Video Fitness

Spinervals 3.0 - Suffer-O-Rama

Troy Jacobson

The spinervals videos are really geared specifically for athletes and not really set up to give ideas to instructors (he doesn't use catchy or popular phrases that spinning instructors or students use although he does use similar concepts and a bit of visualization technique but not like Johnny G for instance). I would think the Keiser or Johnny G videos would be the best for that so if that's what you are looking for, these videos are not for you. The instructor, Troy Jacobson, is a serious triathlete so his videos are specifically geared for the athlete...i.e. a no frills hard core workout...although the set and music is really pretty good I think. You also have to realize they are using real road bikes on stationary trainers which would translate differently as far as gearing/resistance on spinning bikes. I use a Schwinn Spinner and it works just fine for these videos. Once you learn which settings on your spinning bike match the intensity of their bikes , it's very easy to use these videos. This is a 54 minute workout with 11 serious triathlete's.

Here is a breakdown of Spinervals 3.0:

Warm up - 4 minutes soft peddling

First intensity drill - 5 minutes - 30 sec. on - 30 sec. off......meaning you peddle hard for 30 seconds and then recover by peddling soft for 30 seconds.

1 minute recovery

Next intensity drill - 10 minutes - 1 minute on - 1 minute off.....this is an all out effort during the 1 minute on and then you recover for 1 minute doing a total of 5x each.

2 minute recovery

Next is a 5 minute steady state tempo effort. You do 10 seconds seated and alternate that with 10 seconds standing. You stay in one gear the whole 5 minutes.

2 minute recovery

The next high intensity interval is 45 seconds on and 30 seconds off meaning you go all out for 45 seconds and you recover for 30 seconds. This drill will help you build anerobic power. This drill is done a total of 5x each.

2 minute recovery

Next is another Tempo effort - 4 minutes total - 15 seconds seated alternated by 15 seconds standing - you stay in one gear the whole time.

2 minute recovery

Next is another high intensity drill - 30 seconds on alternated by 30 seconds off. This one you do for a total of 5x each - 5 minutes.

1 minute recovery

For the last all-out effort you peddle hard giving 100% for 20 seconds and you soft peddle for 40 seconds so you have plenty of time to recover. This drill is 3 minutes long.

5 minute cooldown

If you're wondering why you have so many recovery phases, believe me, you will need them. When you are working at an all out effort, you need the recovery phases to help your heart rate return to normal before starting another drill. You will see a graph at the top of the screen showing you how hard you are to be working during each phase. At the bottom left had corner of the screen you will see a clock running down, starting at 54 minutes and constantly going down to show you how much time is left in the workout. I love spinning and I have a lot of spinning videos, but none of the videos I have motivate me like the Spinervals videos do. I feel like a serious athlete when I train with these workouts.

Dawn Henson

Since Dawn has already given such a great breakdown to this workout, I will just give my feelings. This workout lives up to its title! Troy has you work really hard during the intervals, but unlike his other videos he gives you much more recovery. This is a killer workout (but in my opinion not as intense as spinervals 6.0 and 7.0). During the workout, my heartrate was high the entire time and my quads were really burning. This is another great Spinerval tape.


Spinerval cycling videos were made for outdoor cyclists who want to train indoors during the winter months. The video participants are using trainers on their "regular" bikes, but I use my spinning bike - and have found it very easy to make the adjustment. Spinerval workouts are VERY tough - not at all for the beginner (just a friendly warning). This is my favorite in the Spinerval series - great music and an upbeat cast.

Suffer-O-Rama is an all-out anaerobic workout. You get more rests in this video (compared to other Spinerval workouts) but you are working harder during the sets. Here is a run down of the workout:

Warm up

Five (seems like 100) one-minute all-out sprints, with one minute rest in between.

Two minute rest.

Five minute drill; 10 seconds seated, 10 seconds standing. LOVE THIS.

Two minute rest.

Back to the intervals (yeah, Coach Troy calls that last set "tempo work".) Five 45 second drills with 30 seconds rest in between.

Two minutes rest.

Four minute tempo set: 15 seconds seated, 15 seconds standing.

Two minute rest.

Five 30 second drills with 30 second rest (at a very high resistance...this is soooo tough).

One minute rest.

Three 20 second 110% all-out intervals, with 40 seconds rest in between each interval.

Cool down.

This workout was filmed in an old brewery and there are about 10 participants (Coach Troy's wife is also in this video). If you want a tough spinning workout, this is IT.

Instructor comments: What can I say about Coach Troy? You love to hate him.

Suzanne Moriarty

I first heard about this video through threads here on VF. I believe this is the first tape I've ever done that was geared specifically for athletes. There is nothing "mamby-pamby" about it. The coach expects and encourages you to go hard. This is a bike video with intervals of race pace and recoverys with different durations throughout the (about)41 minute training session. It beats Johnny G. by far in intensity.It's much more direct hard-core training and less mind-body then J.G. The participants are ALL triathletes and are all on "trainers" (actual bikes hooked up to a piece of equipment so they become stationary)not Spin bikes. This could be a little confusing because the instructor cues which gear you are to be in. I managed just fine on my spin bike. I also reccomend you wear a heartrate monitor. He asks you to work at 100%, and at one point 110% effort. I can only say I hope he is talking about "giving it your all", and not you heart rate (110% HR? Yikes). The participants work extremely hard, are dripping with sweat, and look like the real deal- athletes. Sometimes during the recovery watching them bugged me a little- not sure why. The screen has a count down timer on it and the coach does a good job at keeping time for your intervals as well. He is motivating. Overall, I really loved the tape. The workout was effective, and I'll probably never trade this one.

Instructor comments: He is an authentic athlete and coach and clearly knows what he is doing.

Nicole Gunning

Length: 53 minutes
Difficulty Rating: 9.3
Type: Intervals (Tempo and Sprint sets)

~ 7 minute warm-up (with standard spinervals warm-up)
~ 5 x 1 killer minutes with 1 minute rest (BR/15,BR/15,BR/13,BR/18,BR/12)
~ 2 minutes easy
~ 5 minutes tempo, alternating seated and standing every 10 seconds (BR/13)
~ 2 minutes easy
~ 5 x 45 seconds Intervals with 30 sec rest (BR/13,BR/13,BR/13,BR/15,BR/15)
~ 2 minutes easy
~ 4 minutes tempo, seated and standing every 15 seconds (BR/15)
~ 2 minutes easy
~ 5 x 30 seconds intervals with 30 sec rest (BR/13)
~ 1 minute easy
~ 3 x 20 seconds sprint with 40 sec rest (BR/15,BR/14,BR/12)
~ 5 minute cool down

This is a good one. I like the repetitions of the intervals and the alternating of the tempo work (seated/standing). It is definitely a tough workout, but it does not feel as killer to me as No Slackers Allowed. This is probably for two reasons: 1) the 2 minute rests between sets, and 2) there isnít much talk about cadence, so I let mine slip and just focus on using the correct gears. That makes it more of a leg workout, but I need the high cadence work to get my heart rate up. This can be that super tough workout, but I just donít always do it that way.

Lisa C


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