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Can you spin while standing? For how long? What am I missing?

I just tried a Spinervals DVD (the time trial one). Several times during each of the 15 minute intervals (at or near LT), Coach Troy has you stand while maintaining the 90, 95 or 100 rpm cadence in a 53 x 15 or even lower gear. You have to hold this high standing cadence for a minute or so each time and then sit, all the while maintaining the cadence and the speed. After just a few my quads were killing me. I just could not do it for the entire time. There just was not enough resistance. It felt like I had to hold myself in a squat and still turn the pedals. I could keep the cadence (well, 90 anyway) for the full minute if I geared up but then I would blow over my LT. I had no problem maintaining the effort if I stayed seated.

To me, standing is something I do with, generally, a lower cadence and higher resistance, like when climbing or accelerating. Standing in a relatively low gear at high cadence for a minute or more seems like something done in a spin class but not something one needs for road riding. Any thoughts?
 

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Roundabout said:
Can you spin while standing? To me, standing is something I do with, generally, a lower cadence and higher resistance, like when climbing or accelerating. Standing in a relatively low gear at high cadence for a minute or more seems like something done in a spin class but not something one needs for road riding. Any thoughts?
Dunno. I don't have any trouble. Keeping a high cadence while standing is generally how I like to murder people on hills. Being scrawny really helps in this regard in that it does not take all that much extra effort to hold up your puny weight.

It is pretty brutal though, and I think if holding my body up required any more work than my toothpick arms were capable of, I would have a much harder time with it.

Besides being a stick figure though, all I have to say is to practice. I climb almost everything (and I live in the hills) standing. Whether fast or slow, attacking or just pacing, I can do it standing. Practice and you will be more comfortable with it.
 

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hi, I'm Larry
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Yes, but not for long

I get completely wasted if I do a spinning stand for more than 30-60 seconds.

It's easier to do on a real hill or during a sprint than on a trainer. Too easy to spin out on a trainer.

I like to spin, normally on hills I will keep it in a low gear and spin at a high cadence. As I appoach the top and the hill begins to level out I will get out of the seat and start clicking down through the gears while maintaining the cadence. If I start to spin out then I click it down another gear.

Same in sprints. I will normally click down a gear before it's time and get the cadence up a little while holding my spot. When the sprint starts I will spin even faster while sitting and then start clicking down through gears until close to the end and then stand and continue clicking down through the gears.

I'm an older fart and don't have the low end torque that I use too. A good spin compensates for this.
 

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classiquesklassieker
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Important skill to develop

There are different postures for climbing. There's the full-power, in front of
the BB, way of climbing. And there's also the just above your saddle way of
pedaling. The former gives better power output (for me) but is harder to sustain,
and I have to use lower cadence. The latter I can do with reasonable cadence,
and is very useful to relieve your muscles (and also your crotch), or to just get
a bit of an extra push up some inclines.

I don't use the video series you mentioned, but I think it's a useful technique to
develop.
 

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it's just exercise

Roundabout said:
Can you spin while standing? For how long? What am I missing?

I just tried a Spinervals DVD (the time trial one). Several times during each of the 15 minute intervals (at or near LT), Coach Troy has you stand while maintaining the 90, 95 or 100 rpm cadence in a 53 x 15 or even lower gear. You have to hold this high standing cadence for a minute or so each time and then sit, all the while maintaining the cadence and the speed. After just a few my quads were killing me. I just could not do it for the entire time. There just was not enough resistance. It felt like I had to hold myself in a squat and still turn the pedals. I could keep the cadence (well, 90 anyway) for the full minute if I geared up but then I would blow over my LT. I had no problem maintaining the effort if I stayed seated.

To me, standing is something I do with, generally, a lower cadence and higher resistance, like when climbing or accelerating. Standing in a relatively low gear at high cadence for a minute or more seems like something done in a spin class but not something one needs for road riding. Any thoughts?
I did a spin class recently where the 95 pound instructor was spinning while standing at 100 rpms or so. I did too, for a while, but blew a gasket after a few minutes; I upped the resistance and lowered the cadence, and was fine (well, better). This is grossly inefficient, as so much energy goes into supporting your weight, compared to making to bike move. But, because it's so inefficient, it's a great cardio/pulmonary workout. I think that's the goal.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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I bet you are relatively heavy, like me...

I'm about 2.9 lb/inch and find it nearly impossible to "run on a flat" as they say in spinning class. It's like you say, I have to push down on the pedal that's coming up to compensate for all that weight pushing down. Last year, I went from 220# down to 190# and was able to do it better, but not for more than a minute. I can do it easily if I lean way forward and put considerable weight on the bars. I think this is a skill for those under 2.3 lb/inch.

TF
 

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Power Napper
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Only if you really want to.

If you are a larger person this will be a really hard drill. I generally don't let my spin instructors do a standing drill at cadences over 80-90. It's a high intensity drill, most people will go anaerobic quickly and it requires a lot of leg strength. For anaerobic drills, or leg strength drills there are other options that don't have nearly the orthopedic risk. Quite frankly I think it's a stunt (Hey lookee what I can do!) and would rather none of my instructors ever did it in class.

If you want to try it, start with a higher resistance, one where you can keep a standing cadence of around 70. Gradually as you build leg strength you can work up to higher cadences at a slightly lower resistance.
 

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One of my spinning instructors said they were given a refresher course by someone who has just recently been certified by JohnnyG.

They were told to instruct participants to maintain a cadence of 60 to 80rpm when climbing and only to use position 3 (hands on the bars most outstretched) when climbing.

They also were told not to exceed 110rpm when seated and spinning.

They were told not to instruct using standing or walking climbs where hands are in position 1 with very light pressure onthe bars and quite an upright position.

They were also told not to do pop jumps, out of saddle with a high cadence.

Anyways for me when I'm climbing hard on a real bike I'm never going 80 anyways, sometimes lower than 60 even onto the forties when it gets brutal.
 

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..............
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A lot has to do with what you are used to

Roundabout said:
Can you spin while standing? For how long? What am I missing?
I think a lot of it has to do with what you and your muscles are used to doing. If you never get out of the saddle and try to spin that fast, sure the first time you do it, it's gonna be hard.

If you work on it, it will get easier, and you'll be more efficient at it that you are now. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is the best technique for you to use all the time. Just look at the difference in climbing styles between guys like Armstorng, Mayo, Ullrich, and Virenque. These guys are all pretty dang good climbers by anybody's definition (though not all them are pure climbers). They all climb very differently in the big mountains

Higher cadence and standing both generally lead to an increase in heartrate, espcially if you are a heavier guy, (I've found this to be the case for me when I watch my HR monitor while climbing).

That said, there are times to stand and power, times to sit and power, times to sit and spin, and times to stand and spin. My daily commute route has just about every type of terrain you can think of in it. Lots of transitions and pace changes, short steeps, long climbs, flats, fast descents, you name it. I've had to work on all 4 or the techniques that I mentioned above. Each has its place depending on the day, how I'm feeling, and what I'm trying to accomplish. Since I ride the same routes every day, I get a ton of opportunities to test different techniques. They're all good to have in you bag of tricks.

Also, I don't think trying to spin at a cadence of 100 with low resistence on a trainer has much real world cycling application. If you prop up the front wheel of your bike to simulate a climb...then maybe. I can't think of any situations out on the roads where you are going to spin super fast in an easy gear on the flats in an upright standing position. It doesn't sound natural to me.
 
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