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Behind the Scenes and Life Lessons on the Bike

Behind the Scenes and Life Lessons on the Bike
Posted on 3-7-2023 by Mad Dogg Athletics

Behind the scenes on our production set at our Venice, California Spinning® headquarters, our talented instructor team works with a tight crew that includes a production and talent coordinator who couldn’t be more perfect for the job. Lucia Senesi is an Italian-born, Los Angeles-based filmmaker who also happens to love cycling and the Spinning® program. She lends her passion and dedication to producing the weekly classes that make their way to the Spinning® app and into your homes.

Lucia also has a personal Spinning® journey that very well could be like your own because it highlights the desire to learn and grow both on and off the bike. Getting fit along the way is just one of the rewards of Spinning®, but arguably the true gold is in the life lessons we learn from our coaches, each other and ourselves as we ride. So, we hope you’ll enjoy reading about Lucia's reflections from her personal Spinning® journey.

I’m so eager to share my Spinning® journey with you! It has radically re-shaped my approach to cycling, not (just) to entertain myself or workout, but as a possibility to learn, grow and perfect another technique.

To give you a bit of the backstory, my parents live in the Tuscan countryside. When I go back to visit them, we frequently take mountain bike trips. All I care for is the landscape and sense of adventure on these forays. Admittedly, this is unusual for me because I’m typically obsessed with technique – and I certainly don’t behave this way with other sports, like skiing.

While in high school in Italy, I used to ride twice a week. Unfortunately, though, it became incompatible with my horseback riding training, so I had to abandon my beloved indoor cycling activity. However, once I moved to Los Angeles – before the pandemic hit– my housemate Laura invited me to join her for Spinning® classes at a local studio called Industry. I did and I adored the classes! Funny enough, Industry is where the first classes were filmed for the Spinning® app. Little did I know then, that the studio was owned by Mad Dogg Athletics, the creators of the Spinning® program, or that I would later be a part of the production team, working with some of the instructors whose classes I used to take!

When I started working for Spinning® last year, I was eager to get on a bike and start riding again and also to use the Spinning® app, where the classes I helped produce would be published. I chose to start with Trent David’s Back to the Bike four-class series. This was critical because due to the pandemic, I had not been on a bike in over three years! So not only was Back to the Bike my first post-pandemic Spinning® experience, but it was also my first online Spinning® experience.

What is great about the way Trent gets you through each session is that he literally repositions you on the saddle. He helps you to make sure your body will remember what it has previously mastered. And he slowly prepares you for the harder workouts you’ll face by avoiding the frustration that usually accompanies such situations. It seems basic to say, but it’s very true that just by adopting the correct hand positions and relaxing your shoulders, your performance can change completely. After taking each session twice, I felt more confident and was amazed to see that I could finish very intense power training classes. Thanks, Trent!

It’s interesting to observe how much the body weakens with the “wrong” amount or type of activity, but at the same time, how rapidly it gets back on the right track if well-guided. Case in point…Before the pandemic, I was only focused on super high-intensity workouts, and I also did five hours per week of ballet. However, now that I do mostly Spinning®, I’ve started to appreciate recovery rides (which I dismissed before), as well as the benefits they bring in terms of strength in the long run.

Spinning® has also taught me something about “control.” When you get better at a sport – whether Spinning®, ballet or horseback riding – you understand that true power is really nothing without control. And the control I now have over myself (and the bike) has substantially increased. With the app, it’s simple to monitor your power zones, heart rate zones, time and cadence. This puts the control in my hands, and I love this.

Spinning® has also completely changed my attitude toward my goals. As Spinning® instructor Esmey Leon puts it: “This is not about you against others, or even you against yourself. This is about you with yourself.” Getting to know what I can ask of myself is the simplest, and therefore the hardest challenge… because it involves personal responsibility regarding my choices. Since the body never lies, I know I will always have a way to gauge if my choices were wise (or not). I like this sense of accountability. Most importantly though, I’ve learned how to ask myself for a tiny bit more each time, AND I’ve also learned how and when to give myself a more generous break. These have been great life skills that I’ve learned on the bike.

These are just some of the technical and philosophical highlights that I enjoy about Spinning®. I can honestly say that the app’s technology, as well as the Spinning® philosophy overall, have had a direct impact on my mood and my desire to get better – both physically and in life. Now, I turn it over to you…I bet you’re ready for a ride!


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