I’m always looking for ways to vary up my work-outs, and if you’ve been keeping up with my posts you probably saw me mention spinning class and how I’ve been wanting to try it. Well I’ve been spinning twice a week for the past two weeks, and I’ve got to tell you that I absolutely love it. The indoor-cycling craze deserves a bit of attention from me, before I head to my next class in 15 minutes!
Spinning, or indoor-cycling, involves stationary bikes that use adjustable resistance and various riding positions timed with high-intensity songs and rest periods in order to deliver a sweat-heavy work-out. The fly-wheel is what corresponds with the amount of resistance you’ll feel while peddling, adjusted by a knob on the bike that will also function as an emergency stop if pulled up or pushed down. A spinning work-out usually starts with about a five minute warm-up, letting everyone get comfortable with their bikes and start to get their hearts pumping. What follows is determined by your instructor, but usually delivers some intense peddling with varying resistances timed along with the beat of a song. You might be listening to Nicki Minaj, and then have to increase the resistance when she reaches the chorus of her song.
Spinning also involves a few riding positions, the first being stationary seated on the saddle with your hands loosely gripped around the front of the handlebars. Don’t lock your elbows- my instructor always says that you should be able to remove your arms and support yourself in this position with just your core. Second position involves standing up, your arms still loose and elbows angled slightly inward, your rear end almost touching the seat as you peddle but remaining in the air. The final position demands that you move your arms to the vertical ends of the handle-bars and lean forward, still making sure not to lock any joints.
With these positions, you can perform sprints (high-speed peddling for 10-20 second intervals), jumps (moving into second position for 4-5 second intervals and back), and hills (increased resistance and moving into second or third position for extended periods during a song). By switching up these bursts of energy with standard peddling, this kind of interval training really pushes you. Interval training is a fantastic method of blasting calories and strengthening muscles.
According to healthline.com, an average spinning work-out will burn upwards of 500 calories in 40 minutes, depending on the level of resistance and intensity. The greatest thing about spinning is that you can really work as hard as you want/can on that particular day. And it’s fun! The music is high energy, your friends are around you, and the instructor is always motivating you. Johnny Goldberg’s idea in 1989 to implement spinning was a huge success, and I’m a little sad I’ve only just started joining in. And I’ve never been a huge fan of bike riding, so maybe I’ve started to become a convert! And it’ll only help me when I inevitably venture towards triathalon territory…
Do you like spinning? What’s your favorite group class fitness activity?