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Ride Fit Training Videos - Spanish and California Combo Packs

Review: Ride Fit Training Videos - Spanish and California Combo Packs

Elaine Bothe's picture

We Liked

The thing I like least about being an avid cyclist and serious racer is the fact that sometimes you have to spend a lot of time on a trainer. When the roads are icy and the snow is blowing, or you're injured in the middle of summer, there is still exercising to be done.

Watching TV sometimes helps but good quality cycling videos that are designed for trainer workouts make the time go by much faster than surfing the soaps or trying to watch a movie. Ride Fit has a growing collection of titles that last from 45 minutes to a 93 minute gut buster. Most are just under an hour. They're billed as "beginner," "intermediate" or "advanced" based on duration and intended effort. The beginner rating is billed as suitable for recovery days for experienced riders as well as for someone who is just getting started on their fitness program.

Each workout has a program that suggests effort by way of perceived effort, heart rate and/or cadence. The rides are mapped by profile and time, as if you are actually riding up and down hills. There's a graphic that suggests what your target effort should be, from easy to hard. "In the red zone" sure seems appropriate in these videos!

Each video has a trailer on the Ride Fit website. Check them out here!

Along with your purchase of a Ride Fit title you'll get access to the informative "Ride Fit Training Guide." This, along with the Ride Fit website, provides more information about how to get the most out of each workout, using your bike's gears as resistance, and how all that can translate into perceived efforts as well as providing a summary of target heart rate training zones.

I especially enjoyed the Spanish videos and the "3 Ways Up and 3 Ways Down" title from the California set. The 8 minute interval efforts x 3 up a mountain by three different roads is every bit as hard as you want it to be, with recovery down. I found myself looking through the turns on the descent! Each video has a short warmup period that is approx. 10 minutes, while the narrator explains the upcoming ride. A brief cooldown follows the videos

Long rides in the real world are more fun in a group, and even though you can't really talk to the people you're "riding" with in the videos, it is nice to have them around.

Though the workouts are hard, the Ride Fit videos' music and narration is quiet and matter-of-fact. These videos are not a loud, throbbing rock n roll trainer workout with an intense drill sargent narrator. And I really like how can turn off the music and listen to your own. You can even turn off the sound all together and follow the prompts it you pay attention. The Spanish titles forgo the narrator completely and just uses text prompts and beeps, which is a strategy I prefer.

I like the variety of titles and how you can mix and match to get the workout you want. I personally need a lot more warmup time than the 10 or so minutes alloted in the workouts, so I can plug in one of the shorter ones first and just spin for 45 minutes ignoring the directives, warming myself up through my heart rate zones until I'm ready to push it. For another leg-opener workout the day before a race, I warmed up to "Miramar Lake Loops" and then did just one of the hill climbs in "3 Ways Up and 3 Ways Down." I cooled off just watching more of the video, spinning easily through the next suggested efforts.

I also love the very reasonable price, especially when you buy one of the combo packs and the bonus "Ride Fit Training Guide." Other cycling trainer videos may be more intense, but they're also more expensive. If you like rock n roll, play your own music!

We Didn't Like

My biggest complaint is really a complement... the California titles are the first release for Ride Fit and so, honestly, Ride Fit learned a lot in the process and the second series (the Spanish ones) are an improvement. While informative, I didn't care for the slow narration style of the California titles and they got rid of it for the Spanish ones, except for some introductory information. Fortunately the level of sound is low, and it's easy to turn down, or even tune out. The pertinent information is duplicated graphically on screen, so you won't miss a cue.

This is not to say you won't get anything out of the California titles, you will! Especially the big hill climb ones. A change of scenery, paceline action in some of the titles and new workouts in your library are always worthwhile, especially at this price.

The Final Say

As an effective series of cycling training videos, the Ride Fit series are a worthy addition to your library. At the minimum, with access to the website training guides, the change of scenery besides the four walls in your garage or basement is worth the low purchase price. And, the fun and challenging workouts are a great way to mix up your training routine.

If you're just starting out in your cycling fitness program you or are more experienced with trainer workouts, you'll enjoy working as hard as the videos' programs suggest. Or apply your own program and just enjoy the scenery and paceline action.

If you're not familiar with interval training, have never worked with a cycling training program and are just getting started training seriously, I suggest additional reading and research to learn more about training with a heart rate monitor and establishing your own target zones and cadence.

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