A couple of weeks ago, I picked up my second training DVD from the folks at 3 Legs Cycling (3LC) – Sprinting – Train With The Manx. Finally got around to popping it in the machine and trying it out. Why did I wait so long? Part of it was that I wanted to finish my last Virtual Ride from the Spinervals collection (which went way too long). Probably a bigger part was that I knew Mark Cavendish actually appears in this DVD (unlike the first one I reviewed) – and maybe, just maybe, I was a little nervous that trying to spin alongside him just might make me cry…..
The workout goes for just about an hour – and the focus on sprinting is intense and very much the majority of this video. You will do multiple short bursts of high RPM sprinting. Don’t be fooled! At first, you think 15 second sprints are pretty easy. By the time you get to the 5th or 6th one, you’ll be puffing harder than The Manx Missile on a Tour de France Category 1 climb.
I have to admit that at the halfway point, I almost bailed. I was literally ready to toss my lunch. (Side note: maybe I shouldn’t have had Medium-heat salsa with my lunch before doing a sprinting workout……..). I took the second isolation drills section and just spun slowly. I felt a little bad not doing individual legs in that section – but, since Cav wasn’t doing 1 leg at a time, I thought I could get away with it, too. By the end of that section, I felt well enough to continue on.
Speaking of the isolation drills (and if you’re not sure what that is: you take one foot out of the pedal and just pedal with the other foot for a period of time), I think there is no better way to see just how efficient (or inefficient) your pedaling is. Pedaling with one foot is tough! I tried and tried but was rarely able to keep smooth circles with one foot. I was chopping for the whole minute (and, somehow, the minutes on one leg are longer than the minutes with two……not sure how that happens).
The video quality is excellent. Multiple camera views keep the session interesting. You get:
- Widescreen views of all the riders
- Close ups of each individual rider at various times
- The “Blair Witch Project” black-and-white shots of the riders faces (see my review of the Climbing DVD if you don’t know what I’m talking about).
- Bike close-up shots
- And – for the ladies – a Cavendish-butt-cam that focuses on…….well……..Cavendish’s butt (personally, I didn’t need that).
The banter that I liked in the first DVD existed in this one – but not as much as the first one. For the first 10 minutes, Cavendish barely interacted at all. I was wondering if he was forced to be there and told the producers that there would be no talking with him. He did warm up and started to interact with the other riders as the workout progressed.
I especially liked how he would explain the concept of the final approach on a sprinting finish. The split-second thoughts that race through his mind as he nears the finish were particularly interesting. And he helps explain how the final part of the workout mimics the final approach of a sprinting finish – how, as each layer of riders peel away, it gets tougher as the wind resistance gets tougher. It made that final section of the workout that much more “real” (instead of someone just telling you to do it – without telling you why).
The coaching is very matter-of-fact. No cheesy trite words that stereotypical coaches like to belt out. In fact, if you’ve ever watched the Tour de France and saw the sections where the camera/microphone were in the team car catching the coach talking to the riders, you’ll get the same feeling while listening to the coach in this workout.
As I came to the end of this workout, I am happy to report that I did outlast Mark Cavendish! Sorry, Cav, but it’s true. That last sprint section wore you out – and – then you bailed before the end of the video. I have the photographic proof, too! And, as you walked (no – hobbled) away from your bike (mentioning that it felt like you were walking on a conveyor belt), I will admit that I may have even thought about calling you a wimp (I don’t think I said it out loud, though).
A few minutes later, I got off my bike – no hobbled. It felt like the conveyor belt that you were walking on yanked my legs – and took them along. It’s a few hours since I actually did the workout – and my legs are still screaming a little bit.
So, I’d recommend this video to anyone who is looking for a great title to add to their collection. As they say a number of times during the workout, sprinting training is good for any type of rider – and I believe it’ll benefit me as I look to get my bike outside once again.
For your convenience, here’s a quick link to the video on Amazon.com – in case you want to pick it up: