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Do spinning classes help?(13 posts)

Do spinning classes help?Delia
Apr 26, 2001 12:03 PM
Okay, so last year I took a few spinning courses at COD Level 1 and II. I was just wandering what all you experienced people think about spinning classes and whether or not they're a good tool for training.
re: Do spinning classes help?look271
Apr 26, 2001 1:29 PM
While I haven't done them in a while, I used to and I found that they do help, especially with climbing. Just resist the urge to follow the instructor when they turn up the tension real high, and avoid "jumps". You would never do either of these on your bike and high tension settings are a great way to ruin your knees.
Apr 26, 2001 2:47 PM
while you would never do "jumps" on a bike outdoors, spinning is not riding is training to ride outdoors. don't you do lots of other drills for other sports that you'd never actually do in a game? jumps (as long as done in a controlled movement) develop the coordination needed to "jump" such as at the end of a race. they build that core strength. in moderation they a great drill for road cycling. regarding are in cotrol of it--never let an instructor give you the number of "turns" you should be putting on. if your legs aren't strong enough to push heavy resistance then don't do it. however, compare resistance on a spin bike to climbing a big hill in a 39x23 and i think you'll do more damage to your knees on a road bike than anything you could do with a spin bike.
Apr 26, 2001 3:24 PM
I'm not sure what spinning bikes you have used, but the ones I've used have the ability to crank up the tension high enough that I can barely move the wheel, and I'm no little girlie boy, either. In fact, I BROKE an, albeit old, pair of Look pedals on a spin bike while doing very high tension. See post below about the problems he had with his knees.
just because you canColnagoFE
Apr 27, 2001 12:02 PM
crank up the resistance doesn't mean you have to. i teach a few spin classes a week and try to get the class to use a resistance that they would encounter outdoors. hills can be anywhere from 1-10 with 10 being a real crank. never do i want someone to go below--say 50-60 rpm though so that usually takes care of any problems brought about by too much resistance. if you can crank it then add more...if you can't then add less. true you can crank them up so you can't move the wheel, but unless you're marty nothstein you probably shoulnd't/.
Check my 1st postlook271
Apr 27, 2001 3:58 PM
I believe that's what I told the young lady.:-)
re: Only if you want to trash your kneesJim Heckman
Apr 26, 2001 3:06 PM
I took some spinning classes for about 5-6 weeks. And, because of it I had to take over two months off the bike to recover from tendonitis that has formed in my patellar tendon. The help to get your heart rate up and are a great work out, but at what expense. I will most likely have the problems with my knees for the rest of my life because of those f#@%$*king classes!!!!
how fast were you spinningColnagoFE
Apr 27, 2001 12:04 PM
i'm guessing you were really mashing and not spinning too fast with tons of resistance. riding a steep hill on a road bike with improper gearing would do the same thing to you...other than that you may have not been set up properly on the bike. don't blame the tool. there's nothing inherently bad about a spin bike that would make them any more or less able to trash knees than a road bike.
not at my gym...must_pedal_harder
Apr 26, 2001 5:24 PM
tiny room, one fan, annoying music, nice people... but - I'd rather be riding outdoors :)
Frankie Andreu on Spin ClassSamu
Apr 26, 2001 10:21 PM

I don't know if it helped but it couldn't have hurt. I wasn't nervous, as I am sometimes heading into training camp in California. I know my winter work was enough to keep up, but the question was would it be enough to do something in the early races.

There was one thing I did that had better have helped because it was hard as hell. During the holidays, when the weather was bad, I went to my health club and jumped into one of those Spin classes. Our class had the Reebok bikes, which were great, because they had clipless pedals on one side of the pedals. When I went the first time I didn't know this and I did the class in my tennis shoes while everyone around me was using their mountain-bike shoes. The next time I changed my shoes, draped my towel over the handlebars like everyone else does, and hunkered down for a good workout. I couldn't believe how hard it was; the instructor was killing me!

I know the best thing about the Spin classes are that they're made for everyone, you can go as hard or as easy as you want. You adjust the friction on the machine depending on how hard you feel like going. I decided I would follow the instructions of the teacher. When she said one click down, I made it harder. It was amazing how much she kept saying, "OK, now just one more click to finish it off." I thought I had the brake on it felt so hard. This was while she was up front chit-chatting with the group. I could barely catch my breath while she was chirping, ".and one, and two, and three, a little longer now."

After three classes of this torture I finally decided to watch the instructor instead of watching my bike. When she was telling us to go seven clicks down to start the mountain I was trying to peer underneath her towel to see if she was actually going seven clicks down. It was hard to see underneath that damn towel, but I saw what she was doing. She would go down three or four then back it up two, then down two, and back it up three. You know what that meant--she was cheating. Maybe not cheating but at least I felt better now.

Either way it was a great sweat and the fastest hour to pass that I've ever done on a turbo. In those terms I can't complain. At least at camp I don't have to peer under any towels to see what gear everyone is using. I'll know straight away why I'm suffering when Lance is going up the mountains in the big ring.
Definitely, but ...bianchi boy
Apr 27, 2001 8:44 AM
Resist the urge (or command) to crank up the pressure too high. I kept in shape during the cold winter and spring weather by going to spin classes and it definitely helped my hill-climbing and overall condition. My biggest complaint is that some of the instructors overdo it or spend all of the class having you "climb" hills at slow cadence. Although this undoubtedly builds up leg strength, it's not great for your cycling form if you like to spin at high cadence. As others mentioned, I also fear that it could cause knee damage. So I tend to spin at a higher cadence than the instructor calls for, and have noticed quit a few others do the same thing in classes.
re: Do spinning classes help?Teach
Apr 27, 2001 8:47 AM
They seem to have helped me, but then I was taking them on a trainer with my own bike and a racer as an instructor. Might make a difference. Didn't do a lot of that "high tension" stuff.
re: Do spinning classes help?ScottV
Apr 27, 2001 8:55 AM
Yes I find they make a big difference in my early season form. I would recommend though that you balance them with other activities during the winter like weight lifting or running.

Oh and I only do them in the fall and winter. Now is the time to ride outside.