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Spinning Classes???(12 posts)

Spinning Classes???DKD17
Mar 30, 2001 5:33 AM
Are these any good. Don't have rollers and live in Northeast, weather has been awful. Was considering taking soem Spinning classes. Are they hype or will they help?
dependsMaillot Rouge
Mar 30, 2001 7:03 AM
This has been discussed extensively before on this board so let me try to recap. It greatly depends on the instructor and the program that the instructor is following. Also there seems to be a variety of bikes used by different bikes used, some good, some bad. For experienced cyclists Johnny G Spinning is bad, they tend to do a lot of weird things that are intended to relieve boredom and just raise your heartrate. "Spinning" is used generically to describe indoor cycling classes but is really a trademarked brand name. I've heard good things about the reebok bikes and system but I haven't experienced it. The best seems to be Precision Cycling offered by 24Hour Fitness. The program was developed by Ed Burke who is a well know and respected cycling trainer. PC tries to get away from the high rpms that Spinning uses and goes for a good balance of resistance and rpm. The theory in PC is that you don't do anything on the indoor bike that you wouldn't do on a real bike. Take one Spinning class and you'll know what I mean. Try to find an instructor that is actually a cyclist and not just an aerobics instructor that does indoor cycling. I've been doing Precision Cycling all winter and it's I feel like I'm in the best shape I've been in at this time of year. I hope this helps.

re: Spinning Classes???Marcy S
Mar 30, 2001 7:13 AM
Spinning classes are definitely NOT a hype! They are usually crowded for a reason. It is a great way to keep your legs, arms, back, shoulder, sit bones, etc. in shape if you cannot get outside. I have been taking spin class for approximately four years now. I can honestly say that by doing this, it keeps me in shape all year long and it gives me a HUGE advantage, come spring time, over the cyclists who take off for the winter months. It is completely different and exciting compared to just doing the boring stationary or recumbent bikes. There are hills and jumps, along with seated and standing sprints to name a few positions. Try it and see, but let me warn you that it is VERY addicting!
Don't forget to bring plenty of water and a towel... be prepared to sweat!!!
re: Spinning Classes???ColnagoFE
Mar 30, 2001 7:23 AM
They are a great way to stay in shape for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. COntrary to what Maillot Rouge says below the true Johnny G program has a solid foundation in road cycling and all/most the moves are rooted in road cycling (5 of them in all) have a purpose. Since the program began it has been bastardized beyond belief by renagade instructors that think they need to be cheerleaders and entertainers. I teach Spinning about 3-5 times a week and it can often be my sole source of training when time is short or the weather is bad. It works. When I hop on my bike I feel great. That said, there are some really bad instrucors out there that have no basis in cycling and think they have to invent moves to entertain their audience. Moves such as "popcorn jumps", endless standing hills, 3 minute "sprints" and other wackiness are commonplace unfortuantely and give a good program a bad name. Caveat Emptor when it comes to choosing a club and an instructor.
re: Spinning Classes???Maillot Rouge
Mar 30, 2001 12:02 PM
You're probably right about the rogue instructors, I probably haven't seen what the real Spinning program has to offer. To many times it seems that the instructor does do the wacky stuff like 50 of those up and down jumps. I fail to see the benefit of this excercise. The standing run also seems to be incrediably harsh on your knees. I was in one class where the instructor told people to do a standing run and then squat down or lower yourself straight down to "feel the burn". I also tend to see people that are used to Spinning just hop on the bike and keep the rpms up without adding resisitance, is that what they're trained to do? In Precision Cycling they say you genereally don't go over 100 rpm on average and 120 in a sprint. And what's with the hand positions, does it really matter?

I am biased because I teach Precision Cycling and it just seems that cyclists prefer Precisions Cycling to Spinning. Gym rats and aerobics people tend to prefer Spinning, not tring to flame here it's just what I've observed.
Instructor is the key, not a program...bigdave
Mar 30, 2001 12:49 PM
Some instructors at my gym do the typical Johnny G or Spinning workouts... but others actually bike a lot and mix it up wonderfully. There is no "name" program per se. One is a recreational cyclist, but she changes the program frequently and keeps it pretty real.

The other is a long-time road racer and is greatly responsible for rekidling my interest in cycling, and thereby helping me lose 55 lbs. He definitely keeps it *real* by doing seated power days, speed work and intervals and such. In fact, I'm racing with him and his team this year.

Getting out on the real bike is different, no doubt. But Spinning through the winter helps get you prepped for the season, that's for sure. I recommend checking them out and looking for an instructor you like and hitting the classes regularly... unfortunately, with the coming warmer weather, many classes will start disappearing.

re: Spinning Classes???ScottV
Mar 30, 2001 7:41 AM
As the other have already said a lot depends on the instructor. Ones that are cycling specific as apposed to aerobic classes on bikes are usually the best. I find that spinning a few time a week along with some weight training is a great way to stay in shape over the winter. Since the bikes are also direct drive they area a great way to work on your spin.

The best thing is to use your judgement when it comes to the various drills. If the instructor starts doing something wacky I will just spin until the next exercise.
I bought oneIxnixit
Mar 30, 2001 8:26 AM
Most of the classes I've been to do have a "fixed" program, but it's made clear that you can do whatever you want, at your own pace be it faster or slower than the instructor. I liked it so much that I went and bought a Johnny G. Spinner Elite for my home. I put on a Ti Flite saddle, Look 206 pedals and a Sigma 800 computer. It sits just like my bike and the peddaling action is very close to reality. I've found that it's much easier to do heart rate training on the spinner than it is on my bike. The workout can be more intense or less intense and I am spending three nights a week whereas I used to dread rollers or trainers.
Loud music helps too!no excuses
Mar 30, 2001 8:41 AM
Tying in another thread, one of the best parts of spinning is listening to the music cranked up loud. It's definitely part of the motivation. Different instructors have different types for their classes. Variety is great.
One of our favorite instructors gets off the bike and works the room, checking on heartrates, resistance, and encouraging the riders.
As for bikes, we've got the older style Schwinns. I'd love to try one of the newer models, and hate the Reebok Bikes (not enough resistance)from the few times I tried them.
Spinning Classes? I think they are awesome!Cartman
Mar 30, 2001 2:46 PM
I too am from the north east, Northern Worcester County, MA, the dumping ground of snow rhis year. I just got done plowing my driveway for the third time today. I think we just got another 16 inches of that white S*&T! OK, enough of least I'll be able to go to spinning class tomorrow. I started in Dec. They are great for keeping in biking shape for the winter. I was able to get out a couple of times in the last week, and I noticed a big difference on climbing ability. It is a lot less boring than riding on a trainer, and you get out of it what you put into it!
Spinning kept me going all winter ...bianchi boy
Mar 30, 2001 7:21 PM
Now that it's warming up in NC, I'm cycling mostly on the road. But the spinning classes definitely kept me in shape and helped my hill-climbing. We use Precision Cycling bikes at the YMCA I belong to. Most of the instructors are pretty good, although I do prefer some over others. My biggest gripe is that some of the instructors try to get the class climbing hills all the time at low cadence, and I'm trying to keep my cadence up close what I normally ride at (80-100). I finally just quit trying to do everything just like the instructor says and started keeping my own pace.

As someone else mentioned, one of the big advantages to spin classes is the music cranked up real loud -- which takes your mind off the pain and makes the time go by much quicker. I sometimes go in the spin cycle room at the Y by myself, put on a Tom Petty or Sting CD, and just ride by myself. An hour goes by in no time, and I've ridden as long as 2:15.
They do help...Bruno S
Mar 30, 2001 8:07 PM
I took spinning classes for a couple of months last year and it did help. The fixed gear with the heavy flywheel helps you improve your form. The bikes are very well made and you can put a lot of resistance if you what to get a good work out. If the instructor and music are good and there is a large crowd they can be very fun as well.

Most gyms will let you go to a few classes for free so there is no risk of trying them out.