Fitness & Wattbike Coaching…

The MSF Fitness studio is a constantly changing landscape with many different clients passing through, all with different goals in terms of their physical fitness.

One of our clients is Keith who has been with us for several years now.  A member of Black Country Triathletes, Keith has competed in events far and wide.  Keith’s training at MSF Fitness began by making use of a Wattbike through our drop-in service. He would book in and complete his own session. This worked really well for him initially and offered great flexibility as it enabled him to train at a time that suited him. He then got to the stage where he was looking for more structure to his training, to ensure his sessions had ‘purpose’ and were progressive, built around his goals.

keith

We were able to offer Keith one of several monthly coaching packages. His coaching plan is based on completing 2 Wattbike sessions per week. He has been on this package since 2016 and is very consistent with his training, always making his sessions. His plan is progressive and is built week on week, depending on his performance in the previous sessions and what races and events he has coming up. His sessions are very specific and personal to him, including working to heart rate as well as an exact watt/power. As well as his coached sessions, Keith attends a weekly TRX class to work on strength & conditioning which supports his bike and running training.  He also continues to run and swim with his club every week.

To list just a few of the events Keith has excelled in:

2015 Geneva European Sprint Distance Championships – Bronze Over 60

2016 Lisbon European Sprint Championships – 4th Over 60

2016 British Sprint Championships – Bronze Over 60

2016 Stafford 70.3 Ironman – 1st Over 60

Keith’s most recent event was taking 3rd in his age category (60-64yrs) at the British Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships in June 2017.  Completing a 750m open water swim, 20km bike and 5km run, he was just 14secs off 2nd place in a time of 1h 14.19s.

Keith at the British Triathlon Sprint Distamce Champs in Strathclyde
Keith taking Bronze in Strathclyde

Keith then went on to compete at the Staunton Harold Triathlon on 11th June. This new event saw Keith completing a 600m swim, 16.9 mile bike and a 4.8 mile run.  He came 11th overall and 1st in the Over 60 category. He was 5th on the bike leg.

To date, Keith has qualified for everything he has wanted to, including the Worlds (Sprint & Olympic). If only he didn’t have to work, then he could actually go and compete in them all! Great work Keith, well done! Consistency works.

 

 

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Ladies who ride…

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Way back in January 2017, this group of ladies embarked on a new training routine, with an end goal in mind: to complete the 100km Women V Cancer ‘Ride The Night’ cycling event on 27th May.

Lesley (2nd from right) had been attending Wattbike classes at MSF twice a week for around a 6 months.  She organised for the group to start training together for a private session on a Thursday evening at 8.30pm. Dark winter nights would normally make training difficult but the friends would motivate each other to keep it going.

They attended their first session on 12th January.  Following an introduction to the Wattbike, they completed a simple interval session with efforts going from 2 minutes down to 60 seconds. With a variety of fitness levels within the group, this allowed them to experiment with cadence and resistance levels.  It also built confidence through being able to work at their own level of ability.

This session was opened up to a few other ‘beginners’ as well as Lesley and Lisa’s husbands. So this made for a nice little group.  The sessions maintained an interval based focus for the following few weeks. With the intervals getting progressively longer, we were able to focus on efficient pedalling technique and cadence. By week 5, they were comfortably completing 6 minute intervals.

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The regular Thursday group…

 

On week 6, we picked up the pace with some higher cadence/high intensity work.  This involved 1 minute intervals across 2 sets. This pushed them on and for some, pushed them right out of their comfort zone.  Again, this was a great confidence builder, proving that they were capable of much more than they thought they were!

By week 8, we were now able to follow the structured sessions that are available in all of our classes. The group were definitely not beginners anymore! Over the following weeks, we worked on conditioning (longer intervals), high cadence/high intensity (aimed at improving base leg speed and cardio fitness) and accelerating intervals (digging deep when we need to).

We also went on to complete a ‘fitness test’.  This wasn’t a standard fitness test – it didn’t involve any kind of data. We didn’t measure power output or heart rate. We worked on the simple RPE scale (Rate of Perceived Effort) and measured how far we were able to travel in 30 minutes.  We focused on maintaining the same leg speed, altering the resistance if we had to. This again, was a huge confidence builder for the ladies as they were the ones that had the stamina, fitness and motivation to keep pedalling the bike!

The sessions continued with the same pattern and over the weeks, it was brilliant to see not only the progression in their fitness levels but also, the huge improvement in base cadence.  Where some had a base cadence of 75rpm, they were now much more comfortable (and efficient) at 85/90rpm.

The final session before their big day was a leg-loosener.  We completed 4 x 8 minute intervals at an intensity where they could speak a short sentence.  During the session, we discussed nutrition leading up to and during the event as well as the all important hydration.  We also discussed safety in terms of eating and drinking on the bike – unless confident in doing this, it’s much safer to just stop for a minute or two rather than risk falling off trying to peel that banana like a pro!  We also had the all important ‘fun’ as we played ‘name that tune’ throughout the session!

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The final session before the big night!

 

Their big night came. And apart from a mechanical within the group, all ladies completed the ride and had a great time in doing so.  They’ve enjoyed the experience and improvements in their fitness so much that they are going to keep their training sessions going, and are now confident enough to book into any one of our bike classes.

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Well done ladies!

‘Wattbike…The Musical!’…from West End to Wattbike.

This is a guest blog by one of our lovely clients, Erica. She explains very openly, where she has come from with her training on the Wattbike and where she is at now…

If I recall the last time my posterior sat on a saddle it was when I was calling for my friends on my little pink Miss Peugeot! Little basket, little bell!! But this year a new journey and new relationship began on a Wattbike at MSF!

I am a born and bred Shropshire lass, but for the past twenty years I have lived in London. My whole life being dedicated to my career. I’m a professional actress and for fifteen of those years I’ve worked in west end musical theatre,  Billy Elliot, Oliver, Les Mis, Mamma Mia etc. A world away from cycling? Well actually not really, focus, stamina, commitment, discipline, so in some ways very similar. The same focus of an athlete, is indeed the same focus required for longevity of a professional actor/actress.

mia2
Erica in action in Mama Mia!

 

I moved back to Shropshire a few years ago to be close to my family, and indeed to have a family of my own. Taking a ‘sabbatical’ out of the business just for a short while.

Obviously within my career I have danced from a very early age, and indeed doing eight shows a week has kept me in fairly good nick! I’m hypermobile which means I have to be careful with hips and knees. But because of dance training this means I’m über flexible, but as I’ve hit forty, I now really have to know my limits with this, as well as maintaining it, I’m lost without it, as I’ve done it my whole life!

The only other form of exercise, which I have always loved is yoga, of any kind, and have always kept it up. But never-never contemplated any other form of training, mainly because I’ve never really needed to…. until this year!

After the birth of my little boy, now three, like many women, found things had changed! Exercising in the house like I had always done just wasn’t motivating me, and of course always something else to do. So things started to decline.

Then last year became the game changer. I suffered two consecutive miscarriages and my health mentally and physically as you can imagine really tumbled, worlds apart from my previous life.

After things had settled, I realised that if I didn’t do something that I could really go into a dark place, it was time for change. For the first time I wasn’t just thinking about keeping physically trim, losing weight etc, I was wanting to change my mental attitude. I looked around for ages trying to fathom out what was going to fit the bill. Gyms were just not for me, and after failing miserably at the Bodycoach programme, mainly because of too much pressure on my body, I was lost!

After thorough google searches, I found something! Cycling? Wattbikes? What the heck was that?! I came across a local business literally on my doorstep, walking distance. Cycling me?!! Cycling you?!! This was different, completely different, surely channelling Bradley Wiggins was going to pick me up!! I investigated!

Amongst all the ‘professionals’ as I call them, there was little old me…

I never thought for one minute I would even stay on the saddle! But was met with the most laid back, relaxed professional approach I’ve come across. Mark & Louise, the most down to earth adorable business owners. Amongst all the ‘professionals’ as I call them, there was little old me, and Mark and Louise treated me exactly the same. Encouraging, inspiring , but also enabling me to find my own rhythm so to speak (tap dance rhythms for both of them as payback though!!).

I have no experience of anything other than a Wattbike, but it seems to do everything I want it to! I commit to drop-ins and after stabilising myself with the bike, I am now feeling like I am going up a gear in more ways than one. Variations of HIIT & endurance Sufferfest Cycling videos are now starting my upgrade, after being a regular for two months, which feels like a lot longer as I feel so comfortable. I totally agree with the ‘getting it done’ moto.  And that’s exactly how it feels.

I cannot begin to explain how it’s helping me mentally. With everything that has gone on, it focuses me, it gives me drive and I am able to cycle away negativity, like a detox. And I really feel it, it pushes me forward, and I am quite frankly addicted. Now clothes are looser it’s also helping my confidence, that wasn’t the main reason of course, but it goes to show if your mind is stimulated in the right direction the body will follow. I don’t suffer any body pain, and my hypermobilty isn’t at all irritated by the training, in fact I think it’s helping. With many other HIIT I find I always hobble off with hip pain. But this feels incredibly healing in a sense.

I am so thrilled that I found a friend in a bike and so thrilled that Mark and Lou have given me the absolute lift I needed. I love seeing other clients going about their business all on their journeys, and in awe of their stamina and super fast spinning! Wow!

It focuses me, it gives me drive and I am able to cycle away negativity, like a detox.

I will be giving you all a wave on my sweaty bike in the future. And who knows I may actually purchase a new Miss Peugeot! But for now, me and ‘Wattbike the Musical’ continues!

Happy cycling 😘😘🚴🏻‍♀️!v

Online Coaching & Personal Training

Studio 2 – fully equipped

MSF Fitness has 2 training studios – 3 if you include the ‘drop-zone’!

Studio 1 houses the Wattbike studio where instructed bike classes, coaching, workshops, drop-ins and Sufferfest big screen videos take place.  This space (along with Studio 2) can also be hired for private functions and corporate training sessions.

Studio 2 is where Personal Training sessions, Circuits and TRX classes take place. And it’s also where the Wattbike ‘drop-zone’ is – which enables clients to complete their training whilst a bike class is taking place in Studio 1.

Personal Training

Mark has over 20 years experience in the fitness industry. Through his Personal Training, he can help you to achieve your goals no matter what they might be…

  • IMPROVING GENERAL FITNESS 
  • STRENGTH & CONDITIONING
  • REHABILITATION 
  • WATTBIKE CYCLING COACHING 
  • SPORT SPECIFIC TRAINING 
With our help, guidance and training methods, you WILL achieve your goals. But only if you stay focused, commited and determined to achieve them. Consistency with your training will get you the results you seek and that’s where we will support you. Being accountable to someone is sometimes all it takes to keep you motivated to keep going!
We can offer you training at the fitness studio in a fully equipped private studio or we can use the great outdoors if you prefer. Wherever the location and whatever your choice of training, you are guaranteed a great workout session best suited to your goals.
(PT is available as a discounted block or as PAYG for individual sessions – with no additional membership fees to pay on top.)

Personal Training in Studio 2

Online Training and Support

Online Support is one of our most popular packages. It offers anything from basic support, one-off training plans or nutritional guidance through to full online coaching where every training session you complete is planned specifically for you.
Various packages are available including:
  • Full 4 week coaching block (every training session you complete is planned by us) 
  • 4 week / 8 session coaching blocks (Wattbike specific – based on 2 sessions per week)
  • Individual one-off session plans specific to you (Wattbike specific – Power/Heart Rate Zones are required)
  • Monthly Training Consultation (a monthly meeting to discuss your training, what you have done and how to progress it, leaving you to complete your own training sessions/exercise classes etc.)

If clients are using a Wattbike for their training, they can choose to complete their sessions at the studio or at home if they have their own Wattbike. Data can be shared via the Wattbike App and session plans are provided via Dropbox.

Packages can also be built around a total bespoke fitness plan – for example, for someone who would like planned sessions to follow for Wattbike drop-ins at the studio, along with session plans for their runs outside plus access to studio exercise classes.

Online Wattbike Coaching – not just for cyclists!

What’s it all about…?

MSF FITNESS Ltd

THE BOSSES MUM

Joyce

MSF Fitness is proud to welcome clients from all kinds of fitness backgrounds – be it a complete beginner looking to start out on the fitness trail or a serious athlete with big goals and dreams in mind.

Dreams.  Now there’s a thing.

Some people may only look into MSF Fitness from the outside – via social media like this blog, Facebook and Twitter.  But do they get to see the whole picture? Do they see what MSF Fitness is really all about? It’s easy to think it is all about the Wattbike. Riding to power zones to get fitter and faster on the bike outside.  And it’s easy to assume that everyone who comes to the studio is a cyclist.  And a competitive one at that.

But that is not what MSF is about.  Not exclusively anyway!

MSF has two studios – a Wattbike studio and a Personal…

View original post 482 more words

The journey of a spin instructor and the battle of taking it to another level with Wattbike.

With many new clients attending the MSF Fitness Studio, this is a re-blog on the story of Mark and his passion for fitness…

Spin is still one of the most popular group exercise classes, running in gyms and studious throughout the world. Mark has spent 10 years teaching spin in many commercial gyms. He always kept to his own style of teaching, choosing not to follow trends or fads. Within MSF, we have a very honest and open approach to training and will often be heard saying there is no wrong or right way. Instructors will always have a unique way of teaching classes and as long as it’s safe and a benefit to fitness, this gives clients a great choice and variation.

Mark as a spin instructor is very different in his approach to how he teaches Wattbike (indoor bike) and changes again when working 1:1 or teaching TRX-Circuit group exercise classes.

“From when I first started working in the fitness industry, I realised that who I am as an individual is not going to work when teaching classes or training clients.”

To become a spin instructor involves a 1 day course and nothing more than basic knowledge of how to ride to music. After that, it’s your class – unless you go down the line of using commercially produced material and teaching to a set program. Well Mark is not one for following or simply learning material, so freelance classes where he designs and builds classes himself was the way forward for him.

Marks aim from day one was to deliver a class to a group but still keep it personal. To help people improve their fitness whilst also learning about various training methods. The only way to do this would be from a studio which wasn’t governed by others.

After many years of delivering what Mark feels was a ‘journey’ for the participants rather than a class, he had thoughts of a bigger picture… What if he could take spin, turn it into indoor bike and then add in that extra element which would take this class to another exciting level?

Mark had a Wattbike in his small PT studio at home and often used his own training, both indoors and out, to develop his classes. He thought ‘how great would it be to use Wattbike as spin bikes!’ This was just a dream but one day, this became a reality.

  bike2bike

PT STUDIO – 2012

 wattbike-studio

WATTBIKE STUDIO – 2017

Having a studio of 13 Wattbikes opened up endless possibilities. From teaching a spin style class to working pedal technique and then adding in rehab and the chance to use personal training zones such as heart rate and power. But with the added advantage of being able to download data from each session so we could check to see if the class we instructed really worked, allowing us to really improve each class.

But this is where it gets tough. How do we deliver a fun and enjoyable class and coach to power zones and at the same time, help people with rehab and include pedal technique, alongside downloading data for their personal use – all without putting people off because they feel it’s just too much, when really it’s just a great indoor bike class?

The easy answer is don’t do it and just do individual classes. But this brings further problems of filling classes and having limited time. So we went head on and designed a structured class format but with a relaxed and flexible approach. Those needing rehab would get information before the class; those wanting data would use the bikes with memory stick ports and the class then gets coached using RPE with hints towards power, so everyone gets out of it what they want.

But this can lead to further problems as those with power zones may not know enough to get the most from their session and start asking questions during the classes. This pushed us to a group performance coaching session, all based on personal zones and personal targets therefore, anyone wanting more power related training had access to it but could still do a standard bike class. It soon became apparent we had managed to achieve all that we wanted.

But that was not enough – it was time to progress and help everyone improve their fitness and for us to prove it’s possible. With over 20 bike classes per week and many clients doing 2-3 classes per week, we needed to make sure they never got the same class twice in one week. So a format was developed, based around clients and the level of ability. So for both cyclists and non-cyclists, the program was designed with progression each week – either adding time to an interval, reducing recovery or adding an extra set etc. This then gave clients the chance to use week one as a tester and get resistance and leg speed set up and then each week, using the same settings, see themselves progress. For those just doing the odd class, they get a great workout without realising that it’s a structured session built over 4 weeks. Throughout the warm up, we cover pedal technique. Throughout the main set, we focus on effort. On the recovery and cool down, we go back over the technique of pedalling and the benefits to cyclists and non-cyclists.

All this is not easy! Planning, preparing and constant review is necessary. But over time we have learnt new methods and changed what does not work. Now we have results to show for all the hard work from clients achieving their weight loss to winning running races, time trials and triathlon events.

By using simple data such as cadence (leg speed), MPH (speed) and power (watts), clients are kept motivated and focused and find achieving constant and specific efforts easier, leading to greater results.

The journey does not stop here – this is still just the beginning.

The journey of a spin instructor and the battle of taking it to another level with Wattbike.

The story of Mark and his passion for fitness…

Spin is still one of the most popular group exercise classes, running in gyms and studious throughout the world. Mark has spent 10 years teaching spin in many commercial gyms. He always kept to his own style of teaching, choosing not to follow trends or fads. Within MSF, we have a very honest and open approach to training and will often be heard saying there is no wrong or right way. Instructors will always have a unique way of teaching classes and as long as it’s safe and a benefit to fitness, this gives clients a great choice and variation.

Mark as a spin instructor is very different in his approach to how he teaches Wattbike (indoor bike) and changes again when working 1:1 or teaching TRX-Circuit group exercise classes.

“From when I first started working in the fitness industry, I realised that who I am as an individual is not going to work when teaching classes or training clients.”

To become a spin instructor involves a 1 day course and nothing more than basic knowledge of how to ride to music. After that, it’s your class – unless you go down the line of using commercially produced material and teaching to a set program. Well Mark is not one for following or simply learning material, so freelance classes where he designs and builds classes himself was the way forward for him.

Marks aim from day one was to deliver a class to a group but still keep it personal. To help people improve their fitness whilst also learning about various training methods. The only way to do this would be from a studio which wasn’t governed by others.

After many years of delivering what Mark feels was a ‘journey’ for the participants rather than a class, he had thoughts of a bigger picture… What if he could take spin, turn it into indoor bike and then add in that extra element which would take this class to another exciting level?

Mark had a Wattbike in his small PT studio at home and often used his own training, both indoors and out, to develop his classes. He thought ‘how great it would be to use Wattbike as spin bikes!’ This was just a dream but one day, this became a reality.

  bike2bike

PT STUDIO – 2012

 bike4

WATTBIKE STUDIO – 2015

Having a studio of 13 Wattbikes opened up endless possibilities. From teaching a spin style class to working pedal technique and then adding in rehab and the chance to use personal training zones such as heart rate and power. But with the added advantage of being able to download data from each session so we could check to see if the class we instructed really worked, allowing us to really improve each class.

But this is where it gets tough. How do we deliver a fun and enjoyable class and coach to power zones and at the same time, help people with rehab and include pedal technique, alongside downloading data for their personal use – all without putting people off because they feel it’s just too much, when really it’s just a great indoor bike class?

The easy answer is don’t do it and just do individual classes. But this brings further problems of filling classes and having limited time. So we went head on and designed a structured class format but with a relaxed and flexible approach. Those needing rehab would get information before the class; those wanting data would use the bikes with memory stick ports and the class then gets coached using RPE with hints towards power, so everyone gets out of it what they want.

But this can lead to further problems as those with power zones may not know enough to get the most from their session and start asking questions during the classes. This pushed us to a group performance coaching session, all based on personal zones and personal targets therefore, anyone wanting more power related training had access to it but could still do a standard bike class. It soon became apparent we had managed to achieve all that we wanted.

But that was not enough – it was time to progress and help everyone improve their fitness and for us to prove it’s possible. With over 20 bike classes per week and many clients doing 2-3 classes per week, we needed to make sure they never got the same class twice in one week. So a format was developed, based around clients and the level of ability. So for both cyclists and non-cyclists, the program was designed with progression each week – either adding time to an interval, reducing recovery or adding an extra set etc. This then gave clients the chance to use week one as a tester and get resistance and leg speed set up and then each week, using the same settings, see themselves progress. For those just doing the odd class, they get a great workout without realising that it’s a structured session built over 4 weeks. Throughout the warm up, we cover pedal technique. Throughout the main set, we focus on effort. On the recovery and cool down, we go back over the technique of pedalling and the benefits to cyclists and non-cyclists.

All this is not easy! Planning, preparing and constant review is necessary. But over time we have learnt new methods and changed what does not work. Now we have results to show for all the hard work from clients achieving their weight loss to winning running races, time trials and triathlon events.

By using simple data such as cadence (leg speed), MPH (speed) and power (watts), clients are kept motivated and focused and find achieving constant and specific efforts easier, leading to greater results.

The journey does not stop here – this is still just the beginning.