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Thread: Spin classes

  1. #1
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    Spin classes

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    I took my very first spin class last week and it kicked by enlarging backside! After leaving CrossFit after two years of dedication, I wanted to get back into more endurance type training. CF has cost my endurance in running, but never having done spin before I had no idea how hard it is! Now I'm intrigued by the prospect of building my conditioning to be able to do it regularly.
    My question is, does anyone find that regular spin classes transfer to outside cycling? I mean, if I want to build to distances on my bike, but stay inside until the weather is nicer, will it help? Hinder? No difference at all?
    Also, any tips to get through the classes without feeling like I'm going to die? They're at 24-Hour Fitness, so they're pretty much geared to the everyman. I was really amazed that I had such a hard time.
    Jen

  2. #2
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    First of all, don't try and keep up with the regulars. Take a heart rate monitor (none of this perceived exertion bs) and know what you can do. Don't push too hard, but build up to what the regulars are doing. I would suggest for aiming for 75% of what the regulars are doing, and working yourself up. Sure, it will give a cycling base better than you have before, that translates well for a recreational rider, but for endurance you may want to do more targeted workouts than a typical gym spin class.
    Last edited by Irulan; 12-30-2012 at 07:02 PM.
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  3. #3
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    I teach spinning and can tell you that it does transfer to outdoor cycling. The key is to replicate outdoor cycling, e.g., spend most of your time in the saddle. My spin classes do not replicate outdoor cycling because very few of my spinners are cyclists. So, I get them out of the saddle (and alleviate pressure points) with climbing, standing and jumps. I have no problem if people want to stay in the saddle & train for their outdoor cycling.

    Make sure that your bike fits you. You should have a slight bend to the knee when your leg is fully extended and your foot is flat. Your bent leg, at the highest point of the pedal, should have the front part of your knee directly over the ball of your foot - imagine a plumb bob dropped from your knee. BUT - you should also have a comfortable reach to the handlebars so some compromise may be necessary.

    Keep your hands light on the handlebars by using your core strength to keep you upright. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed - imagine that your arms are "dummy arms."

    You can get through class comfortably by adjusting your resistance. Don't feel that you have to do everything that is suggested. I tell my beginners to sit & spin when the become tired. Endurance will come.
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  4. #4
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    I use to lead Spin classes and now participate in about 3 -5 classes a week. They do help condition you for outdoor rides and runs. A fun and quick way to build or keep your conditioning!
    We do not take a trip; a trip takes us - John Steinbeck

  5. #5
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    One thing I've found with a lot of spin classes is, the warmup isn't anywhere near long enough. I feel the need for at least 10 minutes of gradual build-up, preferably 20. So if you can get in early and warm up by starting with gentle pedalling for 10 minutes, then pedalling with a few spin-ups (don't shift up, just spin your legs faster), it might help.
    Queen of the sea beasts

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuliajuk View Post
    One thing I've found with a lot of spin classes is, the warmup isn't anywhere near long enough. I feel the need for at least 10 minutes of gradual build-up, preferably 20. So if you can get in early and warm up by starting with gentle pedalling for 10 minutes, then pedalling with a few spin-ups (don't shift up, just spin your legs faster), it might help.
    +1.

    When I first started riding outdoors in the summer of 2006, I really struggled with anything high intensity, like hills. So, after a bit of reading on aerobic conditioning, I decided I needed to go back a few steps during the winter hiatus. I spent a lot of time spinning that winter, but I purposely kept my HR at or below 70-75% of my max heart rate for about two months' worth of spin classes. To do that, I had to ignore some of the spin teachers' instructions and just stick to lower intensity. But at least based on my reading, this allowed my body to develop a better aerobic foundation. After those two months, I gradually started doing higher intensity work. By the time I hit the road again that spring, I did feel like I was in much better aerobic shape. I went on to ride over 5,000 miles that year, including a weeklong tour of the hills in Tennessee, as well as a lot of other climbing. No matter what I do during the winter, getting back on the bike come spring takes some additonal conditioning, but I think spinning helps bridge the gap.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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  7. #7
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    The spin classes at my old club were geared much more to outdoor riders or could be modified to fit my needs. The ones I go to at my new gym are boring and geared for people doing aerobics on bikes. But, I do my own thing and the instructor is fine with it. I get more benefit from the interval workouts I do on my trainer 2-3x times a week, in addition to x country skiing. But, yes, like Indy says, it's always a ramp up when March comes.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    The spin classes at my old club were geared much more to outdoor riders or could be modified to fit my needs. The ones I go to at my new gym are boring and geared for people doing aerobics on bikes. But, I do my own thing and the instructor is fine with it. I get more benefit from the interval workouts I do on my trainer 2-3x times a week, in addition to x country skiing. But, yes, like Indy says, it's always a ramp up when March comes.
    I find the same thing about the spin classes at my gym - they are just boring but the instructors get cranky if you start doing your own thing Or, at least, the instructor who is usually the one teaching at a time when I can come is that way. They DO have Les Mill's RPM spinning classes, haven't tried those yet. I can do more on the spinning bike than I can on the trainer at home as I just do not feel confident with standing on my trainer. So I go when I can outside of class and do my own thing. It works, and I need to do more of that this winter if the current weather trend continues.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    I find the same thing about the spin classes at my gym - they are just boring but the instructors get cranky if you start doing your own thing Or, at least, the instructor who is usually the one teaching at a time when I can come is that way. They DO have Les Mill's RPM spinning classes, haven't tried those yet. I can do more on the spinning bike than I can on the trainer at home as I just do not feel confident with standing on my trainer. So I go when I can outside of class and do my own thing. It works, and I need to do more of that this winter if the current weather trend continues.
    Is there a spin bike in the main part of the gym, where the other cardio machines are? The only time I can consistently get to the gym is during a time where there aren't any spin classes. I've got the Every Woman's Guide to Cycling book (Selene Yeager), and she's got some spin workouts in there that I can do on my own. I put on my own music and go.
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  10. #10
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    Catrin, it is also hard for me to stand on the trainer, but I have improved. Part of it, is I don't stand at all when I ride outside! Why don't you try putting it in the hardest gear (big ring, hardest cog) and see if it helps. That's about the only way I can stand. I'm up to a minute now, but the intervals I do don't require a lot of standing, so that is fine.
    I also couldn't stand on a spin bike when I started, 12 years ago, but that came much more easily. Don't know why I am like this, except that it seems to take an incredible amount of energy for me to stand and it feels uncomfortable. Not to mention, when I do this outside, my speed drops like crazy. My legs aren't weak, for sure, but they sure don't like standing.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvmyguys View Post
    Is there a spin bike in the main part of the gym, where the other cardio machines are? The only time I can consistently get to the gym is during a time where there aren't any spin classes. I've got the Every Woman's Guide to Cycling book (Selene Yeager), and she's got some spin workouts in there that I can do on my own. I put on my own music and go.
    Oh, we have access to the spinning bikes any time we want, that isn't a problem. What IS the problem is these are old Schwinns that just don't fit me. I seem to fall in-between the possible settings. I have, however, finally managed to find a combination of settings that allows me to use them for about 30 minutes or so before my overly-extended neck starts complaining. Of course, I COULD just stay out of the saddle and have a 30+ minute standing climb session For someone a still-healing whiplash injury this is a problem.

    There is a spin class tomorrow morning that I might go try out, it is a rest day for me where my other activities are concerned, but it might be a good day to spin. I will simply have to resist the temptation to do other things before or afterwards...

    Crankin, I've tried that, but I have to put my body into such an unnatural riding position to feel stable on the trainer that I just don't do it. Oddly enough I've never had a problem standing on the spinning bike...and I do not stand when riding outside. Oh, I will stand and coast downhill from time to time, but that is it. I prefer just to stay in the saddle and keep on pedaling.
    Last edited by Catrin; 01-02-2013 at 09:27 AM.

  12. #12
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    http://www.roadbikerider.com/e-books...classes-2nd-ed

    this looks like a really good book. If one isn't informed as to best practices, contraindicated moves, and how to get the most out of spinning, they can really get hurt. There are great spin classes and instructors out there, but there are also a lot of things going on out there that aren't so great.
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  13. #13
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    Spinning is good for conditioning when the weather is bad and you can work on power without distractions, but other than that I don't like it much. I don't like the way some spin classes are taught. I don't like jumps (pointless), 3rd position (which just encourages people to put weight on their wrists, a bad habit) and the above mentioned too fast warm up. If I can stand the weather I would rather ride outside.
    Also, when you are riding outside you are working on balance and bike handling, which are important skills.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kernyl View Post
    Spinning is good for conditioning when the weather is bad and you can work on power without distractions, but other than that I don't like it much. I don't like the way some spin classes are taught. I don't like jumps (pointless), 3rd position (which just encourages people to put weight on their wrists, a bad habit) and the above mentioned too fast warm up. If I can stand the weather I would rather ride outside.
    Also, when you are riding outside you are working on balance and bike handling, which are important skills.
    Actually, jumps help you get out of the saddle for small bumps in the road and for coming into a climb from a seated position. The do strengthen those leg/glute muscles.

    As for climbing with weight on your hands - your instructor should be reminding people to keep their weight over their saddle and be very light on their wrists. I always tell people, "spinning is NOT an upper body exercise!"

    And frankly, I do agree that most spin classes can be boring - except mine. I spend a lot of time planning, downloading and practicing sets before I teach them. So we have a variety of moves, types of music and intensity levels. If you can't find a good teacher and you really want to spin in the winter, I'd urge you to look around at some other gyms and ask people who they like. You can usually get a free pass.
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kernyl View Post
    Spinning is good for conditioning when the weather is bad and you can work on power without distractions, but other than that I don't like it much. I don't like the way some spin classes are taught. I don't like jumps (pointless), 3rd position (which just encourages people to put weight on their wrists, a bad habit) and the above mentioned too fast warm up. If I can stand the weather I would rather ride outside.
    Also, when you are riding outside you are working on balance and bike handling, which are important skills.
    Actually, jumps help you get out of the saddle for small bumps in the road and for coming into a climb from a seated position. The do strengthen those leg/glute muscles.

    As for climbing with weight on your hands - your instructor should be reminding people to keep their weight over their saddle and be very light on their wrists. I always tell people, "spinning is NOT an upper body exercise!"

    And frankly, I do agree that most spin classes can be boring - except mine. I spend a lot of time planning, downloading and practicing sets before I teach them. So we have a variety of moves, types of music and intensity levels. If you can't find a good teacher and you really want to spin in the winter, I'd urge you to look around at some other gyms and ask people who they like. You can usually get a free pass.
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

 

 

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