Posts Tagged ‘training’


As we talk more about the Winter Base Training Program that begins January 7/8th at CYKL, we’re trying to clearly describe to everyone how the program works and what it’s all about. More specifically last week we told you “Winter Base training is a 12 week program designed to strip back to the essence of fitness, your aerobic base; the foundation of your fitness. We train for longer periods of time in your aerobic energy zones, building aerobic endurance and muscular endurance.”

BUT what is my aerobic training zone and why do I care about this?

Aerobic training is working at a 4/10 (on that big chart in the studio) OR something called your  Zone 2! This is where all the magic happens in building your aerobic foundation.

How do I know my own “zone 2″ heart rate 

To determine your personal aerobic and anaerobic training zones (zones 1-5) we start the program with a mandatory Lactate Threshold Test with a Heart Rate Monitor. This test has you working at a “hard” effort for 10 mins x 2. From the average of both 10 min efforts we calculate your personal heart rate training zones.

These Zones correlate to the Perceived Exertion Chart in the studio. These are personal to you and you can use them in all of our classes – not just the WBT Program.

Why Do I care about zone 2 or aerobic training?

Aerobic fitness is the foundation to all fitness. Just like a house if you don’t have a strong foundation everything else you build on it could crumble. So if you want to be stronger or better in your intervals, or on hills, if you want to increase your anaerobic tolerance, you must first build a solid aerobic foundation. When you 
train in Zone 2 for long periods
 (over 1 hr) you teach your body to utilize FAT as a fuel source, as it is a long slow burning fuel.

We often get hooked on the adrenaline rush of high intensity shorter duration classes and feel like we are “not working hard enough” in endurance classes. This type of go, go, go training can have a negative effect on your fitness because you will simply over train and eventually either injure yourself or crash and burn. You need to train smart and balanced to keep yourself strong and healthy. This means stripping it back to endurance type training at least once a week, allowing yourself to actually breathe!


We’re hosting another instructor training and rider improvement course on September 17th & 18th! If you’ve been to CYKL, then you know we pride ourselves on teaching REAL indoor cycling classes based on REAL athletic performance and training principles (no 1980′s spinning here!). This course, created by Kim Donnelly, will take you through the ins-and-outs of our teaching style. She’ll speak about aerobic conditioning and training, perceived exertion (that 0-10 chart), anaerobic training, energy systems, along with proper cycling form and function to prevent injuries and keep riders safe!

We truly believe that the best way to teach an indoor cycling class, is to have inspiring teachers who understand teaching and training principles, along with kick ass profiles and music (of course!).

THIS COULD BE YOU! You can sign up for the course online!

COST: $199+hst

Sign up here!


11 Aug 2016


Author: admin | Filed under: cycling, exercise, Fitness, Training, Uncategorized

LT, Heart Rate Monitor training and the Perceived Exertion Chart

Do you ever look at our perceived exertion chart, or hear your favourite instructor say I want you at a 6-7/10, Lactic Threshold, and wonder what that actually means?

You should join us on June 4th at 12:30pm for our first group Lactate Threshold Test to learn your own heart rate zones (and what your personal 6-7/10 feels like and looks like). This 60 min class will take you through our standard Lactate Threshold Field Test (hard ride). All you need is a heart rate monitor and to come with fresh legs!

June 4th at 12:30pm – $40/rider – BUY NOW

*FYI – you’ll be joined by our CYKL instructors who will be doing their LT test with you!

Want to learn more?? Here is a description of LT & Heart Rate and how you can relate it to CYKL’s perceived exertion chart. 

Learn more! In a nutshell we have 2 energy systems that fuel our bodies, The Aerobic energy System (with oxygen) and the anaerobic system (without oxygen).

The aerobic energy system uses oxygen to produce ATP(energy) from fats and carbs, for all the working parts of your body. This is the only system that uses fat as a fuel source (because its slow burning and requires oxygen).  The aerobic system is sluggish to start and usually takes about 20:00 before it starts humming along.  This is the primary system used in endurance activities and uses primarily slow twitch fibers that need oxygen.

The anaerobic system works without oxygen, for efforts that are short quick and intense (think high intensity intervals or sprints)- maximum efforts. With this system your body has to make energy by breaking down carbs in the absence of oxygen.  This is a far less efficient system but can provide ATP to working muscles very quickly in harder efforts BUT it is in shorter supply.  That’s why it is important to learn to spare glycogen (carbs) until it is needed in higher intensities and why it’s important to recover.

Your Lactic Threshold is at the upper end of your aerobic energy system almost straddling your anaerobic system.  It’s where the effort is becoming just a little too hard for your body to use oxygen to convert fat and carbs to energy.  Your breathing rate starts to increase as your body tries desperately to get more oxygen in.  Increased breathing is an important element in defining Perceived exertion, allowing you to gage when your intensity has gone too far.

Lactate has gotten a bad rap over the years and is repeatedly blamed for that lovely burning sensation you get in your legs when pushing harder efforts. In actual fact lactate helps to sooth that burn, so you can keep pushing….but only for so long.  The actual cause of the burn is hydrogen ions produced as your body tries to break down ATP in the absence of oxygen; lactate is being produced simultaneously.  The point where lactate is produced faster than it can be reabsorbed into your muscles is known as your Lactate Threshold.  That is why we often associate the “burn” with Lactate Threshold when we use perceived exertion.

The best way to know your LT for sure is through a LT Field test.  All you require is an hour of your time and a heart rate monitor. We basically do 2- 10 min tests with you working at a “hard” effort but not a maximum effort.  We will monitor your heart rate during these tests and coach you through what you should be feeling.

Once we have determined your LT we will then give you your Zones which correlate to the PE chart in the studio. ie-4/10 = Zone 2, 6-7/10= Zone 4 etc.  Most Heart Rate monitors have pre-programmed zones built into them based on Maximum Heart Rate.  These zones are not the same thing.  These Zones assume that everyone of the same age has the same maximum heart rate.  This is simply not true, maximum heart rate is very much genetically determined. Your Lactate Threshold is specific to you, your fitness, and can be trained with time.

We offer private LT tests at the studio for 50.00+tx that can be booked anytime with Jen or myself.

BUT……….. Saturday Jun 4th at 12:30 we will be offering a Group LT test along with our instructors for only 30.00+tx.  Come and sweat it out along side your fave instructor and find out just what it means to be at a 7/10 J



LT occurs approx 50-60% of VO2 max for most people

Active cyclists and fit people- 70-85% of VO2cmax

Elite/Pro cyclists- 90-95% of VO2Max


4 May 2016

LT & Heart Rate Monitor Training

Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized

The next edition of our butt kicking CYKL Strength Training Program begins January 4th! 2 x weekly sessions Mondays and Fridays at 6:45am!

COST: $175+hst

Start: Monday Jan 4th 


14 Dec 2015

CYKL Strength!

Author: admin | Filed under: exercise, Fitness, strength, Training

Our CYKL Experience up at Blue Mountain is a little over 1 month away! Blue Mountain is one our favourite cycling weekends, with challenging roads and unbelievable fall colours! We have ONLY 3 spots left and woulds love for you to join us!

Book your spot now!


14 Aug 2015

only 3 spots left!

Author: admin | Filed under: Blue Mountain, cycling, Events, Fitness, getaway, ontario, road cycling, Training

The ladies have been hitting the road hard over the past few weeks! The most recent race was outside of Rochester New York at Bristol Mountain. We have 3 ladies – Katya, Cheryl and Paolina representing the team! It was 5 gruelling laps up Bristol Mountain (I was told about 20 mins of climbing with 10 mins of down hill and flat!!). With a Pro women off the front and a break of 2, the battle was on for fourth place. Paolina and Cheryl attacked repeated on the last lap, and with luck (bad luck for the PK Express rider) the group passed one of the two in the break she was standing on the side of the road with a flat. taking advantage of a possible podium finish Paolina cranked it out up the last climb finishing 3rd (with Jen screaming, cursing and waving her arms like crazy person at the top of the climb)! Cheryl finished 5th and Katya 6th! What a day!!

Thanks to CYKL, Junek Velodromes, VelofixTO, and Wheels of Bloor for sponsoring these bad ass women! Next stop Catskills at the end of July.


As the summer season finally arrives, CYKL is excited to introduce a new style of class to the studio – CYKL PLUS! CYKL PLUS classes are high intensity interval cycling classes, for either 30 mins or 45 mins, with an additional “off the bike”  functional strengthening and stretching portion of 15-20min.

The idea for this style of class came from doing our Winter Base Training Program and adding on strengthening exercises at the end of each ride. The strengthening exercises were a hit! Riders felt the difference from adding planks and push ups, plus other exercises into their fitness regime on a weekly basis. Kim decided to launch CYKL PLUS this summer and test it out!

Why CYKL PLUS? Research has shown that you can gain significant benefits from a condensed high intensity cardio workouts (30-45min); (increased aerobic capacity, increased muscular power, strength and fat burning) This is something we at CYKL already know and practice in most of our classes daily! We decided to combine our already butt kicking CYKL class with a 15 min strengthening and stretching regime to increase the benefits of our workouts.

Our strengthening portion will be completed with the instructor  and will focus on core and upper body strength (back, chest, shoulders and arms), as well as legs using and improving the strength in muscles we use cycling – quads, glutes, hamstrings, adductors. These exercises will be done in a circuit using resistance bands, medicine balls, or  your own body weight.

Our stretching portion will be completed by Kara, who will focus on relaxing and stretching problem areas for cyclists (and anyone who sits at a desk all day) like hips, glutes, back, and chest.

Strengthening and stretching are two things we all should be doing more of for a more balanced and healthy body.  The CYKL Plus classes will make a great addition to an already rocking schedule of classes, check it out!


28 May 2015


Author: admin | Filed under: Coaches, exercise, News, Program, Rides, Schedule, strength, Training

We’re officially 1/2 way through our Winter Base Training Program this week. As the rides get longer and we spend more time in zone 2 and 3, we continue to do extra exercises to help strengthen our bodies on and off the bike. This week’s extra exercise is a squat! Squats are a great exercise for strengthening your lower body, back and core. I’ve taken a full day course on how to do a squat properly, it’s a simple exercise that has a lot going on with it. I will keep my description of the squat brief, but if you want more information on good squat form and technique email me/Kim or ask us in the studio and we’ll make sure your form is looking perfect.


1. First stand with your feet underneath your hips, eyes up, chest proud, shoulder blades retracted (pulled back and down)

2. Begin the squat by hinging your hips backwards like you pushing your bum against a wall. You are literally sticking your bum out. Read the rest of this entry »

13 Feb 2015

Extra Effort!

Author: admin | Filed under: News, Program, Training

As the Winter Base Training Program rolls along (session 4/12 this weekend), we continue to promote exercises that improve core and upper body strength and stability. This week’s EXTRA EFFORT exercise is called Bird Dog. Here’s how to do it properly!

Bird Dog

Start on your hands and knees. Your shoulders are square and your hands are directly under shoulders. Knees are under hips and your back is flat.

Next extend one arm in front of you and the opposite leg behind you. Hold for 2-3 seconds then lower them back down and repeat on the same side for 15-20 reps. You want to keep your abs and back strong, don’t let your stomach hang down or hips tilt to one side. Also, you should feel the work in your shoulder in the arm that is supporting you, as well as your bum in the leg you’re kicking back with.


30 Jan 2015

Extra Effort

Author: admin | Filed under: News, Training

Spend the holiday Monday on Feburary 16th with your CYKL family!

We’re hosting a calorie burning, winter-blues blasting 3 HOUR RIDE from 9:30am-12:30pm! This ride sold out last year, so book in advance to get the bike you want!


27 Jan 2015


Author: admin | Filed under: Events, News, Training