Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Indoor Cycling Association has launched!

I'm excited to announce the brand new Indoor Cycling Association. Our mission is to educate and inspire indoor cycling instructors to be the best they can be, by offering solid information based on exercise science and true cycling technique and biomechanics. My own specialty is heart rate training, coaching, motivation and music, so ICA members can expect everything they need to know to become the best indoor cycling coach ever!

I've assembled a pretty amazing team of contributors, and will be inviting other Master Instructors and fitness industry experts to submit content as well.

When I was at my previous program, my audio profiles were a very big hit. You can expect the same at ICA - an audio description of a profile, with an objective, the profile description and the actual cueing and coaching suggestions throughout the ride. You can download the mp3 of the audio to listen to on your ipod, or print out the printed version. I'll do one every three weeks or so, and will sprinkle other profiles and playlists as well that aren't audio, but still including the coaching and music.

And the music suggestions - wait until you see what the feedback has been! I've got two excellent contributors, Jorg from Germany with the most unique electronic/psytrance/downtempo/techno songs you've ever heard, and Kala with a penchant for upbeat and fun mainstream pop, rock and alternative tunes to satisfy your students. I'll be throwing my own favorites in there as well.

We'll have videos and audios, with interviews with the experts on just about any aspect of teaching (or taking) indoor cycling or Spinning classes you can imagine. If there is something you want us to cover, please, let us know! Email me at

Since there are not two sets of rules (biomechanics, physics, physiology, etc) for cyclists and non-cyclists, you can be sure that everything we teach will be the most current science of training, as well as proper technique. However, since there are many instructors who are confused at how to deliver safe and effective workouts to their students who believe that "cycling specific" means not interesting, we realize we need to teach instructors how to make their classes fun, motivating and exciting while sticking to the principles of cycling and proper training principles.

The Indoor Cycling Association has its eye on becoming the premier educational resource for indoor cycling instructors in the world! In one short month of being open we have hundreds of members from around the world. Spread the word, spread the love, and join us at the Indoor Cycling Association!

Ride on!

Jennifer Sage
Master Instructor
Founder, Indoor Cycling Association
Author, Keep it Real (in your indoor cycling classes)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cinco de Mayo tunes for Spinning® and Indoor Cycling Classes

Need some hot Latin music for a Cinco de Mayo playlist in your Spinning® or Indoor Cycling classes? Here's some for you!

However, as a lover of all things global, I feel it's my duty to remind you that Cinco de Mayo is Independence Day for the country of Mexico. Very few of these songs are from Mexican artists. They could be from any Latin country in the world - and there are many, stretching from central to South America, to the islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba, all the way over to Europe and the original Spanish country of Spain. But I guess if you go on vacation to Cancun or Cabo, you could hear any Latin song from all corners of the globe.

If the origin of the song doesn't concern you or your students, then have a great time in your classes with these fun and energetic tunes. ;-)

And if anyone has some specific Mexican artists (or any additional Latin tunes), please post them in the comments.

Song title, Artist, CD (if known)
* represents my own favorites

  • **Guitarra G (Original Chillout Mix), G Club presents Banda Sonora, Chillout Session Sampler
  • **Logozo, Sidestepper, Buddha Bar II
  • *Un Poco Flamengo (Unreleased Mix), Chilly Marry, Spinning Volume Eleven
  • Bingo Bango (Latin Dub Remix) - Basement Jaxx, Mad Dogg Spinning Volume 8
  • Sandy Hot Pants, Smitty & Davenport, Spinning Volume 9
  • *Corazon Espinado (Spanish Dance Remix), Santana feat Mana
  • Vazilando Feeling (dj Sueko Rmx), DJ Chus Vs Oreja
  • *Oye Mi Amor, Maná, Sol
  • Ángel de Amor, Maná, Sol
  • Mas Que Mancada (FI mix), Ronaldo's Revenge, Full Intention Revenge mix
  • El sabor de las cosas, Los Piratas, Ultrasónica
  • Hit the Road Jack (Pena Estrad), Mo' Horizons, Remember Tomorrow
  • El Camino, Marquess, Marquess
  • De Camino, Alex Cuba, Agua Del Pozo
  • Radio Incredible, Marquess, Frenetica
  • * Tu no Eres Para Mi, Fanny Lu
  • (I'll be a) Happy Man, The Latin Blues Band feat. Luis Aviles, Brown Sugar - Latin Breakbeats, Basslines & Boogaloo
  • **La Esperanza - Bongoloverz & Ursula Cuesta, Buddha Bar, Buddha Bar 8
  • Lola, Chayanne, Mi Tiempo
  • *Remember (Na Na Na Hey Hey), Summerlove
  • Quien Como Tu, Enzo Diaz, Barrio Latino - Paris Bailando (Latin cover of Without Love by the Doobie Brothers)
  • *Diablo Rojo, Rodrigo & Gabriela, Rodrigo y Gabriela
  • *Fiesta Latina, Cafe De Miami, Salsa In A Sultry Atmosphere
  • Guapisimo, Cafe De Miami, Salsa In A Sultry Atmosphere
  • Let's Be Free, Cafe De Miami, Salsa In A Sultry Atmosphere
  • *La Bamba (Remix 2005), Safri Duo
  • *Ritmo De La Noche, Safri Duo
  • *Gypsy (En Vivo), Shakira, Loba
  • *Suerte, Shakira
  • Livin La Vida Loca (Pablo Flores English Club Mix), Ricky Martin, Livin' La Vida Loca
  • * El Temperamento (Spanish Single Version), Marquess, Marquess
  • No importa, Marquess, Frenetica
  • * Bailamos (Album Version), Enrique Iglesias, Hero [Single]
  • Samba De Janeiro (Maxi), Bellini
  • *Suavemente, Elvis Crespo, Suavemente
  • Baila Morena, Zucchero, Zucchero & Co.
  • A Gozar, Spiritual Vibes, Barrio Latino - Paris Bailando
  • Así Es La Vida, Elefante, Elefante Exitos
  • El Abandonao, Elefante, Elefante Exitos
  • Mariposa, La Oreja de Van Gogh, El Viaje De Copperpot
  • Pop, La Oreja de Van Gogh, El Viaje De Copperpot
  • La Playa, La Oreja de Van Gogh, El Viaje De Copperpot
  • Soledad, La Oreja de Van Gogh, El Viaje De Copperpot
  • * Tres, Juanes, La vida es un ratico
  • * Te Amo (Madgipsy Mix), Sultana, 80 vs. 90 - Golden Rare Extended Tracks
  • South Beach Mambo, The Rippingtons, Life In The Tropics
  • Premonición, David Bisbal, Premonición Disc 1
  • Torre de Babel [Reggaeton Mix], David Bisbal, Premonición
  • Silencio, David Bisbal,
  • Quién Me Iba a Decir, David Bisbal, Premonición
  • Latin Blues Part 1, Eric Kupper, Rythm2


  • Agua Del Pozo, Alex Cuba, Agua Del Pozo
  • I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Coco Freeman/U2, Rhythms del Mundo: Cuba
  • Hero, Enrique Iglesias, Hero [Single]
EDIT: Chris has posted her Cinco de Mayo playlist on her indoor cycling blog for even more variety. Make sure to check back with Chrispins often for her playlists, too!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Exciting news coming, and help me with a new Blog name!

I'm moving this blog! And I need a new name, can you help me?

Funhog was a nickname I carried with me when I moved to Vail 16 years ago. For me, it has always represented doing what is important to me even when faced with personal challenges. I explained the meaning of Funhog back when I first launched this blog back in 2008.

However, a lot has transpired since then. Funhogspins started out as a fun hobby, a place where I could practice my passion of helping indoor cycling instructors beyond the limited means I had as a Master Instructor for the Spinning program. As it turned out, it also served as a means where I could pretend I was a writer (an early dream of mine in college - and in 2007/2008 blogs were a relatively new way to live out those dreams). It allowed me to reach out to a global audience, and I soon came to realize that there are instructors all over the world who are lacking good coaching and teaching advice for creating and leading indoor cycling classes. Funhogspins readership began to grow and soon become widely known and quite popular in the Indoor Cycling realm (in fact it became the #1 indoor cycling blog on the net according to Google). That was an unexpected and fun honor!

I realized I should change the name so I wasn't using the word "spins", not wanting to violate any kind of trademark issues with Spinning®. However, about that same time, summer of 2009, I had a unique opportunity to help launch an educational indoor cycling website. To do this, I had to leave the Spinning® program and I had to abandon this blog. I didn't think again about the name again, until this past month.

Fast Forward 18 months and after an unexpected departure (though it was my choice) from ICI, I found myself back here, unsure about what direction I was going next.

But as Dolly Parton said, "If you don't like the road you're walking on, start paving a new one." So I'm taking that woman's wise advice and doing just that. But first, I need to revamp this blog, starting with a new name. Can you help me come up with some ideas?

I was thinking of something along the following theme (grateful to my husband for giving me this fun last name to play with!):
Sage Advice
Sage Cycling Advice

or something along those lines, but it doesn't have to have my name in it.

I want to convey that I will be giving advice to the indoor cycling community, but the blog will be moving to another platform - one in which it will be apparent that it is for indoor cycling instructors, so I'm not sure that is needed in the title. Obviously, I cannot use the term "Spinning®" or any version of it.

So, any ideas? Fire them at me, something short and to the point. Even if I don't end up using exactly what you suggest, it might inspire an idea I haven't yet thought of.

Mid-week next week I will have an exciting announcement for make sure to come back soon.

I'm off to Scottsdale, Arizona to the Fitfest conference this weekend to present. If you are in Arizona and we had communicated about meeting up there for dinner or drinks, make sure to email me (I've been a little pre-occupied).

What happens if you miss a workout? Illness, injury etc...

I want to share with you Joe Friel's most recent blog post on how much fitness might be lost if you miss a workout. But before I do, it's important to realize that fitness goals of our students will often be different than the goals that endurance athletes set, so read this article I'm about to give you with that knowledge in hand. On the other hand, this article will hit home for recreational athletes/cyclists who like to remain very active outside, for very avid fitness enthusiasts who come to classes 4-7X a week, and most certainly for instructors who teach a lot of classes and are a *bit* fanatical about their own workouts (know any of those types of instructors?!)

Joe Friel broke his hip recently in a bike accident and is faced with six weeks or more of limited training. He writes primarily for endurance athletes, many of whom race (often just recreational racers), so whenever I read his blog posts I try to adapt the information to fit the needs of our typical fitness student. Here is what Joe has to say about missing training days.

My take on the subject? Don't sweat it! If you aren't a pro-athlete, or not training for a PR in your next triathlon, relax. It is what it is. Fighting an illness or injury by training through it will most often make it worse, and doesn't do much good for the mental standpoint either. And if you are a pro or high-level athlete, well, S!*^ happens sometimes, and ya just gotta roll with it. After an illness or injury, get back on track as quick as you can, work on the mental part of it while you are laid up, and turn your focus to positive things. You may have to reset your goals a bit, but that's ok.

An instructor who is forced to take time off due to illness or injury (or family/work/personal obligations) will have to do the same. Remember this important tip: it is impossible to stay at the highest level of fitness year-round. Everyone, from beginner to pro, has to have fluctuations in fitness throughout the year. Allow it to happen, accept it, then work towards gradually bringing your fitness back to where it was before you were forced to take time off.

And, if you aren't forced to take time off (due to any of those reasons mentioned above), remember to give yourself breaks throughout the year (vacations, getting subs) for a mental and/or physical release. Otherwise your body just might do it for you... And when that happens, it's not always a good thing. Remember, we attract into our lives what we focus on and what we need. If you don't allow those breaks to happen occasionally, especially when you get burned-out, overstressed, or are bordering on over-training, I believe you attract illness or injury into your life, to force yourself to take the break you were too bullheaded to allow yourself in the first place! (And I say this from personal experience!) ;-)

Stay healthy and strong!

PS read the comments in Joe's article - there are some good questions that he answers that expand on the subject.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter! What candy to avoid....and how much you have to exercise to burn it off

I did this with Halloween candy last fall and now it's time to give you the Easter candy report. Shape magazine lists the 5 candies you should avoid! Hope your Easter baskets aren't too full of the listed candies. If so, add a few more indoor cycling classes to your program this week.

While you're reading that article, look at the right side of the page at the calorie burn tool called "You Ate It, Negate It". You can enter what you ate and what kind of exercise you prefer, as well as your weight, and it tells you how long you have to exercise to burn off what you ate.

I chose a simple bran muffin as my treat. Calorie Count gives it 344 calories and a nutrition grade of B-. Another website gives the Starbucks Apple Bran muffin 350 calories.

In the Shape calorie burn tool, I entered Bran Muffin and Spinning (under Gym/exercise class) and it said I'd have to exercise for 72 minutes to burn that muffin. Then I entered cycling at 14-19mph (under endurance exercise), which is a decent clip but not too fast, and to me is a better guestimate of what kind of effort you put out in a typical moderately hard Spinning®/Indoor Cycling class. This time I'd have to exercise for 52 minutes to burn off one bran muffin. At 10-14mph it equals what they assume you'd burn in a Spinning class (72 minutes). Hmmm, not that I condone very hard classes all the time, but I think they are assuming people don't work very hard in indoor cycling classes.

This is a far cry off from what some instructors, trainers or programs are preaching, or even what Shape magazine tells you in another separate article that claims you can burn 500 calories in 35 minute Spinning® class! This last claim is truly ridiculous, especially since the posted class isn't that hard. Yes, it has some sprints, but do you really understand how hard you have to work to burn 500 calories?

When will there be responsible claims in the fitness industry?

The good news is that we have an amazing tool for burning calories and staying fit - our indoor cycling classes! Even if we don't over-exaggerate how many calories our students will burn.

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cycling Spring Training - how to put together a cycling clinic

OK, in other parts of the country (the US that is), you are already hitting 80+ degrees and have been cycling for months now (not counting you guys in the always-sunny far south).

Where I am in the Rocky Mountains, it is still ski season (albeit fairly warm). The committed cyclists have been out and about when the temps have reached anywhere above 40 degrees. We've even had some 60+ degree days, but usually very windy.

I have just finished a very successful 12-week periodized Cycling Clinic at one of my clubs, with 12 very committed students. But we are entering what we call the "mud season" around here, and our ski mountain only closes next weekend. It's possible to cycle outside, but still not as cycling friendly as we'd like it.

So I've just extended my cycling clinic for another 5 weeks.

I've got at least 8 students who will continue with me (I'll let you know the actual number tomorrow - it's the first class). They are paying $120 for the next five weeks. They've paid $275 for the past 12-weeks (I had 13 students in that series).

I'm on to something big here. I've had probably the MOST fun I've had teaching in 14+ years. Why? Because I'm working with a committed group of the same students who paid to be there, everyone on the same page, everyone with a heart rate monitor. Not a regular class where you can't really do a serious periodized program because you get new people walking in all the time, or someone who decides to show up only once a month.

The result? I have 13 students who are more prepared for the cycling season than they ever have been. And most are paying to stay on for the next 5 weeks. Me? I've made more $ per class than I ever have in my 15 years of teaching indoor cycling!

Damnit, I deserve it! =)

And so do YOU!

This next five weeks is going to be pretty high intensity, but because most of the students have been with me for the past 12-weeks (and many were my students for the previous 4-5 years), they are well prepared for this level of intensity. The few who were not in my 12-week program I will coach very closely to gauge their intensity very carefully, and to not go as hard.

I've been blabbing about this 12-week program on Facebook since January. If you ONLY knew how many instructors contacted me and said "Teach me how to do this!"!

So that is what I am planning to do. I'm going to create a very comprehensive turn-key program on how to do a periodized 12-week indoor cycling training program in the winter. If you are interested, let me know. You will get 24 profiles, and everything you need to know to do this on your own at your facility. What to teach, how to answer their questions, what to say, what to give your students (handouts, physiology, etc), how to promote it (especially to your local cycling clubs), how to coach beginners, how to price it, etc.

I have been teaching Spinning® and Indoor Cycling for 15 years. I taught this at two separate facilities this winter, and between them both I made 4-6 times what I normally make per class AND I enjoyed it so much more!

You will too!

I won't have this available until next fall, because a periodization program is not as effective until the fall/winter months (at least up here in the northern hemisphere - for my southern hemisphere readers, it will be a year from now). It will take awhile to put this into a turn-key program with all the supporting documentation that you will need, but I guarantee you, YOU WILL LOVE IT!

AND, you will make more money doing what you love.

Now THAT is a great thing!

To stay in contact with me about this periodized cycling clinic, make sure you are on my mailing list (enter your name and email on the top left of this blog). I will be letting you know soon about my new website that will deliver this and many other great indoor cycling products to help you grow as a coach.

PS - as I sit here writing this post, I got a text from one of my cycling clinic students. She wants to bring her dad to tomorrow's class! There goes another one! ;-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Paris Roubaix anyone?

Photo Sirotti/

I thought I'd bring to your attention to the exciting and amazing bicycle race going on in Europe this Sunday, one of the single most difficult and dangerous one day races anywhere. It's called the Paris Roubaix. It's a one-day race, part of what they call the Spring Classics over in Europe. A few years ago, American cycling heart throb George Hincapie crashed in the Paris Roubaix due to a broken steerer tube.

Here is an account of last year's race
, soundly won by Swiss heart throb (I know, lots of heart throbs in cycling IMO) Fabian Cancellara (and my own personal favorite). His nickname is Spartacus. Though he's more of a one-day specialist, he always plays an important role as a domestique in the 3-week Tour de France, so get to know him well if you don't already (that is, if you plan to follow the Tour de France with me and create an exciting TDF program in your own Spininng/IC program this year)!

This would be a very fun race to simulate in your indoor cycling/Spinning® classes. Unfortunately I am not going to do this profile in my own classes this week, so I can't give you a specific profile with cueing, but if you want a really cool race to create your own, here are some of the links you'll need to learn more.

First of all, here is the official website with the profile and map. The race goes from Paris to Roubaix in the north of France, near the Belgium border. It's 258km long - that's a bruising 160 miles in one day! It's not over any major hills, but traverses something even more trecherous and challenging - Pavé! Pavé is French for "cobbles", and there are 27 sections of this race that go over cobblestones ranging from a few hundred meters to several miles, sometimes so rough and rugged that they gobble up tires and body parts. Add in a little bit of rain (common in this time of year) and you've got a very slippery recipe for disaster. We all know that the more dangerous a sport is, the more people like to watch it, right? Then Paris Roubaix should satisfy the most sadistic sports fan anywhere, even those who profess to hate cycling!

This is a great description of the cobblestone sections, with incredible closeup photos. It jars your teeth and bones just to look at the pictures - can you imagine doing that for 160 miles? Here, Joe Lindsay of Bicycling magazine tells you what to watch for at this year's Paris Roubaix. In his article, he provides a couple of links on how to watch the event live on your computer.

This is a video of Fabian Cancellara training on the cobblestone section. It gives you a good glimpse of the jarring that is going on.

Thinking about doing a Paris Roubaix ride in your Spinning classes? My only suggestion is don't do anything "literal" on your indoor bike to simulate the cobblestones! The most literal thing you can do is to get them out of the saddle in a big gear (which the riders will have to do for much of the secteurs pavés). You can describe the cobbles and you can tell them they have to focus intently....but don't have them jiggle and shake! ;-) I have to put that in here because we all know instructors who might just decide to take this a little too literally.... There is only so much that you can mimic. Simulate the excitement, the trepidation, the mental games, the incredible focus, the big gear challenge, the endurance challenge....but not the jarring effect.

For music use any fun French music you can find. Here is an older blog post with some French music suggestions that you can use.

Maybe in a few weeks I'll put together a Paris Roubaix profile. Next week is my final week of a 12-week cycling clinic, and once that is over I'll have some more time to be creative. The great thing about this ride is you can do it anytime of the year. Most indoor cycling students will have no idea when it actually takes place!

Allez Allez!