Never able to pass up an opportunity to try a new turbo training video I was pretty excited when the 3LC Sprinting DVD arrived in the post.
The DVD provides a simple menu to get started and you can choose to either get stuck straight into the session or you can watch the introduction which gives you a quick overview of the training session, including a detailed explanation of the on screen dashboard. More on this to follow later. The end of the intro video gives you an overview of the training session. I like to know what it is I’m getting myself into before I start training, so here it is:
Training Session Stucture:
- 10 minutes progressive warm up
- 5 minutes ‘power blasts’
- 5 minutes ‘isolated leg training’
- 5 minutes seated sprints
- 5 minutes ‘isolated leg training’
- 5 minutes rolling sprints
- 5 minutes steady
- 9 minutes ‘lead outs’
- 1 minute ‘final sprint’
- 10 minute warm down
- 3LC Stretching
The training session is 60 minutes in total from the moment you press play, which I am going to do right now, having set myself up on our big screen projector here at TTR.com HQ.
For starters, the video fades into the training room with a number of trainers and cyclists ready and waiting to get started. The atmosphere is set by the whirring of the trainers and the friendly banter between cyclists. Even Mark Cavendish is sitting on one of the bikes chatting to those around him. This whole scene is pretty good at getting you fired up and in the mood.
The ‘coach’ calls out for everyone to get ready at which point the slick dashboard jumps up on the screen for the first time. The countdown timer to the end of the session has been running since the beginning of the video, in case you were wondering, and sits unobtrusively in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
The On-Screen Dashboard
The central dashboard prominently displays a timer that counts down each interval. On the left side of this countdown are the details of the current interval with the next interval shown on the right hand side. The information displayed for each interval, includes the type of interval, i.e. “warm up”, the RPM, the length of the interval and the RPE, the rate of perceived effort which gives you an idea of how hard you should be going. I find this data to be pretty comprehensive and enough for you to push yourself and to make the most of your session.
A picture speaks more than 50 odd words in this case so here’s the dashboard:
The camera changes and angles help to motivate you and keep you in the flow as it switches between panning in front of the group to close-ups of the bikes on the track, as well as to the rather effective “race face” shot. One little thing that I did miss was music. I understand that there’s a good bit of talking and advice going on in the video but like most of you, I always train with music, it helps me push harder. It’s a small thing but I think it would make a difference.
You’re not alone…
This coupled with the coach’s running commentary and observations force you to push yourself that little bit harder. For me, this is what sets 3LC videos apart from the rest as you really feel that you have a trainer with you and you are given constant guidance and support. I mean, you are even told when to change gear and each interval change is accompanied by a sound alert so you don’t have to worry about missing anything.
The whole training session is mainly cadence based so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of your heart rate. This is nice as it makes it easier to follow and anything that makes things easier to do makes me more likely to do them.
The coach counts you down to the first sprint and everyone gives everything they have. This is followed by 5 lots of 10 second all out sprints interspersed with 50 second recoveries. The isolated leg training intervals are great as they really help improve strength, form and upward pull. The seated sprints are 15 seconds long with 45 second recoveries and I’ll be honest after these I’m really starting to feel it.
At various points in the video, Mark Cavendish shares his thoughts on turbos as well as his sprinting style, while you are training, which is a really nice addition.
The 45 second time trial followed by sprint intervals are really intense but I can really feel myself working, the recovery is a relief (it always is). I also liked the lead out session, building progressively higher and higher until we get to the final sprint which is a minute long, the only thing keeping me going here is the verbal motivation telling me I can see the finish line (which I can’t, but I’m just trusting the 3LC team here). I am happy to see everyone else in the video grimacing and sweating as well though, I’m not alone in my pain.
Once you’ve warmed down you can watch the stretching videos which are another nice feature as we all know how important stretching is. Having it included on the DVD means you can just follow the lead which helps with good form.
Overall this is a well produced complete training session and is as close to having an actual personal trainer as you’ll ever have in your garage or living room. I think it is a great investment and really goes a long way to making your indoor training session as enjoyable as possible. I certainly feel closer to Mark Cavendish now that we’ve trained together and hearing his insights is a great distraction while you are putting yourself through the paces. 5/5 this will definitely improve your sprinting. Visit the 3LC.tv site for more information on the entire range of DVDs and for demo videos.