Spinning class?

I did my first spinning class yesterday, and it was quite possibly the hardest exercise I've ever done. I sweated buckets and couldn't actually keep the pace for the whole session because I thought my legs would fall off. Was this because a) spinning classes are high intensity, quality training for triathletes when time is tight b) it was indoors and so it was hotter and there was no scenery to take my mind off the effort - in fact I probably have cycled that hard but the wind evaporated the sweat away c) I'm so out of shape I should be ashamed that all the other women were so much fitter and stronger than me that they barely glowed and carried on chatting the whole time! Get out on the roads and stop fannying about with girly classes ???


  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭

    I have been doing spinning since December. The first few times I found it really hard but now I don't find it so hard. I think it is slightly different to cycling on the road, which I find much harder. It is hotter indoors and of course there is no wind to help evaporate the sweat so you feel sweatier.

  • Indoors is much hotter - just done 80 minutes on turbo and sweated a good puddle. So you will sweat more.

    Is Spinning as good for cycling on the road as cycling on the road - errr no.

    Is it good in the winter, yes. Does it make a nice change, yes, especially if the view is good. Is it better than not cycling, yes.

    Do some of them not turn the dial up much - yep - lazy feckers. A lot of spin bikes have metal wheels. Friction generates heat. So at the end of the class feel the temperature of the wheel. Last one I did I checked mine and it was too hot to put a flat hand on. The instructor asked me what I was doing. She then checked hers and mine and yelped. Hers was just warm to the touch.

    So in short I do a few spin classes across the winter cause I get sick of the garage wall and the turbo. It makes an easy brick with a treadmill at the end on nights when it is dark and grim. It changes the training a bit.

    If you are doing sprint tris they may have more benefit than for an IM focus.

    All IMHO


  • Oh come on me.face
  • Did your mummy never tell you to say please?

  • Just echo everything me.face has said, but just to say I found them excellent when I first started cycling, and tend to use them during the winter months when commuting is less likely to happen.

    Have found though it also depends on the instructor. We've got one particular good instructor at our gym who does a good routine and mixes it up throughout the year. The other 2 instructors - well, I'd rather jump on a turbo and stare at a wall for an hour.

  • I teach spin, and my victims  - er class get a decent work out from it. I treat it like a turbo session - so none of this poncey aerobic routines. Its just cycling  - but indoors. Nobody chats through my classes.

    You can do things you wont be able to do on the roads - so intense workouts that just arent safe with traffic around. You can set the resistance you want to - its hard to do that outside - the terrain sets it for you.

    It works for me anyway - but you still need the road sessions for bike handling and endurance - and most important of all - to get to faraway cake stops.

  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭
    Cougie are the faraway cake stops located in the faraway tree?

    I love (hate) spinning because you can make it really intense. And when spinning regularly noticed a massive difference in speed and efficiency outside on a real bike. And definitely an increase in cadence when pedalling outside. But like you wouldn't train for a marathon on a treadmill, you would only use the spin for a small proportion of your regular cycling.
  • I tried it for the first time this week too and couldn't keep the pace either...it being in a hot stuffy room overlooking a nice cool swimming pool definitely had something to do with it. The class is like musical statues or something, people get too tired, stop and walk (or crawl!) out the class so by the end of the hour there's less than half the number of people it started with!

  • I find i fair better in spinning and can maintain a pace that i cannot maintain on the road because i live near the coast and i am not fit enough not deal with being battered by the wind. the more controlled environment of spinning classes means i have made massive improvements in my cardio vascular fitness which has improved my running substantially. To be fair tho, I am not a regular runner or a regular cyclist. I have asked my instructor if i find this because im not putting the effort in and he says no because he can tell how much effort i am putting in and he says he can tell that ive improved from the day i first walked into his class to now. but thats just me....

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    Ultimately spinning is just cycling - turning the cranks against resistance.    Most classes are high intensity aren't they so they mimic a hard interval session - the upside is a lot of cyclists never really do hard interval sessions so quite often they fill a gap in their training - it'd probably be better to do the same session on a bike either on a turbo or a quiet road - but I reckon spinning is a fairly close second.   

    The downside of relying on a lot of spinning classes is your training would likely be too biased towards high intensity - which especially for long distance time trial or triathlon should probably be quite a small part of what you do.    For novices though I reckon it's good to get the high cadence and learn to put effort in.   

  • I guess for me its a way of at least feeling like I'm cycling up a hill (its very, very flat where I live), and with only an hour available after work it might be a more intense session than just cycling around the city, waiting at traffic lights and junctions every few yards.

    Perhaps I'll keep at it, if only because I can't think of a better way to use that slot on a Tuesday (I swim before work and do speed sessions with my running club on a Monday).

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I think once you've reached a decent level of fitness you can use spinning classes as active recovery as well as a hard session in its own right.  IMO there is a significant difference between spinning and real cycling in that the weight of the flywheel and opportunity to reduce resistance to a barely perceptible level (not that I'd advise it!) means that you really can spin the legs out at a high cadence without overly beasting your muscles.  I'd often have a Monday lunchtime spin class the day after a long run and it would leave me feeling pretty zingy, rather than knackered.  Yeah, zingy.

    I also agree spinning is great exercise for getting you used to cycling at a high cadence with a smoother pedalling action.  I reckon this has helped my track cycling (give it a go if you can, it's an absolute blast!) and must surely be good for tri/TT, etc.

  • I use spinning for when I have a day when I want a change from the mundane or when my weight loss plateaus (im working hard 2 lose the weight I put on after my 2md pregnancy and breakdown of my relationship- ive lost 6.5 stone in 18 months and have about a stone 2 go). I love the atmosphere and the heat. I dont get the same buzz on the road coz im just not fit enough- yet! My goal is to get from indoors to outdoors and do a race by the time I hit 30- im 28 at the mo!
  • Brilliant weight loss lizzie, you'll nail the other stone soon.

  • Thanks image x
  • I think it's a useful form of cross-training or recovery after a hard run , particularly in the winter. The enjoyment of the session for me depends on the enthusiasm of the trainer and the music which in my gym is usually very upbeat

  • The music is definitely an issue - asset for some, but for me I just thought it was comical that the music was so loud the trainer was shouting at the top of her voice. I think it takes quite a few weeks to be able to lip-read what these people are telling you to do.

    I couldn't really make out much of what she was saying at all!!! Didn't really notice the music ...image

  • It seems to be far more popular with females than males. Some of ladies in my gym must think they are Victoria Pendleton as they really do go for it! It also becomes easier with practice and I've now got used to spending most of the time hovering rather than sitting on the saddle. 

  • another advantage of spin is the class. Usually there is good motivation to keep up the effort over the hour. Rather than the frequent sit up and coast and admire the scenery while out on a solo ride.

  • I don't always do the hover, and I get a couple of looks, until they realise the effort that I putting through the pedals.

    I did a session once where the instructor never (or hardly ever) got on his bike. He just wandered round shouting at people and tweaking the resistance for them. Unlike most sessions there were no breaks between tracks, no 'spin and drink' moments, no ramp up the resistance lots. All he got you to do was set the resistance at the start and did constant 1/4 up,  1/4 down (max of 2 or 3 1/4 ups in a row). It was the hardest session I have done that didn't involve Coach Troy that I have ever done on a bike. 45-minutes constant pedalling at a solid resistance - it was awesome.

    And I did one in a hotel at 06:00 and at he start they dimmed the lights, put the disco lights on and the tunes blaring. It was like a night club but at the wrong end of the day. Very weird.


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