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What Is Spinning?-Comprehensive Guide To A Spinning Class

Updated on January 24, 2014

Indoor Cycling-Spinning

What Is Spinning?-Introduction

What is spinning? Spinning is the relatively new phenomenon that has taken the fitness world by storm. Spinning or spin cycling first became prevalent in 1995, the brain wave of cycling enthusiast Johnny Goldberg whom took the variety of the professional road cyclist training routine, improved indoor bikes and added them to instructor lead classes. Add in some motivational music and you have the gym activity spinning, popular the world over.

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What Is Spin Class-The Spinning Class Explained

So now you know what spinning is, let's take a look at what happens in a typical spinning class. A spinning class usually lasts anywhere from 30 minutes up to 75 minutes. It is conducted on a specially designed spinning bike, indoor cycling trainer. It differs from many normal exercise bikes in that it is designed to realistically mimic the feel of a normal road bike. Features include a flywheel to replicate inertia a resistance dial to adjust the effort needed to turn the pedals this, can reproduce the sensation of going uphill or downhill and will also affect your cadence(the rate of speed you turn the pedals) In a spinning class cadence normally ranges from 60RPM to 110RPM(RPM=Revolutions Per Minute). Other features also include specially designed handlebars with various hand positions for either standing up on the pedals often called running to Tri Bars For high cadence work which have you seated far forward in an aerodynamic position as seen in time trial riding-Think Bradley Wiggins while winning his Olympic Gold Time Trial medal, London 2012. You may also find on your spinning bike toe clips to hold your feet securely or even clipless pedals for use with cleated style cycling shoes. A good Spinning bike, Indoor training bike should also have many adjust points seat height etc so you can fit the bike accurately for your body type. You should also have a water bottle holder don't forget this one trust me you'll need it Spinning classes get you burning calories and sweating fast.

The Spinning Class Format

The Spinning Class is lead by an instructor whom you should think of as an advisor to getting the best out of your cardio spinning workout. Nearly all Spinning classes are set to music and a good instructor will pick music that lifts in tempo periodically so that your spinning effort can pick up in time with the music and when the music drops in tempo so can your effort levels. This is a very effective form of interval training as it increases your motivation having music to spin a long too. Remember that while your instructor will give you guidance for effort levels and standing or seated position etc you are the one in overall control. You pick the resistance level, cadence level and position for your spinning class. As a beginner you cannot be expected to work full throttle all the way through the class. Indeed interval training is more effective if you don't, listen to your body work hard but stay comfortable and let you endurance levels build naturally. In short don't blow yourself out five minutes into the workout.

Spinning Class-Be Comfortable

The Spinning Class even in modern air conditioned buildings produces lots of heat. Like I previously stated you'll perspire bucket loads so it's important to wear the right cloths. you can't go wrong with Lycra as this moves moisture away from the body more efficiently. If you don't feel comfortable wearing Lycra then normal shorts and a T-Shirt are fine but you don't want any thing too heavy or baggy the lighter the better also while your short shouldn't be too baggy that they get in the way of your spinning motion the same goes for them being too tight an easy full range of motion here is the key. I would also advise taking a small towel that you can use to mop your brow this can easily be stored on your handle bars while working out.

Another great tip for beginners is to invest in a gel saddle that you can put over the seat of the spinning bike this will help with any discomfort which is natural in the first few weeks of spinning classes. You can also expect your legs to be stiff and tired don't worry about this it's all part and parcel of starting a new exercise regime. Listen to your body and adjust your effort accordingly on those days when you are really stiff or tired or both.

What Is Spinning-Termonolgy And Spinning Positions

More On this To follow Shortly.

Spinning At Home And Turbo Trainers

If you don't like the idea of Spinning/Spin Cycling at the gym you could always invest in a Spin Bike, these are widely available and come at a cost range to suit most. Or if you have your own bike why not buy a Turbo Trainer, this is a contraption that attaches to you bike's rear wheel and turns it into a stationary spin cycle. The advantage of training at home is that you can pick from a wide range of commercially available DVD's, for instance you could ride along to film taken by cyclist riding up mountains in the south of France. Just as professional cyclists do in the tour de France. There are also many specific spinning class workout films that are excellent, Spinervals and Sufferfest being particularly good brands. Another advantage of training at home is that you can get yourself a fan this will cool you considerably more than air conditioning and make you feel a lot more comfortable while Spinning.

So now you know about spinning why not give it a try to join the hundreds of thousand that are enjoying the benefits of this great cardio workout.


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    • wadestar profile image

      wadestar 5 years ago from uk-lincolnshire

      I guess the lesson here is try before you buy if your spinning bike is sufficiently padded, no need to go to the extra expense.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 5 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Most spinning saddles are targeted at those that assume padding equals comfort when it can actually can make things worse. Putting a gel saddle on top of a wide spinning saddle can actually cause a males hips to be pushed outwards for more discomfort.

    • wadestar profile image

      wadestar 5 years ago from uk-lincolnshire

      Thank you great pointer. I wouldn't be without padded shorts, I used a gel saddle when I first got back into cycling also as that helped me. I was quite heavy and needed all the padding I could get for the first few weeks.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 5 years ago from Nottingham UK

      From personal experience the best thing for a spinning class is not a gel saddle- most spinning saddles are already significantly padded. A well fitting pair of cycling shorts is the best thing anyone could do for a spinning class.

    • Ninasvoice profile image

      Ninasvoice 5 years ago from England

      When my friend told me she was going to a spinning class, I thought she was joking. All i could see in my mind were a bunch of people with their arms out spinning around in circles and bumping into each other. It should be called static cycling! lol