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any benefit of spinning class for cycling?(15 posts)

any benefit of spinning class for cycling?gsxrawd
May 22, 2003 2:56 AM
just wonder if spinning classes will benefit me in cycling? any downside of it if any?
re: any benefit of spinning class for cycling?jjdbike
May 22, 2003 3:47 AM
Spinning is similar to cycling. It uses pretty much the same muscles although not as many stabilizers. It also works cardio. The nice thing is you can really tune into your breathing, cadance, stroke, etc, without worring about terrain, traffic, etc.. This can become problematic of you Spin much more than you cycle outside. Spinning is great for when its too dark, cold, wet etc. Its also great for recovery rides or when for one reason or another cycling outside isn't practicle (time, don't have bike handy, bike is in shop, etc.). The weighted flywheel can help you develpo a smooth & effecient stroke.
The two most important things (in my opinion) are
1) that you know what you need to do for your own training & you stick to it (vs. getting sucked in by a non-cycle savy (aerobics on a bike) instructor or adrenoline crazed group fitness class)and
2) you have an educated, responsible, cycle savy Spinning instructor (in my experience these are usually fitness PROFESSIOINALS, are often personal trainers too, who also cycle outside fairly seriously).
I hope that was helpful.
By the way, I fit the above description.
JD
The Schwinn bikes use 175 mm cranks.Eug
May 22, 2003 4:10 AM
The current Schwinn bikes come stock with 175 mm cranks. Part of it is my less than perfect spin technique, but I find it difficult to spin smoothly with 175 mm cranks at my size. So it tends to hurt my knees.

It seems odd they use such long cranks, considering the majority of the spin class clientele are women, and under 5'7".
you sure? thought they were 170s or even 165s?ColnagoFE
May 22, 2003 5:39 AM
Even so...I've never noticed the difference. I use 175s on my road bike though.
Schwinn says 175 mm...Eug
May 22, 2003 5:59 AM
The local spin place called up Schwinn in the US and they told them 175 mm.

There is a noticeable difference on my MTB with 175 mm vs. 170 mm. 175 gives me mucho pain. 170 is much better but I will still get pain if I do a lot of mashing. 170 mm on my road bike is not as bad, but that's because I try to spin as much as possible.
Mixed resultstmguy
May 22, 2003 7:05 AM
Definitely improves your cardio vascular fitness, but I question its benefits to technique. The flywheel effect with whatis essentailly a fixed gear does not help your spin and I developed flat spots where I got used to the flywheel maintaining momenntum. Need to mix with riding on a regular basis to maintain form.
re: any benefit of spinning class for cycling?johnmyster
May 22, 2003 4:10 AM
I'd have to say yes. I did spinning classes last fall, during a morning or two a week. It was a great option for when I had too hectic of a schedule to reliably keep other rides in. It's was a far more social setting, and of course, helped my turbo-spin, which is coming in more relevant for my track cycling. Would I replace road rides with spinning, no. Would I count on getting a great cardio workout, yes. Would I tell my instructor that I race bikes and ride x-hundred miles a week again, no (you'll get picked on, and get to sprint three times longer for certain.) Have fun, and use it to spice up the variety of being on the bike. Plus, you'll meet some great new people, and possibly introduce some of them to cycling as we know it (even ladies too.)
Better than nothing, in the wintertime.........nmMR_GRUMPY
May 22, 2003 4:48 AM
Yestarwheel
May 22, 2003 5:17 AM
I've been going to spinning classes for nearly 3 years. Generally I spin on days when the weather is crappy or I can't ride outside for some reason -- rain, snow, high winds, early darkness in winter. Spinning is a great place to maintain your cycling fitness, work on your cadence and spin, and develop climbing and sprinting muscles. It's also fun because you can talk to other people in class, listen to music, and watch pretty babes. You also can adjust your spin workout to your particular goals on a day. If it's midweek and my regular ride was rained out, I can really go all-out in spin class and it's like doing intervals. If I just did a long and/or difficult ride the day before, I can just ride at a recover pace in spin class.

Yesterday was a perfect example of how I use spin classes. I had ridden 50 miles solo on Tuesday and my legs were tired. My regular Wednesday group ride was rained out. So I went to spin class and rode an hour at a moderate pace, lifted weights afterwards, and got a decent workout on a day that would have otherwise been a bust.
Agree with many points raisedpitt83
May 22, 2003 7:16 AM
Advantages:
1.) You can be productive on a day which is otherwise a bust
2.) You can concentrate on a specific activity (VO2max, spin form, LTHR pacing, intervals, sprinting, climbing) in a controlled environment
3.) Social; more so than group rides where it can be difficult to communicate

Disadvantages:
1.) You're in a sweat box room instead of outside
2.) Unless you form the group of people interested in the same activity, class isn't what YOU want to do that day
3.) Instructors often are "aerobics on bikes" or "listen to tunes while you workout" not cycling focused

I find in spring through fall; I'm in the gym about once a week; winter, every day and on the bike mostly.
PS: Save wear on your road bikepitt83
May 22, 2003 7:30 AM
You don't mount your bike in the trainer nearly as much; saves brutal wear and the need to convert to "beater" parts to save your good stuff for real riding.
Agree, especially with the social aspects.dzrider
May 22, 2003 8:30 AM
It's fun getting to know the faster and slower riders that I often don't see after the first few minutes of a group ride. The classes I go to are cycling specific and we each bring our bikes and stands or rollers, so the aerobic instructor isn't an issue. The big issue for me is that the company makes me last quite a bit longer than I can last in my basement, where boredom starts killing my spirit after about 50 mins.
re: any benefit of spinning class for cycling?ColnagoFE
May 22, 2003 5:35 AM
biggest benefit is a good workout in a quick amount of time. good instructors can be hard to find though. the fixed gear may help your pedal stroke and the only downside is that you aren't probably gonna get super long workouts in on a Spinner.
They helped me immenselyMel Erickson
May 22, 2003 5:42 AM
I started spinning in January, about 3 times a week. When I was actually able to get on the road (mid April here in Wisconsin) it was like I had a 2 month jump on the season. I was able to go harder, faster and longer. The last two years have been real busts for XC skiing here and that was my winter fitness program. Spinning was much more specific and my cycling benefited much more than it ever did from skiing. Besides, the scenery was pretty good too.
re: any benefit of spinning class for cycling?yellowspox
May 22, 2003 7:24 AM
I wanted to kick it up a notch this year so I started spinning last November to fill in the days I couldn't get outside...lots of those in northern Illinois! I set up a complete workout program with a trainer at my club that also races. I did spin class 5 days, weights 3 days, core dynamics 3 days, and yoga 3 to 4 days a week. The spin classes were anywhere from 1 to 2&1/2 hrs in length...depending on what the plan was for the day. A good HRM was essential. I was also lucky in that my club allowed us to use our own pedals. I quickly found out what instructors had cycling experience and which didn't. After a few classes, you learn what row for each instructor and when to just do your own workout. When we finally got back outside this spring, I was amazed at the gains and the new riders that I could stay with and even converse w/o dying!! The only surprise was that my butt still needed a bit of conditioning back to the actual road conditions. I use to look at our club rides each week and then check for wind or hills before opting to ride. This year....who cares? In general, all spin classes are not the same. Choose one that has good equipment and maintains it and one that has good instructors. Most will let you try a class or two before opting to join.