Is spinning as hard as running?

I did a spinning class last night, my first ever and found it great fun but really hard work.
I'm coming to the end of rehab for a calf tear and would like to know if spinning is equivalent to running, I found it harder!! but maybe that's just me.
I want to build up my cv fitness a bit and also condition my legs again because as soon as I'm given the green light to run I'll be out there.
Any comments, Is spinning a good add on to running?


  • I love spinning how hard yoy work depends on you but I find them as hard as running but use different muscles also need good presenter. I once did 7 hours of spinning in one day v. tough on my seat.
  • As a triathlete I do lots training on my indoor trainer, often in the form of a run-bike session, and I find that the spinning definitely helps my running in 2 ways: 1 is that it aids running fitness, and 2 is that it helps running technique - when I run immediately after a fast spin I find I have good leg speed = more efficient.
    I usually warm up for 10-15 mins on the indoor trainer at high revs (100+) prior to a run from home.
    The first few times will be harder because you aren't used to the technique, but stick with it and I'm sure you will feel the benefits.
  • What is spinning?
  • Pedalling quickly, usually on a stationary bike.
  • Any exercise is as hard as you want to make it. The only problem with spinning is it's SO BORING! (Like running on a treadmill).

    Just-My-Humble-Opinion Shambler!
  • Just like anything new, it's always gonna be a bit difficult the first time you do it. It'll get easier the more you do it. Mind you, a CV workout is a CV workout irrespective of how you choose to do it.
  • Now I know what you mean, I realise I've been spinning for months!
    Shambler - Yes it is boring, worse than treadmill as far as I'm concerned. OK for a 15 min warm-up before doing other cv stuff. Tried a stepper for the first time a few weeks ago - interesting if you go for high reps.....
  • Agreed, indoor bike training is very boring, but it is highly effective if done properly.
    As an alternative you could try spinning on a non-stationary outdoor bike. ;-)
  • Spinning is not indoor bike training. I have a turbo trainer and use the upright bikes at the gym and yes they are boring. Spinning bikes are differently designed and it is more like a road bike. Plus it is in a class situation, I did some spinning classes run by some NZ triathletes not only were they visually fascinating, the class was hard and fulfilling, seriously i did 7 hours, I can only manage 40 on the turbo
  • My advice would be to get a road bike and hit the open road, but if you can't for whatever reason, spinning classes are an okay substitute.

    You just don't get that unique buzz that comes from breaking the speed limit ON A CYCLE, though ;)
  • Thanks all
    will carry on with the spinning until I can get outside on my bike or preferably start running again.
  • Morning VR

    You should definatly keep the spin classes up.
    I run a private health club and we make all our spin class attenders wear heart rate monitors. They all end up in their high end threshold. Great conditioing for the heart and lungs.
    when you return to running you should find your heart rate doesn't go so high or if like me its naturally high you will find you feel a lot more comfortable.
    talking of comfort make sure you use a gel seat when spinning or you will have bruises in places like no other!
  • And Bike shorts
  • I am glad someone asked what spinning was as I imagined you either spinning round in circles getting very dizzy or spinning wool........
    Hee Hee.........
  • While having a very bad run of flu at the moment, running is not ideal at the moment on the streets, so I have turned to my spinning sessions on my bike, using a turbo trainer and fast paced music blasting out my room this is giving me a fantastic workout.

    I then followed this workout by doing squats with my barbell.

    Tomorrow im thinking of spinning while watching a movie to pass the time away.
  • Classes are more fun, more competitive, interesting to see how much sweat one body can generate
  • Hi VR,
    When can you run again?
    I've been given the go ahead to hit the road as from Sunday .The physio said I can run as far as I want but to do no repeptitive speed work for 3 weeks. Getting itchy feet already.
  • Ask Rapunzel!
  • Rapunzel, Rapunzel ..................
  • this turbo trainer, is it an adapter to turn your bike into an indoor bike? If so how much?
  • That is exactly what a turbo trainer is. The most common sort is an A frame which holds the rear wheel against a resistance unit. There are 3 sorts of resistance: fan, magnetic & fluid. I recommend the mag or fluid as they are much quieter in use. The two best makes to look out for are Tacx and Elite. Try if you can't get one locally. Prices start at appx £75.
    You can use any sort of bike on a turbo but you will need a smooth tyre on the rear wheel.
    NB - don't buy rollers, these don't support the bike so you have to balance, and speaking from personal experience it isn't as easy as it looks!
  • Im using my turbo trainer this week instead of running due to the flu.

    It is giving me a great workout.
    just completed a very hard 55mins sesssion featuring some very hard sprint work followed by small recovery then mega hill reps.

    Think im going to start including these spinning sessions into my running programme.

    Maybe there was some good after all, with this flu.

    I also use a tacx trainer and very pleased with it so far.
  • Hi PM and all others who have responded to my question.
    I'm hoping that from next week I'll be given the all clear, the physio is very happy with the way the tears have healed and just wants to give a little time before I start any impact work.
    Have done another spinning session (yeaterday) with a different trainer. The work out was very different but equally as challenging.He did alot more of the different cycling positions which really got a sweat up!
    I am using a HR monitor and yes my HR runs at the top end but I do have a high HR anyway. I invested in a gel seat as I left the gym after the first session trying to walk normally!!
    I can't see that this can be anything other than a good supplement or addition to running and certainly is good at making me work on getting my leg turnover faster (no rude comments please!). Working with the trainer who keeps you going and the music is a great motivator - I'm booked for next week.
    How many sessions per week do you recommend as at the moment I'm doing two.
  • When I was introduced to spinning early last year I got a massive buzz from the music to teamwork to all that shouting from the instructor.

    I ended up going every weekday and then found that it was an hour out of my day where I normally went running.

    I think it all depends on how you feel its complementing towards your training, or just trying something new that makes that small change and all the difference.

    I would just say from experience that if you are really into running and enjoy the spinning classes, be careful that the spinning dont overtake your running progress, I think two a week would be a great help towards overall fitness and it will help your running also.
  • Thanks Speedie for the advice.
    Once I'm able to run again I'll be much happier and don't think that spinning will intrude into my running schedule, but while off running it's allowed me to feel that for a couple of days a week I can get a really good, productive work out.
    Having said that the site of the tears in the calf muscle feel brused today but I'm taking that as a normal response to the increase in intensity of the training this week!
  • I only go when i go to conventions and the standard of coaching is high big buzz though, but normally I'm faithful to my running
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