There are Spinervals cycling videos that are hard, painful, and make you sweat. There are some that even mix in a bunch of off-the-bike squats and weight lifting. And then there is the "Tough Love" video. This 3-hour interval training session is geared towards endurance cyclists training for a century ride or Ironman distance triathlon and let me tell you it is awesome.
Yes, you read that right. I did just say that riding my bike in the garage for three hours, racking up over 50 miles and not moving an inch, was awesome. It really is. It's a fantastic workout from start to finish in that it is very well structured, offers minimal rest, and has you just below your lactate threshold throughout the entire workout yet never becomes boring. And just when my mind did start to wander around the two-hour mark, Coach Troy was right there shouting words of encouragement and telling me to "maintain focus".
The main sets were thirty minutes long with minimal rest during and after and you are always well versed on the gearing and cadence that you should be shooting for, as well as your perceived exertion. One particular interval was thirty minutes long with Coach Troy switching up the gearing and body position (sit or stand) every minute for thirty minutes. It would have never occured to me to sprint out of the seat while in the lowest cog, but I've done it now and I can assure you it's a whole lot more painful and difficult than pushing a big gear.
All in all, I went through 2 20oz bottles of water, 2 20oz bottles of Gatorade, a 20oz bottle of Accelerade, a Cliff Bar, a package of Cliff Bloks, a Gu, and a box of raisins. Also, for the first time in a trainer ride, I had to actually switch socks halfway through as I soaked my first pair (and shoes) with sweat and my feet were going numb in the cold garage. I also had to get a second towel as my first one was soaked. Coach Troy says even a very fit cyclist will burn 2500 calories and lose 5 pounds of water weight during this workout and I don't doubt it at all.