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Spinning Rant(10 posts)

Spinning Rantgregdogg62
Dec 9, 2003 10:40 AM
The last couple of weeks I have made it to a couple of Spinning Clases at separate Ballys in the Chicago area. Both instructors mentioned that they are moving away from the "Spinning" class and to their own program. the new program focuses on strength and "Burning more Calories", their words not mine. The program focuses on keeping cadence between 50 and 100. I have always used Spinning classes in the winter to work on leg speed and not slogging away at 50 RPM's. At each class I was spinning faster than they recommended and the instructors repeatedly came over to me and told me to slow down. I was spinning 105 when they wanted 80 or something similar. This really irritated me. The instructor even told me that my normal cadence should be around 70-75. I tried to explain to her that it has been proven that a higher cadence is the way to go. My feeling is that Ballys doesn't want to pay for the "Spinning " rights and has come up with their own program without any real thought. NOw that I have my rant out of the way, are there any bike shops or clubs in the Chicago area that have cycling specific Spin classes? Thanks in advance.
re: Spinning Rantsuperdog
Dec 9, 2003 11:59 AM
I normally attend a spinning class every week day on my lunch hour (and a half). I always take a bike in the corner and do my own thing. I NEVER follow along with the instructor and they have never said anything to me. You should speak with the instructor before class and tell him/her that you will be following you own program. Make sure they will not have a problem with that. If they do have a problem with it, you should find a different place to spin. ...that is unless the scenery is really nice in your class. If that is the case, I'd stick it out and do their program. You have to get your priorities straight.
Rant in reverse. regarding both above poststheBreeze
Dec 9, 2003 4:23 PM
If you NEVER follow along with the instructor why go to the classes in the first place? Buy your own damn bike and stay out of my classroom. You are taking a bike away from someone who is less knowledgable and needs an instructor's guidance. You may be also setting a bad example for less experienced participants. I have taught MANY different types of fitness classes over the years, and it seems no matter the format there is always some yahoo in the back who is doing their own thing. But, hey, if your particular instructor doesn't have a problem, then that's their business.

About different types of cycling programs. There is a lot out there and "Spinning" is just one. And one which I believe is becoming less and less popular with those of us actually out on the floor in the industry. It is expensive, there is a real lack of adequate continuing ed. And the last Jonny G conference I attended was appalling the way the instructors were trying to out do each other in what weird stunts they could do on a stationary bike. It was all about how they looked and not about solid fundamentals of group class exercise. Which is what indoor GROUP cycling is about.

I don't know what Balleys has come up with. (I'm skeptical about this "burn more calories" stuff.) Personally I think the Cycle Reebok program is a good foundation.
And there is a place for training at different cadences. That is one advantage of a stationary workout, you can train in ways you may not on the road. A high resistance low cadence workout is prescribed in many cycling training books to work leg strength. It not all about spinning at 110 rpm. You aren't in a race, so why do you have to be the most efficient in the class? Use the time to train other energy zones. I highly recommend Arnie Baker's "Smart Cycling" for the stationary trainer workouts he has in there.

Ok, I feel a little better now. ;-)
I've been to exactly ONE spin classThe Human G-Nome
Dec 9, 2003 4:54 PM
I took the lady to a resort and knew I would be off the bike for 4 days. After the second day, I was already getting edgy, so I decided to take a spin class. It was free afterall and what did I have to lose. Of course, I had no equipment so I showed up in some swimshorts and some funky tennis shoes. I also forgot to bring any kind of water bottle and didn't have time to grab one before class started. Needless to say, the instuctor and most of the participants thought I was a fool just based on my looks. Folks repeatedly asked me if I was ok and told me not to worry about this and that, blah, blah. One women even went out of her way to explain to me how you can get dehydrated if you don't drink enough during strenuous exercise. It was pretty funny. I wasn't about to tell anyone that I raced road bikes. The things they had me doing were just silly though: "Ok class, put your right hand on the left bar and twist left... peddle out of the saddle for 45 seconds... ok, now switch hands" WTF? A strange experience to say the least.
Here's why...superdog
Dec 9, 2003 6:35 PM
An hour on a bike at lunch time is an hour I won't have to do after work. This is especially important when overtime work cuts in to training time. A lot of time in my job I have to work late to fix "emergencies" or to work on systems that can't be taken down during normal business hours.

This happens a frequently during the winter months. As a result, a lot of my "training" comes from spinning classes. If I want to be in any kind of shape at all, I need to follow a specific training schedule to meet my goals. These goals are not met by following the instructor's program. I would gladly follow the instructor if only he/she would develop a program that would be designed to prepare the student for the crit series that starts in March. Do you get my drift?

I always check with the instructor before signing up for the class to make sure it's OK and I make a point to get there early to get a bike that's way off to one side. There are always a few empty bikes so I don't worry about it.

Sounds like I wouldn't be spinning in one of your classes... but that's OK. If an instructor ever declined my request I would understand and gladly ride at home late at night in front of the washing machine with the clock radio playing my favorite music!
Buy a trainer! nmSpunout
Dec 9, 2003 12:16 PM
Dec 9, 2003 6:38 PM
The trainer I have works fine. I don't need two trainers.
Remember the Audiencepitt83
Dec 10, 2003 5:35 AM
90-95% of those who take spinning classes aren't after the same goals you and I are. Therefore, the intensity and scope of the classes aren't going to be what you and I want. I've grown to accept this and if I do sign up for classes, it's merely to force me into at least one weekly workout of known intensity and to enjoy the company.

Doing your "own thing in the corner" is inappropriate and disrespectful IMHO. The instructor holds a class which he/ she feels is appropriate and structured. If you don't care for it, don't come and give the bike to someone who does.

If you want a "cycling specific" group, try an LBS (Greg does mention this in his last sentence). Some have group trainer sessions.

I have 3 friends which I spin with. One is our "instructor" as she repeats the workout her coach gives her weekly. We can pick our own music and go as long and as hard as we wish.
Doing your own thing politelylitespeedchick
Dec 10, 2003 6:05 AM
It's true there are a lot of non-cyclists teaching spin classes. They tell you to do some weird s!@#. You can still follow the teacher's instructions 90% of the time. You get out of the saddle when they do, spin a high cadence when they do, rest and drink water when they do, etc.

When it comes time to to 150 rpm (what was that girl thinking?), you politely do whatever you think is reasonable. When they tell you to do pushups on the handlebars, use your own judgement. When they tell you to do those ballerina stretches during the cool guys can decline.

I almost always have to ignore some stupid stuff and I've never had an instructor appear to be miffed.
OK, you all have talked me out of itsuperdog
Dec 10, 2003 8:30 AM
I'm quitting my spinning class today. I'll sping at home in the laundry room.