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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-10-08, 11:39 AM   #1
tntom
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Trainer or spinn class?

I have been thinking about eather joining a health club or buying a trainer. It seems to me a trainer would be less money over the long hall than paying every month for the club. Tell me which you use and what you think is best.

PS If you use a trainer please tell me what is a good one to buy.

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Old 01-10-08, 11:43 AM   #2
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I've had health club memberships and found them to be a lot of money for little use. If you can get one that lets you do month to month it might be worth it because you wouldn't be out a lot of $ if you don't like it. On the trainer side - I just got one and love it. It's nice to have because some nights I've been bored and hop on for a little while. The only reason I don't do more days on it is my rear has gotten too used the the comfort saddle on my upright commuter and I'm having to recondition myself to the road bike.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:12 PM   #3
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I have been thinking about eather joining a health club or buying a trainer. It seems to me a trainer would be less money over the long hall than paying every month for the club. Tell me which you use and what you think is best.

PS If you use a trainer please tell me what is a good one to buy.

Tom
There are no right answers. I had a network of friends at the gym and the group motivated each other to push harder. I was at the gym 3 days a week to lift and depending on the weather to either run on the treadmill or use the stair machine. I also had a network of friends that I rode with and we also pushed each other. I'm no longer anywhere near a gym, and have not found any organized rides, and I will say I miss the motivation that I got by being with others.

Personally, I would never buy a stationary bike, if that's what you mean by "trainer", but that's personal preference. If you mean something that you attach your bike to that allows you to spin, then by all means, consider one. I've got a basic variable resistance one that I bought from Performance 10 or 11 years ago. It's a bit noisy, but it works fine. I use it on days where it's too cold, wet, or windy to ride outside. Rather than having to bring my road bike inside every time I need to use the trainer I have my old bike semi-permanently mounted on it. I like this setup because the riding position is essentially the same as when I'm on the road.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:15 PM   #4
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I did the trainer thing for about 2 years. It works good and helped me get in pretty decent shape. I recently started spin classes. I've been at it for over 2 weeks now and the biggest thing that I notice is that I really push myself ALOT harder in spin classes because I have somebody yelling at me. Whereas, with the trainer it's a little easier for me to slack off.



But overall...nothing beats real hills and being outside.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:17 PM   #5
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Weigh the benefits of either one before deciding:

Health club:
- Offers more than just spin classes

Trainer stand:
- Convenience of anytime

Those are the two biggest items I can think of for each. The drawbacks for each are where I'd base the decision. You have to 'go out' to the club. Are you comfortable working out in front of a club full of people? Will you use all the additional facilities and really get your money's worth from the club? If you get a trainer, are you self-motivated to use it persistently? Will you maintain interest in just being able to spin on the trainer, or will you want a varied routine?

I've got a stationary bike and I ride it quite often, but I am getting a gym membership with my fiancee for a couple reasons: She asked me to, because it will help motivate her to go more often; and I'm interested in varying my workouts by getting back into lap swimming. I might not use much of the other facilities they offer, but for me it's worth the $30/month for 3 days/week in the pool and being able to hit the sauna.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:48 PM   #6
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I got a Kurt Kinetic and put an old hybrid on it this winter. I like it - sits in front of a large screen TV.
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Old 01-10-08, 01:08 PM   #7
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I have a YMCA membership for the family and I use it everyday. I also have a set of rollers that I use for winter riding. It would be very hard for me to be without the gym. I like doing different things, and the YMCA allows me to do that no matter what the weather is like outside.
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Old 01-10-08, 02:41 PM   #8
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I did the trainer thing for about 2 years. It works good and helped me get in pretty decent shape. I recently started spin classes. I've been at it for over 2 weeks now and the biggest thing that I notice is that I really push myself ALOT harder in spin classes because I have somebody yelling at me. Whereas, with the trainer it's a little easier for me to slack off.



But overall...nothing beats real hills and being outside.
No argument from me - I would be so much happier on the road than the trainer. What I would love to tinker with to reduce the "easy to slack" issue is one of these, the cube-critter steppers that you connect to the computer so you have to "walk" to keep the computer on. Get one of those, tie it to the output from the bike at one end and the TV at the other: no pedal = no entertainment.
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Old 01-10-08, 03:14 PM   #9
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Two other advantages to a trainer: dial in your fit and a stand to perform maintainence.

After numerous dealings with gyms and the YMCA, I no longer see any advantage. Too much broken equipment, understaffed, corrupt management, racist policies, lazy staff, rude staff, not to mention the problems just driving to one.
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Old 01-10-08, 04:10 PM   #10
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It depends on where you live. There are a few gyms around here that are always kept up, and the spin classes have a lot of regulars that show up and know each other. When I see the same people all the time, I'm much less likely to slack off. Just for the anti slack-off factor, the money is worth it to me. I do without other things to pay for it, if I have to.

I also don't like to work out at home. I will do strenuous activities, like home and yard repairs, but don't like to work out alone at home. It seems...wrong, somehow. I don't run around my back yard when I jog...
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Old 01-10-08, 05:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tntom View Post
I have been thinking about eather joining a health club or buying a trainer. It seems to me a trainer would be less money over the long hall than paying every month for the club. Tell me which you use and what you think is best.

PS If you use a trainer please tell me what is a good one to buy.

Tom
The problems with a gym:
* Many clubs you need to buy an annual membership, but usually you would rather be outside in the late spring to early fall months, so 50% of your membership is wasted.
* Many clubs are full of preeners, folks who want to show off, they of course will hog the best machines, for an extended period, because they are trying to show off to someone else. Rather then get a good workout, asking one to move on, when your not a member of the clique usually does not have a good result.
* You need to go to the gym, this means gathering up your stuff, getting in the car, and driving to the gym, when the weather is bad, you start skipping a day here and there, then you quickly get to the point where the last time you were at the gym was a couple of weeks ago, so why bother, and you quit going.

Advantages of a gym:
* Many gyms have equipment that you could not afford to have at home, some also have pools.
* You can get a much more varied workout.
* Many gyms have staff trainers who can assist with your workout plan.

Some people find other solutions, for example if you can find a gym, the right distance from home, you can bike to the gym in the summer, and skip the warm-up / cool-down at the gym. Providing you last that long.
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Old 01-10-08, 05:55 PM   #12
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I picked up a older magnetic trainer at GW for $10. I also see them on CL all the time around here for < 50. Maybe you could try a trainer cheaply enough and then decide if you need more.
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Old 01-10-08, 06:35 PM   #13
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I picked up a older magnetic trainer at GW for $10. I also see them on CL all the time around here for < 50. Maybe you could try a trainer cheaply enough and then decide if you need more.
Heck, a brand new mag trainer can be as little as $70 at Nashbar when they have a sale. That's about 2 months of gym membership, and it will last you for years. I had a Nashbar C-Force trainer from the early 90s that I bought new for about $100, and I just gave it to a friend of mine to use a few weeks ago. Still works fine.
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Old 01-10-08, 07:41 PM   #14
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I have done them both, trained at home and at the gym. I went on a weight loss binge in 2000 and lost 25 lbs. got up every morning, lifted every other morn, and either spun or got on the elyptical machine every other morn.. My wife wanted to join a gym so I went along and we got a family member ship. I started going at least 3 days a week and enjoyed it, met some people and made a few friends. My wife never went, I asked her after a couple of years if she ever intended on going and she said, no. When I found out how much she was paying a month, I told her to quit paying, I would just go back to working out at home. Guess what, I never did, after about 7 or 8 mos. I rejoined the gym has a single and have steadily been going for years now. We have a great spin program with options for early AM. or late PM. and weekend classes. I usually go to 6 AM. spin on Tue. & Thur. and 9 AM. on Sat. We now have a 10 AM. on Sunday, which I will probably go to also, as long as the weather is bad. We have a great group that goes to the classes and we have all become good friends. I also started riding bikes with some of the class members. That's what inspired me to get my bikes back out and start riding again. Also, you are allowed to take a 3 mo. break from the club in the summer, and you don't have to pay an initiation fee again. Our club is owned by the local hospital and is kept up to date fairly well. One more thing, I have a weight machine, an elyptical machine, and a stationary bike for sale. My 2 cents.
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Old 01-10-08, 07:52 PM   #15
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Two other advantages to a trainer: dial in your fit and a stand to perform maintainence.

After numerous dealings with gyms and the YMCA, I no longer see any advantage. Too much broken equipment, understaffed, corrupt management, racist policies, lazy staff, rude staff, not to mention the problems just driving to one.

If you have a corrupt management at a YMCA, find their head of the public run part of the staff and get it taken care of. We don't have that problem here, we have a problem of too many people wanting to spend all of their money on pot, beer, and big screen tv's to get fatter. If you see broken equipment, report it to a staff member, so they can get it repaired or replaced. A lot of times the people working the areas, don't use the machines, as they are only there for the money, as there are no benefits. If it is still broken the next time you are there, report it to someone else. At our YMCA, it only takes one person to get a report written up for someone to look at a problem. Heck, sometimes we see the problem and fix it for them.

I find rude staff, lazy staff at pretty much any establishment I go to. I see tons of advantages, but I also don't live 20 minutes from one. They have much better equipment than I will ever be able to afford. They maintain the equipment, so I don't have to, and I don't have it taking up space in my house or garage. I work harder at the gym, because I have people there, and that makes me work harder, as I don't want to be the person hogging equipment and doing it slowly or look lazy while doing it. There are people that read magazines while sitting on the bikes. As hard as I work on the equipment, there is no way I could read a book or magazine. Plus, they would be covered in sweat and not be readable anyway.

Our gym has towels that they have available, they wash and dry them, I don't have to. They have recumbent bikes, stationary bikes, treadmills, steppers, ellipticals, rowing machines for aerobic workouts, plus the walking/running track. They have free weights and machine weights for lifting. Some of the machines they have cost more than my membership has cost me the last 10 years I have paid for it. They have a pool and a hot tub, racquetball and indoor tennis courts. For the costs, I think I am getting off pretty easy.

To each his own. Do what you feel comfortable with.

I use the YMCA everyday of the year, and I ride my bicycle and run outside also.

To each his own. I will continue to pay a
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Old 01-10-08, 07:55 PM   #16
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+1 I agree with flip18436572

My Y is very friendly, clean, and has plenty of newer machines. To me the classes available are what sold me. Never a problem getting into a class and I always feel welcome.

Plus...compared to my house, the scenery is nice
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Old 01-10-08, 09:05 PM   #17
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Oh yeah. I sold my wife's treadmill, and my elliptical machine and my bench and weights. I did buy a set of rollers to work on bicycling during crappy Iowa weather.
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Old 01-10-08, 11:00 PM   #18
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Use the pool at the Y? They'd have to get a lifeguard out of the break room to let anyone use it. The Y here sucks big time. Membership doesn't get you use of the whole facility. You have to give a "gift" i.e. money to use the whole facility. Off the record policy is no blacks or Latinos allowed.
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Old 01-11-08, 06:59 AM   #19
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Use the pool at the Y? They'd have to get a lifeguard out of the break room to let anyone use it. The Y here sucks big time. Membership doesn't get you use of the whole facility. You have to give a "gift" i.e. money to use the whole facility. Off the record policy is no blacks or Latinos allowed.

You are kidding about the off the record policy, I hope??????

We have hours that our pool is open, and a life guard is always in the pool area, dressed in proper attire with a floatation device on their shoulder if walking or on their lap if sitting in the chair. If there is no one in the pool those same people are cleaning ladders, ropes, chairs, etc.... to keep the place clean. From what I understand, is if the pool area is not covered by a life guard during the shown hours, they can lose their insurance.

We have an extra fee for the indoor heated tennis courts per use, or you can have a higher payment for the entire facility including the tennis center. We also have some classes that you have to pay for, because it is a business outside of the YMCA that is using the facility. Jazzercise is the one that come to mind.

I guess we have it a lot better than I thought. I am sorry to hear that the YMCA in your area is not as good as it should be.
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Old 01-11-08, 08:43 AM   #20
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The Health club I am going to join is owned by a hospital. It verry clean, verry close and I know many people that go there. I have never heard anything bad about it. I think paying the money will cause me to use it more. That is what kept me on track with my weight loss. I went to LA weight loss and had to sell sonething dear to me to join. When I wanted to blow my diet I would think about selling my mandolin and I stayed with it. I think that will work for me at the gym.
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Old 01-11-08, 09:19 PM   #21
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Much depends on your personal motivation. I had a nice stationary bike (not a trainer) and it was fantastic for collecting dust and hanging cloths. I recently joined the YMCA and it's been excellent. The spinning classes are motivational and the personal desire (at least for me) makes me work harder. The Y requires no long term contract and charges monthly so you can quit anytime.

For those of you wondering if a spin class is a real workout...A friend who regularly leads thirty or so 50 mile rides a year for the local club showed up and figured, "how hard can 45 minutes in a class that's predominantly made up of women be?" He showed up with no water bottle or towel and pretty much crawled to the locker room afterward. He's been a regular ever since.

No, spinning isn't the same as being on the road, but it is a great workout and an enjoyable experience.
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Old 01-12-08, 05:46 PM   #22
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I've done both and prefer the trainer, mostly because I can pocket the monthly fees and watch TV (kills 2 birds with one stone--entertainment and workout). It's also nice to be riding your own bike.

The YMCA membership is a good idea if you want to do other things like lift or play basketball in addition to spinning. I tend to rapidly lose weight when I mix up strength training with aerobic activities.

The greatest benefit of spinning, however, is that it allows you to meet members of the opposite sex.
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Old 01-16-08, 01:20 PM   #23
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I do both. I am a newbie rider training for a century in March. I bought a Cycleops mag trainer that I use for spin classes at my LBS and then do morning spins at my gym. I feel like I get more benefit from doing both.
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Old 01-21-08, 04:12 PM   #24
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I've done both. Got sick of the atmosphere at the gym, and the crappy equipment, and having to drive there. Half the spin bikes squeeked and squeeled, adjustments (seat height and handlebar reach) were limited, the music sucked, and half the instructors chatted non-stop their whole class.

I have been using a Landice treadmill, CompuTrainer, and dumbbells w/ a bench at my house daily for the past 2 -3 years in the finished basement. Have a TV and stereo set-up to keep me entertained.
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Old 01-21-08, 05:01 PM   #25
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I think that the main reason that I like spin class better than lone stationary bikes, even at the gym, is because it actually feels like you are "doing something". It is a lot different than riding outside, but there is a sense of accomplishment that is similar to when you finish an outdoor ride. When you ride outside, you know that you have to get back to the beginning/end point for it to end. When I ride alone and on a trainer...it is much easier to stop or not ride as hard. In a spin class, there are demands, accountability, and a definite end to the class. It is hard for me to sand-bag a spin class, while telling myself that I worked out as hard as I could. Looking around at the other people in spin class, I can tell if I'm working hard enough. It is sort of like a group-ride, that way.


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