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spinervals 4 muscle breakdown

While I’m not one to spend lots of time on the indoor trainer, sometimes it’s unavoidable, and having some sort of workout plan or other distraction is vitally important.

One of the big names in indoor trainer workouts is Spinervals, with 20+ workouts for serious cyclists, and plenty more aimed at recreational cyclists, triathletes, runners, and swimmers. Since I have a copy of Spinervals 4.0: Muscle Breakdown on DVD, I figured I’d review it.

Muscle Breakdown is an intense 45 minute trainer workout, ranked at an 8.5 difficulty level on their 1-10 scale. This is all about intense intervals, so it will get you in shape real fast (assuming you are ready for this sort of workout.) Funny thing is, most of the other Spinervals Competition series workouts are ranked at 9.0 or higher!

spinervals 4 muscle breakdown

(Keep in mind, this video was actually filmed in 1999. So some of the bikes will look totally retro compared to the bikes of 2008!)

As you can see, the setup for the video is much like a spinning class where everyone is on their stationary trainer, and Coach Troy Jacobson walks around and critiques everyone, while still telling you what to do and when.

The opening scene was kind of cheesy like an infomercial, with Coach Troy walking by the set and teleprompter! Then he introduces the riders in the room, which doesn’t seem important at all, but I guess that gives you some time to get warmed up!

Then Coach Troy gives a good introduction on what to expect, how Spinervals are set-up, and everything else you need to know to follow along.

When it comes to the specifics of the workout, it is mainly a ton of short intervals in the 20-30 second range, with a tiny bit of rest in between. Those intervals, plus even shorter sprints and acceleration drills, plus some high cadence stuff, really work your muscles and of course, get your heart rate soaring.

And get this – Coach Troy even adds some isometric squats (i.e. chair position) exercises into the mix!

When it gets intense, your mind might wander, but luckily…

Here’s how easy it is to follow along: First, there’s audio – Coach Troy is instructing everyone. Then there’s the gear indicator in the bottom right of the screen, telling you which gear to choose. And along the top of your screen is the HR % indicator which jumps up and down to show you which zone to be in. (You can equate 60% with easy spinning and 90-100% with hard efforts and sprinting, so even if you don’t have an HRM, you’ll manage.)

Note the HR indicators, clock/stopwatch, and gear selection guides:

spinervals 4 muscle breakdown

Seeing other people working and sweating is cool, too. I guess that goes back with the introductions, so you can identify with the group and feel like you’re really there. Then if you get lonely or delirious, you could talk to them through the TV screen.

(It’s really not that weird, I mean, you probably yell at referees and umpires all the time, when they can’t hear you! Or at least yell at the crazy people who jump out in front of riders on TdF mountain stages…)

spinervals 4 muscle breakdown

Then you can get up close and personal with these guys and pretend they are your competitors, and you’re going to drop them on the final hill climb!

My final verdict is…

Overall this was a good workout and a well-produced DVD. Something like this is probably a good idea to prevent boredom for anyone using the trainer a lot. I rarely use the trainer though, so I don’t do Spinervals frequently. Consequently, one video is more than enough for me.

Now, if you use the trainer a lot, it might get expensive buying new videos (at $30 a pop) each time you get bored with one. In that case you might want to get a Spinervals Have Mercy DVD, which is about 2 hours long.

For me though, I just use an MP3 player, and when I get bored indoors, I head outside!

Official website: www.Spinervals.com

Product Review Details
Company: Spinervals
Product: Spinervals 4.0 Muscle Breakdown Workout DVD
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-10-04
Obtained Product: Free gift.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.
Click here if you would like to get your product reviewed on CoachLevi.com.
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  1. How to improve your mountain biking DVD , and a SARACEN Frame.
    That’s all that is Left!!


  2. Just got started on cyclo core workouts and like them.

    Question: I got a bike trainer and am wanting some workouts. I am a poor cyclist, do not like to ride outdoors in the cold tempatures. Do you have any good DVD bike workouts to get me in shape for triathloning for 2009?

    DVD Donna

    • Hi DVD Donna,

      I rarely use indoor trainers and the corresponding workout DVDs (since I prefer rollers and some music), but I can point you in the right direction.

      If you like Cyclo-Core, you might like Cyclo-Zen, which includes a set of “Yoga Spin” intervals – it’s a 45 minute workout combining time on the trainer with power yoga.

      There are also some online spin classes available.

      Spinervals Totally Time Trial DVD

      But the biggest name in indoor workouts has to be Spinervals, which is probably why you found this review. They offer a ton of DVDs, and some focus on time trials, which would be similar to the training you need for a triathlon’s bike leg.

      Here are some of the Spinervals videos that might be best suited to you:

      Competition 14.0 – Totally Time Trial
      Competition 22.0 – Time Trialapalooza
      Triathlon Performance 5-Pack (contains 5 relevant DVDs in one handy package.)

      Next in line is probably the CTS Train Right series by Chris Carmichael. Here is one DVD that focuses on time trials:

      Train Right – Time Trial DVD

      Surely one of those options will get you in shape! Good luck with your triathlons!

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