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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    818

    Spinning Classes

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    I am looking ahead to winter and am thinking about trying a spinning class. There are four gyms on my end of town that I want to check out. I would like to find a class/instructor that I can learn spinning technique. Having never done this before does anyone have some pointers as to what to look for and ask before choosing a class? Like I said I want to learn technique along with the burn. BikerHen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    719

    things to look for

    Things to look for (IN MY OPINION) in your spinning instructors:

    1) does your spinning instructor teach off the bike as much as on the bike?
    This means that the spinning instructor cares about your workout. Many instructors out there use their class time as their workout time, and IMO this is just not right. They can't possibly be fully aware of your safety while they are pushing 85% of their Max HR during a class.

    2) what is your instructors experience on bike OUT of the spin class. Many instructors out there are fitness instructors, not cyclists. they do make for good instructors, but they don't fully understand the needs of roadies, mtb etc.

    3) check their certification. different certifications teach the classes differently. spinning is spinning, reebok is reebok and etc. has the instructor kept up their certification and taken workshops? that means they are keeping up to date with their knowledge.

    4) their personalities...some instructors are more spiritual types and some are hard core. Ask about how they teach, are they screamers push you hard types, or more encouraging calmly types.

    5) they SHOULD ask you for some health background before you come in. also they SHOULD show you how to use the bike in a brief orientation before you start. if they don't bother, then find another spin studio to go to.

    i hope this helps!

    H
    "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it."-Moliere

    "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." -Thomas A. Edison



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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,367
    The best spin instuctor in Spokane in Tomas who teaches at Gold's south. They keep giving him more $$ to stay.

    With the exception of having someone help me set up my bike, I've never had a spin instructor do any of those things on your list. They haven't asked a health history, they certainly don't get off the bike during class, and I am convinced that while they might teach other classes at the gym, with the exception of Tomas I've only met one other who rode a real bike. this is a national chain of fitness centers.

    I've always felt like it was up to myself to get educated about how to maximize a class.

    Hangrrl, would you come down here?
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    719

    ok but...

    you better taking me mountain biking!


    actually from what i said above, there are very few instructors who do this. A lot of what i do is mainly because as a personal trainer, i am required to do this, so it spills into my group fitness classes as well. As i have gained more knowledge and experience, i have become verrrry picky about how instructors should instruct.
    "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it."-Moliere

    "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." -Thomas A. Edison



    Shorty's Adventure - Blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,505

    Instructors

    We had an incredible instructor who was also a personal trainer who was always off the bike helping people adjust their riding technique. She also talked about nutrition, focusing on your muscles as you use them, etc. The spin-ettes in the class thought she was overbearing and picking on them. Her classes dwindled to nothing. Very very sad. I see her working out and sometimes ask her if she will ever return. She said no.
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,367
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmama
    We had an incredible instructor who was also a personal trainer who was always off the bike helping people adjust their riding technique. She also talked about nutrition, focusing on your muscles as you use them, etc. The spin-ettes in the class thought she was overbearing and picking on them. Her classes dwindled to nothing. Very very sad. I see her working out and sometimes ask her if she will ever return. She said no.

    that's too bad. Some people want to come and just strap in and go, oblivious to getting the most out of if or how to do it correctly.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    818
    I've check a couple of the local gyms and mostly they are just talking about the burn. Irulan, Gold's North is one that I am going to check out. Maybe Tomas teaches there as well. I don't think I could drag myself to the south hill three days a week!

    My other thought is to invest in Spinning Tapes and just park my bike on the trainer this winter. Can one learn anything from these tapes?

    I have to do something! Last fall I gained back all the weight and lost all my toning by the time my tan lines had faded! I'm not going to let that happen this year. I have some major biking goals for next year and I need to be in way better shape than I am now! BikerHen

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,367
    Classes can be fun, just edumacate yourself ( here is a great place) so that you get the most out of them and you're not another sheep going for the burn.

    Irulan
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    546
    B-Hen, I did it the other way - started spin classes and wound up on the road. My very excellent spin instructor is a real cyclist (he just won PA State Champ racing in his master class) and spends most of the class off the bike, gives a lot of individual instruction, and does NOT scream. His classes are longer, 1 1/2 hours, and some in March were 2 hours long to get us ready for the road. Chip is serious about warm up, stretching breaks, cool down, and more stretching off the bike. We often worked in the dark to keep the focus on our own workout. This guy's personally responsible for the Latebloomer discovering that she had an inner athlete - at age 45!!!

    BUT he leaves the gym for 6 months to train and race. So he left me with these caveats: get to the gym early and be responsible for your own warm up. Skip anything that seems wrong for your body (like "jumps" for me), use a heart rate monitor and don't overdo, no matter what the instructor might say. Some of the other spin instructors at our gym are okay, some seem like they only comprehend being young & indestructable. Drink often, even if they don't cue you.

    I know what it's like to fear regaining the weight: I feel like my 50-some pounds are like Captain Hook's ticking crocodile - just a step behind if I lose my focus.

    So my suggestion is to try lots of spin instructors - I bet you'll find at least one or two you like to work with. Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Western Mass
    Posts
    78
    Our local community college started spinning classes last winter and it was a great way for me to ease back into real biking season. Unfortunately the leaders were students from their personal trainer course. They all did have cycling experience but their teaching styles were definately different.The best were 2 instructors that also taught spinning at Canyon Ranch and they were terrific....each class was different-so as we were spinning they spoke about health issues/nutrition etc. but the men instructors were all into power and speed. Go and watch a class and scope it out. Just remember --it's YOUR ride and you call the shots. Have fun!
    ~AG~
    Normal is just a setting on the washing machine
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Team Estrogen/bikejournal.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    546
    B-Hen, I did it the other way - started spin classes and wound up on the road. My very excellent spin instructor is a real cyclist (he just won PA State Champ racing in his master class) and spends most of the class off the bike, gives a lot of individual instruction, and does NOT scream. His classes are longer, 1 1/2 hours, and some in March were 2 hours long to get us ready for the road. Chip is serious about warm up, stretching breaks, cool down, and more stretching off the bike. We often worked in the dark to keep the focus on our own workout. This guy's personally responsible for the Latebloomer discovering that she had an inner athlete - at age 45!!!

    BUT he leaves the gym for 6 months to train and race. So he left me with these caveats: get to the gym early and be responsible for your own warm up. Skip anything that seems wrong for your body (like "jumps" for me), use a heart rate monitor and don't overdo, no matter what the instructor is whooping about. Some of the other spin instructors at our gym are okay, some seem like they only comprehend being young & indestructable. Drink often, even if they don't cue you.

    I know what it's like to fear regaining the weight: I feel like my 50-some pounds are like Captain Hook's ticking crocodile - just a step behind if I lose my focus.

    So my suggestion is to try lots of spin instructors, with an eye out for the "grown-ups" - I bet you'll find at least one or two you like to work with. Hope this helps.

 

 

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