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What do you not like about spin classes?(27 posts)

What do you not like about spin classes?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Oct 23, 2002 9:22 AM
Below I posted a message asking about spin classes and there appears to be a lot of disdain against them. Why is this?

In my opinion I think the biggest problem with spin classes for a cyclist can be at times the instructor. For a cyclist coming in trying to get a hard workout and ending up playing little games which are completely irrelevant to riding isn't fun. To defend spin classes as I am an instructor there are teachers who do race and know their stuff on the bike. Its just a matter of finding them.

i never percieved spin classesSteve_0
Oct 23, 2002 9:24 AM
to BE about riding. Would be like thinking aerobics were about running, IMO.

I dont have an opinion on spin either way.
the instructorThaddeus
Oct 23, 2002 9:31 AM
I agree that the instructor is often the weakest link. Their hollow cries urging the class to 'conquer that hill' or 'really want that burn' ring hollow, and tell me that the teacher has never really ridden a bike up a hill.

I am sure that early adapters were cyclists and had great workouts, but as the trend has blown up, the instruction has watered down and become formulaic.

Aerobics to running?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Oct 23, 2002 9:33 AM
This is completely unfounded in my opinion. Your riding a bike in the spin class... your riding a bike on rollers or a trainer? Whats the difference? If anything it is better for you than rollers because you have a fixed gear and its more fun especially if you have a good instructor who is doing intervals or something of that sort.

no so in mine.Steve_0
Oct 23, 2002 9:43 AM
Just as you use a bicycle in spinning and training, you use the same equipment in running and aerobics. Doesnt mean the aerbics class is necessarily styled around improving running.

Likewise, I never viewed spin class as a training tool for riding...just utilizing the same equipment for different goals. You asked opinions on spin; i gave mine; sorry if you feel my opinion is unfounded.

Regarding the fixed gear vs rollers, kinda moot imo; youre (typically) not using gears on the rollers, and you certainly arent coasting. Some of us use fixed gears ON rollers.

Also, fun is entirely subjective.
no so in mine.Steve_0
Oct 23, 2002 9:57 AM
Just as you use a bicycle in spinning and training, you use the same equipment in running and aerobics. Doesnt mean the aerbics class is necessarily styled around improving running.

Likewise, I never viewed spin class as a training tool for riding...just utilizing the same equipment for different goals. You asked opinions on spin; i gave mine; sorry if you feel my opinion is unfounded.

Regarding the fixed gear vs rollers, kinda moot imo; youre (typically) not using gears on the rollers, and you certainly arent coasting. Some of us use fixed gears ON rollers.

Also, fun is entirely subjective.
Spinning rocksjtolleson
Oct 23, 2002 9:29 AM
Just avoid the bad instructors. At my health club they range, but most are real roadies and certified athletic trainers. There is one bouncy aerobics instructors in short shorts and sneakers and I went to her class ONCE. That was enough! No more Monday am spin for me.

Shop a few classes. You can really, really find something awesome for strength, pedal technique, and cardio fitness.
Hot, dry, stagnant gym air. (nm)Alex-in-Evanston
Oct 23, 2002 9:47 AM
re: What do you not like about spin classes?PEDDLEFOOT
Oct 23, 2002 9:48 AM
I'm also a Spinning instructor and have noticed that the Spinning program does not have alot of respect among "Hardcore" cyclists.My opinion is that they know their training practices from working out with trainers or rollers. When they have to follow the lead of someone who has less experience or is not as conditioned it may cause some problems.

Not all instructors ride or are aware of cycling fundamentals.I know I've picked up alot of information and tips from this site that help in my classes.I've been riding for about 10 years but still feel like a newbie compared to alot of people who post here.

I've also found that the vast majority of my students are not riders or even own a bike. This can cause conflicts in the way you design a profile.If your students are not interested in cycling but just want a good workout then we can fall into the trap of designing profiles that are "aerobics on a bike".

Dedicated cyclists who are looking for an indoor program for the off season need to either find an instructor or facility that is knowledgable in cycling or accept that what they are going to get will not be a strict cycling training program.
re: What do you not like about spin classes?peter1
Oct 23, 2002 9:50 AM
Totally agree that it's all up to the instructor. In the winter of 2000/2001, I went to a weekly Saturday am. class, 90 minutes long, taught by a Cat 1/2 racer and included some people, like myself, trying to get in shape for race season. You could hear the HRM's going off after he'd put us through 10 sets of 30 second hill intervals! Plus, he had loud techno music and a darkened room. There weren't any "games," it was all real-world intervals and recovery.

It was a lot more fun than riding in the middle of Feb.

But I've also taken utterly useless classes, including one where the instructor had never ridden a road bike!

Having said all that, the heavy flywheels on spinning bikes make it too easy to, well, spin out. It's hard to incrementall adjust the resistance to mimic gear changes. I find that I'm either at 150 rpm or 60 rpm.

I like spinning classes, if only because you can hit the weights before or after, then hang out (as it were!) in the sauna or hot tub...
oh yeah, the wide, soft seats have got to go (nm)peter1
Oct 23, 2002 9:52 AM
What wide soft seats?jtolleson
Oct 23, 2002 11:09 AM
Haven't seen those in years. Good spin programs should be offering regular road saddles.
some of the "ahem" larger riders like the wide seats (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 24, 2002 1:17 PM
What were the hill intervals?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Oct 23, 2002 10:14 AM
Just to maybe get an idea for something I could use in my class.

My lbs runs spin classes for cyclists.dzrider
Oct 23, 2002 10:35 AM
The workouts last about 90 mins depending on how seriously you take warming up and cooling down. They have us changing gears and cadence to approximate real riding. Some of the intervals in harder gears last 5 minutes - long enough to get me up a real hill. The one health club spin class had hill climbs of 30 and 45 seconds, which hardly gets my old ass up an overpass. The comraderie is way better than riding a stand by myself in the basement and absolutely nobody there is perky or bubbly.
re: What do you not like about spin classes?tarwheel
Oct 23, 2002 9:50 AM
I go to spin classes 1-2 days a week during cold, rainy, snowy weather or when I don't feel like riding outside in the dark once the time changes. I generally like spin classes for the comraderie, music and pretty babes -- and I've found all the simulated climbing really does help my actual climbing. What I like least are some instructors who try to turn spin classes into glorified aerobics classes -- with all sorts of stupid jumps and up-and-down movements. Most of the instructors also seem to teach each class as if that were the only cycling you were gonna do that week -- so they go all out. That's fine when I'm looking for a tough workout, but sometimes I'm just wanting some recovery time. On those days, I just ignore the instructor and go my own pace (that is, I just pretend to tighten down the pressure knob when they say to give it another turn.)
Intention of jumps.PEDDLEFOOT
Oct 23, 2002 9:57 AM
Jumps were originally intended as a drill to simulate the start of a sprint.It was designed to increase your power on the first few strokes out of the saddle.Unfortunately the original intentions have lost their purpose and are used now as just a way of increasing HR .As a cyclist and Spin instructor I don't much care for jumps myself and don't include alot in my programs.
Me neither (nm)PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Oct 23, 2002 10:16 AM
Spinning is not cyclingColnagoFE
Oct 24, 2002 1:25 PM
I don't mind jumps if they are controlled (not popcorn) and not overused. Gives a little variety. I don't think a Spin class has to simulate road riding. It is more training for road riding. Same as running on a treadmill is not the same as running on the road.
I don't like the the standing/running position...Uprwstsdr
Oct 23, 2002 9:51 AM
I live in NYC and belong to Crunch. If anyone can recommend an instructor who is actually a roadie I would appreciate it. I went to a class last night, and half-way through I went to my own routine. The instructor had the class spend way too much time in the #2 standing/running position. As this in no way relates to anything on the road, particularly alternating between standing and sitting every 2 revolutions, I don't understand why it is such a spin class staple. Any reason?
because most participants can't stand being in the saddle (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 23, 2002 2:32 PM
Spinning is greatAndy
Oct 23, 2002 10:09 AM
I'm lucky to have access to a spinning class on my lunch hour (and a half) where I work. Although it isn't as good as getting out on the road, it's better than doing nothing which is what I'd do when conditions don't permit outdoor rides.

As far as instructors... I have a prearranged workout plan that I follow so I rarely follow along with the class. If you don't like the instructor, just choose a bike in the corner and do your own thing. I was courteous enough to OK it with the instructor in advance though.

Our current instructor has the class doing a lot of sprints. If a person actually followed the instructor's lead he/she would be sprinting almost the entire time with a few seconds rest between sprints. I can't do it. So... in my case, the only bad instructor is an instructor that won't let you stray from what the class is doing.

I get three additional workouts in during the week, it's more fun because you're with other people and you have the music and instructor to motivate you... not to mention all the cute women. Actually, I have to leave in 15 mins to get to my spin class.
Oct 23, 2002 10:32 AM
Not much patience for the jumping up and down, pushups while we ride, type instructor, here, but with the better ones it's a much more cycling oriented workout and a nice change of pace for indoor offerings.
All those hot babes that I'll never date! ;-b -nmgrzy
Oct 23, 2002 11:16 AM
re: What do you not like about spin classes?desmo
Oct 23, 2002 11:57 AM
my grouchy opinion is, I ride bicycles so I never have to set foot in a health club. a gym maybe, with a boxing ring and scary old guys smoking cigars, that's ok. techno music and "motivated fun instructors", no way. riding in the cold and rain has made me grouchy, but tough as well.
re: What do you not like about spin classes?Matt Britter
Oct 23, 2002 3:43 PM
I do like the spin classes for interval workouts. I would rather do a spin class than sit a home on a trainer in the garage! Besides their are usually 1 or 2 hotties in a class.

Definely agree that the intructor will make or break a good workout.
I agree with desmo above (rant, rant...)Mr Good
Oct 23, 2002 4:36 PM
My friends think I'm trying to be tough or "euro" by riding outside when it's cold or raining. Their attitude suprises me. They ask me "why ride in the weather when you could ride inside? Well, I never realized until recently that anyone considered spinning to be "riding." I have nothing against spin classes but to me it's just not bike riding.

The only reason I race, or "train," is because I have a love affair with the bike, and that means riding it on the road and going places. The goal of my cycling is not to trim body fat or win races (those are pleasant side effects, and at times I become too obsessed with those things), my first goal is to keep riding my bike to enjoy the outdoors, and to enjoy my life. Racing is one means of expressing my love for the bike. But going indoors and paying money to ride a stationary bike just doesn't cut it for me.

So am I an elitist? Purist? I'm sorry if it sounds that way. I don't make fun of busy people who want to stay in shape--I'm glad they're doing something that's similar to cycling. But for me an indoor class is a poor second best to the real thing.