Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2011 Spinervals Challenge! | U Have What it Takes?

C'mon everyone... take the Spinervals Challenge with me! 
This is cool.  The 2011: 32 Days of Spinervals Challenge!! YEAH!! If you are looking for a great  challenge this holiday season to keep your mind sharp, your legs powerful and your mid-section solid, read on.

How did this idea come about you ask? Well, I wish I could take full credit for it but the genesis of the concept came from an avid Spinervals user who did 30 consecutive days of Spinervals, starting with 1.0 and going through 30.0.  I thought it was a little nuts, but after further consideration, realized it was a great idea.  In fact, this athlete said he experienced incredible gains in fitness (and loss of fat) over the 30 day period... and why not! While there's no "rhyme or reason" to the order of the workouts if done in that manner, the reality is that the random combination of hard interval days, aerobic days, technique days and endurance days really do make for a well-designed training program.  Cool!

So, the 32 Days of Spinervals Challenge leverages that same idea but will be a bit more refined.  The challenge will be HUGE however, as I KNOW how much all fans of Spinervals like to suffer (wink wink). After all, if I make it easy than anyone could do it.... I want to make it a true test of your physical and mental endurance and toughness and for those who complete the program to be in a select group.  Best of all, if you manage to get through the 32 days as intended (or even some of it, for that matter!), I believe you'll see tremendous improvement!! Keep in mind however that you'll need to 'dig deep' at times to force yourself through some of the harder sessions and the wearing down effect of training day after day.... after day. Hmmm.... it's starting to remind me of Ironman, Leadman or other Ultra race events.  LIKE!;)

Here's how it works.  Starting on Dec. 1, 2011 and finishing on January 1, 2012, you'll do a Spinervals Workout each and everyday (or a similar road session) according to my plan I post to our Facebook page or load onto Training Peaks, on which you have the option to register for a free account.  Knowing that everyone won't have every video title recommended for the program, although you can buy them, I've included some variation with the workouts... but not much.  Each day, participants in this event need to let us know that they finished the day's workout on our Facebook page.  This will keep you honest (no cheating please!) and accountable to your team members.  You'll get some positive feedback and motivation from me and other Challenge participants too (NO SLACKERS ALLOWED!).   Furthermore, since the program will be loaded to Training Peaks, you'll be able to log and track your results each and every day, as well as receive workout reminders from me in your email in-box every night.  We'll essentially be training as a team and pushing each other day after day to get the workouts done with 100% compliance all the way through to the finish line... NO ONE QUITS ONCE YOU GET STARTED!

Those people who complete the entire challenge get rewarded in a few different ways. First of all, the fitness gains will be amazing and you'll LOVE how you look and feel!   While your friends are gaining weight over the holiday, you'll be leaning down and increasing your power, VO2max and overall endurance.  Next, finishers will receive a free 6-month Spinervals Team membership, good for discounts on our products, camps, training services ,etc.  Also, your name will be listed on our website as an OFFICIAL FINISHER of the 2011 Spinervals Challenge!  And finally, you'll have the bragging rights to say that you completed the inaugural Spinervals Challenge (remember those first crazies who did the very first Ironman??). All good stuff for simply training your butt off and getting into the best shape in your life, eh?!

Here are the general rules and regulations.  Again, we're working on the honor system, so it's my hope that everyone is honest with themselves and with everyone else. No one likes a cheater who only cheats themselves! If you miss a workout, fess up... admit it and move on with the plan, ok?

Rules and other misc. thoughts:
1. You must do every workout listed in it's entirety to be considered an Official Finisher. Varying the intensity at times is fine, but you must do the intended duration per session. (i.e. A 1 hr 30 minute session means you're riding for 90 minutes, period!).

2. You can substitute up to 20% of the indoor training rides with outdoor rides and still qualify to be an Official Finisher.  I know that a sunny, crisp 55 deg. December day in the Northeast or upper Midwest makes it impossible to sit on that dang trainer... so you have some leeway here.  ;)

3. I encourage you to register for the free basic trainingpeaks account. By doing so, you'll automatically receive the workouts in your email as well as be able to log your results!

4. It's encouraged to enlist other people to help you during the challenge! Get a group together in your basement and suffer to Tough Love! Don't do it all alone!

5. This isn't a rule, but I'd like to request that you post to our Facebook page (Here) at least once a week (if not Daily!!) about how you're progressing and your thoughts and feelings on the whole shabang.  Let's have some fun with this and really push each other to ride and get the work done!

6. Also not a rule, but it would be great to 'rope' a friend or loved one into the Challenge who needs a little bit of a kick in the pants to shape up.  After all, the New Year is at the end of the program and what a great way to enter the New Year being leaner and fitter than you were before Christmas!

7.  As with any endurance event, you need to be responsible for your own personal health and safety.  That means you should get the green light from your physician before starting the challenge as well as "back off" if you feel any unusual aches or pains during the training process.  Push yourself and don't be a wimp... but also be smart and know your limitations!

8. Eat for performance during the 32 day training cycle.  A poor diet will almost guarantee your failure, so make certain that you're nailing all of your nutritional needs before, during and after workouts.

9. Maintain a good sense of humor.  No one is making you do this... you brought the torture upon yourself!

Here are some FAQS:

1. Question: Do I need to have Spinervals DVD's to participate and if so, which ones do I need?

A: Ummm, duh! - it is called the Spinervals Challenge, so YES... you will need to use Spinervals! While you can do and use whatever workouts your heart desires,  ideally and to get the most benefit from the program, you'll have one or two workouts in the series targeting each of the basic intensities and skill development areas as seen below:

Recommended Videos to Consider
- Aerobic Base Builders | Including 16.0, 17.0, 18.0, 21.0, 25.0, 39.0
- Aerobic Endurance | Including 5.0, 9.0, 13.0, 26.0, 30.0, 31.0 and On The Road 2.0, 4.0, 5.0
- Threshold Training | Including 2.0,  7.0, 11.0, 14.0, 19.0, 22.0, 23.0, 24.0,  27.0, 32.0, 34.0, 35.0, 41.0
- Power & Speed Training | Including 20.0, 23/C, Team Sports Vol. 1 and 2
- Interval Training w/ Variety | 1.0, 3.0, 6.0, 10.0, 23.0, 29.0, 33.0, 36.0, 37.0
- Technique Training | 8.0, 12.0, 23A, 38.0

Most of the titles listed above can be found by clicking HERE. And if you'd like to purchase discounted bundles of several titles, go HERE.

You can also choose to substitute other titles from our Fitness and UltraConditioning series, as you see fit. See... I'm flexible!

And to really make this an effective and challenging 32 days, I'll be making suggestions regarding strength training throughout the plan... including the Strendurance 12-Week Progression.  Check that out by going here.

2. Question:  Does this cost me anything?
A.  All it'll cost you is the initial investment in the DVDs that you choose to use during the 32 days, and that's it!  And if you don't want to buy them or don't already have some, borrow them from a cycling buddy! Please don't just 'rip' or download pirated videos... or we'll have the FBI knocking at your door. ;)  The 32 day plan and participating in it is FREE, I just ask that you tell ALL of your friends how you got so fit, strong and good looking at the end of the 32 day training period. ;)

3. Question:  How do I get started?
A. It's as simple as falling off a log.  If you want to use the free training peaks account, you can register for one by clicking HERE.  If you already have an account, simply assign me as your coach.  Once you do this, email us at info@spinervals.com and place in the subject line, Spinervals Challenge, and then mention your full name and that you registered for a training peaks account.

Otherwise, watch this blog and our facebook page daily as workouts will be posted as well as video titles to obtain.

4. Question:  If I use training peaks, when will you load the plan to my TP calendar?
A. The plan will be loaded by the 30th of November, if not sooner, for your review.  Please register for an account asap and let us know per question 3 ASAP.

If you have additional questions, let us know at info@spinervals.com and we'll be glad to help you out.

To summarize, this is to be a fun, social, facebook centered 32 day ultra-endurance challenge where you'll be using the Spinervals cycling program to boost your fitness with other athletes from around the world!  It starts Dec. 1 and is over on New Year's Day.  Workouts will be posted on Facebook each day or you can register for a free trainingpeaks account to track your progress more effectively.  I encourage you to post to our FB page daily your results for added accountability and to help motivate other participants.  You'll finish the year with a BANG and go into the New Year with your highest fitness levels ever!!! WHOOOT!

That's all for now! Let us know if you'll be taking this challenge with us or email with any questions! Get on it.

Good luck and train smart,
Coach Troy


  1. This is appealing! I'm not sure how to "assign a coach" on Training Peaks, though - is it possible, with the free account?

  2. Jenny, I think it is possible with a basic plan. OR , you can simply use the link from the blog to open a new TP account! Good luck and hope you can do it! - Troy

  3. Hmmm. Wouldn't 30 days straight put you seriously into the overtraining zone? My hardest lesson to stick to is to set aside a rest day each week, no matter how much I'm addicted to the saddle. My times have improved dramatically. What's your thinking as a coach?

  4. SMP,
    Thanks. The purpose of the challenge is to overload and push you to your limits during the 'event'. Like dong an Ironman or other ultra-event, it's important to monitor yourself and stay within your limits if you choose to participate. The result of doing the challenge will be improved fitness. There will be some recovery efforts/days worked into the 32 program to make it reasonable for most experienced athletes to complete, but if you need additional rest, please be sure to schedule it according to your personal needs. Good luck.

  5. Had a good time this am but the fun is yet to come!

  6. Hi, Coach, I am not all sure I can be an official finisher, but I will try my best! Here is a greeting video to you and all my fellow athletes.

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