A quick sampling of everything you did in the workout with out any rest. I love this part, and I am always motivated to finish the workout so I can do this section.

The music in this workout, as in all the Spinervals I have tried, was completely unremarkable. There is the music off option, which I use often and play my own instead.

The dvd offers a chapter for Technique review (ab work). There is a chapter at the start of each cycling set. It would have been nicer to also have a chapter at the start of each core section, because you could split the workout up in different ways.

Overall, if you like spinning and you like circuit workouts, I highly recommend this one. If you don’t like circuits or time off the bike, though, you may not like this one as much as other Spinervals.

Instructor comments:

Lisa C


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