Winter training is here for those of us not tough enough to ride at night outside. A few years ago I came across some Spinerval training videos and ever since I’ve found indoor training a little less unbearable.
I recently ran across a CTS, Carmichael Training Systems, video called “Cycling for Power” and gave it a try along with my old stand by Spinervals, I found the two surprisingly similar. but with a few differences so I thought I’d give you a little run down on them. Now I don’t want to misrepresent myself so let me give you this disclaimer. I’ve done about 4 different Spinervals videos, and I’ve only done one CTS video. That being said I’d bet that they’re all about the same.
So essentially Spinervals, CTS and pretty much any other cycling workout video you can find leads you on a series of intervals. Truth be told you could honestly replace the video with a stop watch, but the video is a big help in the motivation department. What sets the different videos apart is there personality.
Every Spinervals is led by Coach Troy Jacobson, he is high energy and a major motivator. Coach Troy gives you directions on gearing, effort, whether to stand or sit, and what kind of Cadence you should be keeping. He has a group of cyclists on his set and moves about keeping them diligently following his directions. Music wise you get some electronic background music that matches the pace.
The CTS video was led by some guy, I can’t remember his name, but it was’t Chris Carmichael. He had a small, but sharp, well lit stage with a group cyclists all dressed in matching CTS kits. There is a nice information graphic and soundtrack with poppy sounding tunes.
While Coach Troy feels authentic in his motivation, advice and encouragement, the CTS coach seemed like he was reading a script, he kept repeating the same boring phrases with no passion or energy. The riders in a Spinerval video seem authentic, like real people just doing a workout and when Coach Troy interacts with his riders it feels natural. When the CTS coach interacted with his riders it seemed like he lacked confidence in what he was saying.
The Spinervals sets I’ve seen are workout rooms, or outdoors, they don’t look like a real production set and aren’t always very well lit, where the CTS set was bright and very nice, though the riders were all squished together. I found I liked some of the songs on the CTS video but found some very annoying. The music on Spinervals is not distinct, just repetitive background music, but it works.
You can probably glean my opinion, the Spinervals videos feel more authentic and natural. The CTS video felt kind of stuffy but had very nice production values. The CTS video may have been a little easier and geared to a more general cycling audience, while the Spinervals videos are intended more for athletes.
In general I prefer the Spinervals video, Coach Troy’s confidence, and high energy motivation make this no contest, but I could see how he might get annoying. If you want a more low key workout you might prefer the CTS videos. Either way having something guiding your workout and motivating you to give 100% is the best way to get the most from indoor training.