By Geneve N. Mankel, Fort McCoy Public Affairs July 16, 2012
FORT McCOY, Wis. -- The Wake Up and Ride class is a way to bring the feeling of outdoor cycling inside, said Jessica Pater.
Pater, an indoor-cycling instructor at the Fort McCoy Rumpel Fitness Center, building 1122, teaches the class, which is offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 -- 6:15 a.m.
The high-intensity cardio class uses stationary bikes that can be adjusted to varying degrees of resistance, Pater said. By adjusting the resistance riders can simulate hills or flat terrain.
Pater also likes adding interval and isolation training during the class to help increase caloric burn and intensity.
A participant typically can burn 400-500 calories per class, Pater said. Because participants can work at an intensity best-suited to their fitness level, the calories burned can be higher or lower.
The cycling class also can help build strength, stamina and muscle tone; increase muscle tone; improve cardiovascular fitness and heart health; and reduce stress, Pater said.
Personnel who never have participated in an indoor cycling class shouldn't be intimidated, Pater said. Just bring a towel and a bottle of water and be prepared to sweat a lot.
Pater also encourages first-time participants to talk to her before the class begins. She can answer any question and help the cyclist properly adjust the bike to fit the rider correctly.
"Although I have a specific goal for each class (intervals, hills, endurance, race), each rider is encouraged to follow their own performance goals," Pater said. "There are a wide range of fitness levels in the class. The class is what you make of it; I'm just there to push you."
Pater incorporates a variety of music during the class, from classic rock, to top 40 and even some country, which helps pace the ride. "It's also a good motivational tool to get people going," she said.
Getting people going is exactly what's needed for an early morning class.
"It is tough to wake up sometimes to get to the gym prior to the 5:30 a.m. start," said Staff Sgt. Michael J. Desjarlais. "But overall it is not difficult because it fits into my work schedule."
Desjarlais, who is training for a triathlon, uses the cycle class as an opportunity to add variation to his normal biking training. He also likes the group motivation and the way indoor cycling can shock the body in ways that aren't typical to riding on a road.
Pater said finding a friend or a group of people to work out with and getting into the routine of an early morning workout can make things easier.
"Getting your workout in the morning gets your metabolism going. It energizes you and wakes you up," Pater said. "You also get it over with so you don't have to worry about doing it later on."
Groups or units of up to 20 authorized personnel also can schedule a private class by calling the fitness center.
For more information about the Wake Up and Ride class or other fitness opportunities, call the fitness center at 608-388-2290.