Spinning Classes at the gym

Right, I've hit a plateau in my get fit/lose weight mission.  I can either:

 a) throw a tantrum like the kid next door.  seems to work for him - he usually gets what he wants

b) do something else - clearly running isn't helping lost weight anymore.  I know NOTHING about pushing weights so unless i get a personal trainer (which i don't mind doing) the only thing i know how to do well is spin classes at the gym.

Is spinning any good for building muscle like weights do and for weight loss where running is no longer doing the trick?  Is there anything else i can do other than exert patience (not good at being patient)?


  • Spinning's good for endurance and will tone legs but it'll do sod all for your upper body. There was some concern a while ago that some extreme classes that focus on hard gears may not be good for knees, and most classes are 45mins now to prevent excessive overload.
  • I lovce spinning and since I've had an iffy knee that news rather worries me Siance - provided you didn't overdo it, would spin tend to strengthen the knee stability do you think?
  • Jungle jane,speaking as a pers trainer id advise you do aim at firing up your metabailism by incresing your bodies lean muscle mass,so a good resistance regime(using free weights or body as resistance)using good form,technique,correct set and rep range...advise 2 sets of 15 for 6/8 weeks to build endurance..you will recruit and increase muscle tone but not big muscle as your not doing huge volume and being a women you wont produce testtosterone and grwoth hormone like a man would.Bar in mind that the body works on 6/8 week cycles and craves new stimuli after that time,just throwing the same exercise at the same level of intensity will cause the body to plateau and decend into overtraining syndrome which leads to boredom and injury.I would advocate doing spin before a session of weights as well,the stress howmone cortisol will kick in after physical exersion which will negate the work you do with the weights in so far as cortisol will strip down your muscles(i.e protein)for energy.LOOK TO A DAILY REDUCTION OF 250 CALORIES FROM YOUR DIET...and a 250 increase in energy expenditure to combine daily reduction of 500 cals to produce sustainable pound a week weight loss



  • I've just come back from a one hour class and really its a bit much - i've noticed this on other one hour classes.  I just can't wait for it to finish - i think 45 minutes is a much better session - just from an enjoyment perspective.  Its interesting that it may also be better physically - i will research that.

    chris that's great advice - its been 6 weeks since i've been training so that fits in exactly with what you are saying.   I do think i should do weights but have never done them on my own before and wouldn't know the difference between a weight and a big lump of metal.  Do you know how i can find a trainer in the east london/essex area?  I have tried Google and at my local Fitness First (which i am a member of) but i wasn't inspired by the FF trainers and didn't find anything decent on Google.  Is there a website that personal trainers advertise on or something?

  • Hi Jane,which part of Essex do you live in?Im freelance

    email me at mrchris26.2@fsmail.net

    the other fitness elements you should be looking at is (and i know its a cliche!)

    is core strength and proprioception(balance,positional awareness,essential in injry avoidance)

    The other thing is was going to suggest was keeping a food diary,and ensuring you eat a healthy low g.i. brekkie and regulate your blolod sugar by eating a little and often through the day,also eat hi gi snacks post work out to raise your insulin levels which off set the rise in cortisol levels as well as aiding refuelling your tired muscles with glycogen...post exercise your muscles are like energy sponges!they will convert and store glucose as gylcogen 4/5 times quicker than say when you carbo load for racing!

    Always ensure Jane that you try to get variety in your work outs working through different disciplines and differing ranges of movement.I come across a lot of clients who seem to think spinning is the be all and end all,its like everything,in balance and context of exercise variables

  • Love RPM (its not spinning its better) image

    Love the longer classes 45mins is great before work but love the extra 2 tracks on a 1hr class.....  Sometimes do 2 classes back to back...  Appreciate what Siance & Bear are saying about knees but it seems to be the one part of my legs thats NOT complaining and I've done it for 4-5 years or so.

  • In terms of weight loss...  I loose more weight running than on the bikes (indoors or out) which is why I sometimes take time out from running when I get a bit to weedy and keep the CV fitness up with bikes.  Spinning is like everything else you get out of it what you put into it...  there are some people who come to the class and clearly dont put any effort in...  Unsurprisingly their physiques have not changed.
  • I'm not sure I know the difference between RPM and spin? I totally adore spin/cycle/rpm to supplement my running - but find a lot depends on the instructor and their abilities! 

    Of course i am being terribly impatient here - it took lots of beer and pizza over 18 months to get this unfit and out of shape.  Its a bit cheeky of me to expect it to disappear over 6 weeks just because i am now training hard and eating right...image

  • RPM

    You're right...  the instructor can make it or break it....  Two of my best friends are RPM instructors (one is a triathlete who does RPM on the side for extra cash, the other one does the who BTS programme like Body Pump, Body Combat etc).

    Both are cracking instructors.... 

    I've had some real numpties as well though that just made me want to walk out after track 3. 

    I've been subjected to a 'spin' class where they were doing all manner of daft press ups on the handle bars etc....  I was thinking a) my elbows are aching and b) what's the point?

    I mean if I want to do press ups I get on the floor and on my toes, not on the feckin handle bars??

  • i find 6-8 weeks of daily BLT does wonders for my weight !image
  • Bacon Lettuce and Tomato?
  • Monday's class was utterly fantastic....but that was balanced out with my experience  today which defninitely wasn't great - the instructur shrieked a lot.  Screeching makes  my ears want to bleed after a while.  Unfortunately the music was also too loud too, so i couldn't actually make out what she was actually shrieking about - i had to watch my fellow spinners to see what to do next.

    To top it all off she also did a LOT of wooping (yeeeee ha in particular) - which is a pet hate of mine.  

    the whole class went on for an hour - in this case it was BLT was a Bloody Long Time... 

  • she wasnt wearing boots a fringed crop top and a cowboy hat too was she ?

    Cowgirl Spin?

  • AHAHAHAA Buney i thought exactly the same thing!  and we were the cattle!

  • Just thought what a "reverse cowgirl spin" would look like.... LOL

    For me the music can never be loud enough....  but then I usually know the releases after I've done them and kind of go into autopilot anyway....  Both my mates keep trying to talk me into doing the RPM 2-day course LOL.....  Its quite tempting.....

    Bike Borstal with Nam....

  • I teach spin too and personally I think the 1 hour class is too extreme for most people. I'm in bits at the end of a hard 45 minute  class. And good to see there are other instructors who dont ponce round with the whole press up routine.  I think just about every class I have been to - they will do the press up thing. Pointless.

    I would say - just watch your knees and keep the cadence up. If it drops below 60 or so, take some resistance off. Its meant to be indoor cycling - so dont do anything you wouldnt do outside.  

  • [picks up Cougie's bits and gives them back to him surreptitiously]
  • drops below 60rpm?

    that would make it a scary hill class !imageimage

  • Buney you had to didn't you....  Just couldn't let it rest...  image

    Cougie I didn't know you teach spin? image

    I only did the press-ups nonsense once when we had cover.... otherwise all RPM in my club and no press-ups...

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