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Aero Base Builder Vol.16

80 minutes in duration

Click Here to View a Segment of Aero Base Builder 16.0


IMPORTANT: Before beginning any exercise make sure you have taken the necessary health precautions regarding your current physical conditioning. Make sure you have plenty of some type of liquid with which to hydrate, whether it be water or your favorite nutritional drink. I highly recommend a nutritional drink. Most of your popular brands on the market are great. Find one that suits your taste. I also suggest drinking about every 5 minutes during your rides.

NOTE: After reading this review, if you are unfamiliar with any of the terminology or the design of the Spinervals workouts, please read our introductory article on the Spinervals training system: Getting to Know Your Spinervals DVD.


The Aero Base Builder series of DVD’s (16.0, 17.0, 18.0, 21.0 and 25.0 (a 2 hour and 20 minute compilation of the first four) were designed to fit into your pre or post-season training with the emphasis placed on maintaining a lower, aerobic heart rate while pedaling at a higher cadence. However, there is no reason you could not include these base-building DVD’s as part of your regular season training as well.

The DVD takes place in Walters Art Museum in Baltimore Maryland with a crew of 9 individuals including triathletes – pro and age group, cyclists and personal trainers.

The Workout for Aero Base Builder 16.0:

The Warm-up:

The workout begins like most Spinerval workouts with a warm-up set consisting of 3 x 30 second pick-ups with 30 seconds rest between each. This set is designed to warm-up the legs and get the heart rate pumpin’ just a bit! But not too much! Remember this an aerobic base-building workout. After the warm-up, you will then take about a 90 second break (while still spinning in an easy gear) as Troy explains the main and upcoming set.

Remember, as in all of the Spinervals workouts, Coach Troy is with you every step of the way. He explains each upcoming set and segment prior to you beginning. He prepares you for the start of each set up to the point where he states: “ready…begin!” He keeps you motivated throughout the entire set and finally, let’s you know when its time to take a break!

Set # 1 (Main Set):

The main set of this DVD is an excellent one! Below is the set in the correct order

  • Segment # 1 – Ideal gear for this set: Big Ring in the front and the 15 tooth cog in the back: 4 x 5 minutes aerobic riding with one minute of easy spinning between each (ride five minutes, rest/easy spin for a minute, ride 5 minutes, rest/easy spin for a minute, and so on…do this set four times) then rest 90 seconds prior to moving on to the next portion…
  • Segment # 2 - Shift to an easier gear while in the Big Ring:  4 x 4 minutes aerobic riding with 45 seconds of easy spinning between each in an easier gear (ride 4 minutes, rest/easy spin for 45 seconds, ride four minutes, rest/easy spin for 45 seconds and so on…do this set 4 times) then rest 90 seconds prior to moving on to the next portion…
  • Segment # 3 Shift to an easier gear while in the Big Ring:  4 x 3 minutes aerobic riding with 30 seconds easy spinning between each  (ride three minutes, rest/easy spin for 30 seconds, ride three minutes, rest/easy spin for 30 seconds and so on…do this set 4 times) then rest 90 seconds prior to moving on the last portion of this set…
  • Segment # 4 – Ideal gear for this set: Small Ring in the front and 15 tooth cog in the back: 4 x 2 minutes with 15 seconds rest between each (ride 2 minutes, rest/easy spin for 15 seconds, ride 2 minutes, rest/easy spin 15 seconds and so on…do this set four times) then rest 90 seconds

After a brief cool-down, Troy introduces the last set of the workout…

Workout Set # 2

3 x 30 second builds (10 seconds at 80% effort, 10 seconds at 90% effort, 10 seconds at a pretty hard effort). Do this set three times with 30 seconds rest between each.

Warm down – easy spinning for the remaining 2-3 minutes of the DVD.

As you progress through each segment of the main set, you will be riding in an easier gear.  Segments #1 and #4 should be the same for everyone, for despite the set up of your rear cassette, we all should have a 15 toothed cog. However, the particular gears you choose for Segments #2 and #3 may differ with each rider depending upon your specific set up. The rear cluster set-up referred to in most of the Spinervals DVD’s is a 12 – 25 based on 9 gears or 9 cogs (12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25).

NOTE: Remember each number represents the number of teeth on each cog.

However, this may differ with each individual. For example, I live in an extremely flat area of the country so the set up of my rear cassette on my bike is a straight shot: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21. I don’t think I have ever used the 21st gear and spend most of my time riding in 16 and 17. Consequently, the set up on my trainer bike (the extra bike I use on my stationary trainer) is a straight shot as well: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. As you notice, I only have 7 gears on my trainer bike so during Segments #2 and #3 during this particular workout, I ride in the 16 and 17 toothed cog respectively.

And that’s ok!

There are no hard and fast rules as to which gears you choose during these workouts. They key is that you keep your heart rate within your aerobic zone while maintaining a higher cadence. If you are able to follow along with the DVD exactly, terrific! However, if you cannot, and find yourself needing to shift to easier gears, that is fine as well.

Important Notes

This is an aerobic workout. And as Troy will point out throughout the DVD, the idea is to STAY in your aerobic heart rate zone (about 10 beats below your Lactate Threshold) throughout the ride, even if it means riding at an easier pace, in an easier gear or at an easier resistance on your stationary trainer. That is why a heart monitor is essential to the success of this type of workout. And by aerobic, we mean, erring towards the “easy” side of your effort vs. a hard effort.

(for more on aerobic training and heart rate training see our article: Follow Your Heart)

It is important you try and determine your aerobic heart rate zone. There are several books on the market that will tell you how to do this. I typically subscribe to the 180-Method Heart Rate Training. And in doing so, I try and keep my heart rate within my specific zone. You can read more about this method in our article, Follow Your Heart. This article will help you determine your aerobic heart rate zone.

*Cautionary Note

Throughout the entire set and specifically the last two segments of the main workout (Segment #3 and Segment #4) you will be pedaling at a cadence higher than perhaps you are used to. And you will be asked to stand out of the saddle while pedaling at various times throughout these segments. Simply hoping up and out of the saddle, standing and pedaling at a high cadence could cause some undue stress to your knees. Initially, when standing and pedaling, be very careful. When instructed to stand, slow your cadence down just a bit. Then as you become comfortable you can begin to pick up you pace.

For more information on Spinervals visit the Spinervals website at www.spinervals.com


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