Spinning workouts continue to gain popularity in North America as companies like Soul Cycle push the envelope on what used to be simply called “spin class.” Workouts on a stationary bike can take on many forms these days, but the premise is still very simple—riding a bike is a great cardio workout, and with some imagination, it can become a full-body workout. If you like to wander around the gym texting your friends while you pretend to get a workout in, you should try jumping into one of these classes instead. You are going to be hurting, but you’ll probably be hooked!
Great for the Heart, Mind and Body
There is no way around it—spinning workouts are going to make you sweat! (Unless you remove all the tension and just pretend you are working hard.) The cardiovascular benefit of indoor cycling is what keeps people coming back for more, and with calorie burn rates getting up to 700+ for a 45-minute session, it’s no wonder its popularity is gaining. In addition to a great “heart” workout, your glutes, quads, calves, and even abs will be screaming at you the next day while they are on their way to tightening and toning up. With your heart and body getting pushed to the max, it can also be a time when your brain can take a break. You don’t have to think about what machine to use next, or what’s playing on the TV in front of your treadmill. You get the opportunity to completely focus on getting a great workout from one machine, with potentially some other equipment mixed in.
Spinning Workouts: Re-Invented
Remember when there were only a few options during a spin class…sit, stand, and hover? These days, fitness facilities are forced to get creative with these classes, and the ones that do it well seem to do VERY WELL! You’ll find anything from strobe lights to disco balls to candlelight. You’ll find classes using huge sound systems, free weights and other varieties of equipment—all while your legs are moving 1,000 miles an hour. What’s great about these re-invented classes is that there is no time to be bored while in class. The last thing you are looking at is the clock when you are doing a full-body workout while pumping the pedals, and some places even remove the clock altogether so you aren’t counting down the time, but rather are focused on completing a great workout.
Pros and Cons
Here is a quick list of some of the pros and cons of spinning workouts.
- Even beginners can do it! You don’t even have to know how to ride a bike to do a spin class. And depending on the tension you set your bike to, a beginner and expert can sit side by side and do the same class.
- Full body workout (if you use your imagination)
- Low impact on your joints
- Keeps your heart rate high throughout the workout
- A great way to hang out with friends and still get a great workout in
- Can be expensive
- If you like fresh air, it’s probably better if you actually got on a bike outside 🙂
- It’s not the best workout for building muscle mass