I hope you enjoyed my first true Vegas post! Next, I’m going to recap day 2. Let’s just say, things kicked up a notch. So….as a cycling instructor I signed up for a lot of cycling sessions. And then I realized that from Wednesday-Sunday, I would be essentially taking 11 50ish minute spin classes. DEAR LORD.
Thursday was the first real day of the conference. My morning started with a 7am session, so I rolled out of bed just after 5:30 and shoved a granola bar in my face.
My first session was just a ride with Stages. This was called “The Power of the Dork Side.”
They used a big screen to take us through a science fiction movie themed ride. My favorite part was the Back to the Future themed part, where they showed scenes from the movie and forced us to pedal fast enough to travel through time. The screen also had our bike effort level. We did a time trial at max effort at the start of class, and the computer on the bike calculated different work zones based off of this (i.e.: work at 70% of max, and it would flash up a particular color).
It was pretty cool! The screen is definitely a fun distraction.
This was for sure my hardest day in terms of exercise, partly combined with a late night prior. After my 7am session, I quickly drank chocolate milk before heading into Schwinn for my next workshop.
At this point, my metabolism was definitely humming along, and I broke into cheerios during the lecture portion of the workshop. Sidenote: I brought an entire box of Apple Cinnamon cheerios and this was an amazing decision. I ate a bag or two every single day of the conference.
Schwinn: Teaching Tips from TED
This workshop was really interesting: they speakers compared leading a cycling class to doing a TED talk. This session really focused on how I, as the leader of a class, should present myself. Here are some takeaways:
-TED talks are great because they are passionate, entertaining, educational, humorous. We want cycling classes to be the same. We have to draw the students in, and try to make class feel like no time has passed.
-The big parts of presentation (just like any persuasive essay from high school) have logos (logical appeal), ethos (credibility) and pathos (emotional appeal). A cycling class is no different. You obviously want to establish credibility (NEVER lie to your students about what’s ahead, i.e. “Sprint for 30s….JUST KIDDING ONE MORE MINUTE). Your riders need to trust you. You establish this not just through credentials, but based on how you look, act, and lead class.
-The first 30 seconds of class are incredibly important, like a TED talk. Draw the class in, command the room, and let them know what’s in it for them!
-Tell stories (emotional appeal), but be relevant and have a point.
-End class with a bang, because this is what students remember. It could be a high energy push, but it could also be a slow hill, with a carefully selected song to pull on the heartstrings (I love doing this too. Their suggestion was OneRepublic’s I Lived, but there are a few the Fray songs I like for this.)
The format of the cycling workshops was to do a lecture, and then a full ride to see how the information is applied.
After the ride, I was exhausted and famished. I downed a mini-protein bar before heading to Opening Ceremonies back at my hotel (it was literally right next to the Convention Center where most of the conference took place.)
At the opening ceremonies, they present awards and have motivational speakers. It’s always so inspiring! Admittedly, I left before the keynote speaker because I was STARVING. I grabbed another Greek salad from the hotel cafe and headed up to my room because I had a break.
Plus a bar.
Because there was a break, I had time for a short but much needed nap.
My first afternoon session was Olympic Lifting! This was mostly about coaching Olympic Lifting. I love Oly, and honestly would love to coach it, but it’s just not a priority right now and probably ever. We learned different progressions for the lifts, though I am familiar them.
Progressions for basic movements (start at one and move on when the previous movement is mastered)
Squat: Bodyweight squat to back squat to front squat to overhead squat.
Press: push up, strict press, push press, power jerk, split jerk.
Clean: hang power clean, power clean, hang squat clean, squat clean.
We practiced the progressions with a PVC pipe equivalent, and then worked with partners giving cues.
The biggest takeaway: FORM is so important! Spend a lot of time working with lighter weights an perfect technique, and only a little time working with heavy weights. I can attest that this is important. In my experience, you can instantly PR if you make a technique adjustment.
At this point, my body was HURTING. I was tired from a late night, and my legs were DONE from the back to back mooring cycling classes. I had another break before my last session, so I went to the Fitness and Nutrition Expo in hopes of finding some free samples with magic energy.
I didn’t try a ton. These things are a lot less fun when you’re allergic to EVERYTHING, but here are a few fun finds!
Cottage cheese with blueberry at the bottom. SO delicious. I love sweet with cottage cheese (I love pumpkin butter with cottage cheese!), and the protein was much, much needed.
Yogurt-like cheese that was delicious. Like less-tart yogurt.
Super good bars that are literally just bananas.
And finally, life:
Coffee. I know I don’t do caffeine because I don’t do well with it, but this was so necessary. And freaking amazing. They had samples on tap, and I figured a small amount was just the right amount! These canned lattes from La Colombe are super frothy, which I loved. And caffeine.
Finally, it was time for my last session! Another cycling!
This was run by Keiser, and I was pumped to walk in and realize these are the bikes I teach on! This workshop was a really fun one, thankfully, because my legs were done. This was cycling karaoke! Yes, it’s literally exactly what it sounds like, and it’s amazing. I loved the instructor, who was full of personality, and who doesn’t secretly love karaoke? In this class, we cycling to all karaoke music, meaning we listened to popular songs without lyrics, and had a screen with the lyrics displayed. Everyone sang at once, but we also passed the mic around so one person would be projected over the speaker. The instructor walked around the class offering the mic. Fun fact: it’s a lot harder to cycle when you’re singing. It’s hard to breathe. Know that instructors have the same problem when speaking while teaching: it’s harder work to talk/sing while exercising!
i had such a blast I literally didn’t notice I was exercising. I definitely needed that!
Then, I got cleaned up for the IDEA conference party. I didn’t really make friends this year and I didn’t know anyone, so I felt a little weird going solo, but there was food! The first thing I did was get a beer at the hotel bar, because after 3 cycling classes it was much needed.
I’m going to show you my outfit of the night because real people clothes!
For my meal, I had a salad and chicken stir fry over rice.
I decided to not really spend time at the party and call it an early night after a long day. Instead, I got froyo at the 24 hour froyo place (!) in my hotel and carried it to the room with all the Sports screens to watch the Giant’s game.
Chocolate and cheesecake froyo with butterscotch and chocolate chips.
Back in the room I watched some TV shows and ate a Bobo’s chocolate chip banana oat bar. It’s my first time trying this flavor and it was so good!
One thing I do want to mention was the interesting challenge of fueling myself properly. On this particular day, I had a stomachache most of the day. I was constantly hungry and full, because I was burning SO many calories. And the unfortunate fact of the matter is, while my stomach condition is way better than it used to be and is rarely an issue, I still have trouble digesting large amounts of food. So going over my normal daily calories, despite the fact I needed fuel, left me feeling sick, especially at night after froyo+granola bar. After that day, I had to be smarter about what my calories were and when I ate them, and it definitely helped!
Coming up next: actually one of the longest days of my life!