Cadence…a word I only hear in spin class…
ca⋅dence [keyd-ns] noun, verb, -denced, -denc⋅ing. *
–noun Also, cadency.
- rhythmic flow of a sequence of sounds or words: the cadence of language.
- (in free verse) a rhythmic pattern that is nonmetrically structured.
- the beat, rate, or measure of any rhythmic movement: The chorus line danced in rapid cadence.
- the flow or rhythm of events, esp. the pattern in which something is experienced: the frenetic cadence of modern life.
- a slight falling in pitch of the voice in speaking or reading, as at the end of a declarative sentence.
- the general modulation of the voice.
- Music. a sequence of notes or chords that indicates the momentary or complete end of a composition, section, phrase, etc.
* Definition from dictionary.reference.com
It amazes me some days how quickly the time goes by in spin class and it usually has everything to do with the music. The instructors match the workout to the music or maybe it’s the music to the workout. I.e. for sprints the instructor will have music that speeds up usually 15 to 60 seconds at a time. For a climb they may select a song with a slightly slower beat and lyrics that relate to the challenge of a climb. Each instructor is different. The music they use reflects their preferences and personality.
My only issue with the word cadence is that I don’t think everyone understands what the instructor means when they tell us to increase (or slow down) our cadence. Occasionally an instructor will attempt to explain cadence to the class. It’s their goal that we match our spinning to the beat of the song. Let’s be honest not everyone has rhythm. I’m willing to bet that the people in class that cannot match the cadence of the music probably can’t dance either.
There’s one guy in particular that attends the Monday night spin class who’s absolutely hysterical to watch. In spin class it’s better to just focus on your own performance but once in a while you come across a person that is nearly impossible to ignore. My friend Mia pointed out this guy to me and now I find it hard to look away. Oh yeah…he matches the cadence of the music and then some. He typically is in a spot right behind where we park ourselves so we always have a clear view of him. I’m gonna give him an alias…let’s call him Frank.
A little info on spinning technique…the instructors recommend that you keep your elbows slightly bent, shoulders down (away from your ears), look 3-6 feet in front of you, and engage your core while keeping your arms and shoulders relaxed. In my mind an engaged core means that your upper body remains somewhat still, relaxed but not a lot of movement. When we come out of our seats most instructors tell us that our hips should move side to side, nothing extreme but some movement from side to side. Even when out of my seat I still strive to maintain a solid core with relaxed arms and shoulders.
Back to Frank and his technique that’s like a car accident that you cannot look away from. With each spin he moves each shoulder (and arm) in sync with each hip in an exaggerated motion almost like…no just like…he’s dancing on his bike. So when his right knee comes up, his right hip moves up and to the right, and his right shoulder rotates in a circular motion up forward and back down…and then he repeats with the left side. The movement is so extreme it draws your eyes to him. The best way I can figure to not stare at him the entire class is to increase the tension on my bike so I have to work harder to spin. This forces me to get back into my own head and ignore his antics.
I gotta give it to him…he’s got the cadence down. Some how though, I don’t think his ability to match the cadence in spin class translates into smooth moves on the dance floor. I don’t even want to imagine his dancing after seeing him spin…it’s gotta be something else to see. The good news is that spin class never dissappoints…there’s always something to distract you from the hardcore cardio workout. On Monday nights I know I can count on Frank for a distraction and a little entertainment.
Until tomorrow! Kathi