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Are spinning classes recommended?

popettepopette Posts: 2,089
edited November 2007 in Training, fitness and health
Hi
I'm sure someone must have asked this before - I did search but I find the results are usually a bit random. Girls in lycra shorts always comes somewhere near the top of the list :?

Anywaaaay, do any of you do spinning classes? Are they any good?

I do have a turbo but it's not got its own dedicated spot in the house or garage (no room due to all the flippin bikes) so it's a chore to get it out and set up. Plus, I find it a bit boring even though I've got virtual reality. Is spinning any less boring? I now have an 8 mile circuit that I can do in the dark but there are bound to be times when it's safer to stay off the bike (icy) would spinning be a good alternative to turbo/night riding?

Thanks in advance
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Posts

  • GarybeeGarybee Posts: 815
    Spinning classes can be a good way of getting a hard session in in the winter. They can be enjoyable too and are as hard a workout as you want to make them. Be a little careful though when doing some of the exercises the instructor will tell you to. They are direct drive with no freewheel unit and that flywheel weighs 18kg. If you are dipping down in front of the saddle and your foot slips out the tendons in your knee will not stop it spinning. For this reason if i do spinning classes i always ignore a couple of the exercises.

    Hypocrisy is only a bad thing in other people.
  • chunkytfgchunkytfg Posts: 535
    Garybee wrote:
    Spinning classes can be a good way of getting a hard session in in the winter. They can be enjoyable too and are as hard a workout as you want to make them. Be a little careful though when doing some of the exercises the instructor will tell you to. They are direct drive with no freewheel unit and that flywheel weighs 18kg. If you are dipping down in front of the saddle and your foot slips out the tendons in your knee will not stop it spinning. For this reason if i do spinning classes i always ignore a couple of the exercises.

    I dont know about you but my spinning class bikes have got SPD MTB cleat on the underside of the pedals so no slipping out of the pedals for me
    FCN 7

    FCN 4

    if you use irrational measures to measure me, expect me to behave irrationally to measure up
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Well i teach it so I'm a bit biased. My classes are very cycling specific - you will find a lot of teachers are from an aerobic background - so you sometimes get a lot of extra stuff thrown in.

    My theory is simple- if you dont do it outside on a bike - dont do it in the class.

    I find a few classes a week keep me quite fit. Up until about 40 miles and then I blow - so you do need your long rides in as well.
  • cougie said it well.

    I find that Spinning classes are very good, and can certainly keep you strong if you put the effort into it, but you still need to get some long distance in.

    In the end I usually spin at a lowish heartrate for some 2-3 hours on the turbo trainer.
    A movie, good music, and a book keep my mind of the boredom!
  • I learned to enjoy spinning classes for what they are, a very good workout in a relatively short period of time (mind you i did seriously underestimate the first one I ever done - and the intensity of it combined with the heat of the spin studio nearly killed me) :?
    I also take my hat off to Travis: there is no way on earth i could spend 2-3 hours on a turbo. Im usually suicidal after 40 mins, music/book/tv or not
  • I did a SPIN class each week last year, and was good for a "hard" session, so long as you go hard. But it only lasted 50 minutes so its no substitue for putting the miles in at the weekend.

    @ Travis: how on earth can you read a book on a turbo?? Dont you dribble sweat all over it?
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    Hi Steve,

    No, I wouldn't use it as a replacement for weekend rides. I thought it might be good for one of those high intensity blasts during the week though.

    Dark early now isn't it? booo

    I've never before been so keenly aware of the changing seasons, leaves on roads, mud on roads, lighting up times, weather forecasts etc.
  • Jeff JonesJeff Jones Posts: 1,865 Editor
    Spinning. Hmm, I've done it, and it's hard. But it is a good way to get out of the cold, dark winter and relieve the boredom.

    Except I like going out in the cold, dark winter, and I don't get bored easily.

    I'm not sure if that helps.
    Jeff Jones

    Product manager, Sports
  • I put the book on a cheap music stand infront of me, it's got little clips on it to stop the pages in the (music) book from turning.
    I have no option but to sit on the bike. I'm in Beijing and with wind chill, it can drop to -20c outside, not good for the lungs.
    So I have a choice, gain too much weight, or sit on a Trainer.
    It's only for 3 months, then it warms up enough so that I can go out, and get some 'real' miles.
    I have to say, that my wife encourages me a lot. It's either 3 hours on the Turbo, or 5 hours in the shopping centres!
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    I tried my first session a couple of weeks back. Going in mid season I was frankly surprised at the intensity of it . Its short (45 mins) but intense building up in interval sets . Out of the saddle in the saddle simulated climbs and some sprint sets . It was good but hard workout .

    You really have to watch out for that flywheel though if you are clipped in. The damn thing has a huge mass and momentum and it catches you out at first when at the end of a particularly hard set you relax to free wheel and the flywheel punches you clean up in the air out off the saddle ouch :roll: you only do that once though :wink:

    Make sure you take your water bottle you'll need it even with a short workout like this and a towel over the bars is a must too. I left mine on the floor doh

    Otherwise I was the only bloke and there were 12 very gorgeous femalesa and being at the back I sure didn't get bored lol :oops: just found it difficult to concentrate at times :oops: :D
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,421
    My open jawed look at these classes has everything to do with catching my breath - nothing else :lol: I generally find the 45-60 mins sessions demanding but if they were easy it wouldn't be a challenge.
  • As someone else mentioned earlier in this thread its also dependant on who is taking the class. Generally in the gym im in they can be an all round workout, but one of the female instructors is a confirmed roadie, and her classes are very cycling specific.
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    what do you wear to them? I guess normal cycling shorts and a jersey or do people wear gym stuff?
  • There's something about the cheesy disco music, the club lighting and the yelling instructor that kinda works. I go in the mornings, so it's mainly young housewife types (or middle-aged blokes like me). Some of the instructors try to make it more 'real', with spiels about how there's a group of riders in front and we're gonna catch them up - some of the housewives will whoop at that - and how now we're up really high and look at the view and breathe in the ozone, etc... Not very convincing, but a bit of a laugh. I guess it's a cycling experience of a kind for people who never go on real bikes. (I used to be very snobby about spin classes - I'm a PROPER cyclist, dontcha know, etc - but I regret that, and now find them a decent workout which will raise a sweat and jettison a pound or two, and are a good winter replacement for the daily 10-mile ride up hills I do in the summer.) As some people have pointed out, you can do your own ride, ignore some of the (quite frankly) odd things the instructors ask you to do, stand up and climb or get your head down and sprint, treat it like a ride on a real bike (ie, don't do anything you wouldn't be able to do on a real bike) or just use it as a general form of exercise. What to wear, somebody asked? Well, I just wear my swimming shorts and a vest (I go for a swim after) and the bikes have cleats on the pedals so I wear my road shoes. One geezer who goes does wear cycling shorts and top, and looks distinctly odd - I'm often tempted to ask him where his helmet and puncture repair kit are...
    Fast up molehills but slow down mountains...
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I sometimes wear a sleeveless cycling top - and then the mic can go in the back pocket. I have some indoor cycling shorts - basically thick lycra shorts with a pad but no bibs.

    You'll sweat buckets so take a 750ml bottle, light top, and some lycra shorts. Commando is the best way apparently for the ladies.
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,421
    As its only a 45-60 mins session, just a pair of normal shorts and a t-shirt is my standard attire - not forgetting to accessorise it with a water bottle and towel.
  • I have spent 2 hours searching for a spin class from a municipal leisure center in 3 counties including cardiiff, AND the national velodrome and I cant find any classes on Tue or Wed evening after 6-30 pm. Only 6 centres actually do any sort of class at all!
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Hi Popette.
    They are ok as a last resort. I use them when staying away in hotel and havent taken my bike :D
    The only problem is the saddles are censored , also the pedals, but its better than nothing.
    I also stay away from all those silly lunging excercises and also the 20 rpm bits they do.
    If you have a turbo I would find room for it and get some good music on mp3 player, then all the money you save you can get pissed after the Etape 8)
  • hahahaha I have (sorry to say) a pair of Moutain Bike shorts, which I bought for touring, they look like normal shorts, but with a cycling insert so I don't look strange. My wife also wears hers into spinning as well, and i just wear an old top.
    As you can see, most people here like the spinning classes, I would just give it ago... just don't try and freewheel like everyone does on their first visit :)
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Travis_M wrote:
    hahahaha I have (sorry to say) a pair of Moutain Bike shorts, which I bought for touring, they look like normal shorts, but with a cycling insert so I don't look strange. My wife also wears hers into spinning as well, and i just wear an old top.
    As you can see, most people here like the spinning classes, I would just give it ago... just don't try and freewheel like everyone does on their first visit :)
    Of course you can free wheel, it is the same as a fixed trackie. Well ok not really freewheeling as your legs still spin so guess I mean "stop pedalling".
    You can stop pedalling and the flywheel just takes your legs around so theres nothing wrong with doing that. The mistake people make is locking their knees !! Thats another story both on spinning bike and track bike.
  • Travis_M wrote:
    hahahaha I have (sorry to say) a pair of Moutain Bike shorts, which I bought for touring, they look like normal shorts, but with a cycling insert so I don't look strange. My wife also wears hers into spinning as well, and i just wear an old top.
    As you can see, most people here like the spinning classes, I would just give it ago... just don't try and freewheel like everyone does on their first visit :)
    Of course you can free wheel, it is the same as a fixed trackie. Well ok not really freewheeling as your legs still spin so guess I mean "stop pedalling".
    You can stop pedalling and the flywheel just takes your legs around so theres nothing wrong with doing that. The mistake people make is locking their knees !! Thats another story both on spinning bike and track bike.

    and hilarious if someone else does it unless its directly in front of you....
  • yes, of course :)))
  • I go to the JJB gym in newport where they do spinning classes pretty much everyday. There are classes on a Monday and Tuesday at or after 6.30pm. The Tuesday class is run by a cyclist, so no press-ups on a bike! Membership is about £36 a month but you don't have to be a member for a whole year, I join in the winter then back outside when the clocks change.

    I'm not sure what the timetable is but they run spin classes at Fitness First. You don't have to join to go, it is about £2.50 a session or something like that.

    Hope that helps.
  • I always used to wear cycling shorts with a regular t-shirt over the top. But the funny looks I'd get were nothing to do with the apparel I chose, but the RIVER of sweat that would trail away from my bike after about 5 minutes. Get near the fan - that's my tip!

    And I found them good fun - which I'd say is the most important thing.
    Put me back on my bike...

    t' blog: http://meandthemountain.wordpress.com/
  • I go to the JJB gym in newport where they do spinning classes pretty much everyday. There are classes on a Monday and Tuesday at or after 6.30pm. The Tuesday class is run by a cyclist, so no press-ups on a bike! Membership is about £36 a month but you don't have to be a member for a whole year, I join in the winter then back outside when the clocks change.

    I'm not sure what the timetable is but they run spin classes at Fitness First. You don't have to join to go, it is about £2.50 a session or something like that.

    Hope that helps.

    Hey speckybecky, I used to go to them before I moved to London. They are good, well recommended.
    There is never redemption, any fool can regret yesterday...

    Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!
  • I go to the JJB gym in newport where they do spinning classes pretty much everyday. There are classes on a Monday and Tuesday at or after 6.30pm. The Tuesday class is run by a cyclist, so no press-ups on a bike! Membership is about £36 a month but you don't have to be a member for a whole year, I join in the winter then back outside when the clocks change.

    I'm not sure what the timetable is but they run spin classes at Fitness First. You don't have to join to go, it is about £2.50 a session or something like that.

    Hope that helps.

    Hey speckybecky, I used to go to them before I moved to London. They are good, well recommended.

    Where is Fitness First and the JJB gymn, never been to either. I could easily get to newport for 6-30 pm
  • Went spinning twice this week, the first class was a bit so so, press ups on the bike etc, not that interesting, the second session though, although held by the same instructor was a different animal.... knackering enjoy your classes :)
  • J2R2J2R2 Posts: 850
    They have spinning classes at the gym I go to and I can't say I was particularly impressed when I saw one running the other night. They only seem to last about 30 minutes, are accompanied by ear splitting pop music and there are lots of people poncing around thinking they've worked really hard. I looked over while it was going on and saw two participants smiling. If you're training hard you should be grimacing!
    __________________________
    lots of miles, even more cakes.
  • true, and as with any work out, you only get out what you put in. I usually have a point in the class where I feel as I'm almost going to be sick, then I look at the person next to me, and they are just smiling away, trying hard not to sweat!
  • Well i've bitten the bullit and booked a session in the sinning class at the gym i use although they call it 'Blazing saddles' instead if just spinning which is a little bit unnerving.

    The lady i booked ti with told me that it's the one class she hasnt tired yet as she wasnt brave enough so i could be in for a rough ride i rekon!!

    Oh well i'll see how it goes next week.
    FCN 7

    FCN 4

    if you use irrational measures to measure me, expect me to behave irrationally to measure up
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