Heart RacerJosh Taylor
Year Released: 2009
Categories: Indoor Cycling
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"Heart Racer: Race Day Energy Zone" is one of the Spinning.com series of workouts. As its name implies, it simulates race conditions. During the workout, you keep your heart rate at 80-92 per cent of max, or higher. It's recommended that you do the workout once a month "after achieving peak physical condition".
Unsure of whether I had achieved peak physical condition, I started the workout with some trepidation. But I shouldn't have worried — the workout is led by Spinning Master Instructor and pro cyclist, Josh Taylor, who must be the most motivating coach on the Spinning team. Josh knows exactly the right thing to say to keep you constantly focused.
During the 17-minute warm-up, the music is strangely hypnotic as Josh psyches you up for the work ahead. He talks about feeling the connection to your bike, and asks you to chose one word to keep you focused when the going gets tough: his is "Life".
When I switched on my heart rate monitor at the beginning of the 25-minute race, I was surprised to see that my heart rate was already at 85 per cent of max. Josh's continuous motivation and the by-now driving music kept my heart rate rising steadily. During the introduction to the last song, Josh pumps his fist into the air and says, "You want to feel like THIS at the end!" Despite working harder than I thought possible, I did feel exhilarated at the end of the ride, rather than pooped.
Like the other Spinning DVDs, "Heart Racer" is filmed in a small class of very fit-looking people. Josh gives occasional guidance on your target heart rate (or RPE for those who don't have a heart rate monitor) and cadence. These instructions also appear across the bottom of the screen.
You can see clips of the Spinning DVDs and buy them from spinning.com or totalfitnessdvds.com.
I would highly recommend "Heart Racer" to intermediate-advanced spinners who want a challenging workout to test their fitness level. Five stars out of five for workout design and production values.
What can I say? Buying one of Josh's DVDs is the next best thing to having him as your real-life coach!