What is a Spin Class? Image

What is a Spin Class?

The Not-so- easy-Rider Workout

Spinning is something you’re likely to come across when looking at any gyms that offer classes. It’s fast-paced, it gets results, and in a group setting with loud music it can be loads of fun. Stationary bikes are used for this high-intensity workout, with weighted flywheels linked to the pedals. This means you have to apply pressure to slow them down – there’s no such thing as just stopping. The result is an indoor cycling workout, where your body is being challenged the entire time. Within the social atmosphere, several bikes lined up and everyone working hard toward the same goal, it’s easy to feed off that communal pool of encouragement no matter how tired you get. Another great thing about gym fitness classesis that you can easily fit them into your schedule by simply making a booking for a day and time that suits you best. Group exercise classes usually last between 45-60 minutes, and are led by a certified instructor whose job is to ensure you’re using correct form, call out intervals of hard- and moderate-pedaling, and to keep that motivation pumping for the duration of your session. Health and fitness really shouldn’t be this fun.

Benefits of a Spin Class

Heart Health
Spinning is an aerobic exercise, which basically means it’s a great cardiovascular workout. Going through the high-intensity sessions at the gym teaches your body to better control your breathing, and strengthens the heart muscle as well. Working with just these two factors does wonders for your overall health – your body reacts better under stress, decreased anxiety, improved blood flow and oxygen to vital organs and muscles… the list goes on.

Burn Calories Fast
This is probably the most obvious benefit to taking up a Spinning class, but it’s so good we have to put it on the list. A 45 minute moderate-intensity ride will burn between 400-620 calories, which is no small feat if you consider that the same amount of time spent doing Hatha Yoga, for instance, burns between 200-350 calories.

Motivation and Support
Group exercise classes are goldmines for built-in support systems and driving motivation when you need it most. There’s something about people coming together – all different in their own right – and working toward the same goal. The sense of community combined with a charismatic instructor and great music are more than enough to set the tone for a fun, focused workout session.

Accessibility
As far as gym fitness classes go, Spinning is one of the most accommodating workouts around. It appeals to many people regardless of their reasons for doing it, whether they’re fitness hounds or newbies to working out. A low-impact exercise, it’s accessible to most people – even those with nagging joint problems or recovering from injury – which makes it one of the safest options to staying healthy and fit.

Mental Vitality
The warm-ups and cool-downs are great for fighting stress. This part of Spinning really helps you to relax and rid yourself of whatever pressures are weighing you down. When you get into the workout session itself, the intense physical exertion serves to release everything else that’s bottled inside and holding you back. Spinning in a group introduces you to what it feels like to push yourself and exceed your own limits, the sense of achievement lasting long after you’ve walked out of the gym.

Cycling vs Cycle Classes

They’re bikes, you’re putting your body through pretty much the same workout – only, one puts you inside while the other gets you out in the open air. If scenery was the only difference between going cycling and taking a class, then Spinning wouldn’t be blowing up across the globe. Firstly, your participation in group workout classes isn’t weather-dependent. Sure, you’ll find a few die-hard bikers out cycling in the rain, but for the most part it’s a seasonal thing. Then there’s the social setting, community-minded motivation, and the fact that you don’t have to own a stationary bike to reap the benefits that gives cycle classes that edge.

Cycling Class Tips

Now that we’ve convinced you to get off the couch and get to Spinning instead, here are five pro tips to keep in mind for your first class:

1. Book Early
Use the website to avoid disappointment and get the time and day that best suits your schedule.

2. Gear Up
The right gear is vital to a good workout – flexibility, ventilation, and optimal moisture management are your friends.

3. Cycling Resistance
To get the results you want, be mindful of your resistance throughout the class. Too much and you’ll be wading through concrete (and damaging your muscles), too little and you’ll feel like you have no control.

4. Avoid the Death Grip
Your core should be working to support you, if you lift your fingers from the handlebars and feel you’ve lost support it means you’re putting too much weight on your wrists.

5. Use Your Instructor.
When you have a professional sports star leading the class, it makes sense to tap into their wealth of knowledge and skills to improve your workout.