Foxette: I suppose I'm led by the riders, really. They're a jolly bunch, totally impervious to mornings. I think they might have a screw loose. They tend to be 'builders' rather than 'maintainers' so my class profiles reflect that.
FoxBlog: Anything special coming up?
Foxette: Funny you should mention that. Recognising that each rider has different goals and different needs, I'm putting together a series focusing on one particular rider. We will start and end the series with a special session so we can measure results, but sandwiched in between, we will be running featured sessions. For example we have a rider who is keen to train for her first triathlon, we have other riders who want to improve hills, or stamina, or want to increase their power output, or just want to grow in confidence on the bike. These all require slightly different features in a profile, so we will have a different session specific to each - but yet put all together it will make a great all-round training series. Not only that, but throughout we'll be discussing extra tips for understanding how our bodies work and how to get better results faster. I already have riders who would like a special tailored session - but I'm keen to have a few more.
FoxBlog: Is it progressive, really?
Foxette: Yes, despite the emphasis on building, it is progressive. And there are plenty of options too - for a good workout, you can just stick with the heartrate profile, but there are always extra challenges you can add in, perhaps working with watts (power output), or employing little tricks like always adding resistance for the second half of a hill or a sprint, or only recovering to a certain point and no lower. So if you want a more advanced class, you have the option.
FoxBlog: Is it true there's a gunge tank?
Foxette: Totally not true. It's an urban myth. There is always a special prize for the quickest recoveries during the session though.
FoxBlog: It's not a very good prize, though, is it?
Foxette: No, not really. But you've got to be in it to win it.
FoxBlog: Who do you think would benefit?
Foxette: Riders who want to get stronger or build stamina faster. Or lazy people.
FoxBlog: Wouldn't lazy people be still in bed?
Foxette: Maybe, but I consider myself to be a lazy person when it comes to workouts - I like maximum results with minimum input. I'd rather have 45 minutes of serious lung-busting euphoria that gets results than spend twice the time at half the intensity. The joy of studio cycling is you can go at your own pace, no one judges, and you only compete against your previous best. It's brilliant. The #8amClub aims to get one hour's workout in 45 minutes. Naturally, it depends on how hard you want to push though.
FoxBlog: How does this differ from a class anywhere else?
Foxette: We use the iQniter system to track cardio, and we also invest far more in top-notch bikes; we can use the wattage feature for those who want/need the extra challenge. Also, I offer riders a personal review of their stats, so we can see where they are, and aim at where they want to be more successfully. The iQniter stats are great for giving you pointers of where to go next. That's really valuable for moving to the next level. And recent events have shown the cardio tracking software is good for enabling riders to get fit safely - and has helped flag up heart issues that have led to medical investigations, diagnoses, and avoiding massive heart attacks - as a registered nurse with an interest in preventing problems before they start, this is the safest, best, and most effective way to exercise that I can think of (short of training with a cardiologist and endocrinologist in your pocket!)
FoxBlog: How will riders be able to measure their improvement?
Foxette: I'm encouraging those riders who are keen, to measure their power:weight ratio. If they are working on building, keep a record of their ratio over several weeks, they should see a good improvement. Heartrates can't be increased indefinitely - especially as we're all getting older! By using watts and heartrate, you not only know when you've had a good class, but also you can see over time how your fitness is improving.
FoxBlog: Why is it important to have measurable results?
Foxette: Because we're rational beings, and we like to know what we're doing works! Not being able to measure results, and having to rely on blind hope that what you're doing is of some kind of benefit is depressing - hamsters and wheels spring to mind! It's good to get rid of the guesswork, and get some rigour. That's where encouragement is, and that's how to stay motivated. Time spent exercising shouldn't be a black hole. It's definitely time to get results.
FoxBlog: Do riders need a particular level of fitness, or need to do any preparation before they start?
Foxette: It's a progressive session, but it can be as hard as you make it. There have been riders who have progressed to the #8amClub straight from Newcomers' and they're still alive, (and still nutty!) There are others who are advanced/progressive stalwarts, and I make sure I give them something extra to chew on. The key is, it's a good class for progressing to the next stage - whatever that stage is.
FoxBlog: So what about the music?
Foxette: Music is powerful. Some people are more susceptible, and therefore they find that a really rocking groove means a better workout at higher intensity. There are particular beats that are good for getting that extra 10% you didn't know you had - and I am happy to make the most of them in our 8am sessions!
FoxBlog: So what do you do?
Foxette: I play a huge variety - Rock, dubstep, euphoria, metal, high-school pop, and we regularly have other features - we've had Tchaikowsky, Mozart, Schostakovich and Lloyd-Webber recently, as well as Hans Zimmer, and my new discovery Stromae, and also the odd tune from Vexare and FriskyNippa, Disney in Hungarian made a brief appearance too (for a cool-down!)
So there we have it - #8amClub is high energy, great for building, and great for if you want a bit of personal help with how to get to the next level with your fitness. Bring it!
Riders can also make use of the #8amClub page which features the latest Fox articles on improving performance.