Monday, January 23, 2012

Why I train in the basement

This is my bike on my Tacx trainer. My bike is a 30 year old Cambio Rino bike, a beauty that was used in the Montreal Olympics. It has 10 speeds with the changer on the frame. For many years it was hanging on a wall. No bike should retire like that! I knew it had life in it and bought it as my training bike where I set up a training studio of sorts.

In this space, I regularly do Cyclo Core workouts...pretty amazing and high intensity stuff with weights and yoga. I have seen my fitness level rise and for the most part my motivation is high.

I sometimes wish I had a fancy training studio that I have seen with some of my friends. One that would have room for my weights and stability ball and one where I need not worry about the hot air blasting down at me from the dryer vent...and yet there is something interesting and challenging about working out in a dungeon. It calls for the creative in me. Did you know a full gallon paint can can make a pretty decent medicine ball? Did you know that a full tool box when held overhead while doing crunches also can add intensity?

One advantage of my training dungeon,  is that I have no distractions. I can't really see outside and I can't hear the telephone,...oh it rings but with the fan, the furnace, my trainer whirring I just can't hear it.

Getting older has meant that I am more realistic. Many of my friends sign up for fancy spin classes, in shiny gyms lead by people with perfect teeth and names like Scotty. They drive to them in some ungodly hours...rush in and listen to the loud music and instructions. They like having workout partners!

I did that, the gym spin thing and found that the music was too loud! I also  found it stressful having to be there at a certain time. The lockers were always full and you had to rush to get changed. There was never enough room and I always worried about the cleanliness of the showers. For the spin classes it seems that the best bikes were always taken, reserved as it were by people who threw towels over them. When I arrived I always had a bike where a clip did not work that squeaked for the duration of the session. I always was beside some woman in menopause who wanted the fans turned directly on her so I endured an icy blast. My workout partners, never had much to say except grunt and pant and honestly, I never liked the music. We did not speak about technique, it was just mash and bash away.

My internet workout protocol has spin videos, I can play my own music, but often I chose not to, or listen to Graeme Street explain techniques etc.  There are times when I do my own sessions, with my own music. Scotty is no where to be seen! I learn techniques, practice skills all in the comfort of my home. I never get a bad bike and there is no rush to get changed, there is always room in my shower.

The only workout partner I have is my dog Bubba. He dutifully sits at the entrance to the basement room where I am and watches me, his eyes shining. I know he thinks I am insane. He endures the whirring, the spinning, and my complaining.

My Cambio Rino has only 10 speeds and therefore I suspect I am working at harder gears. The bike is steel so can handle when I ride standing up for drills, I am not worried about it cracking. It was once a velodome bike and is now working again, this time in my training dungeon!


  1. Mine's sat up in the Living room, it's a similar aged ten speed Peugeot bike, and it's on a Tacx Grand Excel, which I bought in 1999, and its still going strong. Fans on top of the TV unit, and I can watch it, or listen to music while doing whatever Cylo-core lesson I'm doing.

  2. Loved reading. I have a dungeon too. I share mine with our guinea pigs and our kitty litter boxes. Keep on riding! and rock on Cyclo-Core!

    1. I love it...sharing with kitty litter and guinea pigs!

  3. An effective way to work out the core workout groups is with doing planks. This exercise does not require any tools, but to supply comfort, having a yoga mat could be ideal. This exercise starts off with the individual faced down on her stomach with arms tucked beneath the chest to create a triangle.


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