After this weekends slugfest with Cement Hill I realized that I needed more bike training. Currently I get one day of on the road pavement bike riding, when I am not running a 5k race or other life events don’t demand the time, and at least one spin class. Obviously I need at least one more day on the bike, but due to winter’s shorter days and existing Sunday commitments (football) I do not get much time on the bike. While a spin class is not exactly like being on the road, with the right instructor one can get a really good leg thrashing workout. Most of my current success on a bike derives from the time I have spent strengthening my legs, lungs and heart in spin classes. But, adding another spin class to my schedule introduces new complications, especially with the existing tight, full schedule. This leaves spinning on my own. In the past I have watched stuff on Netflix and Hulu to pass the time, but I never truly felt like I could push myself as hard as I did in my spin classes. I figured I would take a look at some of the spinning and bike trainer DVDs on the market and see if any of it interested me. Some of them looked promising, but the price often drove me away from even give the product a try, until I came across thesufferfest.com and their series of videos.
“I will beat my ass today to kick yours tomorrow” – IWBMATTKYT -TheSufferfest.com
TheSufferfest.com provides a series of videos aimed at providing an hour long bike trainer or spin session workout. While each video features clips from some of cycling’s top events, each video is overlayed with motivational original electonica, alternative and techno music. Each video is based on a specific themed goal. What really sets the videos apart is the raw attitude it has at it pushes you through each workout. The sufferfest is not just a series of motivational cycling training videos, instead is a stylized philosophy of self induced pain and suffering from pushing ones limits. In some instances it is very tongue and cheek and deliberately over the top with its message that it will make you cry and suffer in pain by the time you finish the workout.
This is not traditionally my type of idea of motivational and it amazed me I stuck around the site to look into the videos. But something about the sincerity and over arching belief that through the pain their videos inflict you could be a better cyclist, stronger and more motivated kept me reading and mulling over getting one of their videos. They had slogans like the quote above and a fictional land called Sufferlandia that all sounded so entertaining and amusing. But I kept thinking, could a video series be that entertaining and provide that good of a workout? Would I really suffer? Well, the final deciding factor was the price tag at thirteen bucks and the fact I did not have to bother with physical media (I wanted to watch this on my Galaxy Note with its gorgeous 5 1/2 inch screen). I got the ‘Angels’ video, downloaded it and was ready to go.
I understand the concept of these videos really rely on how much the viewer buys into the video and its overall message to push and motivate their workout. But I will say the format and music works perfectly. The on screen ques to go faster or slow down or attack, matched with the taunting really forces the viewer to push the workout. Something about spinning away while the screen displays nearby cyclists make your legs move faster and push it harder. On uphills I would move the resistance up and really push the workout. When it taunted I steadied my effort and resolve and pushed harder. To tell you the truth, I fully bought into the experience and I was amazed an hour flew by. The workout involved a good warm up, some light intervals and then three eight minute hill climbs each with different interval sets. By the time I finished the third my legs were spent, I was drenched with sweat and I was shouting out loud, fortunately I was the only one in the spin room.
The end of the video includes vintage footage of bikes and stunts of yester-year. Overall, these videos are an amazing workout that provide a much better experience than watching other media while spinning or spending time on the cycle trainer. I am not traditionally moved by the hard love, suffer and bleed and succeed mentality, but my first experience with one of these videos has me truly believing their mantra and philosophy. It’s pretty gutsy telling a person that something will make them hurt and they are going to like it, but this video truly did. At thirteen bucks each, I want all the videos in the series,I want to suffer in different ways. Truly the most fun I have had on a spin bike with out an instructor to push me. I would recommend giving one a try, the cost is right and the workout provides a great experience. Til next time.